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Friday, January 18, 2019

Chuck Grassley Inadvertently Backs Roe v. Wade At Iowa Town Hall


Keeping pace with Republican norm, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) staked his claim against big government—except of course when it disputes Republican rhetoric. In a town hall meeting in Iowa on Wednesday, Grassley beat back a constituent’s accusation that the federal government would soon interfere with the choices an individual can make over his or her body by accidentally making the case for Roe v. Wade.

Sen. Grassley was asked by a constituent, “They’re saying that they’re going to start, in 2013, putting microchips in government workers and then any kid that enrolls in school, starting in pre-school, will have a microchip implanted in them so that they can track them.” Grassley responded, “No. First of all, nothing can be done to your body without your permission. It’d be a violation of the Constitutional right to privacy if that were to happen.”

Watch the town hall clip here.

Grassley can thank conservative commentator Paul McGuire for stirring the controversy around this feared government mandated microchip after the publication of his 2010 book, Are You Ready For The Microchip? This conspiracy theory stems from an actual medical technology company, PositiveID Corporation that developed VeriChip to monitor glucose levels in individuals with diabetes. Of course this microchip is merely an option for diabetes patients, which is no more mandated than receiving a flu shot. This is yet another desperate measure by conservatives to create fear and opposition to President Obama’s health care bill among voters.

Grassley’s tone and brief response to this question demonstrates just how little he could be bothered—certainly lawmakers would never defy the U.S. Constitution in demanding that citizens do something to their bodies that they oppose.

This is an interesting position for the senior senator to take, since he has traditionally taken no issue with defending Republican motives to implement federal laws that restrict a woman’s right to choose what she does with her body. In fact, despite any beneficial aspects of the 2009 Affordable Care Act, Grassley cited taxpayer funding for abortions as his reasoning for voting against the measure. Not to mention that Grassley’s colleagues in Congress and across the country in state legislatures have proposed bills that would mandate women who are seeking an abortion to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound, whether she wants the invasive procedure or not. For Republicans to use the Constitution as a shield for individual rights and privacy when it comes to something like a microchip, failing to extend that same right to women is nothing shy of hypocritical.

For years conservatives have argued against Roe v. Wade, on the grounds that the decision is morally wrong. The 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision found laws that infringe on an individual’s “personal, marital, familial, and sexual privacy said to be protected by the Bill of Rights” is “overbroadly infringing [on] Ninth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.”

Grassley’s comments during Wednesday’s town hall parallel arguments made by Roe v. Wade supporters. Just as “nothing can be done to your body without your permission,” particularly at the hands of the government, nothing can be done to legally forbid what women can do to their own bodies, particularly in cases of abortion where the health of a woman is at risk.

If Grassley considers it outrageous that the government would consider tracking human health through implanted microchips, than he ought to think it equally outrageous that the federal government would enact laws forbidding a woman to seek out a particular medical procedure. Both entail securing an individual’s privacy that is established in the U.S. Constitution, which Grassley and other Republicans defend tenaciously.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr Commons

This item was updated to include a section about women’s rights and transvaginal ultrasounds.

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14 responses to “Chuck Grassley Inadvertently Backs Roe v. Wade At Iowa Town Hall”

  1. I am diabetic and nobody forced me or even asked me if I wanted a microchip implanted to monitor my glucose level. We should be thankful and welcome the new medical improvements that allow doctors to monitor illnesses and catch diseases before they become incurable. Sen. Grassley, and others like him, belong in Jurassic Park with other extinct species.

  2. jcbsdriver says:

    I guess Senator Grassley’s comment now would be, “Oops, I didn’t mean THAT!”

  3. jmprint says:

    It has absolutely nothing to do with the republicans caring about unborn children. Religion is a rich power house. Politicians want their donations and votes and that is the ONLY reason why they side with them. Thy shalt not kill!! Are we speaking of fetus, people, animals? Guns kill!!!

  4. elw says:

    Hypocrites often contradict themselves, it is part of the illness they have. Senator Grassley and others like him are all part of the attitudes, values and dishonestly that has been pushing the Republican Party onto the extinct list. Keep it up Senator Grassley and you and your peers will be exactly where you should be – nowhere near our government.

  5. Not_Phyllis says:

    It’s time to retire, Senator.

  6. nobsartist says:

    What would you expect from a half-wit?

    I cannot figure out who is more stupid, grassley or the idiots that vote for him.

  7. adriancrutch says:

    I wonder if these republican guys hang out down at the sperm bank?

    • Michael Kollmorgen says:

      Nope, definitely not the sperm bank.

      They usually “hang out” at Boy Scout Jamborees and Religious Youth Group Events.

      They like their sperm young – nice and fresh.

  8. Eric Reed says:

    Well, the way Republicans see it is putting microchips in your body violates your constitutional rights whereas killing the baby in your womb violates its constitutional rights. See, that’s how you deal with the dichotomy and not lose your mind. What?!!! Hang on SpongeBob, I’ll be right there.

  9. Michael Kollmorgen says:

    Micro chipping people, FOR ANY REASON, is not ruled out of the question.

    Many states have advocated, some actually do, micro chip certain classifications of former felons. Of course this is in the name of public safety and the public interest which is really nothing more than bullshit.

    It is not a very big stretch of the imagination that micro chipping babies may someday become the norm. With computer power and information-gathering the way it keep shrinking in size and power, anything is possible.

    It may come to pass that legally implanting one of these things is just as simple as drinking a glass of water with it in it and you won’t know it’s even in you – permanently.

  10. Out of his own mouth!! Amazing!

  11. Jim Lou says:

    It is important to note that Grassley says that there is Constitutional right to privacy. Many on the right don’t acknowledge that.

    The same can be said about many health-related laws. Many have complained about the “onerous” demands made to computerize medical records.

    • Michael Kollmorgen says:

      They, these Republican love Privacy! They’ll fight tooth and nail to protect theirs, but make every effort to snoop into yours at every opportunity.

      Typical Republicans: Do as I say, not as I do.

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