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Forced birth better than abortion for rape and incest victims: Leaked GOP talking points

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National Republican talking points leaked to Vice News show that lawmakers are preparing to defend Alabama’s draconian abortion ban by arguing that it is better “physically” and “psychologically” to deny abortions to victims of rape and incest.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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The document was distributed by the Republican Study Committee, a conservative caucus that includes about 70 percent of House Republicans. The memo offers “messaging guidance” on “our pro-life platform” and instructs members on how to defend Alabama’s abortion ban, which bars abortion during all stages of pregnancy unless the mother’s life is in danger. The bill makes no exemptions for victims of rape and incest. Under the law, doctors could be sentenced up to 99 years in prison for performing an abortion.

The document praises Alabama’s law as “bold new pro-life legislation” and complains that the media is “attempting to use these new developments to create ‘gotcha moments’ for Republicans and a divide within our party.”

The talking points instruct Republicans to defend the ban in cases of rape and incest by alleging that abortion is akin to “committing a second violent act” on the victim and claims that terminating a pregnancy caused by the act “could physically or psychologically wound her further.”

“Every single child should be afforded the opportunity to live, regardless of how they were conceived,” the memo says.

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While some Republicans have tried to distance themselves from the Alabama law and have spoken in favor of exemptions for victims of rape and incest, the GOP has been under pressure from anti-choice groups to “reconsider” their position on such exemptions, NPR reports.

A coalition of anti-abortion groups led by Students for Life of America said in a draft letter to Republican National Committee chair Ronna Romney McDaniel that despite concerns of “issues like rape and incest,” they believe “that the value of human life is not determined by the circumstances of one’s conception or birth.”

Students for Life President Kristan Hawkins told NPR that Republicans should not be “afraid” of “talking about rape.”

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Charlotte Pence, the daughter of Vice President Mike Pence, similarly penned an op-ed in the Washington Times expressing support for Alabama’s lack of exceptions for victims of rape and incest.

“Personally, I would not encourage a friend to get an abortion if she suffered the horrendous evil of rape or incest because I care about her child — and her. I do not believe abortion provides healing,” she wrote.

Pro-choice advocates say that the Alabama law as well as abortion restrictions passed in other Republican-led states show that the extremists on the right are winning over more moderate voices in the party.

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Ilyse Hogue of NARAL Pro-Choice America told NPR that abortion opponents have long debated “just how hard to push to criminalize abortion, and Georgia and Alabama show that the radical fringe is winning.”

Hogue said she blamed President Trump for creating “the conditions for the hard-right turn on reproductive rights,” adding that “the fact remains that the entire anti-choice movement is dangerously out of step with the mainstream pulse of the country.”

Dr. Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said in a statement that “any ban on access to safe, legal abortion risks women’s lives, and is an attack on our fundamental human rights.”

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Planned Parenthood joined the American Civil Liberties Union in filing a lawsuit challenging Alabama’s abortion ban, which has not yet taken effect, on Friday. The lawsuit comes a week after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed the bill despite admitting it was “unenforceable” since it is primarily intended to compel the Supreme Court to reconsider the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling from 1973.

“This law is blatantly unconstitutional,” ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project attorney Alexa Kolbi-Molinas said in a statement, “and the ACLU will not stand by while politicians emboldened by President Trump’s anti-abortion agenda exploit our health and our lives for political gain.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Elementary school cheer squad parents raffling off an AM-15 automatic weapon as a fundraiser

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Just weeks after a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio killed nine people, only 200 miles away in Richmond, the cheer squad is selling raffle tickets to sell a semi-automatic gun.

Fox19 reported Wednesday that the Junior Lions Cheer Team have infuriated Heather Chilton, who's 7-year-old daughter is on the squad for the first time.

"This is absurd, you're having elementary kids sell your AR-15. Why?" Chilton said. "I highly doubt that something would happen with the gun, but say it did. Say one of the kids in the high school got a hold of it — got the AR-15 or AM-15 and shot up a school with it, and I'm the one that sold the raffle ticket to his dad?"

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Gov. Jay Inslee withdraws from presidential election

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow that he was officially leaving the presidential race Thursday.

He said that he got into the race with the intention of trying to raise the important issue of climate change and demand the issue be part of the conversation in the debates.

The Democratic Party has refused to have a debate that focuses exclusively on climate change, despite the numerous plans, ideas and approaches from the 20-plus candidates running for president.

He said that he isn't currently endorsing other candidates for 2020, but he hopes that his "atlas" for a climate plan will be adopted by other candidates.

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Scorching WaPo editorial tells Trump to own his bad economy and stop blaming the fed

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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell

In a scathing piece from the Washington Post editorial board, the team at one of the nation's top papers told President Donald Trump to stop trying to pretend it's the Federal Reserve's fault for a slumping economy.

Trump has tried to claim that the economy isn't just fine, but outstanding and excelling expectations. Yet, in the same breath, Trump claims that that the Federal Reserve is responsible for all of the problems he says don't exist. It's enough for The Post editorial board to note the economic message is "remarkably dissonant."

Trump decided to that the Fed must lower interest rates and engage in “quantitative easing” to lower bonds. It's part of a tactic the Fed uses during tough times, which Trump says don't exist. Even during the worst financial crisis in a generation, in 2008, "quantitative easing" was controversial. Then there is the matter of a payroll tax cut, something Trump said he was looking at before saying he wasn't looking at it. But if there's no crisis, then why is it necessary.

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