With friends like these, who wants ovaries?

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Rep. Ted Klaudt (R-SD) Charged with Raping his Foster Daughters and Legislative Pages

Rape Allegations of Former S.D. Legislator Highlight Extreme Right's Obsession with the Worth of a Womb

Last Friday, (published May 24, 2007) former Republican state legislator Ted Klaudt of Walker, SD was charged with multiple counts of rape and related charges against his foster daughters and legislative pages in his care.

As I have thought about former Republican Representative Ted Klaudt's criminal charges for rape, it struck me that his obsession about the value of his foster daughters' eggs seemed vaguely familiar.

First, as KSFY-TV reported:

After turning himself in, Ted Klaudt made his first court appearance this afternoon in Lawrence County. The accusations explained in a 26 page affidavit are graphic. Investigators say Klaudt would tell the girls they could make thousands of dollars if they donated their reproductive eggs. Before they could be approved as donors, or paid, they had to pass certain fertility tests Klaudt would preform.

Besides all the alleged perversion and abuse of vulnerable girls in his care, Klaudt was looking at commoditizing the girls' eggs for profit.

Oh, and Rep. Klaudt was a prime sponsor of HB 1215, the near total abortion ban. Now that's something that definitely makes you want to go "hmmm."

But I digress.

Where have we heard this before?

Think back to the 2006 election and the referendum on HB 1215/Referred Law 6, the near total abortion ban that South Dakotans voted down. What did fellow prime sponsor Rep. Roger Hunt say why abortion should be illegal? It's good for the economy.

From the Toronto (Canada) Globe and Mail:

Mr. Hunt even sees economic benefits from banning abortion in South Dakota, noting that there are an average of 800 of the procedures a year. If those babies had been born, the state wouldn't be facing the same demographic crisis of falling school enrolment in rural areas and economic decline, he said.

And it would be a boon to adoptive parents. "People are going to Asia, Central and South America to adopt children? Why not have them adopted here?"

Then there is the grandmother of them all in terms of commoditizing women's wombs-Leslee Unruh.

As noted in "How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America," and excerpted on AlterNet.com (hat tip Clean Cut Kid), Leslee was making money off of young women not getting abortions and then brokering their babies:

Abstinence Clearinghouse founder Leslee Unruh has close ties to the pro-life establishment. She spent most of the '80s protesting outside abortion clinics and encouraging people to protest outside the homes of physicians who provide abortions. She also started a "crisis pregnancy center" in Sioux Falls, S.D., about which there were so many complaints that the governor had her investigated. Unruh pleaded no contest to unlicensed adoption and foster care practices as part of a plea bargain in which 19 charges, including four felonies, were dropped. The charges resulted from Unruh's promises to pay teenagers if they remained pregnant so she could put their babies up for adoption. Tim Wilka, one of the state's attorneys at the time, explained, "There were so many allegations about improper adoptions being made

Anyone else noting a trend here?

It appears in the leadership of the South Dakota pro-life movement, there is a strongly held belief that wombs, eggs, and babies are commodities. Obviously not everyone in the pro-life movement believes this way. In fact, I doubt most supporters agree with this position. I know plenty of pro-life supporters who sincerely believe that all life, no matter how created, is sacred.

That is a position I can respect.

What I cannot respect, however, is that it is a family value to not only profit from a woman's reproductive system, but to profit off of the victims of rape, incest, and abuse. That is anything but a family value or a South Dakota value. But as the evidence shows, at least for a sizeable chunk of the South Dakota pro-life movement's leadership-it is.

And no matter where you are on the abortion debate, that should concern you.


Comments from the peanut-gallery...

I love reading the personal-opinions on political-players, especially this one, at tax-payers expense:

Ted Klaudt and his accomplice-wife recieved government payments of nearly $160,000 in four years for molesting children. Two-thirds of that comes from the feds so it's your nickel, too. Nice little home-based business for pedophiles. Government not only provides payments but the victims as wellhttp://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2007/05/republican-leader-of-day-meet-ted.html


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