‘Rachel Maddow’ Examines GOP Candidates’ ‘Extreme’ Antiabortion Positions

Aug 10th, 2010 | By healthnews | Category: Health

Main Category: Abortion
Article Date: 10 Aug 2010 – 5:00 PDT

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MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” recently examined the increasingly “extreme” antiabortion-rights positions of Republican Senate candidates, a topic Maddow calls a “sleeper issue” in this year’s campaigns. According to Maddow, Nevada candidate Sharron Angle, Kentucky candidate Rand Paul and Colorado candidate Ken Buck have said abortion should not even be allowed in cases of rape and incest. Paul and Buck have said they would consider exceptions if the woman’s life is in danger.

The candidates’ position was “beyond the pale even in fringe antiabortion politics not very many years ago,” Maddow said. She added that the candidates are campaigning “as small government conservatives,” but “all maintain that government should be big enough that it should monitor every single pregnancy in the country to ensure that every single woman who becomes pregnant is forced by the government to carry that pregnancy to term.”

The segment also included a discussion with Melissa Harris-Lacewell, a Princeton University professor and columnist for The Nation, who said that “every time we move more aggressively against women’s reproductive rights, the more we will see the consequences show up in everything from health care policy to … potentially actually moving towards reducing the opportunities for women to … find healthy, safe termination services.” When asked by Maddow why Democrats “have been gun-shy” about discussing the positions of some candidates, Harris-Lacewell said that “it’s very important to take those who have a religious and moral objection to abortion very seriously when they say that they believe that a pregnancy termination is murder.”

In addition, Democrats “just haven’t done a very good job about redefining ethical questions and normative questions from a progressive agenda perspective,” Harris-Lacewell said. She added that Democrats “continue to kind of cede this ground to conservatives. It’s still more of the same work we’ve been needing to do for a decade” (Maddow, “The Rachel Maddow Show,” MSNBC, 8/5).

Reprinted with kind permission from http://www.nationalpartnership.org. You can view the entire Daily Women’s Health Policy Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery here. The Daily Women’s Health Policy Report is a free service of the National Partnership for Women & Families.

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