Climate science is complicated. We know many horrible things contribute to California's drought but Assemblywoman Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) has contributed one more to the general public discourse.
She blamed it on abortion.
RH Reality Check, a daily publication focused on “sexual and reproductive health and justice” issues, reported on Grove's recent fiery speech at the California ProLife Legislative Banquet, where she was the last of three Republican state lawmakers to appear.
“Texas was in a long period of drought until Governor Perry signed the fetal pain bill. It rained that night,” Grove, Bible in hand, told attendees at the soirée put on by the California affiliate of the National Right to Life Committee. “Now God has His hold on California.”
She was referring to legislation that put a 20-week pregnancy limit on abortions. Banquet attendees included Catholic Bishops for Life, Pray California, Californians for Life and the California Republican Assembly.
When asked to elaborate on the theory that God was punishing California with drought for allowing women the choice of terminating a pregnancy, Grove put out a statement:
“Is this drought caused by God? Nobody knows. But biblical history shows a consequence to man's actions; we do know for sure that California's water shortage crisis has been compounded by liberal politicians' poor decisions—not properly managing our water resources and refusing to build water storage for decades.”
God has been known to work in mysterious ways, so perhaps it would not be odd to find him, or her, punishing California by allowing liberal politicians to run amuck and screw up water resources, while blaming it on fossil fuels and greedy corporatists. Grove elaborated on that theme in an April 3 video, blaming the effects of the drought on the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 and not enough water storage facilities.
The assemblywoman is not the first to make a connection between drought and abortion. A study published at Science Direct found a “variation in pod production and abortion among chickpea cultivars under terminal drought”—but that's about it.
"We have not made a connection between the drought and abortion here in California," Marylee Shrider, executive director of Right to Life of Kern County, told the Bakersfield Californian. Shrider, a “huge fan” of Grove, was at the banquet, but did not recall the comment.
While it may be difficult to gauge how pissed off God gets over abortion, there are recent examples of targeted wrath for social misbehavior. On May 30, 10 tourists climbed Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, took off their clothes and snapped naked pictures of each other. The result, according to the authorities who arrested four of them, was a 5.9 earthquake that killed 18 people.
Grove represents Central Valley growers in the 34th District, which covers most of Kern County. She was first elected to the Assembly in 2010 and swamped her last opponent, Democrat Virginia “Mari” Goodman, with 74.5% of the vote in November.
Her big issues include fighting for fetuses, closing down two facilities for the developmentally disabled, opposing mandated vaccinations, and supporting anti-abortion facilities that masquerade as clinics providing abortion and reproductive rights counseling.