Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pain-Capable Rape Victims bear full burden...

By now I'm sure most people have seen the news about the the house passage of the:   Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The driver behind this piece of legislation is the dubious claim that the fetus can already feel pain at 20 weeks. No one wants to hurt a baby, right?

I have several immediate thoughts on all of this and in no particular order:

  • I think that everyone who supports a bill like this should be willing to adopt and care for adopted children.
  • You want less abortions? How about better birth control. Let's encourage it and be realistic instead of pushing abstinence. Abstinence as a real option is as absurd as faith in creationism; it doesn't match the data we have.
  • Many republicans have told me before that I shouldn't assume that the goal is an outright ban on abortions. I beg to differ. It's listed as an official goal of the party (at least in some states) and actions like this indicate to me that this is indeed the ultimate goal.
  • The fact that the rape provision was added after the fact speaks volumes, imho. If the goal is to increase real reporting of rape (and of course that's not the goal) then this is a setup that makes the victim pay for that change entirely on their own.
It's that last one in this particular case that really irks me. This essentially coerces rape victims to come forward and handle all of the additional emotional baggage of that ordeal on their own and puts a time limit on it at 20 weeks.

I'm going to risk the slippery slope fallacy a bit and take this a bit farther. Republicans want to ban abortions outright.

The Official Republican Platform is quite informative. Republicans want to eliminate any state funding of abortion. Their platform also makes it indelibly clear that in their opinion abortions are not part of health care. This position is troubling given the lack of any kind of qualifying statements/exceoptions regarding the health of the mother. And as I stated above the health of the rape victim is clearly of accidental importance to the health of the fetus.

What is the official position of republicans on abortion to save the life of the mother or even to mitigate the risk of health issues in general? How about the risk of future pregnancies?

This bill still needs to make it through the senate ...


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