The Pit Claims Another Victim

« June 2015 »


The problem with the long-standing and increasingly successful conservative war on abortion rights is that it's very, very difficult to lie about.

You see, ultimately, the goal is to make abortion illegal, and, barring that, to make it mostly illegal where they can and logistically impossible everywhere else. And it's succeeding beyond an Operation Rescue worker's wettest dreams. This goal is deeply and fundamentally anti-women, however, which is a problem, since we went and gave them the right to vote and all.

So Republican lawmakers occasionally slip and fall into the Abortion Sarlaac Pit, a rhetorical tooth-lined cavern where their poitical prospects are slowly digested over a thousand years. It happens when your verbal jetpack misfires in an attempt to explain why forcing women to have unnecessary medical procedures and give birth to their rapist's, relative's, or rapist relative's baby is actually a good thing.

Todd Akin, for example, fell into the Pit when he said it was OK to outlaw abortion in the case of rape because real rape doesn't get you pregnant. Only fake rape does. Four years later, another Midwestern politician is finding himself dangling over the pit because of his state's brutal anti-abortion laws. And it couln't happen to a much bigger asshole than Scott Walker.

Take mandatory transvaginal ultrasound, a policy that basically says women are too stupid to know what they're doing when they say they want an abortion, so we're going to shove a ten-inch rod up their hoohas and show them a baby to make them change their mind, whether they like it or not. And while technically, Wisconsin law doesn't require that the ultrasound be transvaginal, it's pretty much the only ultrasound that can be used in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, which will be even more relevant in a few paragraphs. Anyway, here's how Walker dismissed the concerns. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Most people I talk to, whether they're pro-life or not, I find people all the time who'll get out their iPhone and show me a picture of their grandkids' ultrasound and how excited they are, so that's a lovely thing. I think about my sons are 19 and 20, you know we still have their first ultrasound picture. It's just a cool thing out there."

I'm including the full quote, because, in an attempt to prevent another Todd Akin War On Women narrative describing their war on women, they're claiming the media is twisting Walker's words to make it sound like he thinks mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds are just cool. And that's not what he's saying. What he's saying is, people who wanted to get pregnant and wanted an ultrasound think the ultrasounds are cool, so why wouldn't women looking to get an abortion for their unwanted pregnancy feel the same way about a state-mandated one? See? That's so much less offensive.

All this played out over the backdrop of an impending Wisconsin 20-week abortion ban, which Walker has pledged to sign regardless of whether it includes exceptions for rape and incest. This is of course a challenge, because you need a way to demand that rape victims incubate their abuser's fetus for the better part of a year without seeming like the goddamned monster that makes you. Here was Scott Walker's attempt.

"I mean, I think for most people who are concerned about that, it’s in the initial months where they’re most concerned about it.”

There you go. If your father rapes you and knocks you up in Wisconsin, all you have to do is process your trauma, determine that you're pregnant, get the consent of one of your parents (ideally not the one that got you pregnant), get your mandatory discouragement counseling, and get to one of Wisconsin's eight whole abortion providers, assuming any of them haven't closed since 2011, which is the most recent data I can find. Oh, and if you don't want to be retraumatized by a transvaginal ultrasound and just get a regular one, there's a whole eight-week window for you to do that in. But that's OK, because that's what being pro-life is all about.