Latest Posts

  • The Republican FAQ on Women's Health

    With so much misinformation floating around on the Internet, it's hard to know who to trust when it comes to your health. Here — with the help of members of the House Committee on Science and Technology, medical doctors and assorted experts on the business of ladybusiness — is an assemblage of the cutting-edge science you won't find on WebMD. Call it WebGOP.

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    Tags: Abortion, Conservatives, Health, Health Care, Men and Women, Republicans, Science & Technology, Women's Rights
  • Rep. Joe Walsh: Women Don't Die from Legitimate Pregnancy

    After last night's Illinois House debate, we can all rest assured that should former deadbeat dad and current congressman Joe Walsh survive his re-election bid against Democrat Tammy Duckworth, there's a seat on the House Science Committee waiting for him. Someone needs to replace Todd Akin as our nation's top elected expert in reproductive health.

    Akin leaves big clown shoes to fill, but Walsh proved himself more than ready when he was asked by reporters about his position on a ban on abortion with no exceptions for the life or health of the mother and responded by suggesting that pregnant women are made of adamantium

    With modern technology and science, you can't find one instance [of women dying from childbirth]…There's no such exception as life of the mother. And as far as health of the mother, same thing, with advances in science and technology, health of the mother has become a tool for abortions anytime under any reason.

    This must come as a surprise to thousands of families. The number of maternal deaths in the United States has been climbing recently, reaching 13.3 per 100,000 live births in 2006.

    Still, it's nice of Walsh to let everyone know that they are about as likely to hear a nuanced understanding of maternal health come out of his mouth as they are to receive a timely child support payment from his checking account.

    Photo by Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call Group/Getty Images

    Tags: Abortion, Illinois, Joe Walsh, Women's Rights
  • Pro-Life Congressman Pressured Mistress to Get Abortion

    After an avalanche of polls showing him leading nationally and in key battleground states, there's even more good news for Mitt Romney. Journalists have finally identified a politician with a more inconsistent position on abortion than the presidential candidate whose views have evolved more often than a antibiotic-resistant strain of gonorrhea.

    Consider this statement from Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a Republican congressman from Tennessee…

    "I have been a consistent supporter of pro-life values… Human life is sacred and taxpayer funding of abortion is counter to the values a great many Tennesseans hold."

    And contrast with this

    "You told me you'd have an abortion, and now we're getting too far along without one," DesJarlais tells the woman at one point in the call while negotiating with her over whether he'll reveal her identity to his wife. They then discuss whether he will accompany her to a procedure to end the sort of life the congressman now describes as "sacred."

    The woman happened to be his mistress and one-time patient; DesJarlais worked as a doctor before winning office in 2010.

    In the parlance of contemporary media coverage, this is "a very astute pivot toward the center." It's too bad that "Pro-Life except in cases where a mistress/patient needs to be talked into an abortion" is so hard to fit on a bumper sticker.

    Photo by Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call Group/Getty Images

    Tags: Abortion, Scott DesJarlais, Tennessee
  • Mitt Romney Believes All the Things About Abortion

    On the topic of reproductive rights, the universe of possible beliefs is almost endless.  Perhaps you believe abortion should illegal, except when the life of the mother is endangered. Or perhaps you believe that abortion should be legal, but only if the mother promises to be extra sad for at least one year following the procedure.

    Whatever your position, Mitt Romney has again proven he's the candidate for you. For he believes in all the things

    "There's no legislation with regards to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda," the GOP presidential candidate told The Des Moines Register's editorial board during a meeting today before his campaign rally at a Van Meter farm.

    But by executive order, not by legislation, he would reinstate the so-called Mexico City policy that bans U.S. foreign aid dollars from being used to do abortions, he said.

    Needless to say, our politics has become so debased that a candidate can hardly adopt a new position or ten without being called a liar by some campaign operative. For example, Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul responded to her candidate's comments by saying, "Governor Romney would of course support legislation aimed at providing greater protections for life."

    For shame. How are we supposed to restore civility to the political process when even a candidate's own staffers accuse him of changing abortion views more frequently than Newt Gingrich changes wives?

    Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Abortion, Mitt Romney
  • Todd Akin Is So Pro-Life, He Opposes Abortion in Cases of Non-Pregnancy

    Todd Akin — a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology — is justly famous for his medical expertise on the "legitimate rape" counter-measures available to the female body. But until Amanda Marcotte spotlighted a speech he gave on the House floor in 2008, few of us were aware of his contributions to to analytic philosophy…

    "It is no big surprise that we fight the terrorists because they are fundamentally un-American, and yet we have terrorists in our own culture called abortionists… You find that along with the culture of death go all kinds of other law-breaking: not following good sanitary procedure, giving abortions to women who are not actually pregnant, cheating on taxes, all these kinds of things, misuse of anesthetics so that people die or almost die."

    That is some deep stuff. That is why Akin is on the Science, Space and Technology committee and we are not.

    As Dan Amira explains, it's possible Akin was referring to a spectacularly rare phenomenon in which shady doctors defraud women by performing phony procedures when the patients aren't actually pregnant. In which case, Akin isn't so much a meta-physicist as a consumer advocate.

    But this doesn't free us of the deeper philosophical question. Aren't abortions in which no fetus is terminated the best kind of abortion from a pro-life perspective? Why isn't staunch anti-choicer Todd Akin standing up for fake abortions?

    Photo by Chris Maddaloni/CQ-Roll Call Group/Getty Images

    Tags: Abortion, Science & Technology, Todd Akin