Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com
Last week was the 42nd anniversary of the Roe v Wade decision and, of course, the annual pilgrimage of anti-choicers from all over the country to descend upon the nation’s capital to show what loving, compassionate, and totally-not-obsessed-with-punishing-women-for-sex people they are. Emily Crocket of RH Reality Check reported on some of the, shall we say, slightly disturbing things said by anti-abortion activists at the March for Life:
“Rape and incest are awful things, and there’s already so much hurt and pain in those situations, but adding more hurt, more pain [from an abortion] isn’t going to help anybody,” said David Held of Purdue Students for Life.
“I personally believe that it’s pretty selfish of them to go and kill that person” by having an abortion after a rape, said a young man from a Catholic high school near Lafayette, Louisiana, whose priest asked that the students not be named. “It’s probably going to hurt the whole time, but it’s a sacrifice that you have to make.”
For some, the idea of “sacrifice” went even further.
Madeline Wadlinger, a young woman attending the rally with her West Brandywine, Pennsylvania, parish, said she doesn’t think there should be any exceptions for abortion, including life endangerment of the pregnant person.
“I think you have to give the baby a chance to live. She [the pregnant woman] has had a chance too.”
Father Andre Melancon of the Houma-Thibodaux diocese in Louisiana spoke of women who have been elevated to sainthood for dying after giving birth after knowing they had risky pregnancies.
“There is heroism in sacrificing life for another,” he said…
…But Choices4Life, which aims to “promote and restore honor and dignity to women and children of rape conception,” also advocates against abortion with “no exceptions.”
A 15-year-old girl in the audience was asked to stand, and given a standing ovation, for being a “hero mom” who gave birth at age 13 to her rapist’s child.
“Even young women, it’s better for them to have those children,” Myers said.
It is remarkable how anti-choicers laud girls and women who continue pregnancies that result from rape or that endanger their lives as heroes and martyrs on the one hand while demanding that all such pregnancies be compelled by law to go to term on the other. Make up your minds, anti-choicers!
While these activists are still (sigh) dismissed as a lunatic fringe by a lot of people, the truth is that they are a relentless and organized force exerting a lot of influence over our laws. The March(ers) for Life were in DC to lobby members of Congress, many of whom are either sympathetic to their cause or afraid of them (and I submit that the former group is larger), for the same thing they have been demanding since 1973 – a full national ban on abortion. The 20 week ban bill that was pulled by GOP leadership was seen as an incremental step toward that.
As long as a Democrat is President these attempts to ban abortion by Congress have no chance of succeeding. The substantive successes for anti-choicers are happening in the state legislatures. But these efforts at the federal level, however futile now, are important for keeping the movement laser-focused on the prize: a United States where safe, legal abortion is unavailable to the vast majority of women. Even if they were raped or the pregnancy may kill them.
On that note, I want to let it be known that I have no patience for the “but…but…it doesn’t matter who wins the Presidency!” bullshit. Whomever gets elected in 2016 will either sign or veto bills and will be appointing Supreme Court Justices. It matters!