CommunityPam's House Blend

Nancy Goldstein's dinner with Napoli


South Dakota State Senator Bill Napoli‘s a stand-up guy, a man of outstanding wisdom. He knows exactly what’s good for all women. After all, he’s the one who articulated just what circumstances would be sufficiently moral for an abortion to be obtained:

A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.

So when Raw Story columnist Nancy Goldstein was in a dilemma over which ingredients to add to a dish she was preparing, she decided to ring up font-of-wisdom Bill to relieve her female brain of this strain of decision-making:

I wasn’t sure whether to use chorizo or bacon in my paella last weekend, so I called South Dakota state senator Bill Napoli and asked him to make my decision for me.

Stephanie Millman inspired me to contact Bill — one of the most vocal supporters of the new state ban on virtually all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest. Millman’s brilliant cartoon, which has been making the rounds of the blogosphere, lampoons Napoli’s conviction that women can’t be trusted to make decisions about our own bodies — and conveniently provides his work and home numbers.

Even if you don’t recognize Bill Napoli’s name, you’ve probably heard of him. He’s the South Dakota state senator who created a big splash on the PBS NewsHour earlier this month with his detailed — some might say prurient — description of an “acceptable rape” that would merit an exemption from the state’s abortion ban.

I’ll say this for the senator: he returned the message I left on his home machine promptly, which would have been very useful except that he said he’d never heard of paella (or Google, when I suggested that he look up some recipes online). Even my description of the dish’s primary ingredients didn’t seem to help him with my chorizo/bacon quandry. So we shelved the paella dilemma and moved on to the abortion ban.

Read her column to find out what Nancy told Bill — and what Napoli had to say, including the unbelievable claim that Nancy was the first woman ever to tell him that contraception fails on occasion.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding