I’ve written about the far right’s increasing misogyny before: “Is It something in the Water?” (440) and “Cherchez la Femme?” (443).
In the first, Chuck Winder, (R- Boise) defended his bill requiring pre-abortion ultrasounds saying, “Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this [bill]. I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape.” In the second, Georgia State Representative Bobby Franklin had introduced a bill requiring proof that a woman’s miscarriage or spontaneous abortion occurred naturally—without intervention. Lacking that proof, she could face felony charges.
More recently, Republican Congressman (MO) Todd Akin displayed his vast ignorance by prating that “legitimately” raped women “rarely” get pregnant. On the heels of the ensuing brouhaha, Sharon Barnes, high-ranking Missouri Republican, defended him, asserting he had “phrased it badly.” She went on to append her own religious interpretation: “If God has chosen to bless this person [the rape victim] with a life, you don’t kill it.” (Consider the old Yiddish saying, “If I knew God, I’d be God.”)
Ignorance and religion remain the preferred weapons against reason and personal choice. There is no way to change the Winders, Franklins, Akinses, and Barnses. But their intransigent positions, their very existence as a force in our country, makes it imperative in these weeks before the November election to talk with the undecided and stress the importance on voting NO on both the marriage and the voter ID amendments.
Beyond voting NO on these two amendments to our state constitution, we need to consider the need to apply “no” even more broadly. Think carefully, and discuss with others, what saying “yes” to any given candidate may mean. Would that candidate use his/her religion to legislate your civil rights? The rights of others? Is he/she content to rest easy in their own “haveness” dismissing the “have-nots”? Is he/she thinking, “I/my daughter/my sister, won’t be raped—forbid all abortions!”?
Vote NO on the amendments and NO to anyone of any party who would demean women and curtail the civil rights of any citizen.