While the rest of the Republican party was busy putting as much distance as possible between themselves Todd Akin, the Missouri GOP candidate that said if women were not making up the rape their bodies would "shut down" the pregnancy, Montana Republicans lined up to express their support for his views.
Former Congressman Rick Hill was the first to stand with Todd Akin. Hill, who clearly has a woman problem, came out yesterday in support of Akin's position on forcing rape victims to carry their rapists' pregnancies to term. Hill supports it.
As Julianna Crowley, the political leader of the pro-choice movement in Montana, pointed out, Congressman Rick Hill has a frightening record.
“Former Congressman Rick Hill’s extreme anti-choice record shows just how serious a threat it would be for the women of Montana if he was elected Governor,” Crowley said. “He has cast 57 votes on reproductive rights while in Congress receiving a zero percent voting record from NARAL Pro-Choice America in1998, 1999 and 2000 and a 3% in 1997. Hill co-sponsored the “Right to Life Act” of 1997 and 1999, both of which gave personhood status to a fetus, defining life at the moment of fertilization and, if passed and enacted into law, would have ended legal abortion and ban several of the most common forms of birth control. Montanans have rejected to qualify a similar personhood measure for our ballot three years in a row. The Hill ticket is too dangerous for Montana women’s health and too extreme to represent this state.”In a press release, the NARAL Pro-Choice Montana Director points out that Hill’s anti-choice record also includes these gems:
*Voting to reclassify some of the safest and most commonly used contraceptive drugs and devices as “abortifacients” for purposes of excluding them from coverage under federal employee health benefits plans.Hill's anti-woman views don't end with his shocking NARAL voting record. Hill has publicly stated that he supports repealing Montana’s law prohibiting insurance company discrimination against women. In Montana, insurance plans must cover women's health care needs like birth control, mammograms, and maternity care--just like they cover mens. If Hill had his way, insurance rates for women will dramatically increase. (Hill has made no objection to the fact that insurance companies routinely cover Viagra and male pattern baldness drugs.)
*Repeatedly voting to deny women in the military – who defend our freedom overseas – and dependents the right to use their own, private funds for abortion care at military hospitals.
*Repeatedly voting against international family-planning programs.
*Publicly stating that he opposes abortion even in cases of rape or incest.
Even Congressman Dennis Rehberg who totally missed the point of why Rep. Akin's comments about "legitimate rape," were repulsive, at least made a futile attempt to address the controversy.
Republican Attorney General Candidate Tim Fox on the other hand has spent his political career dodging the issue all together.
In a Yellowstone Public Radio interview from 2008, Fox was asked by a caller whether he opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest. In one of the most remarkable acts of dodging a question ever, Fox said that it was important for candidate to be clear on their stances on issues such as this, right before avoiding the question all together.
Here's a transcript of the exchange:
Host: Carl’s on the line and I understand he wants to talk about abortion. Hello, Carl?
CALLER: Hello, Mr. Fox, I heard you say that you are 100% pro-life. Does that mean that you are opposed to abortion even in cases of rape and incest?
Tim Fox: You know I have made it clear on the campaign trail that I am…ah…pro-life and I believe that life begins at conception and I think it’s important for candidates to be clear on their stances on those kind of issues of the day. But I also think it’s important to know and understand that the Attorney General doesn’t make law, the Attorney General enforces law. And certainly whenever the legislature for instance enacts a new law whether it leans one way or the other on, say, the abortion issue the Attorney General is charged with the responsibility of enforcing that law and defending that law and I would do that as Attorney General, irrespective of my values or political philosophies.
So, I, think this is an important issue to Montanans, and that’s why I’ve made sure that people know where I stand ad certainly we need to make sure that the dialogue continues in Montana on this issue and I would certainly be a part of that.
The GOP's cowardly lion, Steve Daines, is taking the extreme position but seems to be hoping to hide it. His spokesman told Montanans that Daines "disagreed" with the remarks. At the same time Daines reinforced his agreement with the policy, saying he "opposed to abortion in all cases except when the life of the mother is at risk." In other words, he is in support of making rape victims keep the rape-induced pregnancy. Daines is still accepting cash from groups that are standing with Akin.
Also of note, today the Republican National Committee's platform committee firmly stated their support of Rep. Akin when they tentatively put in their platform language against abortion, even in the case of rape or incest.
X-posted at the Cowgirl Blog.