House Republicans Describe Abortion as 'Second Violent Act' Experienced By Survivors of Rape and Incest

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A messaging document on Alabama’s abortion ban compiled by the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus in the House, recommends that its members describe abortions people receive after being raped or in cases of incest as a “second violent act” that could “physically or psychologically wound her further.”

VICE News obtained the document, which was distributed to members of the RSC at a recent meeting. Calling the Alabama ban “bold new pro-life legislation,” the talking points in the document defend the near-total ban on abortion passed by the Republican-controlled state.

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Here’s what the RSC wants its members to say specifically when asked about the lack of exceptions in the bill for rape and incest survivors, per VICE News:

In cases of rape and incest—

  • These are horrific incidents that are incredibly traumatic for the victims, and we should do absolutely everything in our power not only to punish these abuses but also to prevent these atrocities from ever occurring. We should not, however, give a death sentence to the innocent child.
  • Committing a second violent act with abortion to a woman who has already been victimized by an act of rape or incest could physically or psychologically wound her further.
  • We should provide these women with the resources and care they need to heal, not encourage more pain and suffering.
  • Every single child should be afforded the opportunity to live, regardless of how they were conceived.
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Several leading Republicans have attempted in recent days to distance themselves from the extreme stance of Alabama’s abortion ban, which does not grant exemptions to those seeking abortions in cases of rape or incest. At least the members of the Republican Study Committee are honest in their unwavering commitment to forcing people to carry unwanted pregnancies to term.

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Esther Wang

Senior staff writer, Jezebel