Until now, I have stayed out of the partisan debate over Sharron Angle (R), the U.S. senate candidate from Nebraska. I had heard of her far-right views and her association with the tea party movement. Naturally, I, being of the liberal persuasion, was not a fan of her politics. My disagreements with her were somewhat superficial considering that I had not done personal research on any of her positions; my concerns were based on partisan/ideological differences.
However, after reading a recent report, I now see what the controversy over Angle is all about. Angle recently stated in an interview that a young girl who was a victim of rape by her father could simply (and rather insensitively) turn lemons into lemonade. It is terrifying that a woman with extreme anti-women (and child) views could be a viable candidate for the senate. I now understand why she has been the focus of so many news reports lately, and why it is SO important to follow these elections. If Angle wins the election, it could mean a huge step back for women’s rights.
In the essence of full disclosure, I feel that I should state I am pro-choice. But, I think that many “pro-lifers” would agree that Angle takes her views on access to abortion too far. After all, according to the 2004 General Social Survey, 76.2% of the population believes that abortion should be legal in the event of a rape. More importantly, 86% of the population believes that an abortion should be legal in the event that a woman’s health is seriously endangered by the pregnancy. Both of these factors played a role in the pregnancy that Angle was referring to, and one can only guess how these percentages would change taking into account that the rape was the result of incest.
From now on I will surely be paying more attention to elections, particularly when candidates speak to issues of importance to me.