The Missouri Republican Party, home of such luminaries as Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin, continues to lead the nation in anti-women politics.
A month after threatening to imprison a Planned Parenthood official for not handing over a list of women who’ve gotten abortions, Missouri Republicans are at it again. The majority of the Missouri state house voted for a bill that would define fertilized eggs as “persons” that “have a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the enjoyment of the gains of their own industry.”
The bill and the debate around it is a veritable smorgasbord of right-wing nuttiness, starting with the apparent belief that zygotes are industrious workers who can feel happiness and own things. As a reminder, this is what a zygote looks like. It doesn’t have brains or skin or eyes or much in the way of neurons, but in anti-choice eyes, it’s a kindergartener playing catch and scribbling away in coloring books.
With the opening premise being so ridiculous, it’s little wonder that things spiraled quickly out of control with this bill. Despite the fact that talking about rape never works out well for anti-choicers, state representative Tila Hubrecht was eager to argue that rape victims who get pregnant should be grateful that such a wonderful blessing has come their way.
“Sometimes bad things happen, and they’re horrible things,” Hubrecht began, talking about rape like it’s an unfortunate weather event instead of a violent crime someone chooses to commit. “But sometimes God can give us a silver lining through the birth of a child.”
At this rate, Republicans might soon be passing laws requiring pregnant rape victims to write “thank you” letters to their rapists.
But this is the rhetorical corner that anti-choicers have painted themselves into. Unable to admit that they want to ban abortion to punish and control women, they instead have to argue that pregnancy is a rare gift, like winning the lottery, that any woman should want at any point in time, and that women are being denied this precious gift by abortionists who want to steal their babies because they are sadistic murderers. When that’s your line, you kind of have to start acting like rapists are doing their victims a favor by getting them pregnant.
In case discussion about how forced childbirth is supposedly the “silver lining” awaiting rape victims wasn’t bad enough, this bill comes bundled with a whole bunch of racist trolling of activists fighting against police violence.
When the first version of this bill was introduced, by Rep. Mike Moon, it was called the “All Lives Matter” bill, an obvious swipe at Black Lives Matters protesters, who have been working heavily in Missouri after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The bill’s name was changed when anti-racism activists accused Moon of co-opting a very serious movement, but the basic concept of the bill hasn’t changed.
That Republican Senate primary in 2018 between Mike Moon and Tila Hubrecht should be fun!