Missouri creationist now targets abortion
In 2013, Republican Rick Brattin sponsored a bill to put intelligent design and “destiny” on the same footing as evolution in Missouri textbooks.
Now, according to this report, he’s pushing a bill that would prevent a woman having an abortion unless she has the consent of the man who got her pregnant.
The measure would force a woman who wants an abortion to obtain written permission from the father first – unless she was the victim of “legitimate rape.”
Brattin, a state representative from outside Kansas City, filed the bill earlier this month for next year’s legislative session. The proposed measure reads:
No abortion shall be performed or induced unless and until the father of the unborn child provides written, notarized consent to the abortion.
The bill contains exceptions for women who become pregnant as the result of rape or incest – but there are caveats. Said Brattin:
Just like any rape, you have to report it, and you have to prove it. So you couldn’t just go and say, ‘Oh yeah, I was raped’ and get an abortion. It has to be a legitimate rape.
Brattin adds that he is not using the term “legitimate rape” in the same way as former Rep Todd Akin (R-Mo.), who famously claimed that women couldn’t get pregnant from a “legitimate rape” because “the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”
I’m just saying if there was a legitimate rape, you’re going to make a police report, just as if you were robbed. That’s just common sense.
Brattin notes that his bill also contains an exception for cases in which continuing the pregnancy would endanger the life of the mother. Women whose partners have died can sign a sworn affidavit to that effect.
When asked if he would support an exception for women whose partners are abusive, Brattin said:
I haven’t really thought about that aspect of it.
But he added:
What does that have to do with the child’s life? Just because it was an abusive relationship, does that mean the child should die?
Brattin notes that women in these situations can obtain protective custody once the child is born.
Brattin has cosponsored many anti-abortion bills, including several measures restricting medication abortions that passed the Missouri Legislature in recent years. His latest bill, which would allow a man to veto a woman’s decision to get an abortion, is identical to a measure Brattin proposed in April that died in committee.
M’Evie Mead, speaking for Missouri’s Planned Parenthood, said:
This bill is insulting and a danger to women in abusive relationships. That’s very much our concern. But when it comes to abortion, Missouri legislators are always trying to outdo each other.