Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The GOP declares no abortions, no exceptions

EDIT ADD: FactCheck.org says the GOP Platform's proposed Personhood Amendment doesn't specify any followup laws--that would be up to Congress and the individual states. Could be no abortions, no exceptions, could make rape/incest/mortal mother danger exceptions or any combo thereof, with various time limits or other variables.

I'd bought off on the Obama campaign's "no abortions no exceptions" claim, which FactCheck.org said is too extreme. Such an amendment would enable a state legislature or Congress to mandate such a conclusion but it doesn't mandate such a mandate. At the same time I'd pretty sure it would make abortion constitutionally illegal except under narrowly defined circumstances, even if Blue states tried to keep the current abortion laws.

As it happens Romney has said (in the most recent incarnation of his beliefs) that he favors exceptions for rape and incest, while Ryan opposes abortion even after rape/incest--he'd only make an exception if the pregnant child or woman would die otherwise.

So from my point of view this platform plank isn't as bad as my earlier entry (below) assumes--it's only 90% as bad. And it still shows how much today's Republican Party has journeyed into becoming the political expression of fundamentalist Christianity. Even its anti-government obsession reflects its unacknowledged conviction that America should be some sort of theocracy-with-voting, as Iran is and Egypt is probably becoming. Q'uran-based government, Bible-based government...different--Bible-base would be less murderous, less misogynistic...by comparison. On the other hand fundamentalist Muslims are more honest about their goals.

What obscures this is the Party's public face, that's all about the economy, while the private face is all about other things--such as abortion--as shown by the legislative behavior of the Tea Party wherever it gains power--especially since the economic claims are false--especially as regards the deficit, because their legislative agenda's math doesn't add up according to the CBO and the fact-checking organizations.

And when the surface is contradictory you have to dig deeper to find the underlying unity. And that's a religion-driven absolutist vision

Here's the original essay, FWIW:

Well, the Republican Party couldn't be clearer. Today the Party leadership said that abortion should be illegal with no exceptions whatsoever. This rubber-stamps the official position of the Catholic Church.

Rape? Suck it up. 10 year old girl raped by her stepfather? Suck it up. Pregnant woman will die if she isn't aborted, and the embryo too? You'll both get your reward in Hevvin.

And Candidate Akins in Missouri didn't "misspeak" when he said raped women didn't get pregnant. He was just making public the Republican subculture's folk belief that raped women don't get pregnant because their body prevents it, so if a pregnant woman seeks an abortion because she claims she was raped, she is by definition lying. Mind you, educated Republicans don't believe this. But millions of Republicans aren't educated and do believe this. And the Tea Party Republicans in Congress report to them and have a chokehold on the GOP.

Well, and you know wimmen. They're too emotional to make their own decisions about important things. The men will tell them what to do. It's for their own good.

As for raped 10 year olds being forced to give birth--which is physically and mentally extremely destructive--there have been several cases in recent history in Latin America where the Catholic Church  forced this outcome upon the little rape victims.

And of course all this is based on another folk belief--that a one-celled dependent organism that might or might not be born nine months later is a little bitty man or woman. Not only does this have no basis in science, it's bad theology as well.

Because monozygotic twins and chimeras aren't formed at the "moment of conception." And many if not most of those fertilized eggs have zero chance of becoming a human being later on. Even those that would be viable in the right fetal environment don't always get that environment. Some don't implant on the uterine wall; some implant in the fallopian tubes (ectopic pregnancy), which is not viable. Some are allergic to the mother's biochemistry. Some are fine but get stuck in the birth canal, which, before modern medicine, doomed both the embryo and the woman. And some are viable enough to get born but have zero chance of becoming human, such as anencephalic fetuses, or those with other birth defects that doom them sometime between the fallopian tube being cut and a few hours or days absent massive medical intervention.

This is why the Bible assigns rights to babies once they've been born and alive for a month. If you wanted sound theology, assigning a soul to a baby when the fallopian tube is cut and it has a chance to live more than a few hours is the only merciful and logical option.

Anti-abortion fanatics uniformly insist to the outside world that their stance is entirely scientific and not religious. They talk about heartbeat and brain activity. Most of the science they quote is dead wrong. The rest is true but misapplied. What's most true is that they're lying, lying boldly and shamelessly. Most of them don't know enough about science to even make the argument.

If they were honest they'd admit that their religion teaches them that we're ensouled at the moment of conception (I don't know where the souls of anencephalic fetuses go--kidneys? gall bladder?). Armed with that belief and their church's rigid injunction against abortion, regardless of consequences to the mother and the planet, they go looking for words and images that are science in the same way that a drawing of an airplane is an actual airplane.

And most of these people got no real biology training in high school because in Red State American high school biology instruction has been gutted by an effective, nationwide grassroots offensive (both meanings) aimed at silencing biology teachers from talking about evolution and related topics.

I used to wonder how the relative enlightenment of the Ancient Greeks and Romans got supplanted by a millenium of prideful ignorance and superstition.

I wonder no more.

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