The Most Awful Question from Thursday’s Debate

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One particularly telling moment at Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate came from co-host and Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. Speaking to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), Kelly repeated a common, if medically inaccurate, anti-abortion talking point:

Congressman Paul, you have said that you believe that life begins at conception and that abortion ends an innocent life. If you believe that, how can you support a rape exception to abortion bans, and how can you support the morning-after pill? Aren’t those lives just as innocent?

Let’s leave aside the suggestion that we should force women to carry the children of rapists to term and just deal with the premise that using the morning-after pill, or plan B, constitutes taking an “innocent” life. Well, no, not based on any medical definition of pregnancy. Pregnancy doesn’t begin until the fertilized egg implants in a woman’s uterus. This is exactly what the pill is designed to prevent. Thus, no pregnancy to end.

Let’s let the Mayo Clinic explain:

Depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle, the morning-after pill can prevent or delay ovulation, block fertilization, or keep a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.

If that’s the case, then by Kelly’s standard, any kind of birth control or even just having your period could constitute abortion, too.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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