Bill Huizenga, Another Republican Who Says Women Must Bear The Offspring Of Rapists
As I contemplated Rachel Maddow's special next week, The Assassination of Dr. Tiller, my mind took me back to a conversation I had a few months ago with Lance Penny, campaign manager for Blue America's only endorsed candidate in Michigan this year, Fred Johnson. It was just after a primary debate in which a young man in the audience asked the candidates, "If your daughter was impregnated via rape or incest, how would that affect your position on abortion?" One after another, the Republican candidates declared "God has a plan for everything", and declared themselves anti-choice in all cases. After Bill Huizenga (the eventual winner of the GOP primary, currently Fred's opponent) declared himself opposed to all procedures, except in the case of the life of the mother (what a guy!), he gave a sort of "tough shit" shrug.
Is this really the sort of smug, heartless careerist the people of West Michigan want representing them in Congress? Someone who would force a victim of criminal violence to complete a pregnancy as a result? Give birth to her own brother or sister? And yet, this seems to be the dominant thought in today's Republican Party. Can you find one of their candidates who admits openly about not going along with this line of thought? Parts of Michigan's 2nd district are extremely conservative-- Lance described Ottawa County as "making Orange County look like San Francisco"-- but this is over the top, and Fred told me he will be taking this issue head on in debates coming up in the district. I spoke with him a few days ago about it and this is what he said... on the record:
"When I heard the Republican primary candidates answer this young man's question, I thought of my sisters and how I'd feel if one of them was in this position. It baffles me how anyone running for public office can stand in front of a room full of people and suggest using the criminal justice system to inflict further torment on victims of rape and incest. Isn't it enough to have to go through this trauma at all, never mind compounding it by forcing the victim to carry the perpetrator's child? I couldn't believe my ears when he gave this answer. And it was on a question-- if you had heard the young man's original wording, which included the phrase 'if a daughter of yours'-- concerning his own daughter! I understand the moral dilemma regarding abortion-- the whole issue is one big moral dilemma so, although I'm pro-choice, I also understand the misgivings folks have. However, there's no kind of middle ground whatsoever on this piece of the issue-- you either want to protect rape and incest victims or you don't. Apparently my opponent doesn't want to protect them. We can't have zealots substituting their own extreme religious doctrine for compassionate law on this fundamental issue."
Fred, another tough progressive challenger being studiously ignored by the DCCC, is running a great grassroots campaign. This district has a massive 44,000 first time voters from 2008-- one of the top ten totals for any congressional district in the country. The campaign is already doing radio ad outreach to African-American voters, as well as shooting an ad tonight that they will be running on Comedy Central, to reach the young white voters who voted in an outpouring of rebellion against the strict Christian Reformed upbringing many of them have been subjected to while growing up. Here's the radio ad:
Let's send a clear, loud message to the anti-choice zealots. Defeat the favorite son candidate of the Family Research Council, the founders of which are from Fred's district. You can do it right here at the Blue America ActBlue page.