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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Why Do They Always Ask About Rape and Incest?

The media is in full bore assault on Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock  because he held that even in cases of rape, the life of the conceived child is worth protecting. While Mourdock offered his view freely during the debate, the question of  "do you support abortion even in cases of rape or incest" has been asked so frequently it would be expected to appear. In fact, when NPR reported on the pro-life plank of the Republican party, it led with the "no exceptions for rape and incest" line. Why when discussing abortion does the "rape and incest" question always come up, and always in a way that seems to connote that the pro-life candidate is somehow out of touch?

First, these cases (yes they do indeed occur) make up a such a small percentage of the total number of abortions performed they really aren't indicative of why abortions are performed.  One cannot weigh the exceptions to the rule in order to determine whether the law should apply at all.  Imagine if we began a discussion on laws regarding theft and people kept saying "but what about those who must steal food because they are starving?"  This exception doesn't change the fact that stealing is wrong.

One may claim that the abortion issue is different. "But this is so personal. The child will  be a constant reminder of the crime" they may say. This is true; but in no other case do we intentionally punish the child for the crime of the parent, even when the child's conception is a direct result of the crime. The Mary Kay Letourneau case is a prime example. Letourneau was a 35 year old middle school teacher in Washington who was convicted of raping her sixth grade student Vili Fualaau and subsequently conceiving. So, should the conceived child be eliminated since it is a direct product of Letourneau's criminal behavior?  Letourneau  repeated her crime and was in prison while carrying her second child from Fualaau. Should she have been  required to abort the baby for the victim's sake? Must Fualaau's parents be subjected to the repeated reminder of their young son being manipulated by an evil seductress who stole the innocence of a child?

Here's another scenario: imagine a woman was raped without her knowledge and conceives. Perhaps she's passed out on a bed after drinking too much at a party or she was slipped something like Rohypnol. She wakes up the next morning sore and disoriented but doesn't have any recollection of the actual intercourse, simply a lot of questions. She returns home and believes that she became pregnant with her husband. However upon birth, genetic testing reveals that the baby isn't his. She puts the pieces together and realizes that she had been raped. Can she now ask that the baby be destroyed?  She doesn't want a child that will remind her of that awful crime that happened to her. Is it OK to at that point kill the child?

I think those who discuss the problem of abortion with others should begin to push back on the rape and incest question before answering it. I would like to ask reporters if Letourneau should have been forced to abort while she was in prison. Why is it not OK to kill a newborn if we find out that the child was the product of rape after it was born? If the guiding principle is that the life of a baby is precious enough that we can handle the issue or remembrance in more humane ways (say adoption), then that should apply in all cases of rape and incest.  If not, then the pro-abortion proponents must show what distinctions there are between a baby who has just been born or a baby who will be.


  1. Liberals want to catch prolifers in a contradiction. They want us to say abortion is murder but some are OK. That makes some murders OK. And if we say none are OK, then they focus just on those, to show that we are extremists. If abortions are murder then the women who commit these along with there "doctors" are murderers. They want us to say that abortion isn't murder. That way all abortions all the time have exactly NO moral component involved at all. It is a black or white issue. It is either murder or not wrong in the slightest to do for ANY circumstance.

  2. My question is this: Let's say a man was attacked and beaten badly by his neighbor. Would it then be acceptable for this same man to go home to his wife and children and beat his wife or his son? The answer, of course, is a big NO!

    This same argument holds up in the abortion debate. If a woman is raped (and I contend that rape is definitely wrong in any case), neither she nor her doctor should be allowed to take that abuse out on an innocent child. Even if an innocent person is harmed, there is no circumstance that could justify hurting another innocent person. To do so would to become just like the one who hurt you.

    Travis Stockelman


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