Sunday, January 27, 2013

Carry his rape-baby or go to jail.

One of the reasons that the Republicans couldn't win the election in 2012 was that they were continuing to appeal only to the white male demographic.

They didn't bother worrying about hispanic vote: look at their reaction to the Dream Act. Or their "walls, razor wire and armed guards" view of immigration policy. Or the continued push toward "English-only" legislation.

They didn't give a tanned damn about the black vote: check out their full-throated support of George Zimmerman, who apparently felt threatened by the existence of skinny teenagers armed with Skittles. For that matter, note the dog-whistles (and occasional open racism) distributed through their attacks on our first black president.

And going into the home stretch of the election, the GOP seemed to double down on their "War on Women," with lawmakers talking about "legitimate rape" and trying to make it harder for a woman to get a legal medical procedure, than it is for a convicted felon to buy military-grade hardware.

Full disclosure: I am not a big fan of the term "War on Women," but I'm at a loss what else to call it. The opposite of "Women's Lib" would be "Women's Enslavement," but that's a bit hyperbolic, so I'm not going to even touch it. In fact, "War on Anything" is pretty well over-used, because they can be such a convenient shorthand. Will some linguistics major please look into this for me?

In regards to the GOP policy toward women, they have a radical portion of their party who keeps trying to turn back the clock to a mythical Fifties, where the blacks and hispanics were all happy in their low-paying jobs, and the few women in the work force (the ones who weren't staying at home baking) were available to be chased around the desk playing hard-but-not-impossible-to-get.

See, in their views, a Woman's Purpose (subtitle: "Assigned To Her By God") is to be forever in a subservient role, helping Her Man, cleaning, cooking, and procreating. If she gets a job, she's still expected to get home in time to get the kids from daycare and cook dinner. And this is pretty obvious by how they try to legislate.

Hell, at least blacks were considered three-fifths of a person. In some quarters, women are lucky to get that much appreciation today, especially in in the paycheck.

(And I'm not saying that the melanin-enhanced peoples have it much better; I'm just trying to make a rhetorical point here...)

And one of the things they want to avoid is even the possibility that a woman will have control of her own genitals.

Simple logic and actual scientific studies have shown that adequate sex education and access to contraception both decrease abortions (and we even have the actual examples of places like Denmark, where abortion is available, but almost unheard of), but we still have the insane cognitive dissonance of opposition to abortion, and contraception, matched up with support for abstinence-only education.

Which brings us to my own (adopted) state of New Mexico.

Now, I'll admit that I have little or no use for Huffington Post. There are a number of reasons for this, but I'm going to give them credit for one thing: they were the first news outlet to break this one.
A Republican lawmaker in New Mexico introduced a bill on Wednesday that would legally require victims of rape to carry their pregnancies to term in order to use the fetus as evidence for a sexual assault trial.

House Bill 206, introduced by state Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R), would charge a rape victim who ended her pregnancy with a third-degree felony for "tampering with evidence."
Now, since Huffpo broke the story, it's been picked up by other news groups, and the public outcry against this brain-meltingly obvious idiocy has made Representative Brown very sad. She's now trying to explain to everybody how she was being "misrepresented."
Rep. Cathrynn Brown, a Republican from Carlsbad, said Thursday she will revise the bill, which she said was intended to target perpetrators of rape or incest who try to cover their tracks by forcing their victims to have abortions...

Although the clause regarding intent would seem to preclude rape victims from being charged, several critics read the bill as possibly including them. Brown said she will clarify the language to remove any ambiguity.
Yeah, but while that may be the way she tried to sell it (and I'll give a tip of my hat to Ted for pointing it out to me)... well, in her defense, she's an idiot. Just how often, exactly, does a rapist drag a woman to a doctor to abort his rape-baby?

Because, yeah, the way she was selling this to her friends and supporters probably sounded just like that. The version on her own website has been undergoing daily changes since it went up, but has been warm and friendly to the poor beleaguered victim since day one. But the one that was introduced to the state legislature had some... well, let's just call them "inconsistencies" from the story Ms Brown has been trying to sell.

See, here's how it was presented:




SECTION 1. Section 30-22-5 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1963, Chapter 303, Section 22-5, as amended) is amended to read:


A. Tampering with evidence consists of destroying, changing, hiding, placing or fabricating any physical evidence with intent to prevent the apprehension, prosecution or conviction of any person or to throw suspicion of the commission of a crime upon another.

B. Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime.

C. Whoever commits tampering with evidence shall be punished as follows:
It then goes on to explain, if you're curious, what crimes will be added (or applied) to everybody involved, with no question about who it is (the rapist, the victim, or the doctor). And that's it. Short, sweet and stupid.

So, if you get raped, and then you get an abortion, you go to jail. It's a simple equation.

"Ah," but the calm, rational side of you explains, "it's right there in the bill! You have to have 'the intent to prevent the apprehension' of the rapist! Obviously, a victim isn't going to do that, right?"

Well, aside from the fact that "calm" and "rational" can rarely be applied to the anti-abortion lobby, let's consider for a minute. There's a term that needs to be applied here: "Thought crime." It's illegal to get an abortion that might tamper with evidence. Unless you can prove that you hadn't intended to tamper with evidence. You have to prove what you'd been thinking about.

"But... but... but..." your calm, rational side sputters, not yet willing to give up. "That isn't true! The state has to prove that you were planning to tamper with evidence!"

No, afraid not. The state has to prove that you did tamper with evidence, and then show that you might have still harbored feelings for the rapist. (Not hard to do, if it's, say, your dad, or some guy you haven't actively attacked with a knife...) After all, you got the abortion. They can prove that happened.

A woman still gets blamed for getting raped if she dresses "too provocatively" or goes to the wrong part of town. We tell women how to avoid getting raped; we don't tell men "don't rape."

We just assume that the natural state of man is "rapist." Since he's going to try to have sex regardless of any other factors, it's her job to avoid getting in that position.

If you then factor in the concept of "Stockholm Syndrome," please try to explain where this won't go wrong. Women already get accused of fabricating rape charges because they had sex, but then had "second thoughts" the next day.

Our society has some seriously messed-up priorities when it comes to rape.


Update (1/28/2013): So, I just corrected the formatting in the text of the bill. I tried to show it the way it was presented on the legislative website (with paragraph B underlined and the rest of it) and just managed to make it invisible. So now it's just shown as text, because some people shouldn't be allowed to use HTML.

1 comment:

Grung_e_Gene said...

I Love Freedom. Republicans are just representing the rights of Rapists to have children too!