The Ryan-Akin bill: The end of IVF


When being raped, just tighten up that uterus. That way, you won’t need an abortion because scientifically, there’s no way you can get pregnant. That’s what the ultra-conservatives want you to believe. When representative Todd Akin was being interviewed by a St. Louis television station he told them this:

It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

And by the way, this genius serves on the House Science Committee. Akin offered up an apology but the president of the Missouri branch of the National Organization for Women, Jamie Tomek, told the New York Times that she was not surprised at all by the statement. “He is very far right and very likely to make those types of statements,” she told the Times.

Even though Paul Ryan (the VP candidate) and Romney are distancing themselves from Todd Akin, don’t be fooled into thinking that Akin is that much of an outlier of the Republican party. Romney and Ryan are only distancing themselves to get elected. Ryan and Akin and have co-sponsored a bill called the Ryan-Akin anti-abortion bill.

There are two startling possibilities about this bill raised by Dem Rep. Louise Slaughter, one of the leading pro-choice voices in Congress. Could a rapist who impregnated a victim sue that victim if she decided not to carry that baby and to have an abortion? Could in-vitro fertilization be outlawed?

It’s unclear how this legislation would work. The bill affirms that from the moment of fertilization onward, “every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.” It then says that Congress and the states have the “authority” to protect all human beings — again, defined as human life from fertilization onward — residing in their jurisdictions.

Slaughter’s suggestion is that this affirms the authority of Congress or the states to pass laws outlawing IVF, since that procedure requires the destruction of embryos, or that it could give legal weight to a rapist’s insistence that his victim not abort her baby — though again, it’s unclear how this would work.

“What it says is that a single cell can achieve all the protections the Constitution of the United States bestows on persons,” Slaughter said of the bill. “Scientifically the law is crazy.”

As a woman, this is the scariest bill I have ever seen. Whether you like him or not, President Obama summarized it nicely:

Akin’s comments point to the GOP’s broader record on women’s health, noting that they underscore why we shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women.

We cannot allow conservatives to control our bodies along with women’s health issues. Can you imagine a world without IVF? Without any type of fertility treatments? How many of your friends, how many of YOU, became pregnant only through fertility treatments and/or IVF? What a shame it would be for so many of you/us to be childless.

Come November, we cannot vote based on what our husbands, our neighbors, or our clergy tells us to do. You own your body and it’s about time we stood up as unified women and told Washington to piss off!! Have you taken a good look at the group that is making decisions for you and your body? I know I’m not voting GOP. I own my body. How about you?

Still Rockin’ It
Scarlet Mom

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About the author
I am a single mom & author. I write about dating, sexuality, health, parenting, and trying to have it all. My new book, "Evolve or Die Single," is a must-read for single men & even has some sizzling tips for couples.

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