Despite denouncing Representative Todd Akin’s comments on rape and abortion, the Romney-Ryan-Roscoe Republican Party adopted the ‘Akin plank’ in their national platform. In line with Todd Akin and Roscoe Bartlett’s long held views on women’s health, the GOP wants to outlaw abortion for rape and incest victims.
Especially after former RNC Chair Michael Steele called the Akin plank “way outside … [the] mainstream of American thought,” Maryland voters have another question for Mr. Bartlett:
- Will you support the Akin plank in the GOP platform?
What matters to Maryland voters is not whether Roscoe Bartlett supports Todd Akin’s campaign, but whether he continues to support Akin’s extreme positions on women’s rights.
After having the facts of his record pointed out Roscoe Bartlett is on the attack. Rather than engage in a pointless back and forth there are two simple questions Bartlett should answer to let Maryland voters know where he stands on women’s issues:
Does Roscoe Bartlett believe abortion should be legal in the case or rape or incest?
What does Roscoe Bartlett believe the difference is between rape and “forcible rape”?
The only thing that needs repudiation is Roscoe Bartlett’s voting record on women’s issues.
Roscoe Bartlett and Todd Akin co-sponsored a bill to redefine rape that the Washington Post reported could exclude ‘statutory rape and attacks that occur because of drugs or verbal threats.’ Roscoe Bartlett and Todd Akin have repeatedly co-sponsored a bill that makes abortions illegal in the case of rape or incest. Congress Bartlett should either stand by his legislation or admit that he’s wrong.
The Sanctity of Life Act
This bill outlaws abortion in the case of rape or incest. It does this by defining a zygote as a full legal person thus making all abortions legally speaking murder. The most recent version is from Paul Broun but Bartlett has been voting on similar legislation for years.
- 2011 H.R. 212 Sponsor: Paul Broun Cosponsors: 65, including Roscoe Bartlett and Todd Akin
- 2009 H.R. 227 Sponsor: Paul Broun Cosponsors: 61, including Roscoe Bartlett and Todd Akin
- 2007 H.R. 4157 Sponsor: Paul Broun Cosponsors: 61, including Roscoe Bartlett and Todd Akin
No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act
H.R. 3 was introduced on 1/20/2011 to ban taxpayer funding for abortion. The GOP introduces such bills each session and always includes an exemption for rape and incest. The 2011 version was different.
Bartlett co-sponsored the bill on the date of Introduction, as did Akin (1/20/2011). The 9 page legislation included new language ‘‘(1) if the pregnancy occurred because the pregnant female was the subject of an act of forcible rape…”
The Washington Post wrote that:
A Republican bill seeking to permanently cut off federal funding for abortions has angered women’s groups that say it alters the definition of rape, permitting coverage for the procedure only in cases in which the rape is considered “forcible.”…
Under the proposed language, however, rape becomes “forcible rape.” Critics say the modifier could distinguish it from other kinds of sexual assault that are typically recognized as rape, including statutory rape and attacks that occur because of drugs or verbal threats.
Bartlett never commented on the legislation but after the uproar the GOP dropped the language.
Make no mistake: Romney has become the most extreme candidate on many issues most recently issues affecting women in this country.
Last week Mitt Romney said, he would “get rid of Planned Parenthood,” and Monday night he had no answer for a young Bradley University student who asked where 3 million women would get preventative care without Planned Parenthood. The truth is, that the three million people a year who rely on Planned Parenthood as their only affordable option for preventive health care would be left to fend for themselves. Including, the 23,000 residents that Planned Parenthood of Maryland provided services, such as cervical cancer screenings, breast exams, birth control and other critical care to in 2010.
In Romney’s ever-lengthening quest to appeal to the far right wing of the Republican Party, he has taken positions from women’s health care to our country’s well-being that are dangerous and out of step with most Americans
Mitt Romney and the House Republicans vision for the future isn’t a vision at all. Their commitment to the extreme will leave millions of seniors, women and the middle class completely and totally on their own.