Imagine a country where a woman is raped and forced to have her rapist's baby. Imagine children shuffled off to schools that teach religious doctrine as science -- on your dime. Picture a government that consults with church leaders before making public policy.
I'm not speculating about a foreign country riddled with American military bases. This is what Alaska faces right now with the influence of an extreme agenda imported from Outside. Hear the warning bell, brothers and sisters. This agenda is backed by deep pockets like Exxon and the reactionary Koch Brothers, and its proponents are dead serious.
I called Juneau last year to request that a bill be heard. The Senate Bipartisan Coalition had agreed it wouldn't hear "social" bills that only served to divide Alaskans, and suck up time, without moving Alaska forward. I wanted the head of the Health and Human Services committee, Sen. Bettye Davis, to hear the bill mandating transvaginal probes. (It was proposed by Sen. John Coghill and sponsored by Sens. Cathy Geissel, Fred Dyson and Charlie Huggins.)
Why? Because I wanted Alaskans to see the kind of invasive, big-government bills that are in our future if these ideologues get control of the Senate.
I was told that Sen. Coghill had not requested a hearing for his bill. Curious. Why not? Because by introducing the bill, he and the others had fulfilled a promise they'd made to snare an endorsement during the election campaign. No need for more publicity until the next election. Other state legislatures were also making national news with the same bill.
A collective national gasp comes after every radical statement about "forcible rape" (Paul Ryan), "legitimate rape" (Todd Akin), "honest rape" (Ron Paul), or "God's intent" rape (Richard Mourdock).
These men apparently can't understand that there are women, listening to the news, making dinner for their children, who hear these words and are brought to tears. They are women who remember a parking lot, a back seat, a moment when they couldn't get away and "no means no" didn't mean anything to their rapists.
It's vulgar that such a crime has been reduced to a shuttlecock in the political world, batted back and forth in a game of "Who loves the fertilized egg the most?"
Rape isn't a "method of conception," as Congressman Ryan refers to it. Rape isn't making love -- minus the love. It's violence and humiliation. It's a crime of power in which the victim has none. Rape shouldn't be compounded by the government using its power to force a woman to have a baby.
You may think I'm making this up, based on the rants of a few wingnuts. If so, I invite you to read the national Republican Party platform.
The Republicans would have you believe the 14th Amendment's protections apply to fetuses. The "unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed." A pregnant woman is, really, just an eggshell.
The Republican Party didn't propose stronger penalties for rapists or protections for victims of rape or incest. There is nothing to stop a rapist from seeking custody of a child born of his crime. (I guess that would be an example of family values.)
Anyone who says he doesn't believe in abortion in cases of incest or rape should answer this question: What should the penalty be for a woman who is raped, impregnated and gets an abortion? Should she spend more time in jail than the man who raped her, or less?
Those are questions for you, Bob Bell, Cathy Giessel, Bob Roses and John Coghill, and every other candidate who would proudly force birth on the pregnant victims of rape.
Fifty-four percent of women don't report their rapes. Alaska has the highest rates of rape and incest in the country. This question is real, not just some hypothetical discussion so sitting legislators and candidates can score points with "values voters."
These Republicans are radically out of step with historic Alaskan values. Led by Republican lawmakers, Alaska decriminalized abortion before Roe v. Wade, under our state Constitution's very strong right-to-privacy provision.
Do you wonder why Alaska Republicans are pushing for a constitutional convention? So they can roll back the right to privacy that guarantees that a woman's health decisions rest with her, her family and her doctor; so they can roll back the separation of church and state and make sure we all pay for religious schools; and so they can undermine the Owner State for the benefit of resource developers.
It's radical, and it's wrong for Alaska.
Shannyn Moore can be heard weekdays from 6 to 9 p.m. on KOAN 1020 AM and 95.5 FM radio. Her weekly TV show can be seen Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m. statewide on ABC affiliates KYUR Channel 13 Anchorage, KATN Fairbanks and KJUD Juneau.
By SHANNYN MOORE