Hey y’all, remember Todd Akin, the creepy guy who sunk his own campaign a couple of years back by making remarks about “legitimate rape“?
Remember how we thought “well, certainly no Republican in his right mind would say something that stupid on the subject anytime soon”?
Well, he’s not back just yet, but he seems to have a fellow Republican in Missouri who wants to make it so that a woman would have to get permission from the sperm donor before getting an abortion. Insert epic facepalm right here, because it’s totally appropriate for this incredible amount of callousness and just plain being out of touch. Meet Rick Brattin, representing the 55th District in the Missouri state legislature. He’s like a younger Todd Akin with the looks of Captain America, and he’s keeping Missouri free for democracy – so long as you aren’t a woman trying to use the services provided by the one abortion clinic in the entire damn state.
Oh don’t worry, there’s an exception. You can get around that requirement if you are, wait for it – the victim of a “legitimate rape.” From Mother Jones:
A Missouri Republican is pushing a bill that would allow a man who gets a woman pregnant to stop her from having an abortion. The measure would force a woman who wants an abortion to obtain written permission from the father first—unless she was the victim of “legitimate rape.”
Rick Brattin, a state representative from outside Kansas City, filed the bill on December 3 for next year’s legislative session. The proposed measure reads, “No abortion shall be performed or induced unless and until the father of the unborn child provides written, notarized consent to the abortion.” (Source)
It gets even worse. So how do you prove that the event that led to your pregnancy was not consensual and you’re not some woman who’s just trying to defy the patriarchy and control your reproductive system against the wishes of the lord of the household? Again, don’t worry – Rick Brattin has that all figured out, sort of.
“I’m just saying if there was a legitimate rape, you’re going to make a police report, just as if you were robbed,” Brattin says. “That’s just common sense.” Under his bill, he adds, “you have to take steps to show that you were raped…And I’d think you’d be able to prove that.” The bill contains no provision establishing standards for claiming the rape or incest exceptions. It also doesn’t state any specific penalties for violating the law nor say whether a penalty would be imposed on the woman seeking the abortion or the abortion provider.
Missouri is home to only one abortion clinic, based in St. Louis. Each year, legislators target the clinic with dozens of new restrictions. In 2014, the GOP-controlled legislature approved a bill requiring women seeking an abortion to wait 72 hours between the initial consultation and the procedure. It’s the longest abortion waiting period in the county.
This isn’t the first brush with controversial legislation Rep. Rick Brattin has had, either. In 2013, he introduced HB 291, the “Missouri Standard Science Act” that would require college students receive equal class time on intelligent design as they would on the theory of evolution in science classes. That bill died a lonely death in the education committee, but it shows just how far right Rick Brattin and other Missouri Republicans are willing to go in order to cater to the radical, religious conservatives who keep sending them back to Jefferson City.
Sadly, with the poor turnout in the 2014 elections and the further solidifying of GOP power in state legislatures, we’re going to see more bills and more Rick Brattin wannabes. Maybe we should remember this guy the next time we think voting isn’t important, or someone repeats the old lie that “both parties are the same.”
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