Last night, Des Moines, Iowa hosted the premiere for an anti-abortion film called "The Gift of Life." Winner of the 2008 Iowa Caucus Mike Huckabee hosted the event, and before the lights dimmed and the audience was able to bathe in the soft glow of a movie that repeated back to them things they already thought, Michele Bachmann, Ricks Perry and Santorum, and Newt Gingrich took to the stage to tell attendees just how much they love fetuses. It was the fanciest, most glamorous pro life pissing contest west of the Mississippi.
The film itself is a brilliant work of pregnancy fanfiction, chronicling the lives of "abortion survivors," a "converted" abortion doctors who says that she was trying to become a millionaire by working at Planned Parenthood, and a woman who adopted a zygote. The film refers to pregnancies that women opted not to continue as "abortion victims" (which is hilarious considering 68,000 or so women die from unsafe abortions in places where abortion is inaccessible or illegal every year). "The Gift of Life" opens with a shot of Mike Huckabee walking along a beach, talking to the camera, it what filmmakers probably thought was a Christlike, peaceful scene, but that actually turned out to be more reminiscent of a commercial for feminine cleansing products. Let me into your vagina and uterus, says the kindly evangelical man, I'm gentle, like a pH balanced douche!
But the most ridiculous aspect of the night wasn't the playing of the film itself, but the appeals of the Republican candidates to pro-life voters..
Michele Bachmann promised the crowd that she'd be the most pro-life President ever and thinks that the Obama administration was faking with all this Plan B restriction business. If Obama is reelected, she told the crowd that "within a nanosecond Plan B would be available on the grocery store aisles." She also pulled the Mom card, saying she'd be "the first president of the United States who has willingly participated with the Lord Almighty in bringing forth human life." Yeah, The Lord Almighty and a penis. You're not The Virgin Mary, Bachmann.
Despite the fact that fliers distributed at the event declared Gingrich a "pro life fraud" due to his belief that life begins at implantation and not conception, Noot spoke in favor of forced pregnancy and medical obstructionism, claiming that he'd revive the Bush-era Conscience Clause that allowed health practitioners to refuse to participate in medical procedures they disagreed with for any feelings-based reason.
Perry wants to add a personhood amendment to the US Constitution.
Rick Santorum won the gold medal of zealotry, though, claiming that pro-life people shouldn't say they believe that life begins at conception, because it's a fact. Sort of like it's a fact that the sun rises every day and Rick Santorum is never going to be the President (not even of the babies, since at one point in his speech when he said that there should be no compromise on social issues, a baby in the crowd began crying, and Santorum quipped "I agree"). In addition to agreeing with that baby, he said that another term of an Obama administration would turn America into Mussolini-era Italy.
Political grandstanding aside, even though it may make short term sense for GOP candidates to court the endorsement of Mike Huckabee, the assertion that life begins at conception is politically dangerous and, quite frankly, stupid. Have Santorum, Perry, Bachmann, and Gingrich already forgotten that time like a month and a half ago when the most conservative state in the nation roundly rejected a constitutional amendment that declared that all conceived zygotes are fully realized humans? The notion that men are the real creators of life and women are simply its gentle, obligated vessels is a notion so extreme that it's alienating to mainstream voters. Speeches like those made at the premiere of "The Gift of Life" will make perfect terrifying soundbytes for Obama supporting groups come October.
The film was produced by Citizens United, which may remember from such Americafucking Supreme Court Cases as the one that led to corporations being declared "persons." Just like zygotes!