DNC Chair: Romney should denounce extreme anti-abortion platform

By Kay Steiger
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 16:51 EDT
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On a press call with reporters on Tuesday, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz blasted the Republican party for failing to include an exception for rape in its party platform.

“Republicans have finally hit rock bottom,” Wasserman Schultz said. “I don’t have to tell anyone how outrageous Republican Rep. Todd Akin’s comments were this weekend, but unfortunately he’s not alone in his extreme and dangerous views.”

“Mitt Romney has repeatedly endorsed the Republican party platform, including a human life amendment to ban abortion nationwide, without exceptions for rape and incest. This isn’t the kind of leadership that women and their families can afford,” she added. “He should unequivocally denounce the human life amendment and its inclusion in the Republican party platform. That would be a step in the right direction for the GOP.”

Nancy Keenan, president of reproductive rights lobbying group NARAL, said, “Romney has failed to lead here, he has failed to stand up for women and he has failed to denounce the extremism of his party platform.”

She listed the number of extreme positions vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan has endorsed, including a bill that would redefine rape exceptions only to include “forcible” rape and a bill that would have required transvaginal ultrasounds before women seek abortions.

“At every turn Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have proven they would be an absolute disaster for women in this country,” Keenan said.

But as Amanda Marcotte pointed out, exceptions to an abortion ban don’t make the ban any less extreme. “Believing that rape is a ‘legitimate’ reason to abort may make you slightly less horrible than Todd Akin, but you’re still a misogynist who thinks that having sex requires forced childbirth as punishment. … Throughout Latin America, there are abortion bans that have exceptions built in for certain emergencies, but women who legally qualify for the exceptions find that no one is willing to put their necks out for them.”

Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger is the managing editor of Raw Story. Her contributions have appeared in The American Prospect, The Atlantic, Campus Progress, The Guardian, In These Times, Jezebel, Religion Dispatches, RH Reality Check, and others. You can follow her on Twitter @kaysteiger.
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