An Ohio state representative intends to introduce legislation to name a highway after a doctor who popularized the idiotic theory that victims of rape don’t get pregnant.
Dr. Jack Willke, founder of Cincinnati Right to Life, was best known as the purveyor of that odious falsehood, and now state Rep. Jim Buchy, R-Greenville, wants to name a portion of Ohio state Rt. 119 after him. Willke died in February 2015.
Willke wrote a book in 1971 called “Why Can’t We Love Them Both: Questions and Answers About Abortion,” in which he claimed women rarely get pregnant as a result of rape because the emotional trauma makes a woman’s fallopian tubes “tight.” He doubled down on those fatuous claims as recently as 2012 in an interview with the L.A. Times.
Also in 2012, Willke gave a speech to the state legislature, breaking General Assembly rules during his address by lobbying for support of the Heartbeat bill, which sought prevent any abortions after about 6 weeks – often before a women even knows she is pregnant.
Willke also had the class and dignity during that speech to make some jokes about right-to-life folks having more supporters now because pro-choice Americans aborted all their kids, he said. The guy was a real charmer, so of course Ohio Republicans want to name a highway after him.
Rep. Buchy sent a co-sponsor request email to colleagues Wednesday gushing over the family Willke’s history in the western Ohio community of Maria Stein in Mercer County.
In addition to making repugnant jokes during speeches to the state legislature and boldly insulting victims of rape, Willke’s other accomplishments included co-founding the Life Issues Institute in 1991 and serving as president of the National Right to Life Committee from 1984 to 1991.
“I will soon be introducing legislation to name a portion of State Route 119, through Maria Stein, ‘Drs. Willke Highway, A Memorial to those Conceived and Never Born,'” Buchy wrote to his colleagues.
Those interested in sharing their thoughts on this proposal can contact Buchy’s office at (614) 466-6344.
D.C. DeWitt is a writer and man of sport and leisure. He has also written for Government Executive online, the National Journal’s Hotline, and The New York Observer’s Politicker.com. He is the Associate Editor of The Athens NEWS in Athens, Ohio. DeWitt can be found on Facebook and Twitter @DC_DeWitt.