So last week I mentioned Rep. John Becker, the Republican in Ohio whose proposed bill bans private coverage of abortion or birth control methods that prevent fertilized eggs implanting. It also exempts efforts to transplant an ectopic pregnancy back into the womb — that will remain legal and insurable. Of course the procedure doesn’t exist, but Becker’s a big picture: the details of exactly which birth control methods are uninsurable will be left to “people smarter than me.” (I suspect this is both a way to duck responsibility for the bill’s effects and that he doesn’t give a crap if women can’t get birth control).
Now it turns out Becker’s dug up a couple of medical journal articles, one from 1917, that say the procedure is possible, so he claims vindication. Sure, a doctor told him that this was pretty much pie-in-the-sky, but he didn’t say it was absolutely never going to happen, right? So Becker’s just being forward-thinking. I remain unconvinced he’s arguing in good faith, but perhaps he’s just an idiot.
Over in Missouri, ex-cop and Republican state Rep. Barry Hovis supports an anti-abortion bill with no rape exception, but explains it’s not that big a deal: “Most of my rapes were not the gentlemen jumping out of the bushes that nobody had ever met. That was one or two times out of 100. Most of them were date rapes or consensual rapes, which were all terrible.” Despite the “terrible” it seems he’s distinguishing stranger rape (the real rape) from date rape which is, you know, not real rape. Otherwise why bring it up? Hovis went on to say that rape victims could get a chemical abortion any time up until the no-abortion deadline kicks in, so it’s no big.
Right-wing male supremacist Matt Walsh meanwhile asserts that abortion after rape destroys evidence of the rape, so “Abortion restrictions can actually protect rape victims, whereas abortion clinics often exploit rape victims and can cause rape to continue.” Of course it’s quite possible to get DNA samples as evidence (which is presumably what he’s alluding to, assuming he’s alluding to anything) without a pregnancy. However this bilge lets Walsh pretend that advocating 12 year old rape victims be denied abortions is somehow compassionate rather than cruel.
Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick points out that some Alabama pols claim they support a rape exemption even though their new law doesn’t have one. If they’d put one in the bill would be less likely to get Supreme Court review, so there’s less likelihood of reversing Roe v. Wade. Rape victims, isn’t it nice to know you’re just political pawns?
And let’s not forget, while Republicans claim abortion is the moral equivalent of the Holocaust, many of them still think women using contraceptives is even worse.