Bill Napoli: The Reason Why I Blog

Go watch this astounding video at Crooks and Liars in which South Dakota Republican state senator Bill Napoli defends the bill that bans abortions in South Dakota and makes no provision for cases of rape, incest, or the mother’s health (only unless her life is in the balance).

As part of his defense of not including a provision for cases of rape, saying that genuinely traumatic rapes would be covered in the “threatening the mother’s life” provision, he reveals not only his contempt for a woman’s autonomy over her own body, but also his stunning vision of what really constitutes a life-altering rape:

A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.
In Napoli’s view of the world, an atheist who’s had premarital sex (perhaps because she never intends to marry), and doesn’t show up at the ER bleeding out her ass and threatening to slit her wrists, isn’t the kind of rape victim whose life would be forever changed by being forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. Only a virtuous girl who would have waited until marriage has a life trajectory upon which birthing your rapist’s spawn is a sufficient derailment to warrant an abortion. Lesbians, atheists, heck even you born-again virgins who have taken a renewed vow of abstinence until marriage, women who have the temerity to not consider a date rape just another name for what you’re obliged to deliver after a guy pays for your steak (consent conschment)—don’t bother appealing to Mr. Napoli’s conscience. He doesn’t have any room in his heart for you, girls.

Everything wrong with our societal views on rape and abortion summed up in one ridiculously stupid statement by one ridiculously stupid man. A man whose state also endorses a pharmacist’s right to refuse to fill birth control prescriptions, making unwanted pregnancies that much more likely. A man who thinks that a “return to traditional values” is the answer.

When I was growing up, here in the wild west, if a young man got a girl pregnant out of wedlock, they got married and the whole darn neighborhood was involved in that wedding. I mean, you just didn’t allow that sort of thing to happen, you know; I mean, they wanted that child to be brought up in a home with two parents, you know, that whole story. And so I happen to believe that can happen again… I don’t think we’re so far beyond that that we can’t go back to that.
What a brilliant mind. Let’s return to a time when an unwanted pregnancy was not something which can be safely and quickly terminated, but instead an unshakable albatross which extinguishes the potential of two people—both the mother and the father—by forcing them to sacrifice their lives for the sake of a mistake.

Out of curiosity, I wonder, what happened there “in the wild west” when a girl was impregnated by a married man, or her father, or a rapist? Is that when they’d form the posse and head out for a lynchin’? Yeah, let’s go back to that time. It sounds fantastic for everyone—especially for the child brought into the world to be raised by a village neighborhood that relies on a mob mentality to ensure conformity while bragging about its independent spirit on the frontier.

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