COMMENTARY | Kansas Rep. Pete DeGraaf, R-Mulvane, is coming under massive fire for comments made during House of Representatives discussions about excluding rape pregnancies from new abortion restrictions placed on insurance companies. According to the Associated Press, Kansas lawmakers passed legislation May 13 that would restrict insurance companies from covering abortions as part of their general health plans with one exception — when a woman’s life is at risk. Pro-lifers in the House want women to buy “abortion-only” insurance coverage separately from regular health insurance.
Heated debate was expected with opposition from both sides of the fence when it comes to abortion. What wasn’t expected was the callous and utterly stupid remark that came out of DeGraaf’s mouth when he was challenged by Rep. Barbara Bollier, R-Mission Hills, who questioned whether women would really buy “abortion-only” policies.
DeGraaf’s reply was, “We do need to plan ahead, don’t we, in life?” Bollier then asked him, “And so women need to plan ahead for issues that they have no control over with a pregnancy?” DeGraaf’s reply, “I have spare tire on my car. I also have life insurance. I have a lot of things that I plan ahead for.”
Apparently, DeGraaf feels that women should plan ahead for rape attacks. I’m personally not sure how you are supposed to prepare for rape. Should all women be on birth control, just in case? Should women cover themselves from head to toe, so as not to lead young men astray? No? Women should just be forced to purchase a special insurance coverage because there is a chance that she could get raped, become pregnant and may not want to carry her rapist’s child for nine months before giving it up for adoption. That is the idea that DeGraaf is purporting.
Women everywhere should be angered and outraged that DeGraaf is using his power as a representative of Kansas to assert such nonsense. To actually believe that women can prepare for rape or that they should have to is appalling, callous, and despicable.
Rep. Annie Kuether, D-Topeka, an abortion rights supporter, made an apt statement during the discussions: “There’s clearly a message here that women are dispensable.”
Several states have recently passed anti-abortion legislation, including North Carolina, Texas (whose new sonogram laws are coming under fire), Indiana, and Florida. Several other states will be voting on anti-abortion bills in the next few weeks. The most recent wave of anti-choice legislation is coming under fire from the Obama administration.