Former Senator Claire McCaskill falsely claimed Monday that pro-life advocates want to put rape victims “in prison for taking the morning-after pill” during an interview with MSNBC.
Breitbart reports the Missouri politician made the hyperbolic claim while discussing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear a major abortion case out of Mississippi.
On Monday, the Supreme Court justices agreed to consider “whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortion are unconstitutional.” The Mississippi law at issue in the case bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
McCaskill, speaking with MSNBC Deadline host Nicolle Wallace, said the court’s decision could have a huge impact on the future of abortion in the U.S.
“This may end up being the situation that is often described as the dog catching the bus,” McCaskill said. “And what happens in America in terms of the political climate if, in fact, this court overturns decades of precedent and fails to protect women’s reproductive freedoms via this Mississippi case.”
Then, she implied that pro-life advocates’ real goal is not to protect unborn babies but to oppress women.
“I don’t think younger voters remember what it was like before Roe v. Wade why,” McCaskill continued. “I don’t think they realize these folks will not be happy until a rape victim is put in prison for taking the morning-after pill. That’s the road they are going down. That’s the road they’ve been trying to go down for a long time even though they are really pushing provisions that are widely rejected by the vast majority of Americans.”
But McCaskill was wrong.
Pro-life advocates do not want to jail or oppress women. Many pro-life advocates are women, women who have had abortions, women who were victims of rape and other abuses. The goal of the pro-life movement is to protect human lives, and the greatest destroyer of human life today is abortion.
And before Roe v. Wade, when abortion was illegal, laws protecting babies from abortions did not put women in jail — they prosecuted abortionists.
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Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade in 1973, more than 62 million unborn babies have been killed in abortions, according to the National Right to Life Committee.
While pro-life advocates yearn for the day when unborn babies are protected under law and abortions are banned, the pro-life movement opposes punishing women who have abortions — instead focusing on holding abortion practitioners criminally accountable for killing unborn babies.
McCaskill also was wrong about public opinion. Polls consistently show that most Americans want abortions to be illegal or strongly limited, something Roe does not allow.
A May 2020 Gallup poll found that 55 percent of Americans said abortion should be legal “only in a few circumstances” (35 percent) or “illegal in all circumstances” (20 percent).
Similarly, a January Maris/Knights of Columbus poll found that 76 percent of Americans (including 55 percent who identify as pro-choice) support strong limits on abortion.
One thing McCaskill did get correct. According to The Daily Wire, she said Republican-controlled states are ready to “immediately begin shutting down the ability of women to have the ability to choose to terminate a pregnancy with all kinds of limitations” if the Supreme Court rules in favor of the Mississippi law.
“And, eventually, they’re going to keep pushing these cases up until there are none left except the few states that might make it legal. And that’s the way it was before Roe v. Wade was passed before the court, what, 40, 50 years ago,” she continued.
Pro-life advocates and state lawmakers have been working hard for years to pass laws to protect unborn babies from abortion and challenge Roe. In the past decade, dozens of states have passed an historic number of pro-life laws that, if enforced, could ban abortions and protect thousands upon thousands of babies’ lives. Americans are ready to end abortions and restore protections to babies in the womb.