Lipstick on a Pig: GOP Tries to ‘Soften’ 20-Week Abortion Ban by Putting Marsha Blackburn in Charge


See all our coverage of HR 1797 here.

Memo to the GOP: Putting a woman in charge of the vote count on a bill that puts women at risk and obliterates their rights to bodily autonomy doesn’t make the bill any more palatable.

The GOP is in a tizzy about its dismal ratings among women, people of color, and young people—otherwise known as the majority of the electorate. But rather than examining why the policies themselves are so deeply problematic and disliked, the party instead tries to paint over them by selecting radicals who “look like” the people whose rights they are determined to gut.

This is exactly what happened last week, when in response to criticism of its dangerous 20-week abortion ban, which passed out of committee by a vote of 20 to 12 (that being 20 male legislators and no female legislators voting in favor), the GOP rushed to place Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) in charge of the upcoming floor vote. Blackburn is deeply anti-choice and has used the Kermit Gosnell controversy to argue for defunding Planned Parenthood, although one has nothing to do with the other except that defunding Planned Parenthood would create more business for unscrupulous practitioners.

But putting a woman in charge of a bill based on lies, which will deprive women of their most fundamental rights to bodily autonomy and endanger women’s lives, and which is opposed not only by women themselves but also by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as well as the American Public Health Association and countless practicing physicians does not make that bill any better.

As the saying goes, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. You can put a female member of a misogynistic party in charge of pushing your agenda, but it’s still misogyny.

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  • J Rae

    They have chosen this woman as a spokesperson for the 20 week ban because she has had sex 2 times in her life. We can tell this by reading her biography.

    “Marsha and
    her husband Chuck live in Williamson County, Tennessee. They have two
    children, and two grandsons ”

    She couldn’t possibly have used any type of birthcontrol. A person with such strong moral fiber would submit to Gods plan that sexual activity is only for reproduction.

    And since obviously she is now over the age of producing further children, she and her husband maintain a celibate relationship.

    LOL, right!!
    What a bunch of hypocrites.

    • NavyBlues05

      The dipshit also stated that the 20 week abortion ban bill would allow for increased arrest and prosecution of rapists and perpetrators of incest. Kind of like the twit in New Mexico who wanted rape victims who had abortions convicted of evidence tampering. I wonder how many times she had sex.

      • Jonathan Kuperberg

        See above:
        Sorry, this bill is absolutely NOTHING to do with SEX. Please give up your sexual obsession.

        • fiona64

          Yeah, actually, it *does* have to do with sex. Specifically, with women’s right to bodily autonomy and medical decision making regarding pregnancy — which cannot happen with out ::wait for it:: sex.

          You’re the one with the sexual obsession, Jonny, with your constant rants about how any woman who has sex outside of marriage is a whore, how birth control should be outlawed, etc.

          Mind your own bedroom and stay out of other people’s. I know it’ll be hard for you, but I’m confident that you can do it.

          • Jonathan Kuperberg

            Abortion laws are still not *primarily* about sex. Terry O’Neill- an impeccably liberal feminist- wrote on HuffPo last week that Plan B for minors wasn’t about sex, so the issue of unborn humans sure isn’t either. How often the people proposing the law have had sex is totally extraneous and hence it shows the obsession of the posters that they would focus on this rather than an actual part of the legislation.

            I am opposed to outlawing birth control and do not believe what you said about “whores”. Specifically, I have written *in favor of* birth control saying that for anti-abortion forces to support it would make it clear that they care about life and not controlling/hating on women and you may have seen me saying I am pro-personhood but I don’t believe the right wing meme that BC stops a fertilised egg implanting- I have actually read the science saying it prevents ovulation/fertilisation so by “personhood” I don’t mean “Quiverfull”.

            I am also for birth control BECAUSE OF my view that sex belongs only in marriage; in the 21st century, few people have completed their education and got themselves financially stable enough to comfortably afford a baby before their mid- or late twenties and waiting that long for marriage will only continue the epidemic of fornication. Waiting until 35 for sex is a very different ball game to waiting until 20. So if there’s going to be a long gap between sex/marriage and starting a family it’s obviously necessary for some form of contraception to be in place.

            I have said both men and women should wait until marriage- and criticized those in the pro-family movement who focus on female responsibility and let males off the hook. The only time I recently mentioned “whores” was in response to actual prostitutes and when I was very angry, a few days ago. I said that “whores, *whoremongers* and baby-killers” (i.e. abortion providers, most of whom are male, and pimps and johns, >95% of whom are male) will face eternal destruction if they do not repent. So much for being anti-women.

            I have said it before and I will say it again: I have a moral and legal right to publicly promote God’s moral code on human sexuality. I do not have a right to enforce it upon anyone against their will. I am NOT “in” your bedroom or anyone else’s. So stay out of my religious rights.

            Ascribing “sexual obsession” to the side of the culture wars who have much stricter standards for what is sexually acceptable and are much less willing to talk about it in many contexts is outright projection. We would barely mention it *at all* if we didn’t have to fight a culture war because of liberals’ organized attacks on our beliefs and institutions.

          • NavyBlues05

            “How often the people proposing the law have had sex is totally extraneous and hence it shows the obsession of the posters that they would focus on this rather than an actual part of the legislation.”

            Need to look at the larger picture. This piece of ersatz legislation, and all the previous attempts, was created by a man who abhors sex out of the confines of religiously mandated marriage. The same man works to make contraception difficult to obtain commercially should ANYONE in the supply chain decide it goes against their religious beliefs. Hence, all the rabid anti-abortionist pols seem focused on limiting sexual contact unless it is to procreate. So, following their ideology/dogma, there should be quite of few GOP/Tea Party/ Evangelical pols in the House and Senate bragging about having large families, shouldn’t there? There should be state governments being run by the same ideologues who are strutting around with large broods. Where are they?

          • fiona64

            Please show me where anyone has tried to prevent you worshipping as you choose.

            Oh, wait. You can’t … because no one has done any such thing. You, OTOH, are out here flapping your gums and demanding that other people live in accordance to your idea of what God wants.

            Sure, you have a right to do that — and other people have the right to tell you to get stuffed.

          • Jonathan Kuperberg

            No-one here has… it’s when people say things like “mind your own bedroom” – which implies I should *never* talk to anyone else about God’s teachings on sexuality- in response to my beliefs that I reiterate my right to advocate for [not “demand”] adherence a specific moral code. And sure, you have the right to respond angrily and/or dismissively to my advocacy.

          • fiona64

            I know that this is hard for you to comprehend, but what people other than yourself do in their bedrooms? Is really none of your concern whatsoever. Your constant harping on how other people should run their lives is what makes you look like a “sexually provincial” nutter. You aren’t “advocating,” John. You’re demanding. Oscar Wilde (here we are with him again) said that selfishness does not consist in living as you wish, but in demanding that *others* live as you wish.

            And that, my young friend, is *precisely* what you are doing.

          • Jonathan Kuperberg

            I “comprehend” quite well. I simply **do not** accept your view that I should give up advocating for a Biblical worldview including on sex. We will have to agree to disagree on this. If you don’t like what I believe, you can always tell me to get stuffed- and find someone whose beliefs more congenial to your sensibilities. I won’t bring the subject up with you again, so you don’t have to listen, but will continue with others.

            Like I saw in a (rare) sympathetic liberal Jew’s obituary to Jerry Falwell against those who claimed he was intolerant and forced his views on others [in his preaching, his political actions are another matter]: “He was a Christian first, a Republican second and an American third. If you didn’t like that, well, there were plenty of other places you could spend Sunday morning.” As I have also told you before, there are people I have heard from who have appreciated my sharing truth about sex and related matters. You don’t? Don’t read or reply to me.

            Demanding would be if I had some sort of power over other people that I could enforce negative consequences for their not doing as I suggested… which I don’t, and do not wish to. Oh, and more to the point, I don’t *ask* you or ANYBODY “have you abstained till marriage? been cheating on your husband/wife lately? got any unusual patterns of lust?” as 1)I *don’t* see that as my business if someone doesn’t tell me and 2) I have no interest in knowing. I am confident God knows the content of all human hearts and when I advocate for traditional sexual morality, I want someone who reads and does not believe that to consider it, and then if they see God calling them to do so, change their behaviour. I do not want and would not presume to ask for any details, thanks.

            If I did have any voyeuristic tendencies they would be from the permissiveness of my parents and friends and secretive *education sentimentale* from the corruptrix at school rather than my religion.

            “Sexually provincial” seems to be a very dubious phrase based on sterotypes anyway- it sounds like a dog-whistle to the liberal elite for “raging Bob Dornan anti-masturbation Junior Anti-Sex League captain… who happens to be from a small town full of toothless idiots.” The person who used it didn’t realise I had been brought up hearing such dog-whistles and now know why they’re arrogant and false.

          • fiona64

            What you seem unable to comprehend is that you do not get to tell people on the internet what they respond to … and that you are not guaranteed an approving audience for your opinions.

          • Jonathan Kuperberg

            I am pretty clued in about the not being guaranteed appreciation… that’s what the LifeSiteNews and FOTF forums are for. Not that I’ve used them for a few months… I was just making a practical suggestion that if what I write offends you then you may as well not respond, because I won’t be changing it. It was already understood you had the option of responding.

          • fiona64

            Well, Jonny, here’s the thing. There are people who read these things and never post. And if no one counters the unadulterated, blatant bullshit you post with things like ::gasp:: facts, they may walk away with the impression that people agree with said unadulterated, blatant bullshit.

            Have you ever considered, for example, that your anti-gay hate speech might contribute to someone’s suicidal impulse? No? I thought not. But, OTOH, perhaps reading that someone has called you out on that same anti-gay hate speech may stay that person’s hand for one more day.

            I’m willing to take on that burden of hope.

          • Jonathan Kuperberg

            I certainly *have* considered it. If someone kills themselves because of a campaign of anti-gay bullying, hatred and exclusion or because of unjust rupture of a primary relationship (e.g. a parent kicks a teen out or a person’s long-standing best friend disowns them when they discover their sexuality.) I of course would condemn those responsible for the mistreatment. I agree. This explains why I have stopped using certain words and frames to describe homosexuals. But some pro-homosexual activists try to shut down *all* opposition to their agenda including mere expression of dissenting views because they say beliefs like mine “contribute” to a “culture of oppression”.

            I find this argument completely unacceptable because it violates the Bible’s teaching to speak Truth in love, drastically misplaces blame (I am NOT responsible for others who are extreme than me; it is they if anyone who are ignoring a duty to society) and proposes a slippery slope. If someone who is NOT hated ends their life just because they can’t cope with the fact that not everyone approves of their behaviour, then they are unfortunately very weak people- which doesn’t make it *their* fault either (many have mental illnesses untreated) but just a tragedy. To suppress ANY part of my faith just because it *may* among many other factors lead people who already have problems to suicide is just not on. I find such arguments among the most egregiously nasty in the pro-homosexual playbook.

            The San Francisco values enforcement team have ALREADY tried the “fully approve of our sodomy or you’ll have blood all over your hands, you christo-fascist murdering het scum” line once. It was a little thing called the AIDS crisis. How to Survive a Plague is coming out (of course, Michael Moore bashed JPII and Reagan as “bigots” from the NYFCC podium when it was handed an award. I’ve never seen one man from the heartland, smalltown Catholic Michigan, push so many coastal special interests. I’d respect him more if he stuck to speaking about guns and health reform.) Now comes take 2 over youth suicide. When will THEY stay their hands and stop exploiting tragic deaths to force the sexual revolutionist agenda?

            I feel much the same way about those who go full Mary S.Calderone on me for opposing explicit, anti-parent sex education and then claim it to “protect” [sic] children from child sex abuse when their agenda is deep down about removal of inhibitions and parental controls for non-abusive families. Also those who mention priestly paedophilia WHENEVER a Catholic says something they disagree with about faith, sex, gender, life issues or any other part of the culture war. When Maureen Dowd or Anthony Kennedy or Chris Matthews or Joan Walsh, Catholics all, says something they don’t pull the pedo card out their bias bag. We had the Family Research Council shooting- if we and our opponents keep hearing this sort of language it will end in pro-Family Christians who are unstable or lacking in support becoming suicidal and more violence and discrimination against those with our beliefs.

            Do NOT use dead people to push your anti-Christian agenda.
            Do NOT use raped children to push your anti-Christian agenda.
            Add in NOT race-baiting when discussing homosexuality, civil unions, and so on and I could find a lot more to like about many on the progressive side.

          • fiona64

            To suppress ANY part of my faith just because it *may* among many other
            factors lead people who already have problems to suicide is just not on.
            I find such arguments among the most egregiously nasty in the
            pro-homosexual playbook.

            I’m sorry that you cannot understand how what you perceive as “speaking truth in love” and “expressing your faith” in the black-and-white, all or nothing, categorically judgmental fashion that you do could be part of the problem.

            I rather suspect that, if someone were subjected to that day after day after day after day, being told that they are disgusting because of whom they love, that they should remain celibate and alone unless they can force themselves to “fake it” with someone else, etc., well, it would make life look pretty damned miserable.

            And those things, Johnny, are exactly what you have said … often in horrifically hateful terms that I have deliberately excluded here.

            BTW, in case you missed out reading Ezekiel in your Bible, you might want to take it up. The sin of Sodom was inhospitality, and had nothing to do with homosexuality which, as I have repeatedly explained via exegesis, was not understood in Biblical times as we understand it now. Perhaps if you were a little less black-and-white, all or nothing in your thinking you could better understand all of that.

            Or, you can continue to go about whilst wearing your angry, ranting blinders. It’s all up to you.

            PS: that “homosexual agenda” that you keep ranting about? Consists solely of what you keep demanding: that people respect their right to live as they choose, including such matters as marriage and reproduction.

          • Jonathan Kuperberg

            I have heard all the liberal arguments for supporting homosexuality based on there being a different socio-cultural understanding of sex and relationships at the time the Bible was written, but I find they don’t stand up, and the theologically conservative perspective is far more defensible. If you want to go for Gene Robinson over James Robison that’s your problem.

            I have read Ezekiel 16:43-50 AND Jude 7- as you probably know already. I find it “disgusting” that you are painting objections to sexual immorality as purely about “love” and implying they are “hate” and I want “misery”, and erasing the fact many people can have a happy celibate life whatever their orientation. THAT is the sort of perverted nonsense that has 50+ of my American FB friends teaching their children at home or paying for conservative private school. It’s not so much the teacher led prayer or the creation science, though they like that. They’re fairly symbolic. The biggest issue is that public schools are teaching a generation of young people to judge moral issues by the fallible and changeable feelings of human beings, not by obedience to absolute standards set by a Supreme Being. With 88% of American children being thus indoctrinated it’s no surprise the youth are coming out massively socially liberal.

        • NavyBlues05

          You’ve obviously failed to follow her attempt to justify her grandstanding on the house floor. She’s on record for making this statement during live news interview. Taking into context all of these small attempts at legislating reproduction (copulation) in the US, it has EVERYTHING to do with SEX.

          • Jonathan Kuperberg

            Given that vastly more pregnancies are avoided by birth control than could ever be aborted, and *99%* of abortions take place before 20-weeks (over 90% are first-trimester)…and the majority of post-20 week abortions are for serious maternal/fetal indications or major life changes where the pregnancy was initially wanted… the impact on sex that this bill could possibly have should it pass is so small it can be rounded down to zero.

          • fiona64

            I am reasonably sure you know how pregnancies come about. Stop being deliberately obtuse.

          • Jonathan Kuperberg

            You’re being obtuse, as for a bill related to pregnancy to be an anti-sex bill, it would have to make it significantly more dangerous to have sex. 20+ week abortions are rare events nearly always resulting from something going wrong in a wanted pregnancy, i.e. the couple would have had sex anyway, because the woman wanted a baby.

            The availability of post-20 week abortion has so little impact on anyone’s sexual life that I see it as perfectly fair to say this bill is not about sex at all.

          • fiona64

            And I find it perfectly fair to say the moon is made of green cheese, but that doesn’t make it so.

            All anti-choice bills, and attitudes, are about punishing women for daring to have sex without a resulting infant — wanted or not.

          • Jonathan Kuperberg

            That’s still projection. It is your side, nearly every time, that sees an infant as a “punishment”. Only way-out-there nutjobs on our side would believe “women should be punished for sex”. But the President goes around saying he wouldn’t want his daughter to be “punished” with a baby. Life is a blessing, not a punishment.

          • fiona64

            Then why is it that the anti-choicers (including yourself) are always talking about “the consequences” of having sex?

            Don’t be absurd, Jon. We all know what that means: “the slut should have kept her legs closed if she didn’t want a baby.”

            And that’s what every single piece of anti-choice legislation is really saying.

          • Jonathan Kuperberg

            You’re reading too much into it. That’s **not** what these bills are saying. I usually know when people are implying something untoward- as I’ve got closer to pro-family people I see a minority (probably, as I said, less than ten per cent) who are really just hateful or resentful of women, gays and other groups and use pro-family beliefs to cover up their nastiness. The rest of them are sincere in their goals.

          • fiona64

            Jon, I’ve been working on these issues since before you were born. Trust me, you’re wrong on this one — you just don’t see why, because you refuse to look.

    • Jonathan Kuperberg

      Sorry, this bill is absolutely NOTHING to do with SEX. Please give up your sexual obsession.

      • J Rae

        This whole issue is about sex.
        Sex is considered a privilege of the married or financially secure.
        Sex is great for men, shameful for women.
        Sex that results in pregnancy for a poor woman is punished, both financially and socially.
        A woman who for ANY reason is in need of an abortion after week 20 is being punished for that need with the restrictions in this bill.
        The use of this woman, in an attempt to make the bill acceptable is pretty disgusting.
        It also assumes women are stupid and can’t know that she is just a front.
        Let the man who wrote the bill stand up for it.

        In case you didn’t know, the first post was considered *snark*. A poke at a woman of privilege making decisions for women who lack the abundance of choices that she has access to.

        • Jonathan Kuperberg

          Sure, I know it’s snark. I considered it irrelevant, smearing snark as I rationally explained above why sex is NOT the major issue in relation to abortion and even more so with late-term abortion. I’ve also seen more than enough of liberals bashing women, working-class people, POC and LGBTs who reject the Democratic Party on any issue as “fronts” or whatever else for white straight millionaire males.
          (The festival of Palinophobia in 2008 is the prime example… and to a lesser degree nomination of Michael Steele to RNC chairmanship.] To use this line on the 20-week ban issue is even worse given that public opinion is *not* markedly divided on it by gender.

          Being conservative in a democracy is *not* a privilege: I can see why people would make the arguments Republican policies are harmful to all four of these groups but some members of less privileged groups think differently and they don’t need to be further marginalised by the sort of nonsense you’re promoting. It makes me think of Betty Friedan saying that Phyllis Schlafly is no woman and should be burnt at the stake (another bad-taste snark ;P) instead of accepting that not all XX folks had the same views on size of government, welfare, the need for an ERA, preborn life, sexual morality, gender roles and family structure.

          • Jennifer Starr

            Schlafly was pretty much a hypocrite though. She made quite a successful career out of telling women their place was in the home, Other women,naturally, but that’s not where she was. She even ran for office. None of which would have been possible without the feminism she so decried.

          • Jonathan Kuperberg

            I get that… her point though was to defend traditional values (not the banning of women in the workplace) it was necessary for women to run for office to show that feminists and far-left women did not represent all women- which they don’t.

            That woman who said last year she thinks women shouldn’t be allowed to vote- and Ann Coulter who said the same- now that’s hypocritical. Schlafly’s more a borderline case, I’m willing to forgive her on that given what she did for the profamily movement.