Louise Mensch has spent the past week lambasting Assange through Twitter for what she perceives to be his evasion of rape charges. She feels so strongly about it that she thinks we should erase the status of Ecuador’s embassy and immediately put Assange on a plane. She has also simultaneously bashed George Galloway and Todd Akin for their crass comments about rape.
It might come as a surprise, then, to find that her support for Romney/Ryan in the US presidential election is apparently categorical:
@sunny_hundal check Romney/Ryan statement on exception—
Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) August 21, 2012
Hundal’s claim is correct: the GOP platform has a long-standing fundamentalist commitment to opposing abortion – and for once the word is apt – literally in all circumstances.
But Mensch is also right: in the post-Akin firestorm, the Romney/Ryan ticket has released a statement insisting that they would not seek to criminalise abortion in cases of rape. But anyone with an ounce of knowledge of either Romney or Ryan will know how deeply disingenuous it is to believe what they say on the basis of this one statement. For instance:
Venn diagram initially posted here. You get the picture. But to drill it home, here’s Romney on video opposing the very position he is now espousing. Maddow exposes the flip-flopping from about the 4.30 mark:
In a CNN Presidential debate, Romney said that he would be delighted to sign a bill into law banning all abortion, period. He also told Hucakbee he would ‘absolutely’ sign a constitutional amendment defining life as beginning at conception. That would make abortion, even in cases of rape, equivalent to murder. He has stressed this over and over.
How about Ryan? He co-sponsored federal bills which would define a fertilised egg as a person and codify the ‘forcible’ versus ‘non-forcible’ rape distinction that Todd Akin is being attacked for. Ryan now rejects that distinction as of this week.
So I wonder which is more likely to reflect Romney and Ryan’s true feelings: their repeated assertions, pledges and legislative actions in recent years, or their statement in the aftermath of the Akin furore. Apparently Mensch happily and pathetically pretends to believe the latter. She chooses to ignore the mountain of evidence that proves both Romney and Ryan are being dishonest in their recent condemnations of Akin’s abortion stance. She continues to fly the feminist flag by writing columns attacking men for not taking rape seriously, whilst backing two men that don’t.
I don’t know why she is doing this. Perhaps she identifies so strongly with their other policies – like their professed fiscal conservatism – that she believes it is worth putting up with their categorical pro-life stance because financial policy matters more. But if so, she should say that. Then people can judge whether that can be classed as genuine feminism.
Although Ryan’s anti-abortion credentials have gotten plenty of coverage since he was announced as Romney’s veep choice, the full extent of the measures he’s endorsed is breathtaking, and includes cosponsoring a measure that would allow hospitals to deny women access to an abortions even if their life is in immediate danger.
Shush. No-one tell Louise.