Republican Congresswoman Renee Ellmers lost her primary this week to primary challenger George Holding, who pledges to be a more reliable pro-life voice in the House of Representatives. In response, the website Crooks and Liars has really lived up to its name by trying to spin the incident that turned many pro-lifers against her as proof of anti-abortion extremism, when in fact it was just the opposite.
Sarah P’s title declares that Ellmers lost “because rape is no excuse for abortion.” In case you’re wondering how that can be the case when the bill she protested, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, already had a rape exception, well, Sarah just overlooks that little wrinkle:
[S]he made a critical error last year when she helped a group of moderates derail a vote on a 20 week abortion ban to allow for an exemption for victims of rape. Uh oh. The prolifers went nuts.
No, really. Ellmers’ decision to support exception language for RAPE victims made her their number one enemy.
No, not really. The version of the bill she decided was intolerable first left all abortions completely unaffected prior to 20 weeks, giving rape victims a full five months to do whatever they want, no questions asked. After five months, it still let them abort; they just had to file a police report about the rape—a perfectly reasonable condition, given the obvious incentive to falsely claim rape to get a late-term abortion, the bill not placing any requirement on how long after the rape the report must be made, and, y’know, rape being a horrible crime, the occurrence of which means there’s a dangerous predator on the loose police should be looking for.
Oddly enough, Sarah’s very next paragraph quotes a news account of what really happened: “she insisted on eliminating the law enforcement reporting requirement for rape victims to obtain an exemption to the ban on abortions after 20 weeks.” Yet neither she nor any editor apparently thought it was a problem to directly contradict her article’s premise.
Hey, as long as people get the narrative we want to convey by scanning the headlines, it’s all good! Crooks and liars, indeed.
Let’s not forget that this bill was unlikely to reach the Senate floor and certainly would be vetoed by the White House. This whole battle for language in abortion legislation is pure grandstanding for donor dollars on the part of anti-choice organizations.
Was it also “pure grandstanding” when in 2007, pro-abortion Democrats introduced the extreme Freedom of Choice Act (which would have effectively forbidden states from passing any meaningful pro-life laws)—with the support of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, and Barbara Boxer in the Senate, no less—despite the fact that George W. Bush was certain to veto it?
There is a debate to be had whether introducing legislation is enough when it can’t get enacted, but no serious debate about the legitimacy of, as a minimum, introducing and voting on legislation to draw attention to issues and put politicians’ stances on the record.
The forced birth lobby wanted a 20 week ban passed in the House on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade so they could brag about it. Ellmers muddied their narrative by discussing rape victims at their parade.
Because the bill wouldn’t have meaningfully altered rape victims’ legal options, there was no weak point to muddy. In fact, pro-life politicians could have turned the pro-abortion freak-out to their advantage by focusing on the truly extreme new line the latter was drawing: limiting abortion to the first five months, and still letting rape victims get abortions afterward, was suddenly intolerable, despite the fact that even 62% of pro-choicers say that’s too far.
Nothing turns a group of rabid forced birthers insane than hearing someone turned on them and is allowing crime victims to abort their rapist’s spawn!
Ah, calling an innocent child “spawn” based solely on his or her father’s crimes. You’ve got some real humanitarians working for you, abortion lobby. Yet somehow, it’s still the pro-lifers who are “rabid.” Self-awareness is apparently not abortion apologists’ strong suit.
After quoting Susan B. Anthony List’s Marjorie Dannenfelser as saying, “we brought her into the political process, and we intend to take her out,” Sarah concludes with, “For a group that is all about life, they use awfully murder-y language, don’t they?”
It might seem that way if you’re hopelessly obsessed with finding pretexts to demonize people with whom you disagree, but in the real world, “taking someone out of the political process” is awfully tame, especially considering how commonly the abortion lobby’s allies use references and graphics about “targeting” enemy politicians, or even have strategists tied to the Obama White House saying things like “we have to kill Romney.”
Whether screaming about bills that aren’t absolutist enough for them or imagining death threats in everything pro-lifers say, a common theme runs through all pro-abortion apologetics: everybody’s a fanatic except me.