Forced-Birth World

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Memo to Mike Huckabee: YOU ARE NOT A GOOD PERSON.

Mike Huckabee thinks he's a good person. Most villains and monsters do. If you're not a straight up clinical psycho- or socio-path, when you do or say something incredibly horrible, you think you're doing so in service of some higher moral purpose, because, well, if you didn't, you'd know what a goddamned monster you are and either change or jump off a bridge. This missive will not unfortunately create the conditions under which Mike Huckabee can achieve that level of clarity, but it'll make me feel a little better.

Last week, in Paraguay, a tragedy at least a year in the making culminated in an 11-year-old Paraguayan girl giving birth to the daughter of the stepfather who raped her. Paraguay's strict abortion ban, the likes of which nearly every GOP presidential candidate has gone on the record as wanting here in America, did not allow her to get an abortion and forced her to carry and give birth.

Mike Huckabee was asked about the case on CNN over the weekend, and as an embryo-fetishising forced-birth monster, he pretended to be sympathetic and create a moral question. And it's a question that deserves an honest answer. ACTUAL QUESTION TIME!

"Does it solve the problem by taking the life of an innocent child?"

Yes, yes it does. The problem is, a 10-year-old girl is pregnant due to being raped by her stepfather. Even if you want to define abortion as "taking the life of an innocent child", absolutely, that solves the problem. The child is no longer pregnant by her rapist. Problem solved.

Now, Mike Huckabee would likely counter that solving the problem isn't worth the life of the innocent child. Well, even if you want to call it an "innocent child" instead of an unaware lump of goo that won't even resemble an innocent child for months, there's not actually a shortage of innocent children in the world. They're easy to make and they're in plentiful supply. I mean, water's in short supply in California, but I doubt Huckabee would support torturing children for nine months just to make sure Tom Selleck's avocados get water.

Later in that same interview, he referred to the abortion as "compounding the tragedy". Which is true if and only if you ignore one of the tragedies taking place here. Allow me to explain.

Mike Huckabee is talking about compounding the tragedy of rape with the "tragedy" of abortion. What Huckabee ignores is the tragedy of being forced to carry and give birth to your rapist's child. He ignores this for two reasons. First, the third "tragedy" alleviates the second, and that makes his argument a more challenging moral calculus, one that Huckabee is intellectually incapable of resolving.

But more importantly, the forced-birth movement, at its core, sees women as breeding organisms. They'll deny it to their last breath, but their entire worldview makes it impossible to see a pregnancy as tragic. They can see the cause of it as tragic. They can see the ending of it as tragic. But a pregnancy can never be tragic because God made women to have babies. And so if you're having a baby, you're doing what God wants, no matter how that baby got there.

It's also telling to note that Huckabee never refers to the 10-year-old girl as "innocent". I'm sure if you asked him directly, he'd say she was, but he wouldn't generate that idea independently. And that's because, as John Oliver so aptly demonstrated a couple of weekends back, the anti-sex, anti-choice, anti-woman part of America, including Huckabee, treat women who've had sex as having lost value somehow. Even if they've been raped.

Huckabee's only concern for the girl in the entire interview is an attempt to claim he's shielding her from the horrible guilt she'll feel years later when she contemplates her abortion and regrets it. Which would be incredibly condescending of him even if he knew that regret was a certainty. Of course, thanks to SCIENCE, we know that 95% of women who have an abortion don't regret the decision. So as is all too often the case, Huckabee's chivalry is misplaced and unnecessary.

Of course, Huckabee and his fellow travelers are very busy misusing genetics research to claim that science has proven that "human" "life" begins at conception, which is true for the scientific versions of those words and not the religious versions. So they're probably too busy to pay attention to the research that completely undercuts one of their major arguments. And, you know. They're also monsters, causing demonstrable harm in the service of preventing imaginary harm.

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