In the 2012 election, President Obama won the female vote by 11 points over his GOP challenger, Mitt Romney. That is a major deal, especially when you consider women comprised 53% of the voting population.
How does the Republican Party plan to gain those votes back? Legislation against the female body, of course!
Yesterday, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill that prevents women from having an abortion after 20 weeks from conception.
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was written by Arizona Republican Trent Franks. The legislation is named after the representative’s belief that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks. You may recall Franks as one of the chuckleheads that co-sponsored 2009’s “Birther Bill” along with Texas Rep. and political asshat Louie Gohmert.
Or you may even remember Franks & Beans from when he commented on abortion compared to slavery: “Far more of the African-American community is being devastated by the policies of today, than were being devastated by the policies of slavery.” Where the fuck do these guys go to school? Did Franks and Gohmert share a room in the Slytherin house?
But not all is bad news! Franks did include an exception for abortion in cases of rape and incest. Well, after he was called out for saying: “the incidences of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.”
When are Republicans like Franks and Todd Akin going to learn that rape does NOT lower the chances of becoming pregnant?
There is a catch to Franks’ rape and incest exceptions. The crimes had to have been reported “at any time prior to the abortion to an appropriate law enforcement agency.”
According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), “Just over half of rape victims don’t report the crime.” I see what you did there, Franks.
Another man that supports the new legislation is Republican Michael Burgess. The Texas Representative made headlines this week when he claimed male fetuses masturbate. During a House Rules committee debate, he said: “Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movements that are purposeful,” Burgess said. “They stroke their face. If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to think that they could feel pain?”
Of course, medical organizations dispute Burgess’ jerk-off of a story and Franks’ own fetal pain claim.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists concluded, “The fetus cannot feel pain before 24 weeks because the connections in the fetal brain are not fully formed.”
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a statement last year that read: “The medical profession produced a rigorous scientific review of the available evidence on fetal pain in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2005. The review concluded that fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester.”
Just like the North Dakota and Arkansas abortion bills previously discussed in the entry Groundhog Day, this new bill simply seeks to undermine the decision reached in Roe v. Wade.
The Obama Administration has already said the President would veto the legislation if the Democrat-controlled Senate were to also pass the Act (which I can’t even imagine hypothetically happening).
So, instead of working on immigration reform, a jobs bill (I wonder if the GOP even remembers what one of those looks like) or responding to the very real threat of climate change, we have the House Republicans wasting taxpayer time and money on an Act that is simply going nowhere… again.
We have real problems in this world that need solutions sooner than later. The removal of women’s rights that have been established since 1973 is not one of them.