One of our great editors here at Babble sent along a screen shot of The Huffington Post’s front page image, which is currently a large wire hanger under the ALL CAPS headline, “GOP PLATFORM: ANTI-ABORTION AMENDMENT, NO RAPE EXEMPTION.” She wondered if such a striking image was going a little too far, but I don’t think so. After all, when abortion was illegal, women did use wire hangers and all sorts of gruesome, sometimes fatal methods to terminate unwanted pregnancies. If the Republican platform were to win the day and an anti-abortion amendment were added to the Constitution, you would see women resort to back-alley abortions once again.
The GOP platform was in fact approved today, with the following language: “Faithful to the self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.” As the New York Times notes, “The timing of the approval of the Republican anti-abortion plank was awkward for Mitt Romney, who has denounced Mr. Akin’s comments about rape and abortion and who has said that he supports exceptions to allow abortions in cases of rape.”
I read something a few years back about young women being out of touch with how important the right to choose is because they grew up in the era of the morning after pill, which meant fewer unwanted pregnancies for them to deal with. So to a woman in her 20’s, the stark image of the wire hanger as a reminder of the way things were may be a bit disconcerting, but young women (and all women) should be aware that some Republicans want the morning after pill banned as well, because they “mistakenly” (on purpose?) think it terminates pregnancy rather than do what it actually does, which is prevent pregnancy.
So what say you about the wire hanger? Is it a necessary symbol of awareness, a call to arms for us to continue to fight against the Republican War on Women? Or is it a relic of a bygone era that seems out of place in modern debate? I know one thing’s for sure: I never thought I’d say or write the word rape so many times in so few weeks. It’s clear to me that we have come to the last stand of a dying breed of conservative white men, and I say if we have to use images of hangers to fight, so be it. You?