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    GOP Congressman Falsely Tells Pro-Choice Woman It's His 'Constitutional Duty' to 'Protect' Her Body

    Presumably to 'Protect' Her From Obtaining an Abortion

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    Republican Rep. Steve King responded to a few critics on Twitter Saturday afternoon, telling one that his oath of office requires him to protect her life and body – presumably from abortion.

    On Saturday, one critic on Twitter highlighted King's paternalistic attitude toward a woman's right to choose, pointing to his comments in a recent Buzzfeed article:

    The eight-term uber-conservative Congressman, infamous for falsely claiming many undocumented immigrants have "calves the size of cantaloupes" because they run drugs – and run away from officers of the law – responded by warning her to be "careful," and falsely claiming that life begins at conception.

    (King, it should be noted, is also infamous for claiming homosexuality is a sin and no gay person has made it to heaven in 2000 years.) 

    Of course, "life begins at conception" is a fallacy the religious right likes to use to argue against the right of a woman to choose to have an abortion – a constitutionally-protected right; the cells that create a fetus are already alive before joining together.

    To King's life begins at conception tweet, another critic basically told the Iowa Congressman to keep his laws off her body:

    And that's when King decided to reveal his stunningly false understanding of his oath of office: 

    It is not, under any reading of the oath of office taken by all U.S. Congressmen and Congresswomen, their sworn duty to "protect" someone's life or body, and certainly not from abortion. Nor is it their sworn duty to protect a fetus. It is their sworn duty to support and defend the U.S. Constitution. Period.

    Here's the oath of office:

    “I, (name of Member), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

    That's it.

    No, life does not begin at conception. No, a fetus is not a U.S. citizen. No, the oath of office does not demand lawmakers prevent women from their constitutionally-protected right to choose to have an abortion. Period.

    And given the current circumstances, perhaps it would be a good idea for our elected representatives in Washington to be reminded of the contents of their oath, as our Constitution is about to need a tremendous amount of protection.

    Here's how King's critic responded:

    And here's how some others on Twitter responded to his comment:

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    Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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