Pregnancy

The Bright Side Of All The Republican Talk About ‘The Rape Thing’

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politicianThere has been a whole lot of ignorance on the subject of rape and abortion thrown around by Republican lawmakers and candidates during this election cycle. Don’t believe me? Just check this handy website, Days Without A GOP Rape Mention. They keep a nice tally of all the craziness being thrown around by Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, Roger Rivard, and their friends. The latest to knock the count back to the bottom is John Koster, Republican nominee for the House of Representatives in Washington.

I have to be honest and say that I don’t think Koster’s comments were nearly as offensive as others we’ve heard in recent months. Speaking about the exceptions he would grant for abortion, Koster said that incest didn’t deserve special mention because it was “so rare.” Then he explained,

“On the rape thing, it’s like, how does putting more violence onto a woman’s body and taking the life of an innocent child that’s the consequence of this crime, how does that make it better? You know what I mean?”

First of all, I’m pretty sure that those who have been in the position of getting pregnant through incest really don’t care how rare their situation is. They’d just like to be able to handle that issue in whatever way they see fit without a bunch of people feeling like they have the right to share an opinion on a personal circumstance.

However, the “so rare” bit isn’t what’s getting Koster in trouble. It’s his dismissive phrasing about “the rape thing” that has his opponent and others slamming him in the media. A representative for his Democratic challenger Suzan Delbane told Talking Points Memo, “Dismissing it as a ‘thing’ is an awfully casual way for him to talk about it, and I think it highlights how little he understands the ramifications and the seriousness of the issue. So that’s very problematic.”

Personally, I don’t really want to get into all the problems with Koster’s statement. Sure, calling it “the rape thing” was thoughtless. Saying that a female choosing to have an abortion is “putting violence onto a woman’s body” is a gross misstatement. And as always, referring to a fertilized egg as an “innocent child” is just a way that anti-choice politicians attempt to pull at heartstrings.

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