Here in Canada, we often criticize our politicians, and rightfully so. However, the US has some truly dangerous people in positions of power.
A couple of weeks ago, Todd Akin hit the news when he declared that women couldn’t get pregnant if they were legitimately raped. I have just learned about Rick Berg, a Republican from North Dakota, who was a State legislator from 1984, until he won a federal seat in 2010. Back in 2007, he backed and voted for a State bill that penalize anyone who ‘destroys or terminates the life of a preborn child’.
From the Bill:
SECTION 1. A new section to chapter 12.1-16 of the North Dakota Century Code is created and enacted as follows:
Intentional termination of human life – Preborn children. A person is guilty of a class AA felony if the person intentionally destroys or terminates the life of a preborn child. A person that knowingly administers to, prescribes for, procures for, or sells to any pregnant individual any medicine, drug, device, or other substance with the specific intent of causing or abetting the termination of a preborn child is guilty of a class AA felony. A person that intentionally or knowingly aids, abets, facilitates, solicits, or incites a person to intentionally destroy or terminate the life of a preborn child is guilt of a class C felony. For purposes of this section, “preborn child” includes a human being from the moment of fertilization until the moment of birth.
Physicians who violated this bill would be liable to have their medical licence revoked. In North Dakota, a person convicted of a Class AA felony can be sentenced to life imprisonment. This bill didn’t just cover abortion, it would also cover many forms of birth control and the ‘morning after’ pill. Life imprisonment for family planning—only the Catholic Church who promises eternal damnation has worse threats. Fortunately, the Bill didn’t receive much support and quietly died. As well as representing the state at the federal level, Berg sits on a number of committees including the Ways and Means Committee, the chief tax writing committee. He also sits on the following sub-committees:
- Human Resources: The jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Human Resources shall include bills and matters referred to the Committee on Ways and Means that relate to the public assistance provisions of the Social Security Act, including temporary assistance for needy families, child care, child and family services, child support, foster care, adoption, supplemental security income, social services, eligibility of welfare recipients for food stamps, and low-income energy assistance.
- Social Security: The jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Social Security shall include bills and matters referred to the Committee on Ways and Means that relate to the Federal Old Age, Survivors’ and Disability Insurance System, the Railroad Retirement System, and employment taxes and trust fund operations relating to those systems.
It should be no surprise that he is also a member of the Republican Prayer Caucus, whose goal is to ensure christian prayer remains or is inserted at all levels of government.
So this man, who thinks women who are raped, or even use birth control, should be punished by life imprisonment with no chance of parole is on the committee that determines federal support levels for public assistance for low income families. Just exactly the sort of person who should be making laws for the betterment of society. For Americans, the choice isn’t only between Obama and Romney, it is also between people like this and their opposition.
I am not aware of any elected Canadian politicians who approach the level of insanity that we see in the US. Whether this means we don’t have them, they don’t get elected, they are quiet about their more extreme views, or no one writes about them, I don’t know. I know we have people like this in Canada, I just hope we never elect one.
via Ed Brayton