So that’s a “maybe” to women’s bodily autonomy, then?

PhotobucketDino Rossi is a candidate in the GOP primary race in Washington. Like many Republicans running this year, he’s for tax cuts and deregulation. He is also pro-life. Asked at a campaign event in Spokane last week if he believed that abortion should ever be allowed, Rossi said that he was against abortion for “anything other than maybe rape, incest or life of the mother.”

EMILY’S List, an organization that supports and funds pro-choice women candidates for office, is none too happy with that “maybe.” “Women are used to Dino Rossi’s insulting silence when it comes to the issue of choice,” said the organization’s President Stephanie Schriock. “But that doesn’t mean we were prepared for the utter callousness he showed yesterday with his admission that he ‘maybe’ supports an exception to the anti-choice restrictions he favors in the case of rape and incest.”

Rossi might have meant that “maybe” as in, “perhaps, in some cases, depending on the circumstances.” But he also could have meant “maybe” as in, “I haven’t really given this much thought, mostly because I don’t have a uterus and enjoy the privilege of never having to wonder what it might be like to be raped, or to have my life endangered by a pregnancy.” I can’t see inside Rossi’s head, so I can’t know what he meant. But I can say that his nonchalance about an incredibly serious issue shows a stunning lack of respect for the women whose votes he’s trying to win.

You can find out more about EMILY’S List here, and more about the current crop of GOP candidates who definitely oppose abortion in the case of rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother here.

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Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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