Anti-Abortion Group to Lawmakers: Please, Let’s Talk About Rape!
Comments about “legitimate” rapes and pregnancies that “God intended” got several GOP politicians in trouble last year, and cost the party at least two seats in the Senate. But now one of the country’s most extreme anti-abortion groups is encouraging Republican politicians to keep talking about rape. Personhood USA—the group behind efforts to grant fertilized eggs the same rights as adult humans—announced last week that it is launching a new campaign to push lawmakers to strip rape exceptions from federal abortion laws.
Although abortion has long been a fraught issue in American politics, many anti-choice politicians have felt compelled—either out of personal belief or because of public pressure—to allow for narrow exceptions to all-out bans on abortion in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at risk. Federal policy has, for the most part, aligned with those exceptions. The Hyde Amendment, the legislation that governs much of the federal government’s relationship with abortion providers, forbids federal funding for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, and where the life of the mother is endangered. But Personhood USA’s new “Save the 1” campaign wants to eliminate those exceptions, and eventually make all abortions—even for rape victims—illegal.