Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

Republicans Parade Ignorance, Insensitivity Over Abortion

Under Vladimir Lenin’s administration, the Soviet Union became the first modern state to legalize abortions on request — the law was first introduced in the Russian SFSR in 1920, in the Ukrainian SSR in July 1921, and then in the whole country.
Let that sink in.
The incredibly ignorant, heartless comments that some Republican lawmakers and candidates uttered about abortion are beyond gobsmacking and more along the lines of unfucking believable.
There’s the case of Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, a QAnon proponent and election denier, who was asked in an interview about his feelings about Ohio’s so-called “Fetal Heartbeat” law which bans abortions after six weeks with no exceptions for rape or incest. Davidson was asked if he thinks it’s appropriate to deny abortion to a 12-year-old victim of rape. He insisted that the law is a fair “compromise” because it still permits abortions up to six weeks in cases of rape.
Davidson the Philistine said that the 12-year-old rape victim had six weeks to tell her parents or someone else so that she could get the abortion. With obvious incredulity, Davidson responded, “You don’t know if you were raped for two months? It’s hard to conceive someone doesn’t know they’ve been raped for two months.”
What an insensitive, ignorant boor. Rape victims, let alone children, very often do not report being raped either out of fear, embarrassment, ignorance or many other reasons. As far as Davidson sees it, it sucks to be them.
As far as the facts, inconvenient they may be to Davidson, a 1996 report by the National Institutes of Health showed that 32.4 percent of rape victims did not discover they were pregnant until they had already entered the second trimester. That translates into nearly 3 million women in the United States who have experienced rape-related pregnancy in their lifetime. The report goes on to say that the numbers are certainly much higher because many rape victims do not report the crime.
To see and hear the interview, go to:
https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2022/06/27/warren-davidson-child-rape-victim-pregnancy-abortion-supreme-court-brown-nr-sot-vpx.cnn
For a bit of background on the Neanderthal of the moment, Davidson, 52, is a West Point and Notre Dame University graduate and Army veteran who has been in Congress since 2016. Davidson met his wife, Lisa, in 1991 while he was entering West Point and she was serving as a missionary setting up Backyard Bible Clubs for Ohio churches.
On Jan. 7, 2021, Davidson objected to the certification of electors in the 2020 presidential election, backing trump’s big lie of voter fraud. In January 2022, Davidson was one of at least five lawmakers who have compared the government’s coronavirus response to the Holocaust. Others include such luminaries as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., former Rep.Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C. and Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa.
In June 2021, Davidson was one of 21 House Republicans to vote not to present the Congressional Gold Medal to police officers who defended the U.S. Capitol during the insurrection by trump supporters on Jan. 6, 2021.
Close behind for stupidity is Yesli Vega, a Republican candidate for Congress from Virginia who said at a campaign stop that it’s possible that a woman’s body prevents pregnancies from rape because “it’s not something that’s happening organically” and that the rapist is doing it “quickly.”
Vega, who is a sheriff’s deputy in Prince William County, said that as a police officer, she had “worked one case” since 2011 “where as a result of rape the young woman became pregnant.”
Vega, you are so tragically ignorant and wrong. The National Institutes of Health reported that 5 percent of rape victims become pregnant, or 32,101 women each year and the majority are adolescents who were assaulted by a known, often related man.
“Rape-related pregnancy occurs with significant frequency. It is a cause of many unwanted pregnancies and is closely linked with family and domestic violence,” the report noted.
Vega may only have been taking a cue from the late Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., who will forever be recalled for his ignominious 2021 comment that pregnancy from rape is “really rare” because, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
And how about South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem, considered a potential 2024 presidential candidate. She showed her deep and enduring empathy for why she doesn’t support abortions after rape.
“I just have never believed that having a tragedy or tragic situation happen to someone is a reason to have another tragedy occur,” Noem said.
Noem said her state will now work to boost resources for women who will now have to carry their pregnancies to term, including with more mental health counseling and family services. Words are cheap, Governor.
Greg Lopez, a Republican running for governor in Colorado, who evidently sees the glass as half full, said that women who get raped and then become pregnant should basically see it as a gift that will make them happy.
“I’m a firm believer that a child brings happiness into the lives of people,” said Lopez, who as a man will probably never face pregnancy . “It may not have been something that you planned on, it was something you didn’t agree to, but for me a child brings happiness.”
In 2010, Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle was asked what she would say to a young girl who was raped by her father, became pregnant and was considering an abortion.
“I think that two wrongs don’t make a right,” said Angle, who attends a small Southern Baptist church in Reno and for two years was the lead-teacher/administrator for a small “one-room” Christian school. “And I have been in the situation of counseling young girls, not 13 but 15, who have had very at-risk, difficult pregnancies. And my counsel was to look for some alternatives, which they did. And they found that they had made what was really a lemon situation into lemonade.”
And Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott defended his state’s six-week abortion ban, with no exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest. He said the Lone Star State solution, under his leadership, would simply be to get rid of all rapists.
And who can ever forget the wisdom of Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., who said rape victims don’t need access to abortion, they just need guns.
The right wing battle to turn women into characters from a dystopian novel now turns to drug induced abortions. The most common medications to induce labor, Mifepristone and Misoprostol, was used in more than half of all abortions in 2020, according to the Guttmacher Institute. In 2020, the FDA lifted a requirement to get the pills in person and people in some states can order the drugs by the mail. To get the pills legally, women will have to travel to states where it is allowed, for a medical consultation, even if it is by video or phone, as required by the F.D.A.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said Friday that states may not ban Mifepristone and Misoprostol “based on disagreement with the FDA’s expert judgment about its safety and efficacy.”
In South Dakota, under a law passed in March designed to put up more obstacles to any kind of abortion, women seeking the drug must make at least three three trips to a clinic to obtain the drugs.
Planned Parenthood said the so-called “abortion pill” is a “safe and effective way to end an early pregnancy.” Misoprostol, also available in generic form, was developed in 1973 and is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines.
Under the treatment, Mifepristone is taken first and up to 48 hours later, the Misoprostol pill is swallowed. Effectiveness depends on the state of the pregnancy. For people who are eight weeks pregnant or less, it works about 94–98 out of 100 times; For people who are eight to nine weeks pregnant, it works about 94–96 out of 100 times.; For people who are nine to 10 weeks pregnant, it works about 91–93 out of 100 times. With an extra dose, it works about 99 out of 100 times; For people who are 10–11 weeks pregnant, it works about 87 out of 100 times. and with an extra dose of medicine, it works about 98 out of 100 times.
It should come as no surprise that the moment after the Supreme Court ruling, the Internet exploded with ads for abortion medication, some legitimate and many not. In response, Facebook and Instagram has removed posts offering abortion pills.
If the self-induced abortions are banned, the cost for Misoprostol will surely rise. The N.Y. Times reported that eight tablets are recommended for an abortion and that a 60-pill bottle sells for less than $15 in the U.S. Today, black market Misoprostol, brought in from India, Mexico and Argentina, is sold for anywhere from about $200 to $400 for eight tablets. In Brazil, black market prices exceed $100 per dose.
Before Roe v. Wade, abortion was outlawed, leaving women to turn to illegal, often deadly measures. A common unsafe measure was to try to break the amniotic sac inside the womb with a sharp object or wire like an unbent wire clothes hanger or knitting needle. The result was often deadly infection with injuries to internal organs like the uterus or intestines.
Another potentially deadly approach was to pump toxic mixtures, such as chili peppers and chemicals like alum, Lysol, permanganate, or plant poison into the body, a method can cause the woman to go into toxic shock and die.
Before 1973, the authority to legalize abortion rested with the state governments. Up through the 1960s, 44 states had laws that outlawed abortions unless the health of the pregnant patient was at stake. In the 1940s, records show that more than 1,000 women died each year from abortions that were labeled as unsafe.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store