Having now witnessed firsthand the effect Mourdock’s quip has on women, I can say I misjudged the profoundly offensive nature of his warped view and by extension the views of other GOP lawmakers. One women tried to explain to me why she could never explain it to me. Her point was I could never imagine the full effect, the wrenching almost supernatural and creepy punch in the gut, those words conveyed. Even if I had been raped by a man she correctly noted, “You can’t get pregnant, you don’t even have to worry about getting pregnant, so that wouldn’t be the half of it.”
Another friend, one I’ve had spirited discussions with and who is, or was, a lifetime moderate Republican, typical low info voter, who was born and bred in the great state of Texas, reacted thusly, “That’s all you needed to show me.” When I tried to point out other conservatives who had said similar things she waved me off saying “No, really, that’s all I needed to know”. Both of them and two others who saw it had visible anger and determination burning in their eyes. In a couple of cases, when I added that teaparty backed House members have been systematically destroying the government programs that would ease the financial and medical burden of a rape pregnancy, the reaction included a low, almost feral growl and a panicked look of shock.
That one statement by Richard Mourdock, what he really thought and what he would try to enact into the law of the land, crystalized the political battlescape for these women and probably thousands and thousands of others. We have 12 days to connect the dots between Romney’s faux modernism and religious fanatics like Mourdock for any remaining voters who haven’t seen it or aren’t sure what it’s all about.
Let’s be clear: if Romney wins the SCOTUS make up will change and the new majority will strike down Roe. Thanks to zealots elected to statehouses and governor’s mansions, we now know the fallout from that will go way beyond elective abortion. Changing the definition of conception from implantation to the magical undectable moment when a lawmaker says sperm meets egg, combined with restrictions based on that hazy point of conception, would directly impact pretty much every women in the country at some point in her life. Hormone replacement therapy made harder or impossible to get, IUD’s gone, in virtro fertilization threatened, stem cell research curtailed, hormonal birth cotnrol restricted, a generation of unwanted, unwed pregnancies blooms while the healthcare bill and the few prorgams that would at least assist with a few of the expenses incurred, are all repealed. Just treating a necrotic ectopic pregnancy would take, what, some special wavier signed by a juddge while the state considers an appeal? How long would that take? Hours, days, next week, next month?
I don’t know if that makes this the most important election for you, but it makes it pretty damn important for other people in your life. Because a Romney win with a teaparty wingnut congress is a fucking catastrophe on a glide path. It means mass suffering and preventable death for the female population, starting in many cases at the age of 11 or 12 years-old and lasting for life, the daily and emergency medical care of millions held in the hands of male state appointed judges, male dominated police, and mostly male zealous mega-pastors. And these jackasses say we’re being hyperbolic when we call his right-wing assault a War on Women?
And by the way, disinterested fellas, if that doesn’t hit home, just remember boys, the last time birth control and women’s health were medically and legally somewhere between gray and taboo, there was no such thing as DNA paternity testing or court ordered child support.