Just when the Republicans thought they were getting over the stupid remarks of Republic Todd Akin (Missouri), who claimed that a woman couldn’t get pregnant from a “legimate rape” because her body would somehow prevent it, now another Republican has put his foot in it. This time it’s one of Illinois’ own, Congressman Joe Walsh, who’s facing stiff opposition from Democrat Tammy Duckworth. As the Chicago Tribune reports:
At a televised debate with opponent Tammy Duckworth, Republican Walsh declared that abortion should be outlawed in all circumstances, including to save the life of the mother.
But it was his comments to reporters after the event at WTTW Channel 11 that sparked the most attention. Walsh said that medical advances had rendered it unnecessary to ever perform an abortion to save a mother’s life.
“With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance,” Walsh declared.
Asked then if he was saying it was never medically necessary to perform an abortion to save the life of a mother, Walsh responded: “Absolutely, yes.”
He did not elaborate on how he came to that conclusion.
You can see the video of Walsh’s statements at HuffPo here. The statement that a fetus or fertilized can kill a woman if not removed is, of course, something that’s simply true. Ectopic pregnancy is the most common, I think, but there are others. As HuffPo notes:
There could be several medical reasons for a woman to need to terminate her pregnancy in order to protect her life or health, but the most common is an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies, or pregnancies that occur outside the uterus, are a life-threatening condition that occur in one in every 40 to one in every 100 pregnancies, according to the National Institutes of Health. The developing fetus must be removed in those cases in order to save the mother.
Fortunately, Walsh has been corrected (and should apologize). Dawn Laguens, executive Vice-President of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, issued a strong response:
“Joe Walsh’s ignorance about women’s health is alarming. It is deeply troubling that he and some politicians have such a fundamental disregard for women and women’s health. As the advocate for Planned Parenthood health centers, we know that ending a pregnancy can often be a very complex, personal decision and that there are absolutely times that a woman’s life depends on it,” the statement reads.
“If Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are elected, these ignorant statements will be more than words — they would become law. Joe Walsh and the Tea Party Congress are ready to completely ban abortion, and Mitt Romney has said that he ‘would be delighted’ to sign an abortion ban into law. The Romney/Ryan ticket has promised that they would put women’s personal medical decisions in the hands of politicians like Joe Walsh and Todd Akin.”
What do these Republicans have against women? Whatever it is, religion is playing a big role.