The Romney campaign is clearly counting on Ann Romney– warm, authentic female person ™ to convince women voters that they should discount their real life experiences and perceptions that conservatives are waging a war on women. It has been a bad week to make that argument. Not only did the Republican National Committee (RNC) express their party platform on abortion–no exceptions, and personhood–beginning at the moment that a sperm fertilizes an egg, but a number of congressional men folk hauled themselves out of the stinking swamp of the conservative id to tell us what they really think about women. (We’re really only talking about shoes!) Meanwhile, Congressional candidate Todd Akin, last week’s war on women story, has dug in his heels and is going to fight this one out, with an atta boy from Mike Huckabee.
Samantha Bee, at the Daily Show, asked Republican convention delegates how they squared the GOP platform with Mitt Romney’s recent statement that he would allow for exceptions in cases of incest, rape and the mother’s health. Behold, the full throated Republican defense of choice–unless it involves a uterus.
We have come a long way, baby, from 2008 and that long way has taken a sharp turn to the right. This time four years ago, the Republican party was trying to paint an ideological happy face on Bristol Palin’s out of wedlock pregnancy. RNC convention goers in 2008 descended into gibberish and complete incomprehensibility instead of acknowledging a woman’s choice, before being able to utter the word “choice.”
Fast forward to 2012, Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Tom Smith compares a pregnancy from rape as similar to having a baby out of wedlock. He was talking about his daughter’s out of wedlock pregnancy and asked us to “put ourselves in his position.” Why in the world would I put myself in his position? Frankly sir, I don’t give a damn about “your position.”
We have veered so far to the right when it comes to women’s reproductive choice, the argument is now about “legitimate” rape, incest and maybe a woman’s health. We need a reality check. Legal, safe abortion is still the law of the land, although too many states are in a testosterone laden cloud of tans- vaginal probes, attempts to de-fund Planned Parenthood and spurious legislation to close down existing abortion clinics. (Arizona and Texas, of course, are in a class all their own. It is worth noting that Texas is paradise for men and dogs and hell for women and horses.) The Affordable Care Act provides preventive health care for women and guarantees access to contraception with no copay.
Mrs. Romney– nice try, but we’re not buying it. We think that ‘legitimate rape” is just like birth control, but imagined by crazy people. Ball’s in your court, Mrs. Romney.
Kelly Mayhew says
Thank you for this Anna! What a surreal week that was, made even more so by the virtual parade of women, desperately listed, in Romney’s speech. All window dressing to cover up the fact that these folks intend on rolling back the 20th Century not just in terms of economics but also in terms of patriarchal gender roles. Their real target is to undo feminist gains–to resurrect some mythical past when women just stayed home and popped out babies and knew their place. It’s hard not to see “The Handmaid’s Tale” in all of these speeches. Shudder.
Kelly Mayhew says
P.S. The last clip was AWESOME!!! Thank you!
Great article, Anna. With all the dating I am doing, I will be very aware of “legitimate rape” if it ever happens to me.
bob dorn says
Gawd, what a column. Makes me wonder why there’s such a shortage of legitimate politicians.