Last week, it was revealed that Pennsylvania Congressman Tim Murphy, member of the House Pro-Life Caucus, had urged his mistress to get an abortion in the midst of promoting anti-abortion legislation and views on Facebook and in political e-newsletters. Many people rightfully were appalled by the hypocrisy of this Republican representative, whose voting record has gotten a big thumbs up from anti-choice groups like the Family Research Council.
What seemed to get less attention was the fact that Murphy helped pass a 20-week abortion ban in the House last week as well. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is based on junk science about fetal pain — its claims aren’t supported by the research. This is just another systematic attempt to slowly and gradually restrict women’s right to safe reproductive services and bodily autonomy.
Reader Julia realized that this — the policy, not the pig — was the bigger story:
Here’s the thing that no one seems to understand. This is bad legislation regardless of anyone’s opinion of abortion.
In cases of rape:
- Does someone have to be convicted of the rape? In that case, abortion is rather irrelevent.
- If not convicted, does one particular person have to be accused?
- If so, is the accusation enough, or is some sort of “proof” required?
- Considering that proof is required, how is that proof judged?
- And… can any of this be done without risking the victim’s safety and in time for an abortion?
In cases of incest:
- Does someone have to be convicted of incest? In that case, abortion is rather irrelevent.
- If not, is the accusation enough, or is some sort of “proof” required?
- What would be considered proof? Do you need to get DNA from the zygote and the accused rapist and have it analyzed for paternity?
- If so, can any of this be done without risking the victim’s safety and in time for an abortion?
In cases of health risk:
- How risky does it have to be?
- Who gets to determine the level of risk?
- How many doctors need to agree on the level of risk?
- Does mental health count as a risk?
Not to mention the mental gymnastics needed to justify why it is okay to “murder a baby” if you did not choose to have sex, but it is not okay if you did choose:
- So rape means I get to murder a child?
- Can I choose any child that I want?
- If not, are you saying that an already born child is, in fact, more of a person than a “preborn” one?*
It is just terrible legislation.
* However, I do think most people could count “mother’s health” as “self-defense”, so that is not so mind boggling.
We would just add, in regards to the mental gymnastics point, it’s an anti-choice tactic to keep chip-chip-chipping away at women’s reproductive rights, gradually and methodically and ceaselessly, so they’re willing to give some concessions along the way if it means getting one step closer to criminalizing ALL abortions, no exceptions.
Stay vigilant. Keep fighting!