Monday, September 20, 2010

I Thought This Was A Spoof

"This" being the Iowa Republican Party Platform which states, among other things, that the Iowa Republicans want to abolish the minimum wage, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

You want to read through the whole platform. Perhaps then you can see why I couldn't quite believe that it's the actual platform of an American political party in 2010.

Here are the bits which directly apply to women in the platform:

We affirm that the unborn child is a living human being, with rights separate from those of its mother regardless of gestational age or dependency. We believe abortion should be illegal.

We support a "Woman's Right to Know Law" requiring informed consent including a three day waiting period with a mandatory ultrasound before any elective abortion services may be provided. "Informed Consent" means that abortion providers must offer, prior to the abortion, complete factual information to the pregnant woman about the complications of abortion, the biological development of the unborn, fetal pain and the availability of alternatives to abortion.

We support legislation requiring consent by a parent or legal guardian before a minor child receives any medically related procedure. The Parental Consent Law should require proof of identity of the parent in order to protect children from continued abuse by sexual predators who pretend to be the parent taking their child for an abortion.

We call for banning partial birth abortions both at the federal and state levels.

We call for facilities performing medical or chemical abortions to be subject to the same health and safety standards as hospitals.

We believe in "conscience clause" legislation so that no physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider can be penalized for refusing to prescribe, dispense, or participate in the procurement of abortion or anything contrary to the conscience of the healthcare provider.

We call for confidential statistical reporting of abortion procedures to be reported to the State Health Department by all doctors and health facilities performing abortions.

We believe the father of a child, born or unborn, has the same rights and responsibilities as the mother in all matters regarding the child, except in the case of rape or incest.

Note that abortion should be illegal. No exceptions, not even in the case of danger to the pregnant woman's life.

The last sentence in the above quote is a truly troublesome one, because it argues that a man should have the same rights and responsibilities to a fetus as the woman who is carrying it. It completely ignores the great difference here: The fetus is inside her body, not his, and the health risks are hers, not his. By arguing that he has the same rights to the fetus the platform also argues that he has rights over her body during the time of pregnancy.

These are not the only parts of the platform which affect women's lives. The platform is also opposed to federal or state-run health care and anything else that would make having a family easier, and it is extremely opposed to gays and lesbians having any rights whatsoever.

I guess reading platforms like this one reminds me that the Republican and Democratic Parties are not the Tweedledum and Tweedledee they sometimes seem to be but more like Savonarola and Mr. Milquetoast.