That's the truth whatever Romney now wants to say. 150 Republican congressman voted for a bill that would allow abortions only for "forcible rape", as if there were some other kind. (Mercifully, the language was later stripped from the bill.) The distinction is designed to prevent women citing rape as a reason for abortion when there is no sign of physical trauma. It's a disgusting form of contempt for women's autonomy and integrity – and a truly despicable soft tolerance of all other kinds of sexual coercion. Remember the words of the mainstream pro-life figure John C Willke:
When pro-lifers speak of rape pregnancies, we should commonly use the phrase "forcible rape" or "assault rape," for that specifies what we're talking about. Rape can also be statutory. Depending upon your state law, statutory rape can be consensual, but we're not addressing that here.
Here's what Romney said about Willke in 2007: "I am proud to have the support of a man who has meant so much to the pro-life movement in our country." Someone should ask Mitt: is he still proud that his party platform is basing its social policy on the views of a man who thinks "statutory rape can be consensual"?
But in many ways, these nuances are just helpful signs of how the fundamentalist psyche thinks – it is always trying to tidy up the messy realities of human experience to conform to its eternal diktats. The real point is that the GOP platform would make all abortions, including those caused by rape and incest, illegal in every state by constitutional amendment. It would not just allow the states to decide, but insist on a national ban. As on gay rights, and medical marijuana, the GOP has total contempt for federalism.
Until this incarnation of the Republican party is destroyed at the polls, we live in its thrall. We have in this election an opportunity not just to re-elect a president capable of making the Grand Bargain we all need; but to punish and humiliate the most extreme, irrational, hateful version of Republicanism that now stalks the land, led by a brazen liar and fathomless cynic.
It's an opportunity of a lifetime: to use this election to try and destroy the fundamentalist insanity that has effectively destroyed any American conservatism worthy of the name. Former Republicans, Independents and all non-fundamentalists, Christians and Jews and Muslims, have a chance to excise this metastasizing cancer from our politics.