In a recent interview by Colorado Pols blogger David Thielen, CO Senate Republican candidate Ken Buck reiterates his statement that he does not believe in abortion, even in cases of rape or incest.
Thielen's interview quotes Buck as saying:
Ken then talked about the effort he is involved in to provide a place for pregnant women to stay while they take the baby to term and then keep it or put it up for adoption.
Mr. Buck is running for a seat in the United States Senate, not for president of his church. The interview with Thielen discusses his plans if elected Legislator at the highest level in our nation's capitol. Building a home for unwed mothers (if that is what he is referring to here) is a noble endeavor as a pastime or hobby for the average person, but does mentioning it in this interview constitute a policy proposal -- one that addresses taking away the right to medical self-determination for just over half of the US population?
Buck says he is not running on the issue of abortion. Can voters trust someone who praises tea-partiers for their support, and is not afraid to say such misogynistic things as people should vote for him because he is "not wearing high heels"? What Buck's supporters are not admitting is that a US Senate seat is for six years, and a great deal can happen in even a year. Remember a few years ago when people said, "Health care reform will never pass. America is not ready for it"? Here we are, less than six months after the largest health care reform legislation ever.
Imagine for a moment, if you will, what could happen if Ken Buck went back on his word to blogger David Thielen, and chose to vote his conscience and the teachings of his faith. Imagine other anti-choice candidates like Buck being elected in 2010, as well. In fact, that is precisely what the right-wing extremists are trying to do. What would Buck and the tea-partiers offer in place of legal pregnancy terminations to women and young girls who have been raped?
Would Buck suggest these women hide away to have their babies in shame the way they did in earlier generations in our nation's history? Should they go away from their homes to "care for a sick Aunt in another city" the way many women did three-quarters of a century ago?
Would the pregnancy facilities he says he supports be like homeless shelters, only for pregnant women thrown out of their homes with no income and no one to help them? If that is the case, would they need to become pregnant first to qualify?
Would these pregnancy centers (camps? dormitories? homes? institutions? villages? projects?) house women against their will to make sure they did not terminate their pregnancies?
What about divorced or abandoned mothers who have other children? Who would pay their mortgages, feed their children, send them to school, clothe them, help them with their homework, and raise them, while their mothers would be away at "pregnancy camp," especially if Dad is already a dead-beat?
What about children who are raped or molested by an uncle or cousin or neighbor or stepfather? Would they be forced to leave school, their families, and all they knew to go to these "pregnancy centers?
Who would pay for these pregnancy facilities -- the medical bills, the counseling bills, the guardians, the overhead? Would there be tutors available for the underage women who are missing school?
Would Ken Buck support increasing taxes to finance these facilities?
Who would raise all of the babies of adolescent girls who are raped or molested, if their options were taken away? Would Mr. Buck find homes for all of their infants?
Would all of the pregnant females who have their babies in pregnancy centers go home immediately after giving birth? What if there was no home to go back to when they were no longer pregnant?
Anti-abortion candidates like Buck must answer tough questions like these if they are to quell our fears, or publicly denounce the desire to challenge Roe vs. Wade. I invite Mr. Buck to come up with a realistic plan to address the consequences of such radical legislative policies. Colorado voters need to listen carefully to his response, and think about what could potentially happen to their wives and daughters and sisters and nieces and mothers, if Mr. Buck and people like him got their way. Real lives of real women, and other family members are at stake here.
Incidentally, I have not historically been an outspoken champion for abortion. As a mother of three children, I have felt genuinely conflicted on this issue. There was a time in my life I may have even agreed with Mr. Buck. After many years of observing people, however, I've discovered that loving babies sometimes means preventing their birth to people who do not have the resources to care for them adequately.
I look forward to someday becoming a grandmother, but not anytime soon. I've raised my children to be responsible and conscientious. I hope and pray my family will never be faced with such a decision, but as an educated woman and as a voter, I must stay informed, and always be on guard against those who pry into other families' private decisions.
I applaud Mr. Buck for his interest in community service, if the "effort" he mentions is to offer another alternative to safe and legal abortion in his hometown. If Mr. Buck thinks building homes for pregnant women alone would justify taking away a woman's right to make decisions about her own body, and is suggesting it as a model for public policy, I have grave concerns about his candidacy. Without good alternatives for radical changes, voting for any pro-life candidate for the US Senate is simply too risky, even if he is successful in leading us to believe he would never vote his conscience.