Welcome to Big Time Small-Time Dicks, a regular column on The Slot that explores local politicians, small-town scandals, and everything else making life miserable on a local level. Know a small time person who is a big time dick we should feature? Email us.
It’s a pleasure today for us to welcome a rarity to Big Time Small-Time Dicks: a woman legislator, who said something every bit as fucked as the men we usually feature in this space come up with. Three cheers for equality and for Tila Hubrecht, a Missouri state representative who suggested that pregnancy could be a God-given “silver lining” of a rape. Days later, she isn’t apologizing for her comments. Of course not. Why would she? Why would any of us ever re-think the godawful things we say?
Hubrecht, a Republican from Dexter, made the comment earlier this week during a debate over a hideous “personhood” amendment that passed the Missouri House yesterday. The amendment, like all personhood amendments, would give fetuses residing inside people in Missouri full legal rights. The state constitution already says it protects “the right to life”; this measure will ask voters to approve the addition of another clause, one protecting “unborn human children at every stage of biological development.” The bill contains no exception for rape or incest.
These debates are always a time for anti-abortion politicians to say the most ridiculous things they can think up about what abortion is like. Rep. Mike Moon went for an old standby, likening it to the Holocaust: “The silence of those who want to protect the unborn is similar to the silence of Germans who stood by and allowed Jewish people to be slaughtered by the Nazis.”
And Hubrecht defended banning abortion in even instances of rape. “Sometimes bad things happen,” she said. “But sometimes God can give us a silver lining through the birth of a child.”
On Thursday, according to the Missouri Times, Hubrecht defended the comments with a confused statement about the “American justice system”:
Hubrecht responded to the backlash Thursday morning at a press conference with Moon, not rescinding her comments but urging that she simply desired to defend the “innocent.”
“I do not believe in America it is right to punish innocent people for someone else’s crime; that is not our system of justice,” she said. “The baby did nothing wrong, the woman did nothing wrong. The man who raped the woman is the one who done [sic] something wrong and should be punished.”
In the time-honored tradition of recently embarrassed politicians, Hubrecht also appears to be scrubbing negative comments from her Facebook page; we’ve watched a few appear and then disappear in the time it took to write this post.
The personhood bill ultimately passed 110-37. It’ll make its way to the Senate next, and ultimately, if the voters approve it, to a court of law to be struck down.
Screenshot via YouTube/Missouri Chamber. Big Time Small-Time Dicks logo by staff male Bobby Finger