Rape, Pregnancy and the New GOP
Far too many GOP legislators and candidates have reached the fringe of the right and we cannot allow their personal beliefs to have power over women's bodies and choices.
It needs to be discussed. Many would like to push it under the rug or pretend it isn’t anything more than a distraction. But the absolute, unwavering, uncompromising, fundamental beliefs embraced by our legislators, President and Vice President are something to be strongly considered.
This week, candidate for U.S. Senate, Richard Mourdock, stepped into a big steamy pile of his own words. Mourdock stated that a pregnancy caused by rape was God’s intention and a gift. Well, by that reasoning, should we no longer support the treatment of sexually transmitted disease contracted through rape? Maybe we should start naming the heavenly bestowed STDs as well. I can hear it now, “Have you seen my little chlamydia? Her name is Emma and she is a gift from God.”
Perhaps that seems flippant or insensitive. But it illustrates the flawed logic of these continual statements seeping out from the corners of the right.
Listen, I fully believe that a child born out of rape is as precious and worthy as any other child. If the mother chooses to allow the pregnancy to progress, then more power to her. I have great admiration for that level of strength. But it absolutely must be her choice and her choice alone.
What needs to be understood, aside from the utter disregard for the rights of women and victims, is that Mitt Romney endorses this hoo-ha and Paul Ryan thinks just like him.
Sure, Romney can try to back away. But if you believe for one second that Romney/Ryan didn’t know about Mourdock’s extremist views prior to this demonstration of verbal diarrhea then I have a bridge to nowhere to sell you. And in fact, Romney is still allowing his endorsement video to be aired.
It is widely known that Paul Ryan is very anti-choice and he has made several statements which resemble those of Mourdock’s just a little too closely. Akin, Mourdock, Rivard or Ryan – this is just a small sample of the agenda-laden extremists taking over our government under the guise of lower taxes and, ironically, freedom.
We have a local example in Tea Party candidate, Pamela Stevens, who is taking on state Senator Bob Wirch, D-Kenosha, in this upcoming election. She speaks endlessly about freedom and how we shouldn’t have to “do what we are told” and that we should be left to “make our own mistakes”. Yet as loud as she is with her cries for freedom, she is even more emphatic about her anti-choice stance on reproductive rights.
In fact, in the Spring, she and a companion garnered a lot of attention at the Governor Primary Town Hall in Racine after her companion started shouting, seemingly out of nowhere, “murderer” and other anti-choice phrases. It was just bizarre.
Does anyone really think that women enjoy having an abortion? It’s not like we save up all year in hopes of the possibility for that fun-filled day of pregnancy termination. And while some may be impacted by such a decision more so than others, I can assure you with almost absolute certainty that no woman in the world WANTS to have an abortion. And that isn’t any less true for victims of rape.
Over 30,000 women each year are faced with a pregnancy resulting from rape. And the impact of that pregnancy is completely different on a woman's psychological health and to a much greater degree than women impregnated through consensual sex. The economic, medical, emotional and physical effects can be overwhelming after a rape; often a lifelong struggle. Add a resulting pregnancy to the mix and take away their choice - just as the rapist has already done - and the subsequent toll that would take on a person is almost incomprehensible.
More, it is cruel and barbaric.
Women are not just baby vessels. We are not mere incubators. We are NOT our uterus. We are human beings in the here and now. We have the right to our choices, our freedoms, and our own judgment. Some of you may think that abortion is a mistake. Well, in the words of Pamela Stevens, “…let us make our own mistakes…” and leave us the hell alone.
I would like to close with a recent quote by Tina Fey. She is brilliant and hilarious and I couldn’t say it any better:
"If I have to listen to one more gray-faced man with a two-dollar haircut explain to me what rape is, I'm gonna lose my mind. I watch these guys and I'm, like, 'What is happening? Am I a secretary on 'Mad Men'? What's happening?'"