Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Scary Republicans Part 1 - comparing pregnancy from rape to having a child out of wedlock

As the Republicans gather in Florida for their Convention, they are all madly trying to make it sound as though they really aren't as bad as Todd Akin, the Missouri senate candidate whose assertion that you can't get pregnant from "legitimate rape" hit the headlines last week.

Scarily, they don't seem to realise that they are just as bad, if not worse.

Here we have, from the Huffington Post, a video of Tom Smith, a Republican Senate candidate from Pennsylvania, who dug a huge hole for himself when he compared pregnancy resulting from rape to having a child out of wedlock. That's right. You shouldn't actually have to say that a horrible traumatic violation is not even in the same land mass as a consensual loving relationship, but these people make it really important that we do. I wrote the other day that there is insufficient protection for US mothers in this situation from further abuse as rapists seek access to the children conceived as a result of their crime.

What worries me is that the nasty, ill-informed language of US politics will become more entrenched over here. Maybe not by many mainstream politicians yet, but unless we stand up to against these kinds of comments every time they're made, then all sorts of other kinds of hatred spring up. We need our leaders to state the bleedin' obvious in a very calm and matter of fact way. It's strange in a way that it's taken until now for a US President to unequivocally support same sex marriage - and it's to Obama's credit that he was willing to take the political risk to do so. While it's very worrying that we have the sort of politics in the US that requires the President of the US to state unequivocally that rape is rape, it's vital that he does so. Nobody else will.

If Romney and Ryan win in November, hard won rights will be under severe threat. It certainly won't be very pleasant to be LGBT and/or female. This is a crucial time to stand up for liberal values.

Update - and there's more. Check here for Scary Republicans part 2.

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