Abortion debate trivializes rape

Nomad

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I don't (really, honestly don't) want to re-hash any debate on abortion itself, but I agree fully with this editorial on the appalling attitudes of some proponents who happen to be politicians regarding the issues surrounding rape:

When Rep. Barbara Bollier voiced concern for women who may become pregnant as a result of rape or incest, this exchange followed:
DeGraaf: "We do need to plan ahead, don't we, in life?"
Bollier: "And so women need to plan ahead for issues that they have no control over with pregnancy?"
DeGraaf: "I have a spare tire on my car."
"I also have life insurance," he added. "I have a lot of things that I plan ahead for."
Ladies and gentleman of the great state of Kansas, your tax dollars at work.

It shouldn't really matter which side of the fence you stand on regarding abortion: that tone, that rationale, has no place in the debate. That more people, more women, were not angered by DeGraaf's statements only highlights just how little we are paying attention to lawmakers.

Tea partier Sharron Angle raised eyebrows during the 2010 midterm election by suggesting rape and incest victims who become pregnant and do not have an abortion made a "lemon situation into lemonade" -- but at least she lost and cannot mandate that rape victims make lemonade. These guys are in office and affecting policy. Last month, while debating a similar ban, Iowa State Rep. Brent Crane said rape was the "hand of the Almighty" at work.

Yep, that's right ladies, being raped could be part of God's plan.
It's one thing to discuss whether or not life begins at conception but to go so far as to trivialize one of the most horrific crimes anyone could ever experience is nothing more than an extension of the chauvinistic blame-the-victim mentality that has always tainted the conversation on rape.

When it comes to the topic of abortion, a politician's view is often shaped by his or her religion. What it should not be shaped by is sexism and flat-out lies.

The notions that rape is a possibility that women should plan for, or that abortions should not be provided to victims of rape or incest because some women might lie about an attack to get their insurance company to pay, reek of misogyny.
 

RandomPhantom700

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The appalling assertion that rape is as blameless and natural as getting a flat tire aside, I'm curious what "planning ahead" women are supposed to do in regards to being raped. Put aside funds for the "unexpected baby" account?

I don't want to be picky, but the abortion debate itself isn't trivializing rape...if anything, it highlights one of the many consequences of it. The ones guilty of trivializing rape are the specific politicians; they just used abortion as the launch-point, so to speak.
 

granfire

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The appalling assertion that rape is as blameless and natural as getting a flat tire aside, I'm curious what "planning ahead" women are supposed to do in regards to being raped. Put aside funds for the "unexpected baby" account?

I don't want to be picky, but the abortion debate itself isn't trivializing rape...if anything, it highlights one of the many consequences of it. The ones guilty of trivializing rape are the specific politicians; they just used abortion as the launch-point, so to speak.

Well, those lovely examples of the human race also trivialize health risks and severe disabilities.
It's more like 'STFU B*tch and get back in the kitchen'


(though from a guy I can halfway understand this position, from a woman? Never!)
 
OP
Nomad

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I don't want to be picky, but the abortion debate itself isn't trivializing rape...if anything, it highlights one of the many consequences of it. The ones guilty of trivializing rape are the specific politicians; they just used abortion as the launch-point, so to speak.

Absolutely agree, and I think that the way they trivialize rape in this context means that they should have absolutely no voice in the debate itself, because they obviously have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. Unfortunately, they're often the ones making or voting on the legislation involved.
 

Ken Morgan

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They’re blaming the victim and saying “make the most out of a bad situation.”

So if your house gets burglarised, it’s OK because you get new stuff.

If a drunk driver totals your car and puts you in hospital, that’s OK too, because you get a new car, AND you get time off work. Now who wouldn’t want time off work??!!

If a loved one get murdered, that’s OK too, because you’re probably in their will, and you’ll end up getting stuff. At the very least, it one less person you have to buy a gift for at Christmas.

These people are completely clueless…..
 

Empty Hands

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The abortion debate isn't about protecting babies or killing the unborn. If it was, you would see the pro-life side pushing for sex education, contraception, and pre- and post-natal services like subsidized health care for expectant mothers and their children or subsidized day care. With a few honorable exceptions, the pro-life side opposes all of these things, sometimes quite vociferously. They also would allow exceptions for rape and incest, although the pro-life movement does tend to be a little more consistent on this point - although consistency on that point has been associated with extremism.

If abortion is murder of a human child, what possible rationale could you provide that makes murder OK if it isn't the mother's "fault" she is pregnant? Why would that matter in the slightest? Murder might be necessary, such as if the mother's life was in danger and one life had to be chosen, but it could never be justified by whether or not the mother is at "fault" for being pregnant. That is what the rape and incest justification is all about deciding.

So if not human life, what is the argument about?

Instead, if you understand the abortion debate as about punishing women for having sex and making sure they endure the consequences of that act, then everything makes a lot more sense. Opposing contraception and education makes more sense. Allowing exceptions for rape and incest makes much more sense.

It explains the comments here, it explains comments like that made by State Senator Bill Napoli, who when asked for exceptions to the abortion ban responded "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."

What does any of that have to do with protecting unborn life? If that is the goal, why the focus on the virginity or religious persuasion of the mother? Those things only matter if fault and punishment are the goal, not protecting life.
 

bushidomartialarts

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The abortion debate isn't about protecting babies or killing the unborn. If it was, you would see the pro-life side pushing for sex education, contraception, and pre- and post-natal services like subsidized health care for expectant mothers and their children or subsidized day care.

Agreed
 

Flea

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I escorted patients through the crowd of protesters at my local clinic for a couple years. It was really astonishing to talk to some of the protesters sometimes - most of them had this phenomenal tunnel vision. Very few of the patients would engage them on their way in, but several times I'd see this interaction:

Protester: You don't have to make this choice ...

Patient: I didn't have a choice. I was raped.

Protester: (not skipping a beat) Well, two wrongs don't make a right. Here, take this brochure ...

Unbelievable! Meantime, I'd be walking alongside the patient, expressing sympathy, offering her information on the local rape crisis center. Usually the patient was so overwhelmed she didn't hear me, and who could blame her.

The protesters were often vindictive and blatantly harassing. Some were fond of shouting whore as the patients walked by. There was one guy who liked to stand right by the door and yell "Stop right there!" With Bible in hand, open to his verse of choice. Protesters deliberately hogged parking spaces, took pictures, blocked patient's paths. I don't ask this as a religious statement, but because they universally used Christian imagery themselves: is this really how Christ would have His unconditional love represented?

:soapbox: Sorry, I guess I ranted a bit. I felt strongly enough about reproductive freedom to put my life on the line for it, and I'm proud. But it does get me rambling a bit.
 

Empty Hands

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The protesters were often vindictive and blatantly harassing. Some were fond of shouting whore as the patients walked by.

Another point I forgot to make. If the pro-life movement were only concerned with saving babies, they wouldn't be so consumed with the sexual morality and activity of the pro-choice.

Well done Flea. That's a very hard job to take on.
 

bushidomartialarts

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Another point I forgot to make. If the pro-life movement were only concerned with saving babies, they wouldn't be so consumed with the sexual morality and activity of the pro-choice.

Like many of the wedge issues in the US, I can't fault the protesters too much. If I honestly, in my heart, was certain that abortion was the murder of children it's possible I'd be taking direct action. The folks on the line aren't much different from Flea (and I mean you no offense)....they are taking a stand for what they believe in.

The trouble is why they believe it. For the most part, they believe it because somebody who wanted power decided to manipulate their strong religious beliefs. Those people should be horse-whipped.
 

granfire

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Like many of the wedge issues in the US, I can't fault the protesters too much. If I honestly, in my heart, was certain that abortion was the murder of children it's possible I'd be taking direct action. The folks on the line aren't much different from Flea (and I mean you no offense)....they are taking a stand for what they believe in.

The trouble is why they believe it. For the most part, they believe it because somebody who wanted power decided to manipulate their strong religious beliefs. Those people should be horse-whipped.

Then again, if their agenda was pure, they'd have a houseful of adopted kids and fosters. Plus raising money for scholar ship for kids of single moms.
Last I heard, the county was looking for foster homes in a very bad way!
 

bushidomartialarts

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Then again, if their agenda was pure, they'd have a houseful of adopted kids and fosters. Plus raising money for scholar ship for kids of single moms.
Last I heard, the county was looking for foster homes in a very bad way!

That's a fair point, but none of us are innocent and pure on that front. We all have a cause we're not doing all we can for. Not saying I agree with them, but at least they've drawn their line and stood on it.
 

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That's a fair point, but none of us are innocent and pure on that front. We all have a cause we're not doing all we can for. Not saying I agree with them, but at least they've drawn their line and stood on it.

Yeah, but I don’t see people from the diabetes society yelling at people as they enter McDonalds, or members of MADD calling people names as they enter the liquor store.
Demeaning people, threatening people and acting like a general all round ***, will hurt your cause more than benefit it.
 

WC_lun

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I don't have issue with anti-abortion activist that are honest about it. I do have issue with the anti-abortion activist that says they believe abortion is murder unless this or that. As stated earlier, it isn't intellectually honest. I also have issue with the chuckleheads that want to preach morality, yet don't understand the very thing they preach.

Empty Hands, very good post and I would rep you if I could.

Flea, thank you for some women very close to me that have had to make that walk. While they may not have heard a word you said to them, having someone walk beside them in such terrible circumstances is a comfort I'm not sure many people can understand.
 

Carol

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Nor do I see the shame of violating a practice of "abstinence" directed towards the assaulters.
 

bushidomartialarts

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Yeah, but I don’t see people from the diabetes society yelling at people as they enter McDonalds, or members of MADD calling people names as they enter the liquor store.

True enough, and although you can make as strong a case that McD's etc are murdering children (right along with the lunch program at many school districts)...it's not as direct. Honestly, I wonder why abortion demonstrators aren't more violent. I know what I'd do if I knew somebody within my arm's reach was going to kill a child...

Demeaning people, threatening people and acting like a general all round ***, will hurt your cause more than benefit it.

Absolutely agree. Wish more folks on these fora felt the same.
 

Flea

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No offense taken Bushido, but I think you misunderstand the dynamic at the "Gates of Hell." (Yeah, they actually call it that.)

At least when I was there, the majority of protesters were quiet reasonable people. They came, they said the Rosary on the sidewalk, and they left. It's mildly harassing, but they don't address the patients directly or impede their paths. And I have no problem with prayer at all. The problem with a setting like that is that it attracts wingnuts like flies to a turd. They're the ones who constitute the problem, and the reason most of us escort. It's never okay to scream in a stranger's face that they're going to hell, especially at a vulnerable time like that.

So yes, it's okay to have strong feelings about something. But we escorted to protect patients from those who didn't understand the line between having strong feelings and resorting to intimidation and threats. All of us escorts would have been much happier sleeping in on a Saturday if only there weren't a need for us.
 

granfire

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That's a fair point, but none of us are innocent and pure on that front. We all have a cause we're not doing all we can for. Not saying I agree with them, but at least they've drawn their line and stood on it.

Well, my causes do not put undue hardship on somebody else if I give less than all I have.

It's that stone throwing concept.....
 

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