“Life is that gift from God. I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.” — Indiana U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock (R), at a debate tonight with Rep. Joe Donnelly (D).
CSMonitor: Richard Mourdock, the Republican Senate candidate from Indiana who made a controversial statement concerning the will of God and rape, refused to apologize for his remarks Wednesday.
Mitt Romney’s one endorsement:
Romney will pretend to disagree with Mourdock’s “policy” while continuing to support him: “Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock, and Mr. Mourdock’s comments do not reflect Gov. Romney’s views,” Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said. “We disagree on the policy regarding exceptions for rape and incest but still support him.” – Washington Post
Charlie Pierce: “Tell me again that I don’t have to worry about Romney’s having two or three Supreme Court appointments to make, or about a Senate full of Richard Mourdocks passing judgment on them.”
Think Progress: John McCain, who’s not running a campaign this year, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper Wednesday night that he would withhold his support until Mourdock “apologizes and says he misspoke, and he was wrong and he asks the people to forgive him” However, McCain hasn’t pulled an ad he made for Mourdock earlier, or explicitly renounced him.
Think Progress: As of 1:30 pm, Fox News had not mentioned Richard Mourdock or the word “rape” in connection to Mourdock even once. In comparison, other cable networks are covering Mourdock and the fallout from his comments exhaustively. MSNBC mentioned “rape” in 15 segments about Mourdock, while CNN mentioned it 22 times. [...] When Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) made his highly-covered blunder, claiming that women could not get pregnant from “legitimate rape,” Fox barely mentioned his name. Though Fox may continue to ignore these controversies, stories of Republican candidates’ extreme positions on abortion and contraception are becoming all too common in the news cycle.
THIS SHOULD HELP GET OUR ECONOMY TURNED AROUND. The full statement on abortion from Republican Party’s 2012 platform, via CNN:
THE SANCTITY AND DIGNITY OF HUMAN LIFE — Faithful to the “self-evident” truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life. We oppose the non-consensual withholding or withdrawal of care or treatment, including food and water, from people with disabilities, including newborns, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose active and passive euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Republican leadership has led the effort to prohibit the barbaric practice of partial birth abortion, permitted States to extend health care coverage to children before birth. We urge Congress to strengthen the Born Alive Infant Protection Act by exacting appropriate civil and criminal penalties to health care providers who fail to provide treatment and care to an infant who survives and abortion, including early induction delivery where the death of the infant is intended. We call for legislation to ban sex-selective abortions – gender discrimination in its most lethal form – and to protect from abortion unborn children who are capable of feeling pain; and we applaud U.S. House Republicans for leading the effort to protect the lives of pain-capable unborn children in the District of Columbia. We call for a revision of federal law 42 U.S.C. 289.92 to bar the use of body parts from aborted fetuses for research. We support and applaud adult stem cell research to develop lifesaving therapies, and we oppose the killing of embryos for their stem cells. We oppose federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.
We also salute the many states that have passed laws for informed consent, mandatory waiting periods prior to an abortion, and health protective clinic regulation. We seek to protect young girls from exploitation through a parental consent requirement; and we affirm our moral obligation to assist, rather than penalize, women challenged by an unplanned pregnancy. We salute those who provide them with counseling and adoption alternatives and empower them to choose live, and we take comfort in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives.
THIS PLATFORM HAS NO EXCEPTIONS for rape or incest. This is one political party forcing their personal religious beliefs on an entire nation and its system of laws. This is one political party — comprised mostly of white men — telling all women exactly what they can and cannot do with their bodies, limiting the choices any women would have. Vote like your rights depend on it.
C. All of the above
Last year Paul Ryan co-sponsored a bill (along with Todd Akin and 225 other members of the House) called the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” which inserted the specific words “forcible rape” into the exceptions for federally-funded abortions, along with incest if the victim is a minor child. Today, because of the politically inconvenient views of Todd Akin, the very serious and courageous Paul Ryan doesn’t want to say what he meant by “forcible” rape a year ago:
KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano asked: “Should abortions to be available to women who are raped?”
Ryan opposes abortions in all cases except for when the life of the mother is at stake, which is different from Mitt Romney’s position — Romney would also carve out exceptions for rape and incest.
“I’m proud of my pro-life record,” Ryan said. “And I stand by my pro-life record in Congress. It’s something I’m proud of. But Mitt Romney is the top of the ticket and Mitt Romney will be president and he will set the policy of the Romney administration.”
“You sponsored legislation that has the language ‘forcible rape,’” Delano noted. “What is forcible rape as opposed…”
“Rape is rape,” Ryan interrupted. “Rape is rape, period. End of story.”
“So that forcible rape language meant nothing to you at the time?” Delano asked.
“Rape is rape and there’s no splitting hairs over rape,” Ryan said.
That sounds like weasel-words, Paul Ryan, crafted by Team Etch-a-Sketch. Rape IS rape, rape has always been rape — yet, not so very long ago, you believed that “rape” needed to be quantified by the word “forcible.” I still wonder if Ryan has some sort of checklist with ‘”x” number of injuries sustained’ to meet his forcible rape criteria.
Unfortunately we now know that many in the GOP believe that if a woman is raped and gets pregnant, that’s not really a “legitimate rape” — if her “tubes weren’t spastic,” if she wasn’t “uptight” enough for her body to stop the pregnancy, well then… was it really rape?
Think Progress notes that Mitt Romney met with Dr. John Willke (the controversial anti-abortion doctor who was the basis for Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” theory) late last year, during the 2012 campaign:
“Dr. John Willke, one of the founders of the anti-abortion movement and Akin’s source, told the Daily Telegraph today that he had a private meeting with Romney in Cincinnati last October. Willke said that Romney thanked him for his support and told him, “we agree on almost everything.” It was revealed earlier this week that Romney had also touted Willke’s support during his 2008 presidential campaign, even referring to him as an “important surrogate.” The Romney campaign declined to comment to the Daily Telegraph about Dr. Willke’s comments.”
Dr. Willke’s scientifically baseless pseudo-theory on women’s innards and rape (legitimate rape): “This is a traumatic thing — she’s, shall we say, she’s uptight. She is frightened, tight, and so on. And sperm, if deposited in her vagina, are less likely to be able to fertilize. The tubes are spastic.”
JM Ashby found a web archive of Romney enthusiastically accepting Dr. Willke’s endorsement in 2007:
Governor Romney said, “I am proud to have the support of a man who has meant so much to the pro-life movement in our country. He knows how important it is to have someone in Washington who will actively promote pro-life policies. Policies that include more than appointing judges who will follow the law but also opposing taxpayer funded abortion and partial birth abortion. I look forward to working with Dr. Willke and welcome him to Romney for President.”
Kick over a rock inside the GOP’s “Big Tent,” and you never know what will crawl out.
Sidenote: I wonder what the anti-abortion movement thinks about the fact that part of Mitt Romney’s fortune was derived from investing in a company that disposed of aborted fetuses? They built that!
“The views expressed were offensive. Rape is rape. … What I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians—a majority of whom are men—making health care decisions on behalf of women.” — President Obama today on Rep. Todd Akin
THANK YOU, PRESIDENT OBAMA. Rape IS rape.
Mother Jones reports this morning that while investigating government documents, such as SEC filings, they’ve discovered that not only did Romney have a direct hand with the company Stericycle, but that he did not leave Bain Capital in 1999 as both the campaign and Bain constantly assert:
“Earlier this year, Mitt Romney nearly landed in a politically perilous controversy when theHuffington Post reported that in 1999 the GOP presidential candidate had been part of an investment group that invested $75 million in Stericycle, a medical-waste disposal firm that has been attacked by anti-abortion groups for disposing aborted fetuses collected from family planning clinics. Coming during the heat of the GOP primaries, as Romney tried to sell South Carolina Republicans on his pro-life bona fides, the revelation had the potential to damage the candidate’s reputation among values voters already suspicious of his shifting position on abortion.
“But Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney founded, tamped down the controversy. The company said Romney left the firm in February 1999 to run the troubled 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and likely had nothing to with the deal. The matter never became a campaign issue. But documents filed by Bain and Stericycle with the Securities and Exchange Commission—and obtained by Mother Jones—list Romney as an active participant in the investment. And this deal helped Stericycle, a company with a poor safety record, grow, while yielding tens of millions of dollars in profits for Romney and his partners. The documents—one of which was signed by Romney—also contradict the official account of Romney’s exit from Bain.”
This is a BFD for values voters (you’d think, they claim!) — but they shouldn’t be surprised when pure, vulture capitalism is what they choose to support: if you can make a profit on something — outsourcing American jobs to China, offshoring your American money into foreign bank accounts to avoid taxes, or disposal of aborted fetuses, that’s the way America works. Capitalism! Profit! Romney is a savvy businessman! Job creators!
If it turns out that this isn’t going to be a problem for the Christian fundamentalists, let’s not hear another word about a woman’s LEGAL freedom of choice. Read the rest…
Found image of ‘Stericycle’ in a Google image search.
An amendment which, of course, has nothing to do with floods or insurance but has everything to do with his party’s plan to do nothing until Election Day.
Think Progess reports that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is trying to attach an anti-choice amendment to the Senate’s flood insurance bill.
“After years of delay, senators recently came to an agreement over the flood bill and were set to vote on it this week. But now, Paul is threatening to hold up its final passage by adding an amendment defining when life begins. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) expressed his displeasure with that move this morning, saying he would not bring the bill up for a vote if the amendment is added. [...] The National Flood Insurance Program helps homeowners whose houses are destroyed by floods — like those that devastated Minnesota and are currently sweeping Florida — and has absolutely nothing to do with abortion or conception.”
Why does Aqua Budda have a sudden interest in women’s issues like contraception and choice — is it like auditioning to be Romney’s VP? Isn’t he supposed to be a libertarian with the whole individual liberty, smaller government, ‘keep the federal gov’mit out of my business’ routine? I know, I know — that claptrap only applies to white males. Clearly.