State Senator Dave Schultheis would visit the sins of the mother upon the child.

Further to what I was talking about yesterday, this story is another example of how Republican politicians are out of step with how most people (including most ordinary Republicans) actually see the world. It also makes me bloody angry that such bastards not only exist, but manage to get elected. I feel I ought to place a big “This is not satire!” banner at the top of stories like this.

The US state of Colorado is trying to pass a law that would fund HIV tests for all pregnant mothers (with the option to opt-out), many of whom might be carrying the disease without being aware of it. This would enable steps to be taken to prevent the disease from being passed on to the unborn child. When such steps are taken, the chance of the child being born HIV+ is about 2.5%, as opposed to 26% without treatment. (Medical stats from here). Of course, revealing the presence of HIV would be of great importance to the mother’s own health also, not to mention anyone she might have inadvertently infected in the future. What could be more important than protecting mother and baby from harm?

State Senator Dave Schultheis opposes the law, stating:

We do things continually to remove the negative consequences that take place from poor behavior and unacceptable behavior, quite frankly, and I don’t think that’s the role of this body.

As a result of that I finally came to the conclusion I would have to be a no vote on this because this stems from sexual promiscuity for the most part, and I just can’t vote on this bill and I wanted to explain to this body why I was going to be a no vote on this.

When asked later to explain his ideas, he said this:

“What I’m hoping is that, yes, that person may have AIDS, have it seriously as a baby and when they grow up, but the mother will begin to feel guilt as a result of that,” he said. “The family will see the negative consequences of that promiscuity and it may make a number of people over the coming years begin to realize that there are negative consequences and maybe they should adjust their behavior.”

Yep, that is a elected Republican State Senator publicly saying that he hopes babies get AIDS so that their mothers feel guilty. The leader of his party in the State Senate is standing by him. The very same party that opposes abortion, even in the case of rape and incest, feels quite comfortable with refusing to provide medical assistance to babies in order to punish their mums. They also seem to be unaware that many people have contracted HIV through blood transfusions, and other accidents that may not have involved any breach of the moral code they seek to enforce.


Perusing Senator Schultheis’ own very pretty website, I found this statement:

Unfortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision has “settled” the issue of abortion for now. At the present time, that is the law of the land. However, the current legality of abortion in our country and in our state does not make void the immorality of the issue. If unborn children are indeed unique human beings, they deserve the full protection of the law. The issue is not the rights of the mothers but rather the humanity of the children. If these children are indeed human before birth, then their right to life outweighs their mothers’ right to choose.

All life is precious, from conception to natural death. Because life begins at conception, I am strongly opposed to all forms of abortion, including emergency contraception. The crimes of rape and incest are heinous and therefore should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. The inconvenience for the mother in the coming nine months, and the resulting life care of the child must be recognized. Nevertheless, all life is precious even when it results from tragic circumstances. Thus rape and incest do not justify creating a second victim.

How does that square with his attitude on protecting the unborn from HIV? If the rights of the mother should not be taken into account when it comes to whether or not they have to have a baby, why should the mother’s “moral crimes” be used as a reason to punish the child? State Senator Schultheis’ positions are a logical and ethical mess.

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