Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rape : Flat Tire : : DeGraaf : ____

I have come to accept that I will frequently disagree with legislation coming out of Topeka. After all, I do live in a state that is currently controlled by Republicans. The latest attack on women's rights came in the form of banning insurance companies from offering abortion coverage as part of their general health plans (with the exception of when a woman's life is at risk). Normally, I would have been irritated, but I would have considered it merely par for the course.

However, this time Rep. Pete DeGraaf (R-Mulvane) crossed a line regarding unplanned pregnancies that are the result of rape. In case you missed the McPherson Sentinel's coverage of DeGraaf's responce to Rep. Barbara Bollier (R-Mission Hills):

Rep. Pete DeGraaf, a Mulvane Republican who supports the bill, told her: "We do need to plan ahead, don't we, in life?"

Bollier asked him, "And so women need to plan ahead for issues that they have no control over with pregnancy?"

DeGraaf drew groans of protest from some House members when he responded, "I have a spare tire on my car."

"I also have life insurance," he added. "I have a lot of things that I plan ahead for."
In no way can one compare rape to a flat tire, as eventually every car owner will probably experience a flat. And I hate to break it to DeGraff, but eventually everyone will die, so life insurance exists to pay for the burial expense and loss of income to the family. Rape however is, in my opinion, the worst thing that an individual can do to another. Yes, I consider it worse than murder because the pain ends with death for a murder victim, whereas a rape survivor will live with the psyclological (and potential physical) ramifications for the rest of their life. To add an unwanted pregnancy on top of rape is horrible enough, to try and block the termination of that pregnancy should be criminal.

The best comparison between rape and a flat tire was the following Venn Diagram created by Mother Jones
Now multiple suggestions of how to respond to DeGraaf have been mentioned in the media. While I do not support The Pitch's suggestion of inflicting personal injury, I do wish to reiterate the call to action by contacting DeGraaf at home and at his legislative office. We need to tell him that as Kansans and Americans we do not tolerate his insensitivity towards such a serious subject.

Please direct your calls and letters to his office at 785-296-7693 or as well as his home at 316-777-0715 or 1545 E. 119th St. Mulvane, KS or

If you would like to take additional action, please donate to Kansas NOW.
Join us in telling Rep DeGraaf to “Keep your spare, women would rather have their dignity.”

For every $5 that Kansas NOW receives, we will buy and personally deliver a model car size “spare” tire to Representative DeGraaf.

Donations can be made online at on the "You Can Help" tab through our website's Paypal or by mailing a check to:

PO BOX 1860
Wichita, KS 67201

*Please note “TIRED!” in the memo line of your check. Your donations will help us continue to battle such extremism in Topeka.