To laugh or cry? Sometimes, that is the question.

This week, for example, Oklahoma Republican State Sen. Ralph Shortey is pushing a bill to ban the use of aborted human fetuses in food. Not that this is an actual problem, mind you; even Sen. Shortey's "research" did not turn up any "examples" of this being a "problem." But hey, just in case it ever does become a problem, he's preemptively putting a stop to it because apparently, Oklahoma has already solved all of its existing problems and now has the time to invent hypothetical problems to address.

You have to laugh, right? Because the notion of Oklahomans inadvertently enjoying deep fried fetus on a stick is so absurd that the only appropriate response is outright mockery and laughter. Exhibit A: Gawker contacted a number of food manufacturers to find out whether aborted fetus is in fact a commonly used ingredient. If you enjoy the occasional Big Mac, you'll be happy to know that according to Ashlee Yingling, media relations spokesperson for McDonalds, "The answer is no. McDonald's does not use aborted human fetuses in its food." Whew!

But then, via Think Progress, there's this not-quite-so-laughable proposal from North Carolina Republican Rep. Larry Pittman, in an email to every member of the state's General Assembly:

We need to make the death penalty a real deterrent again by actually carrying it out. [...] If murderers (and I would include abortionists, rapists, and kidnappers, as well) are actually executed, it will at least have the deterrent effect upon them. For my money, we should go back to public hangings, which would be more of a deterrent to others, as well.

Yeah! Let's string up doctors and hang them in the public square to deter them from practicing medicine. That'll learn 'em!

Rep. Pittman later admitted that he "got a bit carried away" and regretted sending the email. Not because hanging doctors is a bad idea, you see, but because he'd intended to send the email to his buddy instead of the whole House, but, being tired, he accidentally hit "Reply all." Because, on the long List Of Things At Which Republicans Suck, "using technology" ranks near the top.

You might be able to dismiss one ill-advised email from a random state legislator if that's all it was. But it's not. "Pro-lifers" have long advocated for the killing of abortion providers because—and brace yourselves, because this might shock you—they don't actually care about life.

In 2004, for example, "pro-life" Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma said, "I favor the death penalty for abortionists." Very "pro-life" of him, no?

Last year, legislators in South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa took this idea to the next logical step: legalizing the murder "justifiable homicide" of abortion providers. That didn't go over too well, when the national collective response was something along the lines of, Are you fucking kidding us? So those bills have been shelved—for now.

So do you laugh or cry at the absurdity of people who claim to care oh-so-much about the "sanctity of life," lecturing us that all life is sacred while advocating killing people? For me, it's a coin toss.

And then there was this laugh-or-cry moment from Rick "Don't Google Me" Santorum, whose entire reason for being is to hate women, gays, black "blah" people, brown people, college-educated people, sex and Dan Savage. In this interview, Santorum was bestowing his fatherly advice to rape victims who are impregnated by their rapists:

As horrible as the way that that son or daughter and son was created, it still is her child. [...] I believe and I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created -- in the sense of rape -- but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you.

As you know, we have to, in lots of different aspects of our life. We have horrible things happen. I can't think of anything more horrible. But, nevertheless, we have to make the best out of a bad situation.

It's not like this is a new argument either. The menfolk have been offering their advice to us poor little ladies with our feeble little lady brains on all sorts of matters, including how we should feel about rape. Like notorious college basketball coach Bobby Knight advising that "if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it." Or former John McCain fundraiser Clayton Williams, who compared rape to the weather and, stealing a line from Coach Knight, advised women to "lie back and enjoy it."

Specifically advising women who are impregnated by their rapists to make lemonade out of lemons isn't new either; the "Conceived in Rape" tour last summer featured the children of rape victims who insisted that because their mothers did not abort them, no rape victim should be allowed to terminate her pregnancy.

Do you laugh or cry at Santorum's claim that "we" should just "make the best out of a bad situation"? Only a real sourpuss thinks about the downside of being raped instead of turning that frown upside down and joyfully proclaiming, "But hey, I get a baby out of the whole deal! Hooray! Thanks, God!"

I don't know how to reason with people whose response to rape is, "But on the plus side ... " Should we even bother? Maybe instead of crying, we should just lie back and relax and enjoy it and laugh it off and have a bowl of cream of fetus while we still have the chance.

More reasons to laugh and/or cry below the fold.

  • Well, whaddya know? Looks like Americans are practicing safer sex. Good on us.
  • But we need to do a much better job when it comes to real, comprehensive, science-based sex education. Because this is just pathetic:
    A study out last week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that half of teens who experienced an unintended pregnancy were not using birth control even though they did not want to get pregnant. [...]

    When pressed for why they were not using contraception if they didn’t want to become pregnant, 13 percent said they had trouble accessing it and 31.3 percent said they did not believe they could get pregnant at the time.

  • Florida forced birthers are getting mighty ambitious about their anti-women legislation:
    Florida state Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, has put three anti-abortion bills on the state legislature’s calendar for Tuesday. [...]

    One of the bill’s set to be heard tomorrow is state Rep. Daniel Davis’ “fetal pain” bill, which would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks. [...]

    Also on the calendar for tomorrow is a controversial bill that would outlaw race- and sex-based abortions. The bill, the “Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity for Life Act,” would make it a crime to have an abortion “that it is sought based on sex or race of child or race of parent of that child.” [...]

    The House health committee will also debate a bill that women’s health advocates are calling an “omnibus anti-choice bill” — because it contains several measures that would present barriers to legal abortion in the state.

    So far, about nine anti-reproductive rights bills have been introduced in the state Legislature.

    Nine bills already. And it's only January.

  • Well, this is an interesting defense to participating in a gang rape with the "Slut Them Bitches" gang: I raped that 11-year-old girl to prove I'm not gay. Okay, dude, you're not gay, you're just a rapist. And that's somehow better because ... ?
  • Hey, boys and girls, it's once again time to play Blame the Feminists!
    What kind of man sneaks away under cover of darkness from his own sinking ship, leaving nearly 4200 passengers and crew to fend for themselves? What kind men knock aside old ladies, little girls and young mothers to get to lifeboats first? Why, modern men, sexually emancipated men who have been raised on the tenets of feminism and our “contemporary” mores. [...]

    The Costa Concordia disaster brought into the limelight the effects on men of feminism, and her strumpet daughter, the Sexual Revolution. Feminism has killed the cultural priority of men protecting and being responsible for women. [...]

    By telling women they don’t need men, by demonizing the value of masculinity, feminism has at the same time told men that they never need to grow up. If feminism has told women they can sleep around “like men,” it must be remembered that this implies that men may do the same right back. Instead of insisting that men grow up, marry a woman and protect and care for their children, it has offered men women as toys while offering women the Pill, abortion and family court as the back-up plan.

  • Incorporate your womb.
  • Remember the "pro-life" terrorist who tried to burn down a women's health clinic in Florida on New Year's Day because "he was pushed to action after he saw a young woman enter the clinic for an abortion while he was standing outside the clinic with a group of protesters recently"? His lawyers are arguing that he's not one of those typical "pro-life" terrorist dickheads; he's a paranoid schizophrenia with post-traumatic stress disorder who "may not be mentally competent."
  • To commemorate the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Fox gasbag and legal analyst Andrew Napolitano tells us that abortion is just like the Holocaust. And slavery. Like we haven't hear that before.
  • You know what's more dangerous than abortion? Child birth:
    Researchers found that women were about 14 times more likely to die during or after giving birth to a live baby than to die from complications of an abortion.

    Experts say the findings, though not unexpected, contradict some state laws that suggest abortions are high-risk procedures.

    Just keep that in mind the next time you hear about yet another anti-woman law requiring doctors to warn women about the "risks" of abortion so that women will be "informed."

  • Is $50,000 enough to compensate a woman for robbing her of her right to be a mother?
    A governor's task force voted Tuesday to recommend paying $50,000 each to survivors who were sterilized under North Carolina's eugenics program.

    The legislature will have to approve any payments. If that happens, North Carolina will be the first state to compensate victims of programs that sterilized tens of thousands of poor, sick and mentally challenged people across the country.

  • File this under "Not Breaking":
    Low-income communities have the highest teen pregnancy rates in the U.S., yet emergency contraception may be hardest for girls in those areas to get their hands on, according to a new study.

    Holy cow! So, health care (like, well, pretty much everything else) is less accessible to low-income people than not-low-income people? Ya don't say.

  • Laws to protect domestic violence victims are so last century.
  • Have you been watching the new TV show Once Upon a Time? Alyssa Rosenberg discusses why it's a kick-ass feminist show.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 04:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Abortion and Pro Choice.

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