Here we go again. Another far right wing Republican, Tom Smith, who hails from the Tea Party was caught a bit off guard at the Pennsylvania press club luncheon Monday afternoon. The hot topic these days – and rightly so – are whether or not a woman should be allowed to legally abort a pregnancy if it resulted from being raped. Now, following Todd Akins “women stop ovulating when being raped” theory, Tom Smith from Pennsylvania has put his foot in his mouth by stating that a pregnancy from rape is similar to a pregnancy from an unwed mother.
At the press club, Reporter Robert Vickers, from the Patriot News, asked Smith of abortion should be allowed in cases of rape. Smith replied that there are “no exceptions” to having an abortion. Then Smith decided to make it more personal by disclosing how something similar happened with his own family and eventually stated that rape is similar to having a baby out of wedlock. Best to read this yourself. Additionally, here is the audio of this interview so you may listen and read at the same time.
Robert Vickers, Patriot News: In light of Congressman Akin’s comments, is there any situation that you think a woman should have access to an abortion?
Tom Smith: My stance is on record and it’s very simplistic: I’m pro-life, period. And what that Congressman said, I do not agree with at all. He should have never said anything like that.
Vickers: So in cases of incest or rape…
Laura Olson, Post-Gazette: No exceptions?
Smith: No exceptions.
Mark Scolforo, Associated Press: How would you tell a daughter or a granddaughter who, God forbid, would be the victim of a rape, to keep the child against her own will? Do you have a way to explain that?
Smith: I lived something similar to that with my own family. She chose life, and I commend her for that. She knew my views. But, fortunately for me, I didn’t have to.. she chose they way I thought. No don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t rape.
Scolforo: Similar how?
Smith: Uh, having a baby out of wedlock.
Scolforo: That’s similar to rape?
Smith: No, no, no, but… put yourself in a father’s situation, yes. It is similar. But, back to the original, I’m pro-life, period.
[Another question on an unrelated topic] – if you’re listening to the audio, it goes on for a few minutes, so please hang in there….
John Micek, Morning Call: Mr. Smith, can I ask you to clarify one more time the question that Mark asked you. Did I just hear you say that having a child out of wedlock is analogous to rape?
Smith: No, I did not say that.
Scolforo: You did say that.
Micek: But you did say it, sir.
(Noise as a Smith campaign aide sought to answer, but Scolforo insisted Smith answer).
Scolforo: But you did say that.
Smith: I said I went through a situation.
Scolforo: With your daughter, with a daughter.
Smith: And it’s very, very difficult. But do I condone rape? Absolutely not. Do I propose life? Yes I do. I’m pro-life, period.
Scolforo: So what’s the similarity between those two, in other words? Just that there’s a decision involved?
Smith: (Pause.) A life is a life, and it needs protected. Who’s going to protect it? We have to. I mean that’s, I believe life begins at conception. I’m not going to argue about the method of conception. It’s a life, and I’m pro-life. It’s that simple.
Now, as much as I have come to despise the Republican Party, especially the Tea Party, I will say that I do believe that Smith became confused, and when he said that they were similar, I don’t think he was talking about rape being similar to an unwed mother. I think he was talking about the similarity a father would feel between the two types of pregnancy. Reporters can be ruthless, and their constant hammering of questions often confuses the interviewee, and I believe that’s what happened here. Tom Smith, like so many other members of the Republican Party, is simply addle-brained. He was just outwitted by the reporters.
However, Smith did say something that blew my blood pressure sky-high….
“A life is a life, and it needs protected. Who’s going to protect it? We have to. I mean that’s, I believe life begins at conception. I’m not going to argue about the method of conception. It’s a life, and I’m pro-life. It’s that simple.”
So Mr. Smith here believes that life begins at conception. Well good for him. However, he – and all the other pro-lifers – have absolutely NO right to force their beliefs upon me or anyone else. I do NOT believe life begins at conception. How can I fight to have my beliefs forced up on Tom Smith et al?
If Smith, his family, and all the other anti-choice groupies want to believe life begins at conception, go right ahead. It really is very simple. For example, if you don’t like coffee, don’t drink it. If you don’t like soft porn, don’t watch it. If you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have one. But do not take away the rights of others because of your own beliefs. Doctors and scientist cannot determine for a fact when life actually begins. It is an question with a thousand answers that are all based upon one’s background, culture, and theological or secular views.
If doctors cannot determine this, then politicians most certainly should not be allowed to do so. Sadly, many far right wingers have and are taking it upon themselves to play doctor over women’s reproductive system.
Keep it up, guys. You are losing voters every single day; every time you open your mouth; and certainly every time you dehumanize women and idolize their fetus. It’s time you all start to wake up and realize what the priorities are in life. You do not nor have you ever walked in any pregnant woman’s shoes. It is time you start supporting the women first. An abortion is a decision to be made between a woman, the father when applicable, and the doctor. End of story.
Now the first woman who is forced to carry a child conceived from a rape goes “off the deep end” and breaks down – grabs a hanger and attempts to self-abort what she views as a monster growing inside of her – then ends up on the brink of death, but thankfully she lives…. I hope she sues you for everything including the shirt off your back for mental anguish, physical and emotional pain, cruel and unusual punishment, discrimination, and anything else a good attorney finds applicable.
If you would like to see Smith’s response to the York Daily Record Editorial Board (YDR Ed Board) after the press club, click here.
Now, scat. You bother me, Smith.
Politics PA: Updated: Smith Makes Abortion Gaffe
Addicting Info: Tom Smith – A Pregnancy Resulting From Rape Is Similar To A Pregnancy Out Of Wedlock
UStream: YDR (York Daily Record) Editorial Board
Tea Party Cheer: Tom Smith Bio