Rick Brattin, Asshole of the Day for December 17, 2014
by TeaPartyCat ()
Republicans clutch the pearls and cry foul every time someone suggests there is a war on women. But, if they are so in tune with the needs of women, why is there a neverending parade of Republicans who say awful things about rape and are always trying to limit women’s access to abortion and contraception?
Today’s episode of Republicans being assholes about rape and abortion comes from Missouri, where State Rep. Rick Brattin thinks men ought to get a say in whether women can get abortions:
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.”
The bill contains exceptions for women who become pregnant as the result of rape or incest—but there are caveats.
“Just like any rape, you have to report it, and you have to prove it,” Brattin tells Mother Jones. “So you couldn’t just go and say, ‘Oh yeah, I was raped’ and get an abortion. It has to be a legitimate rape.”
Brattin adds that he is not using the term “legitimate rape” in the same way as former Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), who famously claimed that women couldn’t get pregnant from a “legitimate rape” because “the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”
“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.
Yes, he really does say “legitimate rape”. It would seem that once you’re explaining what you mean by “legitimate rape”, maybe you should reconsider your argument, but not for him. He just keeps on going.
Now there are two objectionable things here– the consent of the father, and his views on rape– so let’s take them one at a time.
Legitimate Rape. He asserts that if it really is a rape, you have to be able to prove it. This assumes that if you can’t prove it, it isn’t legitimately a rape. But when there only witnesses are the rapist and the rape victim, proof isn’t going to be perfect every time. Yes, there is some physical evidence, but what if it isn’t conclusive or there isn’t enough of it? Then, according to this asshole, it’s not legitimate. The legal standard of proof is such that we err on the side of the presumption of innocence. But his standard here will be to err on the side of not believing there was a rape. And the clock is ticking on getting this abortion, so if you can’t prove it fast enough, you’re still stuck with the rapist’s baby!
Consent of the Father. I suppose it sounds nice to say that men should get a say in whether the baby comes to term, but it’s a false fairness. Women don’t get an option in whether they or the man carries the baby to term, so giving the man more say in what happens without giving the woman more options is just one more burden on her. But I suspect that Brattin really doesn’t care about the woman. He wants to outlaw abortions, and if he can’t, then harassing women will do for now.
So, for giving women more burdens without giving them more options, along with his lack of empathy for rape victims, Rep. Rick Brattin is the Asshole of the Day.
It is Rick Brattin’s first time as Asshole of the Day.
Full story: Mother Jones