Top Links: GOP’s ‘vote to nowhere’ on abortion more a ‘vote of confidence’ in its 2012 plank

Updated
Rep. Trent Frank, R-Arizona, authored the House GOP's 20-week abortion bill.
Rep. Trent Frank, R-Arizona, authored the House GOP's 20-week abortion bill.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Top story: Conservatives on Tuesday declared victory on abortion — well, sort of.

  • The abortion bill passed largely along party lines, 228 to 196. (Mother Jones)
  • And while House Republicans like to frame it as victory, the only meaningful thing the bill did was introduce us to the next Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock: Rep. Michael Burgess, he of the masturbating fetuses.
  • Still, this is an abortion vote after a disastrous 2012 campaign season where the RNC’s own report found the party to be “scary” and “out of touch” — in no small part to Misters Akin and Mourdock. (Politico)
  • So what’s the best response to that? Double-down on the party’s fight against rape/incest exceptions. (Mother Jones)
  • The original bill had none — and Republicans only begrudgingly added one after the bill’s author opined on the rarity of pregnancies resulting from rape. (Tuscon Sentinel)
  • And yet the last-minute rape/incest provision is still insulting because it allows an exemption from the 20-week rule “ if the rape or incest has been reported at any time prior to the abortion to appropriate enforcement authorities.” (House of Rep. Cmte on Rules)
  • In other words, after 20 weeks, the first person you need to see for an abortion isn’t a doctor: It’s a local police officer. (And here I was thinking Republicans hated red tape.) (The Washington Post)
  • Here’s the catch: Statistics show that while incidents of rape are declining – so, too, are the percentage of reports to police, to 35% in 2010 from 56% in 2003. (Dept. of Justice)
  • And just so we’re clear, the rate of pregnancy — consensual or no — is about the same. (Fact Checker)
  • This vote, then, was a “vote of confidence” by Republicans in its pre-2012 abortion plank. (Rep. Trent Franks)
  • Take, for instance, conservative Rep. Phil Broun, R-Georgia. He voted against the bill. But not why you think. He’s eyeing a Senate bid in 2014 and voted against the bill because it included the rape/incest provision. Why? Well, what more absolutist way to secure the Georgia Right to Life endorsement? (Jim Galloway)
  • It’s not that Republicans are wrong to think that most Americans believe some restrictions are appropriate. Most polls show that while a quarter believe it should be legal under all circumstances, just over half believe it should be legal under certain circumstances. (Gallup)
  • Still, if all Republicans believe like this GOP congressman — that “there’s been a misleading thought as to what happened after the last election cycle” or that (to change the subject) “most Americans do not support amnesty, especially without securing the borders” — then the party is doomed to more “votes of confidence.” (The Associated Press)

Top Links: GOP’s ‘vote to nowhere’ on abortion more a ‘vote of confidence’ in its 2012 plank

Updated