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[Comment: Why shouldn’t a woman who is raped have the same protections as any other pregnant woman? The prolife movement doesn’t discriminate. N. Valko RN]

Set aside the spin and snarkiness, and the August 27 New Republic article, “Pro-lifers aren’t even trying to make abortion restrictions sound nice anymore,” contains exciting news:

The year 2011 was “The Year of Abortion Restrictions,” when states enacted more new laws narrowing abortion rights than in any other year since Roe v. Wade….

The era of warm and fuzzy-sounding abortion laws, though, may be behind us. The success they saw in 2011, and 2012 – another unprecedented year for abortion restrictions – have galvanized pro-lifers to undo a set of rights that they had previously left well enough alone: exceptions for victims of rape and incest.

A new report out from the National Women’s Law Center found that a staggering number of new curtailments on abortion rights don’t make exceptions when a woman has become pregnant by rape.

This comes despite the negative publicity drawn to the “no exceptions” stance ineptly explained by political candidates Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock in 2012.

Here was NWLC’s breakdown of 298 pro-life bills introduced (and 27 enacted) in the first half of 2013:

• 86% (235 provisions) of the 273 provisions that were introduced in state legislatures to restrict a woman’s access to abortion apply to a woman whose pregnancy resulted from rape.

• 71% (27 provisions) of the 38 state provisions restricting women’s access to abortion enacted by the states apply to a woman whose pregnancy resulted from rape.

• 72% (18 bills) of the 25 bills introduced in the United States Congress to restrict a woman’s access to abortion apply to a woman whose pregnancy resulted from rape.

Here was Americans United for Life’s apt response to New Republic:

Clearly, this life-affirming trend has staying power, and it is terrifying Big Abortion.

For example, rather than focus on the protective effect pro-life legislation has for women’s health, abortion advocates wrongfully accuse pro-life legislators of ignoring the needs of women facing pregnancies conceived through rape.…

In fact, women who have been victimized by rape are arguably more in need of legislation aimed at protecting their physical and mental health.

But abortion advocates have made rape their political straw man to advocate for unregulated and unrestricted abortion-on-demand.

It is dishonest.

It further victimizes women by making them a tool to advance Big Abortion’s agenda.

To be clear, a person professing to be pro-life who holds a rape/incest exception is actually pro-abortion with exceptions.

Thankfully, we are surmounting that obstacle to save the 1%.

Now, politicians have to learn to articulate our rationale better. Learn from AUL’s Charmaine Yoest, who responded to the rape/incest question this way in a 2012 New Republic piece:

I asked whether she thought abortion should be illegal in cases of rape and incest…. She wouldn’t say yes or no explicitly, but her positions seemed clear.

“There are many women in the pro-life movement who brought babies to term who talk about the importance of not adding another tragedy to a tragedy, so that is the way we look at it in the cases of rape and incest,” she told me.

“Deal with the perpetrator in that crime, not the innocent lives caught up in that crime.” Note: Jill Stanek fought to stop “live birth abortions” after witnessing one as an RN at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois. That led to the Born Alive Infants Protection Act legislation, signed by President Bush, that would ensure that proper medical care be given to unborn children who survive botched abortion attempts.

[Jill Stanek | Washington, DC | | 8/30/13,]