(Pic via personhoodfl.com)

Personhood supporters argue against rape, incest exceptions in anti-abortion laws

By | 05.31.11 | 11:38 am

Though a so-called “personhood” amendment, which would criminalize abortion and some forms of birth control, has yet to gain support among Florida lawmakers, Personhood USA is still increasingly active across the country. In Louisiana, Personhood representatives are actively supporting a move to challenge Roe v. Wade, and in Mississippi, Personhood is sponsoring a tour that aims to drum up publicity for an amendment to outlaw abortion in the state.

Louisiana Rep. John LaBruzzo is currently sponsoring House Bill 587, a bill that would make it a crime to provide an abortion or prescribe drugs with the intent of ending a pregnancy. The bill allows exceptions for abortions that are medically necessary, but offers no exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

In a recent committee hearing on the bill, LaBruzzo was joined by Personhood USA lawyer Rebecca Keissling, a vocal Personhood supporter who was conceived in rape and, according to her website, “targeted for abortion.” During the hearing, Keissling said that abortion “protects the perpetrator,” and that if rape or incest victims have their baby, the rape will likely stop on its own: “We know with incest, it is the perpetrator who is protected by the abortion. Not only does the rape typically end after she gives birth, but also for all the other young women in the household who are being raped.” (Video below.)

According to Keissling, “all the major research on abortion” shows that, after an abortion, women are ”four times more likely to die within the next year. They have a higher murder rate, higher rate of suicide, drug overdose, domestic violence, divorce, abuse throughout their lives, depression and on and on. … So if you really care about a rape victim, you would want to protect her from an abortion and not the baby. A baby is not the worst thing that could ever happen to a rape victim. An abortion is.”

Rep. LaBruzzo compared having an abortion to abusing drugs during the hearing, and argued that those who voted against the bill (even those who are pro-life) would be “in a difficult situation”:

It’s not our stance here to say, “Just because people smoke pot and break the law, or people use heroin and break the law, that then we should legalize it.” There are many who say we should. But we don’t agree; we don’t think so. We think it’s wrong and it’s best to keep it illegal … and that’s where I am with this bill. If we believe this is wrong, this is the ultimate question you are going to have to ask yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’ve voted for every pro-life bill that’s come to this committee. This is the pro-life bill. This is the pro-life bill. And I think you’d be in a difficult situation if you voted against this bill and tried to convince everybody that you are ardently pro-life. And I would not want to be in that situation. [Video below.]

In Mississippi, Kiessling will soon be headlining Personhood’s “Conceived in Rape” tour, which will drum up publicity for that state’s Amendment 26, which aims to grant rights to fetuses. According to a press release, Kiessling will be “answering the ‘tough’ questions on abortion, specifically discussing children conceived in rape, as she was.” Proceeds will benefit local crisis pregnancy centers.

Keissling’s testimony:

LaBruzzo’s comments:

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