Yesterday, the Virginia House of Delegates passed a so-called “Personhood” bill which purports to give fertilized eggs the same legal rights as actual human beings. As ThinkProgress has previously explained, these bills could outlaw many forms of birth control, and they also attempt to ban abortion even when a woman is raped.
This is hardly the only example of this Personhood bill’s chief sponsor, Del. Bob Marshall (R-VA) showing disregard for women who have been sexually assualted. In a brief he submitted earlier this week opposing the Affordable Care Act, Marshall claims that requiring most Americans to carry health insurance or pay slightly more income taxes is just like rape:
As the Government admits, the individual mandate is designed specifically to “internalize” the risks and costs of health care, which it has the temerity to call “classic economic regulation of economic conduct.” In fact, the mandate is classic sumptuary legislation, prohibiting personal spending choices which offend the moral or religious beliefs of Congress. Thus, the Government’s individual mandate is not a regulation of commerce; it is a compelled societal duty. Indeed, the individual mandate is not voluntary commercial intercourse; it is forcible economic rape.
Marshall, of course has a long history of such opposition to modernity. An arch-nullificationist, Marshall once claimed that children with disabilities are God’s punishment to women who had abortions, and his disregard for reproductive choice and the Constitution is rivaled only by his disdain for gay people.
Nevertheless, Marshall’s latest statement is beyond the pale even by his standards. Enacting an economic regulation that is essential to the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with preexisting conditions is absolutely nothing like rape.