One thing that troubles me (among many) in Richard Mourdock’s recent gaffe on banning abortion in the case of rape is the anti-abortion platform’s inconsistent perspective on life. Whether life truly begins at conception, implantation, development of a spinal cord, or later in the pregnancy or birth process is debatable. What is not debatable is the other life in play in this discussion: the life of the mother.
Republicans advocating anti-abortion legislation are negating the rights of the woman in favor of the rights of a zygote. (Some of them might have to look that word up in the dictionary.) Whose life are they valuing here? It is disrespectful, demeaning, and misogynistic.
Some Republicans would force a rape victim to give birth to and care for the unwanted child resulting from a violent crime, for the rest of her life. In and of itself, that is a game-changing, horrific existence that no crime victim should have to suffer. Furthermore, what kind of support would this victim get to raise the child that she is forced to deliver? Would Republicans support her health during pregnancy (with cuts to Planned Parenthood and Obamacare)? Would they support the financial aid necessary to raise that child as a single mother (with cuts to welfare)? Would they support that child’s education (with cuts to education and PBS)? And what of the woman’s resentment at having to suffer this kind of life: what kind of mother will she be? Where is the consistent support for life in the Republican policies?
Whether one is a believer in God’s plan or not, one must ask oneself when one speaks of being a supporter of life: whose life are we really willing to support? And then put your money where your mouth is, or shut the f**k up. I prefer would prefer both, actually.
I have the right to live my life the way I want to — including controlling my own body and health choices — even if my choices enrage you. You have no right to infringe on my life, just as I have no right to infringe on yours, even if your choices enrage me. That is what freedom and the right to life mean. Period.
We need to stop quibbling over details and focus on the real issue: forcing a woman to deliver and raise an unwanted child is not protecting a life — it is potentially destroying two lives.
[To read more about the facts about rape, not the fiction created by these politicians, see Soraya Chemaly’s chilling list of statistics.]