Thursday, February 16, 2012

The GOP Really Wants Limited Government?

 Meet State Representative Kim Pearson from the great state of Iowa.  Kim is a Republican legislator who has recently introduced a bill into the Iowa House of Representatives that  would completely outlaw abortion and mandate up to life in prison for those who purposefully terminate a pregnancy.  The legislation introduced is a total ban. Yes, a total ban on abortion that prohibits anyone from terminating a pregnancy even if it is a result of rape, incest, or get this, even if the mother's life is in danger from the pregnancy.   Penalties could result in life imprisonment for those performing the abortion procedure.

In Oklahoma, a bill is moving it's way through the state legislature that declares embryos and fetuses "persons" with all rights  privileges and immunities associated with other citizens.

In the state of Virginia, another bill attempting to declare "personhood" for embryos and fetuses is making its way through the legislature. The Republican governor of the state, Bob McDonnell has indicated his support for the measure.  This bill,  which also includes a provision that should a woman desire to terminate a pregnancy, the doctor must do an ultrasound that involves an "trans-vaginal" (meaning internal examination) ultrasound because external ultrasounds in early stages of pregnancies cannot show an image of the fetus is one of the more restrictive measures being considered in the country today. 

In some 12 other states in the country, some semblance of personhood bills or much tighter restrictions on abortion rights are being considered.
Rick Santorum, current front runner for the Republican presidential nomination is a well known advocate of outlawing abortion and has stated on the record that contraception "is wrong" and that states should be allowed to ban the sale of contraceptives.

The common thread coming from all of these examples is that the legislation that is being offered for consideration within the state houses and of course the views from most of the current crop of presidential candidates excluding the President himself is that they are all coming from Republicans.  Republicans, the party of limited governmentThe GOP has since the days of Barry Goldwater has been espousing government getting off the backs of the people.  President Reagan once famously said "Government is not the solution to our problem, Government is the Problem".

The hypocrisy of the GOP is astounding to me on this issue.  They continually bleat on and on about government overreach yet are doing everything they possibly can to insert the government into one of the most personal decisions a citizen in this country has to make: To decide whether or not to have a child.

This isn't anything new. The movement to quell or eliminate women's rights to avoid pregnancy or to terminate a pregnancy has been in full force for decades.  We've seen erosion of the right to privacy for women that was affirmed in the Roe v. Wade decision from almost the moment the Supreme Court delivered their opinion in 1973 in that landmark case.  What's newsworthy in my view on this is the bold-faced stance the GOP takes over its usual mantra of "personal responsibility" ethos and again the desire to "keep government off our backs."

Republicans supporting this type of intrusion into women's reproductive matters is one of the more odious and insidious invasions of privacy that we've ever experienced.  To me, the message is simply anti-woman and suggest that women aren't intelligent enough to make the right decisions on the issue. That is why I am bewildered why Ms. Pearson, presumably a woman,  would suggest that the government is better suited to make decisions regarding her health. I cannot imagine why any women would support a party that decides it is OK that the government will be the arbiter of whether or not they can avoid or terminate a pregnancy.

So, beware what is happening within the GOP. The purported party of individual liberty and small, limited government is certainly not behaving as they would have you believe.  

Tell me what you think,



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