9 South Carolina Republicans Graciously Turn Against Death Penalty For Abortion
Nine of the 24 South Carolina Republican legislators who had signed on to sponsor the state's absolutely batshit anti-abortion law that would have allowed for those found guilty of having abortions to be put to death have decided to pull their support — with many saying they don't actually want to murder anyone for having an abortion. Either because they're so "pro-life" or because people wouldn't stop talking about it and it started to feel like a real bad look.
On the Republican side, the opposition to the bill has been lukewarmly led by Rep. Nancy Mace, who somehow does not fully grasp that she belongs to a political party full of people that, yes, would be absolutely giddy to put rape victims to death for seeking an abortion. Indeed, Mace was called a RINO by many on Twitter for suggesting that maybe that would be bad.
"It is deeply disturbing to me as a woman and as a victim of rape that some in my home state want to give rapists more rights than women who’ve been raped," Nancy wrote. "And I don’t know why I have to say this, but it isn’t pro life to execute a woman who seeks an abortion after being raped."
To be fair, that is exactly what many people mean when they say they are "pro-life."
Reps. Kathy Landing and Matt Leber were the first to pull their support from the bill back in February, with Leber getting all "Golly, I wanted to criminalize abortion but not in the way that women would actually be prosecuted for having abortions!" about things.
"In its current form, I cannot keep my name on it," Leber told NBC News. "I wouldn't want to prosecute or charge women at all, that's never been my philosophy on pro-life issues."
On Monday of this week, Reps. David Vaughan, Fawn Pedalino, Brian Lawson, Randy Ligon and Patrick Haddon all pulled their support from the bill, with Rep. Vaughan explaining to NBC News that he actually signed the bill by mistake and never wanted to "criminalize women who have abortions."
On Tuesday, Rep. Mark Willis pulled his support and on Thursday, Rep. Brandon Guffey dropped out as well.
"My view is simply, I don't want abortion to be used as birth control," Guffey said in an interview. "I don’t believe that a woman should be murdered for having an abortion."
Guffey will be thrilled to discover that "abortion being used as birth control" is not a thing. That is a thing Republicans made up. That being said, if there were hypothetically a person who refused to take regular birth control and just had an abortion every month or so instead (a very rich person, we would have to imagine) ... is that someone he feels should be raising a child? Really?
Right now, more Americans support abortion rights than at any other time in history. This is likely because a lot of people didn't really know what abortion being illegal would actually look like, or didn't ever expect that it would actually become illegal anywhere.
Also, support for the death penalty, according to Gallup Polls, has hovered around 54 percent to 56 percent for the last 6 years — the lowest it's been in 50 years. Hell, a poll conducted by right-wing pollster Rasmussen found that only 46 percent support the death penalty. I happen to believe it would be a lot lower than that if people fully understood the reality of capital punishment in this country — that innocent people are executed, that people with severe mental illness and IQs of 80 are executed, that it costs more than imprisoning people and that when executions happen, they are repeatedly botched.
It's interesting that, despite polls showing that they're not all that popular, Republicans are doubling down hard on both anti-abortion legislation and the death penalty. Hell, Trump has been calling for the death penalty for drug dealers, as if anyone thought the War on Drugs went well.
The actual reality of the things that they want are repulsive. So repulsive that even they have to admit they are repulsive. Hopefully we can make that work for us in the next election.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse