Rape and Incest Exemptions to Abortion Are Just “Political” Concessions, Says Anti-Choice Leader

“Personal responsibility” is language that often gets thrown around in the abortion debate by those who would limit women’s reproductive choices. “Abortion is selfish. Abortion is the ultimate rejection of personal responsibility,” is a familiar refrain. If a woman consents to sex, she consents to pregnancy, and should “take responsibility,” the thinking goes, by carrying through the pregnancy.

Now, there are quite a few flaws with that thinking (consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy being the most obvious), but it seems to be a line that meets with some success. While many people believe there should be limitations on when abortion is available, a full 75% of Gallup respondents, for instance, believe that abortion should be legal for rape victims. While there are many reasons that could go into that (like not wishing to force further trauma, through forced pregnancy, on a victim), at least among the pro-life people I know, the fact that the woman didn’t have a say in the matter and isn’t “just using abortion as birth control” factors heavily into their support for rape exemptions.

As it happens, personal responsibility is more of a wedge tactic than an actual argument against abortion. Rape and incest exceptions become the compromise between the two sides.

But this isn’t the way anti-abortion groups and activists see things. For years now, for instance, the Republican Party has maintained a strict anti-abortion platform… with no exception for rape and incest victims. The slow whittling away of abortion rights may make it necessary to concede these exemptions in the short term, but what about in the long-term?

Anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List’s president, Marjorie Dannenfelser, speaking of a recent anti-abortion bill that passed in the House, answered that question. And she pulled no punches in discussing the “political calculations” of these exemptions:

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Egyptian Cleric: Atheists Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Talk About God Unless They’re Outside the Country

Egyptian cleric Khaled Al-Gindi said on Al-Hayat TV earlier this month that atheists had the right to their beliefs… as long as they remained silent while in the country. Anything less was a “provocation” (of what, he didn’t specify).



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Conservative Leader: If Atheists Can Officiate Weddings, It Will Lead to Christian Persecution

Last week, we learned that a group called Atheists for Human Rights had basically won the right for one of their members to become an officiant at weddings in Washington County, Minnesota. (It was illegal until then because that member, Rodney Rodgers, wasn’t a government official nor did he have an endorsement from a church.)

Technically speaking, a judge threw out the group’s lawsuit… but that’s only because county officials caved in and said atheists could officiate weddings. It’s a victory no matter how you slice it.

You’d think this is all a cause for celebration. But Mat Staver of the Christian Right group Liberty Counsel has found a way to make it all about Christian persecution. Somehow…

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Governor Bobby Jindal is Smarter Than the Republican Party Will Allow Him to Be

Even though Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was in the news yesterday for saying he would sign an executive order allowing (some) faith-based discrimination against LGBT people, Zack Kopplin reminds us that Jindal also has it out for science education.

But Kopplin points out that his family knew Jindal for years. Kopplin even attended the same school as Jindal’s kids. On paper, this is not a governor who should be supporting Creationism. It’s clearly a political move:

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Saudi Arabia Has Posted Job Openings for Eight New Executioners to Carry Out Beheadings

If you support Sharia Law and you really need a government job, Saudi Arabia has you covered. The Ministry of Civil Service just posted eight openings for executioners:

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