Rick Santorum Figures Out the Feminist Plot to Create “Phony” Abortion Exceptions

Oh, Rick Santorum. Good heavens, we were wondering how long it would take someone to figure it out. After all, it’s been years since we cooked up the hoax, although we’ve had to have brief check-in meetings to sustain it over the years, under the pretense of… oh, well, I’m sure you know: hanging out in the red tent, attending the Lilith Fair, giving the secret grip at our sorority meetings, watching Lifetime, going to Avon and Pampered Chef parties, listening to speeches at the League of Women Voters, demonstrating with Code Pink and Le Front Des Lesbiennes Radicales, and generally gathering with other women to no good end.

Now, I actually was there when the original plot was hatched, funnily enough: It was back in 1973, at the Women’s Exchange tea room in Eugene, Oregon. (To the public, it was billed as a Missionary Society presentation.) We had just finished singing a song about the weavings of our foremothers wombs, or something, and just before that Missy “No Pants” McDonyell had given a presentation arguing that it should be illegal for a man to grill meat in his own backyard. (Ostensibly, as I recall, it was because of the sexist construction of male cooking as public performance and female cooking as private duty. In actuality, it was because we hate men with all of our little shriveled-up cold cold hearts of tar, and we want to force them to consume Diet Coke and petit-fours shaped like Kotex, simply out of spite.) Then the business meeting started, after which we planned to enjoy a light lunch.

Anyway, that’s when someone — I forget who — brought a motion to the floor. And it was a thing of beauty in its sheer simplicity, I have to say. I still get chills when I think of it. She said, “Hey, sisters! How about we pretend as though pregnancy can, sometimes, become a fatal condition that causes the pregnant woman in question to actually die? Wouldn’t that be a gas?”

The crowd fell silent for a few minutes, as they thought through the implications. Some of the women, I must admit, didn’t care for it at first: they thought it might create a perceived public need for the occasional trained obstetrician, when of course we knew that a proper ladyperson can deliver a 16-pound breech baby in a tub in a barn through her nostril if she only believes in herself.  

But then the sister who brought the motion… ah! You know, it was Lady Douglas Heatherscote of Braintree. (I remember because she always wore this camouflage tutu which she said subverted phallogocentrism.) Yes. Anyway. Lady Douglas pointed out that it would allow us to fabricate compelling reasons for aborting fetuses in the second and third trimester. But they would be — as you have now figured out — phony reasons

Oh, sure, we might claim that late-term abortion is sometimes necessary to preserve the life and health of the mother. And we might appeal to sympathy: Surely (we’d say) even those who are opposed to elective abortion see that it’s another case entirely when the pregnant woman’s life is in danger? And we might go on to suggest that a conversation between doctor and patient is the appropriate setting for determining whether that’s the case in a particular situation. As opposed to, say, legislation that would… well, what? List all of the possible medical conditions in the world that would “count” as being actually deadly enough to warrant legal elective abortion, without missing or failing to consider even one that might someday come up? And, incidentally (we’d further point out), would it be politicians — most of whom have no medical training — crafting this legislation? Or, gosh, would they be advised by doctors? Like, lots and lots of those doctors? Because, hey (we’d conclude), in that case maybe we could just skip the whole politician part altogether and just tell doctors and patients to work it out. 

(Also, wow, you know what I just realized? Legislation that tried to list all the applicable conditions might be longer than three pages, which is a Matter of Dire Consequence on which at least one of your Republican rivals has taken a brave stand. Frankly, I’m tempted to ask you your position on super-duper-extra-long bills, sir, and to ask why you want to confuse the American people with your love of razzle-dazzle legalese. Perhaps we can talk about that another time.)

But the point is: All of these things — the frightened families, the individual circumstances that would be impossible to codify in law, the desperately-wanted pregnancy that becomes a living hell, the agonizing questions about what would happen to the already-born children should Mom die due to a medically dangerous pregnancy — would be phony. Pretend! Like the urban snipe! And our little trick worked, for years and years, until you saw through the pretense. You’re like some kind of Matlock dumpling stuffed with seasoned Perry Mason and steamed in Sherlock Holmes sauce! 

At this point you might be wondering: why? Why lie about such a thing? I could get into the nuances, but it boils down to the fact that we hate children. We hate children and marriage and straight people and men and nuclear families, and because we’re angry that that has not proven to be a winning recruitment strategy or slogan, we’ve decided just to lie a lot. Also, abortions are super fun. Especially the late-term kind. I mean, I can’t fathom why they account for just one percent of all abortions. Not that I’ve had one myself, but judging from the Yelp reviews at the Topeka Abortionplex, they are totally fun.

So, hats off to you, Rick Santorum! Our covenly maliciousness was no match for your powers of perception. Next, you’ll figure out that the whole sexism thing is a scam. It’s totally not true. I mean, women are absolutely listened to and taken seriously.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *