On December 3, a new pro-life bill was filed in the Missouri legislature by pro-life Representative Rick Brattin.
The bill states, “’No abortion shall be performed or induced unless and until the father of the unborn child provides written, notarized consent to the abortion, except in cases in which the woman upon whom the abortion is to be performed or induced was the victim of rape or incest and the pregnancy resulted from the rape or incest. If the father of the unborn child is deceased, the woman upon whom the abortion is to be performed or induced shall sign a notarized affidavit attesting to the fact.”
According to the Daily Mail, Rep. Brattin started considering the bill after he went in for a vasectomy and had to obtain a written consent from his wife. He and his wife, Athena, have five children together. The representative said he hopes the bill prevents women from using abortions as a form of contraception, and that he has motivated in part by male friends whose partners had abortions without telling them first.
After Rep. Brattin filed the legislation, pro-abortion legislators commented on the bill. The Executive Director of the Progressive Advocacy Group, Sean Nicholson, said the legislation will hurt women and is primarily aimed at drumming up support and fundraising. Nicholson also said that some woman may be unable to contact the man who impregnated her. Another pro-abortion legislator, Senator Claire McCaskill, added, “This is just a back-door way to eliminate any rape exception, unless the survivor gets a permission slip from her rapist.” Then she said the bill was “offensive and absurd.”
Although the bill does have rape and incest exceptions, Rep. Brattin made some controversial comments about rape and abortion. He told Mother Jones that women will have to report the rape and that they will have to prove it. He said, “You couldn’t just go and say, ‘Oh yeah, I was raped,’ and get an abortion. It has to be a legitimate rape.”
But unfortunately, Brattin’s comments didn’t sit too well with the media and led to comparisons to former pro-life Congressman Todd Akin’s comments in 2012. The lawmaker was attacked after saying women’s bodies have ways of not becoming pregnant from what he called ‘legitimate rape.’ Later, Rep. Brattin defended his comments saying that, “What I was trying to explain is whatever is considered by statute to be a rape should apply in this. I’m not going Akin here and trying to redefine what it is and all that kind of garbage.”
In 2012, Rebecca Kiessling, a pro-life advocate who was conceived in rape, said lawmakers should be very careful how they articulate and address the sensitive topic of rape. She said “First of all — never say ‘legitimate rape.’ This kind of remark only serves to perpetuate the suspicion of rape victims’ accounts. It’s estimated that only 1% of rape victims ever see their rapist convicted as charged. Rape is rape. ‘Legitimate rape’ almost sounds as if it was somehow justifiable.”
As LifeNews previously reported, Missouri has a very pro-life legislature. In fact, earlier this year the Republican controlled legislature passed HB 1307, which would extend the current 24-hour waiting period before an abortion to 72 hours. However, after the legislation passed both chambers, Missouri’s pro-abortion governor, Jay Nixon, vetoed the bill. Thankfully, in September, the legislature decided to override the Governor’s veto by overwhelming margins in both the House and the Senate.