It’s not even July and I think I have found the political outrage of the year already. It is part of the Republicans’ continuing war on women, except this time they have expanded it into a war on decency and common sense. Let’s explore.
Alabama’s outrageous pending law that makes performing an abortion a felon punishable by up to 99 years in prison is getting a lot of warranted attention. Abortion is one of the most controversial issues in contemporary American politics. I’m firm in my stance defending a woman’s right to choose but can see where some people could be anti-choice. I don’t ever see myself coming to that position, but I can understand where they come from. A seldom mentioned fact is that many pro-choice women say they could personally never have an abortion but they want other women to have the choice; the operative and key word being choice.
Most Americans, including most anti-choice advocates, want to attach some conditions to their position. Most common among them are for victims of rape or incest. They feel that women must be forced to live with the consequences of their consensual actions but not the victims of crimes.
There is an extremist position, most prevalent in the Deep South, that having your rapist’s child is a victim’s revenge. I see absolutely no logic in that “reasoning”! Earlier this session the Alabama Legislature had a chance to change what I will call the rapists’ rights law but declined to. That was effectively a recertification of it. The current Alabama Legislature cannot claim it is some old law they had nothing to do with. To an earlier point I made, Alabama is not the only state with such a law; Mississippi also has it. It must be a Deep South thing.
Regardless of political philosophy or stance on choice how do you defend these rapists’ rights laws? Under these laws the rapist has the right to co-parent and seek custody of the child. I can’t think of a greater violation of a woman than to rape her and then either have the rapist either take or share the child! That may sound outrageous (because it is!) but that is the reality of the situation. If that is not an act of war on women I don’t know what is.
Neither Republicans nor Democrats can win without substantial support from women voters. Democrats are even more dependent on women as both volunteers and voters, but a Republican can’t get skunked by women and still win. In the 2016 election women as a whole broke for Democrats. In fact only one sub-demographic broke for Trump and then by a narrow 53-47 margin; that sub-demographic was white women. What were they thinking?
White women have traditionally voted Republican by a small margin (in 2012, 56% voted for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama) but for Donald Trump who admitted to sexual assault in the infamous Access Hollywood tape and told Chris Matthews that women who had an abortion must face criminal punishment?
All I am asking of white women is that they join the rest of their gender and vote in their self-protection (I won’t even call it self-interest). If so we will rid America of Donald Trump next fall. While you are at it ladies please get rid of people who would make you give birth to a child conceived in rape and then make you share it or give it to your rapist.
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