It is a political gift to Democrats that won’t stop giving: Republican extremists are still fighting the war on women. Despite calls from mainstream Republicans (or are they the new fringe?) to present a more moderate face to the electorate, the House Judiciary Committee, whose members are all male, yesterday voted to outlaw virtually all abortions after 22 weeks with no exception for rape. During debate on the bill, Republican Trent Franks of Arizona claimed the incidence of rape is “very low.” Actually, there are an estimated 30,000 rape-induced pregnancies a year, so in its own way, this claim is as stupid and disgusting as the claim last year by then-Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., that pregnancy can never result from rape.
The House legislation, based on the argument that fetuses feel pain at this point in their development, is modeled after legislation that has gained traction at the state level. It is all part of an effort to make women feel state-imposed guilt and shame based on a medical proposition that the American Medical Association, among other medical groups, has called very dubious.