Walsh (Republican): No Pregnancy Ever threatens a Mother’s Life (Young Turks Video)

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill, a conservative Republican, now argues that there is never an instance when an abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother.

In fact, 64,000 ectopic pregnancies occur each year in the US, which typically do require that the fetus be aborted or otherwise the mother would die. That is 640,000 or over half a million a decade.

The Young Turks at Current TV have video:

Walsh’s comments are in line with an increasing tendency in the Republican Party to substitute a fantasy world for the real one, and to prefer ideology over reality.

Senatorial candidate from Missouri for the Republicans, Todd Akin, has said that rapists cannot make women pregnant.

Walsh and Akin start with wanting an absolute ban on abortion, and reason back from that commitment to a world in which rape victims never get pregnant and and mothers’ lives are never threatened by a pregnancy.

Why a lie would salve their consciences I’ll never understand.

Obama’s lead among women over 20 is driven in part by anxieties over the Republican plan to ban abortion.

Posted in US politics | 21 Responses | Print |

21 Responses

  1. thank you for posting this, Dr. Cole. The right wing continues to take my breath away with their lies and fantasies.

    • Yes it is!! Women should be forced to die and well if mom dies most likely so will the unborn…so both will die because he doesn’t believe that there are any possibilities of a woman’s life being at danger. BUT it not all that important to take care of ones child once they are born!!! I mean the kid (slacker) should just go get a job or something!!!

  2. Walsh therefore does not believe in my actual life. My doctor actually had a talk with my husband out in the hall, telling him it might come to a decision as to which of us to save, and my husband wisely said of course it would be me.

    We both lived, but it was really, really close there.

  3. At the risk of raising what may be obvious, is it possible that under pressure a certain portion of a given population must naturally revert to a worldview of “fantasy”?

    The Taliban provides a simple, all-emcompassing worldview vaguely based on Islam. Right Wing/Orthodox Jews have a view of manifest destiny based on the fantasy history of Zion.

    On the one hand you may have a group of cynical sociopaths who recognize the levers for manipulating the poor, stupid and desperate. On the other hand, there is the simple tendency amongst people not under direct pressure to grasp at simple answers to find a sense of meaning, the lack of which would leave them so very, very empty.

  4. i don’t think many people consider ectopic pregnancies (where there is no chance of the baby surviving) in quite the same moral category as abortions. Medically, they may be about the same thing, but I imagine Walsh and his followers would simply not think of these as being in the same category.

  5. It’s not lying. It’s part of the Republican party’s brand image.

    For example, when selling an SUV, GM shows pictures of how tough and independent and exciting and powerful you will be in your new GM SUV, going offroad, pulling huge yachts up mountains and so on.

    The fact is, 95% of people who buy these SUVs never take them off the road. The truthful picture of their use of an SUV would show them driving over the same stretch of highway thousands of times as they commuted back and forth to work.

    Do SUV ads lie? No, it’s just advertising; it’s part of GM’s brand image.

    Similarly, these fanciful stories about raped women never getting pregnant or never requiring abortions to save their lives are not lies. To Americans, who are completely socialized as consumers, this is branded speech that provides them with comfort regarding their purchase – in this case, their “purchase” is their acceptance of the Republican party. It’s no more a lie than saying that if you put your overweight, sedentary, myopic body with lousy hand-eye coordination behind the wheel of a GM SUV, you will instantly become powerful and independent.

    • To state that “stories about raped women never getting pregnant or never requiring abortions to save lives are not lies,” but instead are a form of “branded speech,” is preposterous. They are clearly lies and can be proven as such with a mountain of medical evidence. This is far different from an ad depicting an SUV being driven off-road. There is no comparison between the two, and your attempt to conflate the two as both representing “branded speech” demonstrates an inability to distinguish between an outright falsehood and a misleading (at worst) ad campaign.

      • Bill, the other Bill (?!) may be saying that these lies are part of a larger meme or ideology of how Americans are supposed to live. Sure, the original purpose of TV ads was to sell a particular company’s product. But about 30 years ago a friend was telling me that studies showed, for instance, that McDonalds or Burger King ads did not primarily make people want to eat at McDonalds or Burger King, but instead to crave a hamburger. The sheer saturation of ads becomes a set of cultural imperatives. Thus all the car companies work together to convince Americans to buy vehicles they don’t need with features they can’t use. Perhaps they even collectively say that corporations are the source of all good, and that we must not criticize them. They are the pulpits teaching the religion of what Dick Cheney called the nonnegotiable American Way of Life.

        Patriarchy has been a part of that paradigm since the start, tied to the fantasy that the Covenant between the Hebrew patriarchs (justifying their treatment of family and servants as slaves) and Jehovah had been transferred to Protestants and rebooted as their America. Excessive and grotesque consumption tied to pioneer/cowboy fantasies is now celebrated as part of evangelical faith via the Prayer of Jabez and the “claiming” of goods by the righteous.

        The question is, which “commercials” in our relentless propaganda environment support this religion? You are saying the difference is that the SUV ad is not an outright lie, but once we claim everything that makes us feel good is protected religious speech, then we simply reject science and Walsh’s words become as valid as the SUV ad.

        • “but once we claim everything that makes us feel good is protected religious speech, then we simply reject science and Walsh’s words become as valid as the SUV ad.”

          No one is claiming that everything that makes us feel good is protected religious speech. Nevertheless, if some creationist states that the Earth is 9,000 years old because he takes the Bible literally, I support and protect his right to say it, although I disagree with it. That I support and protect his right to say it, however, in no way implies that I “reject science,” or that I think his words are as valid as an SUV ad. The creationist’s history of the Earth is a fraud; the SUV ad is (at worst) misleading. Big difference.

  6. Congressional Right-Wingers are clearly living in an alternative universe. Just last month Georgia Republican Congressman Paul Broun spoke before an audience and stated that evolution, embryology, and the Big Bang theory were lies spread by scientists out to erode people’s faith in Jesus Christ. He also claimed the Earth is roughly 9,000 years old.

    Apparently there is no depth in the well of ignorance at which these troglodytes are not willing to descend.

    • The problem with the total-number statistics at your blog link is that whites outnumber blacks 5 to 1. Therefore, the abortion rate is still much higher among black women than whites.

      However, even this higher rate has not prevented the black population from growing such that the ratio of whites to blacks has substantially declined. The Hispanic proportion is growing much faster. You are correct that it is in the interest of white conservatives to eliminate abortions among white women to preserve their voting base. One Red state after another will become minority-white before the nation as a while does around 2050.

      But they dare not publicly state that they only want minorities to have abortions. They rely on churches that have to crusade against all abortions. This is why the Right is moving to the next phase. For the first time, Protestant conservatives are following Catholics in attacking the existence of contraception. Likely, abortion rates among whites are lower precisely because they had contraception available. Meanwhile, the white women whose behavior can be altered, the ones in churches, are now proclaiming a new movement called “Quiverful” (I’m not making this up) which demands that Good Christians (almost all white by their definition) have massive numbers of babies to overwhelm the evil global Islamic horde. I.E., children are arrows, mere weapons, and women’s wombs are arsenals for a holy war. Of course, the only modern conflicts where troop ratios are really salient are elections, so this is not really about Moslems at all.

      Sarah Palin is in fact a practicing Quiverful member.

  7. “an increasing tendency in the Republican Party to substitute a fantasy world for the real one, and to prefer ideology over reality.”

    lol, this has always been the Republican party’s operating system. it is called Faith Based Reality. I can hardly think of a time when the Republicans ever used a “real” world line of propaganda, period. Starting with “Trickle Down” for most of us here. Fantasy is the ony way to keep the base “energized”. lol nothing has changed on the Republican side for many, many years.

    to say now it is “an increasing tendency” is to be quite “liberal” about years of Republican “lies.”

    • No, no. I’ve studied history. There was a period when the Republican Party preferred reality to ideology.

      The last President to be fully part of that period was Dwight D. Eisenhower. There was still a trace of it in the 1960s and 1970s: Nixon occasionally had his lucid moments, when he wasn’t completely paranoid, and declared “We are all Keynesians now”, signed the Clean Air Act, opened diplomatic relations with China, etc.

      Of course the Republican Party has been 100% fantasy since Ronald Reagan, so that’s 32 years now. The time of sane Republicans was a very long time ago — ancient history.

  8. Here’s another fact to throw in the mix:

    link to cnn.com

    (CNN) — The mother of a pregnant leukemia patient who died after her chemotherapy was delayed over anti- abortion laws is accusing doctors of not putting her daughter’s health first.

    The 16-year-old’s plight attracted worldwide attention after she had to wait for chemotherapy because of an abortion ban in the Dominican Republic.

    Doctors were hesitant to give her chemotherapy because such treatment could terminate the pregnancy — a violation of the Dominican Constitution, which bans abortion. Some 20 days after she was admitted to the hospital, she finally started receiving treatment.

    She died Friday, a hospital official said.

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