By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter
Over the years, I have witnessed an incredible number of awful displays by elected or appointed public officials.
Pretty much any Roy Moore event qualifies. I was at a pep rally thrown by two dozen or so elected lawmakers for a guy who had just been indicted on 23 felonies. I also made it to Gov. Bentley’s last State of the State address – the one where his mistress sat in the balcony and cried while listening to the speech she not-so-secretly wrote.
So, as I said, I’ve seen some bad stuff.
Nothing has – and nothing hopefully ever will – surpass Wednesday’s press conference on the steps of the Alabama Judicial Building.
Because at that one, two grown-ups spent a half-hour criticizing the decision of a 12-year-old incest rape victim to abort the fetus she’s carrying as a result of that attack.
Yes, you read that correctly.
First, the horrible: Last week, the AP reported that a state Appeals Court had upheld a lower court’s decision to grant a parental consent waiver for an abortion to an unidentified 12-year-old who had become pregnant after being raped by a family member. The girl had been removed from her home for obvious reasons and placed in the care of DHR, and without a parent to sign, the waiver was necessary.
But the county district attorney objected, because people are sometimes just the worst.
So, the appeals court had to hear the case and settle it. Which it did, granting the waiver.
That was an outright abomination as far as Win Johnson, the former director of the legal staff at the Administrative Office of the Courts, and Lori Mullins, the director of COPE Pregnancy Center, were concerned.
Johnson and Mullins criticized this poor, (thankfully) unidentified girl and took various shots at the courts for allowing her to make such a decision.
At one point, Mullins referred to the girl – the 12-year-old who was raped by a family member – as “the perpetrator.”
When I pressed her on this, she and Johnson doubled down, saying that the courts, by allowing the abortion, had made her a killer.
Mullins also said that she doesn’t want to criticize the 12-year-old or worsen her pain. Mullins also didn’t want to criticize women who get abortions.
But while not doing something remains the easiest thing to do in almost every case – I mean, you literally do nothing – somehow Mullins couldn’t manage it. Instead, she piled on the guilt, talking about the “so many” women who received abortions and how “not one of them” has said their lives are better off.
Quick aside: I once didn’t buy a car that I probably couldn’t afford. I can’t say my life is better. (Note: it’s hard to prove a negative.)
Johnson, in the meantime, was busy rewriting centuries of church-state laws, proclaiming that it’s time for judges to stand up for God. He also called Roe v. Wade an aberration and said that anyone can go read the opinions of Roy Moore and Tom Parker that show it to be true.
And by “aberration,” he meant “settled law for the past 40-plus years.
As this abomination was winding down, I asked Johnson if the act of carrying a child to term would place a 12-year-old in physical harm? He said, “We don’t know that.”
And as Montgomery Advertiser photographer Albert Cesare pointed out to Johnson and Mullins, since the case is sealed tight and there’s no info to get, they don’t know anything about the specifics of the case – the girl’s mental state, her physical state, her home life, her simple day-to-day life.
They didn’t know any of it. And frankly, they didn’t care about any of that.
Because none of it fit their agenda: To exploit the 12-year-old victim of incest in order to score some political points, either for themselves or Moore.
It was a sickening, disgusting display from start to finish, and Mullins and Johnson should forever be ashamed.