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Friday, October 21, 2016

“… And I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
— Richard Mourdock, GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate

Life is sacred.

That, Mourdock would later insist, was what he was trying to say last week during a debate with his opponents. Instead, he became the latest in a growing list of conservatives to trip over women’s bodies. The Indiana Republican said he didn’t mean it the way it sounded, i.e., that rape is something God intends or approves. Rather, his point was that “Life is precious. I believe (that) to the very marrow of my bones.” His party agrees.

This year, the GOP adopted — again — a platform under which no woman could ever legally have an abortion. Not if she was impregnated by her own father. Not if she was raped. Not if the abortion were needed to save her life. Never. Because life is sacred.

And that leaves you wondering: what about the 12-year-old girl who has grown up dreading the midnight creak of her bedroom door, the weight settling above her, the whispered assurances that “This is our secret.”

What about the sixth-grader whose barely adolescent breasts are suddenly swollen and who wakes up racing for the toilet every morning, sick to her stomach? Is her life sacred?

What about the co-ed who can still feel the stranger’s hands forcing her knees apart, still feel his hot breath on her cheek, the lashing whip of his curses, that terrible moment of penetration, invasion, violation and bitter, impotent rage?

What about the student who now holds the home pregnancy test strip in her hand, watches it change colors and feels, as she slips to her knees on the bathroom floor with that hateful seed growing in her womb, as if she was just raped all over again? Is her life sacred?

What about the mother of three, just diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, the woman whose doctor says she needs chemotherapy immediately if she is to have any hope of survival? What about the agonizing decision she must now make, to refuse chemo, knowing it will mean dying and abandoning her existing children, or to take the drug, knowing it will kill the child she carries inside? Is her life not sacred?

  • foolsdance

    Thank you Mr Pitts, for that very powerful article. You bring the reality of their platform out in the light for the scrutiny so few have given it. Perhaps it will provoke some pro-lifers to reconsider their very narrow view of which lives are actually sacred (citizens, that is, not the politicians). Well played sir.

  • The so called “pro life” position is. in my opinion, about power only. Since the writing of the Bible, that all of the anti-abortionists cite, the man has been dominant. The idea that a woman should have a power to determine her own destiny, and have the ultimate power to bring forth life, or not, is threatening to some men. They in turn have found a way to control it. In order to make this power grab acceptable it is termed “pro- life”, but as pointed out, it only has to do with “pro-birth”.

    • In last Sunday’s NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote a wonderful article on why he is pro-life, not the republican pro-conception view. He believes in what happen after a child is born sometime the so-called right to life forget about. You can read the article on-line if you care to.

  • nobsartist

    people that believe in fairy tales like religion should stay away from public office.

    these morons have set the CONS back 50 years.

  • JulieZ77

    Male domination freaks like Todd Akin are simply threatened by the independence and equality of women. Exemplifies how weak and utterly punk-ish right wing hayseeds like him are.

  • This evangelical obsession with fertilized eggs, zygotes, and a fetus is not based on Biblical writings only in their small minds, see Exodus21:22-24.

  • lebh

    Thank you, very well said.

  • latebloomingrandma

    This is truly an excellent article, and articulates that this issue is far from simple. As a practicing Catholic who is not “pro-abortion”, I have grave issues with the anti-abortion movement’s modus operandi. (To me, it’s an anti-abortion, not pro-life movement.) They talk about “killing” innocent life. Who can be more innocent than young children who are being abused, physically, sexually, emotionally, or neglectfully? I can’t get worked up about a frozen embryo in a dish while there are so many throw away children already here. Several weeks ago I heard a panel discussion about all these “women’s ” issues, and one guy was uncharacteristically silent. When asked why he wasn’t chiming in, he said—I think the men of this country just really need to SHUT UP !!!

  • ObozoMustGo

    At least someone in the print media has taken off the blinders and is being honest. Hat tip to the Las Vegas Journal-Review:

    Benghazi blunder: Obama unworthy commander-in-chief
    Posted: Nov. 1, 2012, 2:01 a.m.

    U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans died in a well-planned military assault on their diplomatic mission in Benghazi seven weeks ago, the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. So why are details surfacing, piecemeal, only now?

    The Obama administration sat by doing nothing for seven hours that night, ignoring calls to dispatch help from our bases in Italy, less than two hours away. It has spent the past seven weeks stretching the story out, engaging in misdirection and deception involving supposed indigenous outrage over an obscure anti-Muslim video, confident that with the aid of a docile press corps this infamous climax to four years of misguided foreign policy can be swept under the rug, at least until after Tuesday’s election.

    Charles Woods, father of former Navy SEAL and Henderson resident Tyrone Woods, 41, says his son died slumped over his machine gun after he and fellow ex-SEAL Glen Doherty – not the two locals who were the only bodyguards Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration would authorize – held off the enemy for seven hours.

    The Obama administration was warned. They received an embassy cable June 25 expressing concern over rising Islamic extremism in Benghazi, noting the black flag of al-Qaida “has been spotted several times flying over government buildings and training facilities.” The Obama administration removed a well-armed, 16-member security detail from Libya in August, The Wall Street Journal reported last month, replacing it with a couple of locals. Mr. Stevens sent a cable Aug. 2 requesting 11 additional body guards, noting “Host nation security support is lacking and cannot be depended on,” reports Peter Ferrara at Forbes dot com. But these requests were denied, officials testified before the House Oversight Committee earlier this month.

    Based on documents released by the committee, on the day of the attack the Pentagon dispatched a drone with a video camera so everyone in Washington could see what was happening in real time. The drone documented no crowds protesting any video. But around 4 p.m. Washington received an email from the Benghazi mission saying it was under a military-style attack. The White House, the Pentagon, the State Department and the CIA were able to watch the live video feed. An email sent later that day reported “Ansar al-Sharia claims responsibility for Benghazi attack.”

    Not only did the White House do nothing, there are now reports that a counterterrorism team ready to launch a rescue mission was ordered to stand down.

    The official explanation for the inadequate security? This administration didn’t want to “offend the sensibilities” of the new radical Islamic regime which American and British arms had so recently helped install in Libya.

    The official explanation for why Obama administration officials watched the attack unfold for seven hours, refusing repeated requests to send the air support and relief forces that sat less than two hours away in Italy? Silence.

    An open discussion of these issues, of course, would lead to difficult questions about the wisdom of underwriting and celebrating the so-called Arab Spring revolts in the first place. While the removal of tyrants can be laudable, the results show a disturbing pattern of merely installing new tyrannies – theocracies of medieval mullahs who immediately start savaging the rights of women (including the basic right to education) and who are openly hostile to American interests.

    When Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney promptly criticized the security failures in Benghazi, the White House and its lapdog media jumped all over him for another “gaffe,” for speaking out too promptly and too strongly. Prompt and strong action from the White House on Sept. 11 might have saved American lives, as well as America’s reputation as a nation not to be messed with. Weakness and dithering and flying to Las Vegas the next day for celebrity fund-raising parties are somehow better?

    This administration is an embarrassment on foreign policy and incompetent at best on the economy – though a more careful analysis shows what can only be a perverse and willful attempt to destroy our prosperity. Back in January 2008, Barack Obama told the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle that under his cap-and-trade plan, “If somebody wants to build a coal-fired power plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.” He added, “Under my plan … electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” It was also in 2008 that Mr. Obama’s future Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, famously said it would be necessary to “figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe” – $9 a gallon.

    Yet the president now claims he’s in favor of oil development and pipelines, taking credit for increased oil production on private lands where he’s powerless to block it, after he halted the Keystone XL Pipeline and oversaw a 50 percent reduction in oil leases on public lands.

    These behaviors go far beyond “spin.” They amount to a pack of lies. To return to office a narcissistic amateur who seeks to ride this nation’s economy and international esteem to oblivion, like Slim Pickens riding the nuclear bomb to its target at the end of the movie “Dr. Strangelove,” would be disastrous.

    Candidate Obama said if he couldn’t fix the economy in four years, his would be a one-term presidency.

    Mitt Romney is moral, capable and responsible man. Just this once, it’s time to hold Barack Obama to his word. Maybe we can all do something about that, come Tuesday.

    Have a nice day!

    “The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency…Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.” – Czech Republic newspaper Prager Zeitung

    • progressiveandproud

      Do you ever stay on topic? This article is about abortion, keep your diatribes to yourself.

      Where is your citation for the ” Czech” quote? If you can’t provide a link, don’t bother citing anything.

      • ObozoMustGo

        they dont allow links on here. look it up yourself, moron. Google works quite well.

        • patuxant

          OMG. Please go away! If they don’t allow links to your alleged “facts” please find some other believable way to make your point. As for the rest of clear and level headed thinkers, we don’t have to go further than listen to Romney switch horses on a daily basis, sometimes two or three times, to know a bs artist when we see it. Proof right under your nose, not some flimsey rhetoric from biased people.

    • patuxant

      You really need to clean out your cobwebs. This article was about abortion, fool.

    • Give yourself a break. Take Obama off your mind, relax, take a long bath and get some sleep. When you come back Obama will still be there. Have a nice day

  • supercarp

    Other cultures have sanctity of life values as well. The Hindus do not even kill insects. How far do we want to go with the “valuing all life” thing? The planet has no lack of human life on it. It is a cultural matter to value an embryo over a woman, and it fits well into conservatism. Historically, women were not valued as people; this mindset continues in the Republican party in the abortion debate. A woman’s desire to have or not have a baby is irrelevant in a male dominated society. In vitro fertilization is too “new-fangled” for the party of anti-science. Fertilized eggs are discarded, so that would not be allowed.

  • Mike Stanimirovic

    If in GOP view life is sacred then why they want to destroy this planet with their ideas & politics!? Where those lives are going to live?

  • Lovefacts

    The Republicans value all live–as long as it isn’t yet born. If your family isn’t rich—at one time I would’ve included middle-class, but we’re a dying breed—once you’re born you’re screwed.

    The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause is very clear in prohibiting the federal government from declaring and financially supporting a national religion—and by extension laws that uphold one religion’s theology over another’s. This is because many of our citizens immigrated to escape this problem at the time of the nation’s founding. When laws are passed clearly based upon one, or even several, religion’s creed, then it is a violation of our most basic Constitutional rights—freedom from a state sponsored religion.

    As a Jew, I can tell you the obsession with the unborn did not come from us or what is called the Old Testament. Until after WWII, most Jews didn’t sit Shiva at the death of a newborn. We’re also taught that the soul enters the body after birth.

    So this belief that the “unborn” is sacred is strictly religious in nature. But the premise that says you’re on your own once born—and refuses food, housing, education, and medical care—denies/ignores that same said theology.

    IMO, those who want to force their religious beliefs on the nation are no better than the Taliban. And like the Taliban, they are threatened by women and science.

  • Michael Welch

    This is the most powerful argument made so far against the religious extremist Republican stance on abortion. And to make things clear, Democrats are ALSO AGAINST ABORTION in general, but they are PRO-CHOICE: let the woman and her doctor make the decision as to what is best. One size abortion policy does NOT fit all.

    • jarheadgene

      Thank you ….. there are times when an abortion is the MOST humane thing to do, i.e., A still born child. Why should the mother have to carry to term when the child is already dead. I know a GOP candidate may say that is impossible…..but it has and does happen.

      • grammyjill

        And that fetus decomposes and poisons the woman.

  • Republicans will never overturn Abortion. That would eliminate their bread and butter issue to sucker people out of their vote. Fact is there hasbeen a gop majority in the supreame court for many years.

  • onedonewong

    What about our brave troops that can’t return hostile fire without getting the blessings from the Pentagon or obama. What the hey so we have had record casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq every year baraks rules of engagement have been in place

  • Landsende

    I have asked several of the posters on here that are against a woman’s right to choose if they are willing to accept responsibility for the child born of rape or incest by helping financially and emotionally until the child is eighteen. Not surprisingly, none of them responded. None of them want to put their money where their mouth is. They’re only concerned for the child when it’s in the womb. After its born the mother and child are on their own. If the teapublicans get their way and cut programs that will help the mother and child they will end up living in poverty. So much for compassionate conservatism!!!!!

  • Life is precious, except when they want to start a war like Iraq Afghanistan, Korea and Vietnam. Think of the lives lost in these wars, oh yes that is patriotism.

  • Add my name to “fans of Leonard Pitts” and his excellent writing. He gets to the heart of a matter, in this case , of the right to choose and the GOP witch would take it away, thank you, SIr

  • Paul Kennedy

    How on earth could a Republican senate candidate hold to their fundamentalist stance on abortion if they were confronted by beautiful and awful arguments such as this? What could they possibly say? Other than “my God I was wrong”, what could they say that would allow a reasonable voter to give them their vote?

  • easton

    lets not forget that Antonin Scalia famously said even innocence is not enough to stop Capital Punishment. “This court has never held that the Constitution forbids the
    execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial
    but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is ‘actually’
    Yet Scalia is all weepy for fetuses. What a wretched party the Republicans are.

  • CAThinker

    Artfully stated – how come so many have trouble understanding the implications of this absolutism? Other than understanding it’s less about life (because it is) and revealing what it really is and that is control. Yes, I said it… The Pro-lifers are not about the sanctity of life, it’s about exerting control. See it… Understand it… And reject it for what it really is.

  • Also stated by George Carlin, with more humour, but yes, to a Republican your life is only sacred before you are born, and not after.

  • Mimi2kool

    The GOP is a bunch of hypocrites. They only care about the child until the moment it is born.