Opinion Ana Benderas: why children of rape victims should not be aborted Ana Benderas of Live Action shares why she thinks that all unborn children should have a right-to-life no matter how they were created. Share this page: Pin ItPrintEmail Follow @LiveAction_News Live Action on Facebook Pingback: VIDEO: Ana Benderas | Why Children of Rape Victims Should Not Be Aborted | Foundation Life Simonjm1970 You still have the bodily autonomy argument. Solntsye I’m not disagreeing with you, Ana. I too, do not think it is right to execute the baby for the crime of the father. However, we must also consider what the poor woman has gone through in being raped. Unless you have been raped, you could never understand the life-altering scope of such an act. Pregnancy and delivery is also a life-altering ordeal, and not always a pleasant one…even in cases of consensual sex and a wanted baby. Is it fair to expect a woman who has been the victim of a violent crime to suffer through the miserable illness of pregnancy, and experience the absolute agonizing hell of delivery, when she never consented to the sex which created the baby in the first place? That is a question I struggle with all the time. I wish there was some way to make it up to women in such awful circumstances. I realize too, that going through an abortion is no picnic for women either…so I don’t know what to think of it. That’s where I kind of lean towards thinking we should let the raped woman decide what she wants to do, but really provide her with the absolute best care should she choose to carry and deliver. bubbalouwee Rape is far less tramatic than abortion, as rape does not kill another human being. Have you ever considered the child may be an excellent source of healing for the mother from the rape? Listen to some testimony of mothers who have given birth to a child conceived in rape. They LOVE their child. The answer to the violent act of rape is love, and the conceived child is that love. Read Genesis 3 for an explanation on children bringing brought forth in sorrow. The fall of Adam and Eve brought about this sorrow. However, the pain of childbirth gives way to the joy of a new life coming into the world. Solntsye Okay, but what if she doesn’t love her baby? How do we make it up to women then? I mean, if we are going to insist she go through the awfulness of pregnancy and the pure hell of delivery, along with her life and body forever altered by a rape pregnancy- how do we compensate her? I highly doubt just saying to her “You are a good woman. You did the right thing” would be enough. I know if that is all I was offered, had that happened to me in my circumstance, that would never have been enough to make it acceptable or to make me feel like life was somhow okay. It’s a raw deal given to women, no matter how you slice it. And again, I definitely do not blame the baby….what an awful thing though. bubbalouwee Adoption is the loving option if the mother would prefer another couple to raise the child. Many people want children but cannot have a child of their own and would love to adopt a child. Solntsye Sure, I’m all for adoption, absolutely. But my question remains: how do we compensate women who become unwillingly pregnant as a result of rape, should she not wish to allow her body to undergo the vast and permanent changes pregnancy causes, as well as live through the agony of a delivery she was never intending to endure? My hat is off to women willing to go through such horrible circumstances, whether she keeps the baby or puts baby up for adoption. Quite frankly, if it had happened to myself that way- it’s hard for me to even imagine, but if I were put into a circumstance such as that…I’d like to think I would be willing to carry, but I don’t know if I could bear it. In all honesty, I’d likely just commit suicide, because I couldn’t bear the remorse of killing an innocent, yet I don’t feel as though I’d be willing to carry and deliver my rapists baby. bubbalouwee The child has your DNA. You are the mother. This would be an extremely difficult position for a mother to face, but I would hope there would be pro life groups that would come to her aide. Heartbeat International is excellent. Also, look at rebeccakiessling.com. Rebecca was conceived in rape and has a website with people conceived in rape like herself. Love for the child would need to be the motivation, and grace to forgive the perpetrator of the violent act. God can bring tremendous good out of a terrible situation. Please look at Rebecca’s website and see the beatiful lives of those conceived in rape. I hope this helps you. Cheri I’ll answer your question with another question: how can we compensate the child conceived in rape? Your answer is to have him/her killed at the mother’s whim. The child is just as much a victim as the mother is and enabling one victim to kill the other is not justice. You speak of all the bodily and psychological pains a woman undergoes during pregnancy and childbirth (I’ve been there twice and nearly finished with my third, I’m acutely aware of the stresses) These are nothing compared to the traumas a prenatal child experiences as his/her body is being aborted, such as ingesting deadly poison and having your limbs torn apart. No, not even that disgusting violation of rape can compare with being forced to die so brutally. Calvin is correct, abortion is not a proportionate response to pregnancy via rape, or any pregnancy for that matter. What is proportionate is to punish the rapist, if he can be identified, and to compensate the mother and child so that both may heal and thrive as equals. http://www.facebook.com/people/Michelle-M-Williams/1021964754 Michelle M. Williams I would rather remain childless than force a woman to gestate a baby for me. When did childless people become such vultures? http://www.facebook.com/people/Michelle-M-Williams/1021964754 Michelle M. Williams No it absolutely does not. Not even the case of wanted pregnancies does childbirth necessarily give “joy”. grdawg Wow. Just wow. And exactly how many children do you have? I hope they don’t know that giving birth to them didn’t bring you joy. http://www.facebook.com/people/Michelle-M-Williams/1021964754 Michelle M. Williams 82% of women experience some sort of mental trauma after having children. Post partum depression is very real and very common. It even happens with women in loving relationships who are well educated and planned their children. I know and I have seen it. It is not their fault and they are not bad mothers. But ignoring this reality does them no good. Most women can work past it if they get the proper support but mental health care in this country is not the best, even for those with insurance. The only people who believe that having children is rainbows and unicorns time tend to be naive, teen girls without much going on in their lives who get pregnant purposefully. Real adults know better. http://www.facebook.com/people/Michelle-M-Williams/1021964754 Michelle M. Williams In the case of a woman being raped and forcibly impregnated I couldn’t imagine the mental trauma she would face. Going through rape is one of the worst tragedies a human can go through, but then 9 months of pregnancy, morning sickness, labor, and all the accompanying hormones is unfathomable. Pretending that it would bring her “joy” is extremely unlikely and fanciful. That’s even more magical and outlandish thinking than 14-year-olds who get pregnant purposefully because they “want someone to love them”. Jdjdjeeeeerrrryyy As a volunteer at a battered women’s shelter I have to greatly disagree with you here. Have you both been raped and had an abortion? When speaking to some of the women, they have said they would rather die then go through that experience again. Don’t pretend you speak for all women, or that you know what’s best for them. bubbalouwee A women does not choose to be raped, but she does choose to take a life. Rape is an act against her will, the abortion she consents to. I believe you regarding the trama of rape. Life is what is best for both mother and child in all circumstances. God is the author of life and He can bring mother, child, and us into eternity according to His timing. enseriesito I absolutely share your concern with the raped woman! What a tragedy rape is huh… http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger We owe rape victims our compassion and aid, but if justice is to be impartial, that impartiality has to go both ways. Our understandable temptation to spare the woman a pregnancy she never asked for must not cloud our objectivity in determining justice for both her and her baby. If it’s unjust to execute an unborn baby, then it’s unjust regardless of how he or she was created. That’s why we’re supposed to have a rigorous, impartial rule of law: to keep us from acting not only on revenge, but also on misplaced altruism. Solntsye So how do we compensate the poor, raped woman? What on earth can we possibly do to make it all up to her? Not only for the horror of her rape, but also for the hell of her pregnancy and delivery? Let’s be honest, pregnancy and delivery is hell…period! Not to mention her life is forever changed by undergoing a pregnancy, her body permanently altered (and not for the better, trust me- vericose veins and hemorrhoids HURT! And that’s the easy stuff compared to loss of pelvic floor muscle tone!). She may lose her job as a result of her illness in pregnancy. She will more than likely not have paid leave for when it’s delivery time. So what do we do for this poor woman, who will be put through hell for no fault of her own? Like I’ve said in posts below, I also can’t hold the baby responsible for the crimes of the father. Yet I can’t help but feel, in the cases involving rape, perhaps we should just leave it up to the woman http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger Ask yourself whether the law “compensates” victims of any other crime. It doesn’t, aside from monetary damages in civil suits against the perpetrator. But it doesn’t bring back a murdered loved one. It doesn’t replace stolen or destroyed property. Worrying about the hardship of childbirth might be compassionate, but letting it dictate how we treat the baby isn’t justice. Sorites Paradox Have you ever studied law? I know from reading a number of your staggeringly ignorant posts and “articles” that you have not. You sit there and say that the law doesn’t compensate victims, and then go on to say that it does. Pathetic. Civil law is designed to compensate victims. It DOES replace lost or destroyed property- via damages/restitution/specific performance- that’s the entire point. And there you go again, assuming without argumentation that respecting a raped woman’s wishes as to who uses her body and how is merely “compassion” instead of “justice.” http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger So your evidence of my ignorance is…..something I explicitly mentioned in the post you’re calling ignorant. Huh. Sorites Paradox Read my response to Kristi. http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger I did. It seems rather sloppy and unhinged. Sorites Paradox If it’s so terrible, why can’t you respond to a single substantive point I’ve made, instead of simply attacking style or suggesting that I’m unhinged? http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger Because I’ve been doing this long enough to know when the trolls aren’t worth the effort. Sorites Paradox I’m abandoning this endeavor because I have actual useful things to do- i.e., I don’t “blog” for a “living.” And your responses simply aren’t interesting or challenging enough to respond to. I’ve been working with these issues and debating them in a legal context since you’ve been in high school. While I’m vehemently pro-choice, I could make stronger pro-life arguments than you can, and debate more respectfully than you’ve shown yourself to be willing to do. Based on your responses, I’d wager that I probably know more about the leading pro-life and pro-choice philosophies/philosophers and legal precedents than you do. You’ll probably say that I’m just backing down, but I’m confident that the weakness of your responses to my points speak for themselves. Cheers! http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger Better luck next time, then. I’m more than happy to let your words and mine speak for themselves, though I can’t bow out without noting my amusement that NOW you claim to be concerned about debating “respectfully.” Kristiburtonbrown Um, you kinda just missed that Calvin specifically said that the law does compensate victims in civil suits. Maybe you need to read a little more carefully before attempting to debunk his arguments. I am an attorney, and his arguments are both logical and legal. You don’t have to be an attorney to understand both how the law does work and how it should work. He is spot on. While rape is absolutely horrible and more should be done to punish it, you are neglecting the “justice” that is owed to the unborn child as well. http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger Thank you, Kristi! To put it another way: if my car is stolen, the police will try to find it and return it to me, they’ll arrest the guy who did it, and the law will let me sue him for damages. But if the car’s lost or destroyed, the government won’t buy me a new one. Sorites Paradox Oh, I read it. That’s why I just noted that it was pathetic the way he first basically asserted that “the law doesn’t compensate victims of crimes” and then went on to say that it did. It was just a comment about how inarticulate and unstructured his argument is. I’m fully aware of how criminal and civil systems work. You’re not the only attorney posting on this board, you know. I’ve read your posts and articles as well and I think you should reconsider where you got your law degree. He’s not spot on and you know it. Nothing he’s written has established that the woman owes a duty of “justice” to the fetus, or that the government owes a duty of “justice” to the fetus conceived in rape by co-opting a woman’s body to sustain it for 9 months. Sorites Paradox It’s painful to watch you make arguments. Your “argument” rests on the unsupported assumption that wanting to spare the woman from being forced to undergo a pregnancy to which she does not consent qualifies as a mere “understandable temptation” and not an element of justice. Have you ever considered, even for a moment, that forcing a woman to go through an unwanted pregnancy is unjust? And that accordingly, her wishes should be included in the calculation of justice? Your argument completely dismisses this as a possibility. How can you defend against my argument that her wishes doesn’t “cloud” anything, but rather are an essential element of justice? Consider a raped woman: she was just violated because someone else forced her to something with her body. to which she did not consent. Now you’re going to tell her what she has to do with her body. Just like the rapist doesn’t get to decide how the woman uses her body (to have sex with him or not), you don’t get to decide whether she will use her body to gestate a baby. And by the way, the rigorous, impartial rule of law (about which you clearly know nothing) never, EVER requires that one person donate part of their body to save another’s life. For even one example, see Shimp v. McFall. http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger “Have you ever considered, even for a moment, that forcing a woman to go through an unwanted pregnancy is unjust?” Sure I have. It’s an argument I reject. Perhaps you were too busy getting angry to notice that the argument I’m responding to wasn’t a presented as a claim about justice, but a suggestion that emotional discomfort with rape pregnancies should override Solntsye’s own stated belief that abortion is execution. “And that accordingly, her wishes should be included in the calculation of justice?” Of course we calculate in victim’s wishes. But proportionately so. The death of the baby is not proportionate to the rape. “you don’t get to decide whether she will use her body to gestate a baby.” When there’s no alternative but a needless death, you bet I do. “Now you’re going to tell her what she has to do with her body [...] rule of law (about which you clearly know nothing) never, EVER requires that one person donate part of their body to save another’s life.” If by “her body” you’re referring to the baby, well, that’d be scientific illiteracy you probably shouldn’t telegraph when trying to sound like the smartest guy in the room. If by “her body” you’re referring to her womb sustaining the baby, pregnancy is a unique case. Until we figure out how to transfer the unborn to artificial wombs that sustain them through development, it’s unavoidable. Sorites Paradox “Sure I have. It’s an argument I reject” WHY? Why don’t you think you have to defend your claims? I don’t care about the other guy’s argument. I care about you assertion that a woman’s bodily integrity doesn’t factor into the calculation of justice. Which you STILL haven’t supported :) “Of course we calculate in victim’s wishes. But proportionately so. The death of the baby is not proportionate to the rape.” It’s not about whether its proportionate to the rape. It’s about whether she wants the baby to use her body or not. She has the ultimate authority to determine who uses her body, and for what. You know that. “When there’s no alternative but a needless death, you bet I do.” False. See, Shimp v. McFall. Or, I assume I should be allowed to force you to donate blood or kidneys to avoid needless death? Hearing a man talk about forcing a woman to have a baby against her will- forcing a woman to do ANYTHING with her body that she doesn’t want to- in the sanctimonious, controlling manner that you do is absolutely repulsive. To hear you act like your the arbitrator of what happens to a someone else’s body, including its most intimate parts, honestly makes you sound like a rapist. “If by “her body” you’re referring to her womb sustaining the baby, pregnancy is a unique case.” Saying it’s a unique case doesn’t establish that she should be required to allow the baby to use her body. Of course the baby isn’t her body. But it uses hers to stay alive. Have you ever debated or argued in a formal context before? Or submitted an argumentative essay? Have you gone to college? http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger “Why don’t you think you have to defend your claims? I don’t care about the other guy’s argument.” It isn’t a question of having to defend claims or not. It’s a question of accurately understanding what I was saying in light of what I was responding to. Which you seem uninterested in. “I care about you assertion that a woman’s bodily integrity doesn’t factor into the calculation of justice.” OK, here goes: All human beings have an equal right to life. The woman’s bodily integrity mandates that rape be criminalized and punished severely for violating it, but it is not a just cause to take the life of a third person who’s innocent. One human life can only be taken to protect another human life. “She has the ultimate authority to determine who uses her body, and for what.” Says who? “False. See, Shimp v. McFall.” Oh, I see. A court said so. Well, I guess the debate’s over! Everybody knows courts are the final, irrefutable, and infallible arbiters of justice in the world! “Or, I assume I should be allowed to force you to donate blood or kidneys to avoid needless death?” Idiotic, simple-minded comparison. Going out and finding someone to take blood or organs from isn’t at all the same as not taking deliberate action to cause a death. “Sanctimonious blah blah blah repulsive blah blah blah sound like a rapist.” Oh, so I see you’re not only dense, you’re a character assassin, too. “Have you ever debated or argued in a formal context before? Or submitted an argumentative essay? Have you gone to college?” Yes to all three. Which is why I know a demagogic sophist when I see one. Sorites Paradox ”Sanctimonious blah blah blah repulsive blah blah blah sound like a rapist.” Nah. Just that the last guy who told me that I had to use my body the way the way he wanted me to was…. my rapist. That’s what is similar about rapists and pro-lifers- they desire to force a woman to use her body to serve another person. If it upsets you that your “pro-life” stance means you possess one of the central characteristics that defines a rapist, then maybe you should reevaluate your position on abortion rights. I’m out. See my comment below. You’re not worth my attention. I have law to practice. http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger I’m sorry for your experience, and I’ll be the first to admit that I see how my argument could sound to someone who went through rape. But I won’t apologize for recognizing that there’s a second victim that you don’t want me to acknowledge. And I won’t apologize for responding forcefully when my character is smeared. I pray someday you come to see what our true motives are. Take care. Sorites Paradox Don’t pray for me. And don’t attempt to be kind now that you know I’m a rape victim. This embarrassing little website is probably read by lots of rape victims who you offend. You don’t care about them. You’re the last person that I’d ever want to receive “compassion” from. I just wanted you to realize how controlling you sound and how sickening your words are. I didn’t smear your character- I told you the truth. You sound like my rapist. Cope with it, or change your attitude towards women. Man up, little boy. If you want to force a woman to use her body the way you want her to, accept your company. Telling a woman what to do with her body, no matter the goodness of the end goal, is never a motive worth respecting. I’d rather be raped again than forced to undergo an unwanted pregnancy. Seriously, now I’m done with you. If this “debate” has taught you to treat one more woman you speak to with respect, even out of fear that you might be offending her because she might be a rape victim, then I’ve done my job. http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger Nothing you’ve said about me is even remotely true, but nothing I say will convince you otherwise, either. I am sorry for you. More than you’ll ever believe. Simonjm1970 I’ve something to ask will you hang around? Sorites Paradox What? Wade Felty You are a repulsive scumbag. Your mommy mustn’t have loved you to make you so mean and condescending to freaking RAPE VICTIMS. Get your own vagina, if you don’t have one already. http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger If you’re trying to compensate for the last argument you lost, this isn’t an effective way of going about it. LeBraun Your argument stops at the point where you demand that women be forced to allow embryos/fetuses to use their bodies regardless of what constitutes said womens, desires or well being. Also, just because the courts are fallible, it doesn’t make the Shimp v. McFail decision morally wrong. That’s a genetic fallacy, Calvin. grdawg So, you think that one person’s “desires” should be exalted over another person’s right to life? As far as well being, no one is saying that a woman must give birth if she will die – if her life is at risk, she deserves to choose her own life if that’s what she wants. But if you’re defining well being very generally, again, one person’s right to life should supersede another’s general wellbeing. I’ve had a child – I know most women are just fine afterwards. A little healing, a little time to go back to normal – even a lot of time – is completely worth giving life to a new human being. Wade Felty You are a hateful person. I pity any woman that’s ever gotten involved or ever will be involved with you – she’s a fool. LeBraun Brava, Sorites! Wade Felty Calvin can we give you a uterus and vagina of your own, and then insert a baby and observe you go through it? davenisbet87 “Illness of pregnancy”? Really? bubbalouwee Thanks for speaking the truth, Ana. Every life is beatiful, including those conceived in rape. cemiller108 Are you or someone you know facing an unplanned pregnancy? Please check out our new and improved site. There are tons of resources and support available for pregnant women that you may not even know about. We are dedicated to assisting women with unplanned pregnancies find the resources and support they need. Anything from medical care, material assistance, housing, child care, and other necessities a new mother might need are available… http://www.facebook.com/pregnanthelpnow http://www.pregnanthelpnow.com Oedipa Hell, why don’t we just dispense with the incrementalism and go straight for the gusto. You know, like Pakistan. There, under the Hudud laws, most of the women in prison are rape victims because rape is hard to prove in court (requires four pious male witnesses of penetration), so the woman ends up rung up on adultery/fornication charges. http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger So you’re not even pretending to be intellectually honest anymore? Good to know. Wade Felty Your just an angry young, Republican who wants attention, and doesn’t really know the issues but wants to appear as a pseudo-intellectual and make witty comments on your hot button issues? Good to know! http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger Me angry? I’m not the one who’s ranted about wanting to put entire movements on trial. Oedipa Your fond of slippery slopes, Calvin, why can’t I play on one, too?! Pretty, please! Oedipa But, really, I can only counter absurdity with absurdity. The idea that a rapist’s zygote should receive special dispensation, in the form of subjugating the victim’s uterus for 9 months, is truly blinkered. And you know that many pro-life advocates and politicians won’t subscribe to Ana’s viewpoint and will never implement policy along those lines. They’d face a backlash that would make the transvaginal ultrasound debate look like a pillow fight. So, in my estimation, Ana’s editorial just gets worn like a badge, to prove your fundamentalism to one another; sound and fury, signifying nothing. http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger Actually, I’m fond of logical arguments that you apparently don’t know how to refute, since if you did you would be able to do so instead of lazily labeling them “slippery slopes” without being able to actually explain why. You may consider our ideas “truly blinkered,” but simply calling them absurd and lying about them being comparable to Pakistani Hudud laws is no substitute for reasoned argument. On some level you seem aware of this, considering how you usually dodge the real pertinent questions of embryology and personhood and instead hide behind name-calling, sarcasm, and misdirection – like, for instance, your utterly-irrelevant point about what positions politicians won’t take for reasons of political expediency, not truth. Jamie Ana’a views on not aborting children of rape victims are not comparable to Pakistan’s, because in Pakistan raped women technically can get abortions. However, in most Middle Eastern countries (Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia…) abortions in the case of rape are illegal. So Ana’a views (and yours too it seems) are comparable to those of these nations. Oedipa is relevant in mentioning that many pro-life politicians (even the last president) do not subscribe to Ana’s viewpoint, with rape and incest being an exception in the abortion debate because it is such a complicated and controversial issue. Wade Felty Ana have you ever been raped? Are you a US citizen? If so, for how long? It seemingly makes sense to ask since you want to stick your nose in other women’s uteri. I figured you must be a victim of sexual violence, since you want to lecture others on it. And since you can be nosy, I can too, and you don’t really sound like you were born here. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=822895313 Kenneth C. Vendler Wade this is excellent! With your rapid fire interrogation technique of Ana’s citizenship status, you have thoroughly discredited yourself and the pro-choice movement as a whole. While it is incumbent upon you to attempt to defeat the arguments of us pro-lifers by answering our strongest arguments, you have exercised the better part of valor and simply ran away from the issues, raised issues that are irrelevant, and attacked Ana’s person. I applaud you, because if your facile arguments are the best the pro-choice movement has, then it is closer to being on its last legs as defensible than I had dared hope. Seeing your acumen, or rather lack thereof, it would create in me great consternation to have you argue even something as elementary as the distributive property of multiplication. So much more issues involving morality, ethics, and the like. Wade Felty Actually she deserved it, since she is telling other women who are in a situation she may have never actually been in, what to do, I thought it important that people know she isn’t talking from experience. And since she is interfering in other people’s lives, I think it important to know important details about her life and subject her to the kind of interference she believes should be inflicted on others. If it is right for her to get into people’s vaginas, then we have a right to know more about her, even if it is far less personal than the things she goes after others for. Put that into your misogynistic, Christian fundamentalist pipe and smoke it. Naomi Out of curiosity, if a man murdered a woman, would you hold the man’s son responsible? Of course not. The child didn’t do anything except have a villain for a father. Women who have been raped are to be pitied, and helped, but abortion is not the way to do it. The psycological damage and physical danger are both doubled if she goes through an abortion, more so than if she had given birth and let another couple adopt the innocent who did nothing but exist. I speak as a child conceived by rape, adopted by a loving couple, and I thank God every day that my mother had the courage to give birth to me, and I pray that the Lord will protect her and heal her from the pain my birth-father cause her. Wade Felty And you know this how? Have you gone through this? Do you have experience with it? What proof or evidence do you have to support your argument? LeBraun What credible scientific research do you have to back up your claim that women experience more psychological and physical danger when undergoing therapeutic abortion to end a pregnancy caused by rape? None exists. The APA, for example has produced studies generalizable to the population that confirms no long term psychological effects from abortion. Further, therapeutic abortion is extremely safe. I understand that you are happy for your life, but don’t make things up. grdawg No one is making things up. Many studies do indeed show that women suffer harm from abortion. Read this report for one example of evidence: http://www.dakotavoice.com/Docs/South%20Dakota%20Abortion%20Task%20Force%20Report.pdf Christina Marie Martin Wade, that comment is rude and unfair. Is she a U.S citizen? What does that have to do with her opinion on abortions after rape? Nothing. It doesn’t matter if she was born here or not. She is free to share her thoughts on abortion, just like anyone else. If you don’t like what she has to say than you are free to disagree. But making cheap shots at her nationality is wrong and immature. Simonjm1970 First I agree with you that in rape bodily autonomy doesn’t make this morally obligatory but that isn’t the end of the matter. 2 questions: 1.Linking rape and the Post Birth abortion paper–easy to google it- do you think that in principle & if the situation meant no other caregiver could be found, that a mother could use rape trauma by the father of a baby as a justification to commit infanticide? Non Rape bodily autonomy 2. David Boonin a Pro-Choice philosopher thought that in accordance with the general moral precept that we are morally responsible for harm or dependency and can owe compensation to other beings with full moral value; he argued it isn’t unreasonable to think we can owe compensation in the form of the use of our body or organs. His analogy was if a tenant stored toxic waste in a home that caused the land lady’s baby to need an organ transplant or die- and the only match was the tenant- then in principle it would be justifiable to argue that morally -but not currently legally- the tenant owes compensation via a forced organ donation. I would also add even if you still think bodily autonomy trumps the harm done we could still argue punishment is still applicable. What do you think if that sort of genetral situation was made law? Sorites Paradox Hi- Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond to this. The reason that I don’t usually engage in discussions on message boards on these types of blogs is that it’s simply too much of a time commitment/ distraction for me when I have actual work to do. I just responded to this particular thread because Calvin’s misogyny all over this comment thread (and website) was and is so triggering for me. I wanted to give your interesting questions the response they deserved, but in order to preserve my mental health (this blog is simply NOT a safe space for rape survivors) and my time I don’t think I’ll be able to continue to engage. I apologize for that. That being said, your questions lump both morality and law together in a way that is difficult to tease out. The first question regarding a woman killing a baby after birth to me, seems like it would be immoral, but also seems to bear no relation to reality and is not analogous to pregnancy after rape in anyway. From a legal perspective, one might argue that she has assumed a duty to care for the new born by carrying it to term. The law would suggest that she had a duty to take reasonable steps not to cause harm until a suitable caregiver could be found. Very generally speaking, this is how our laws work: a woman is not forced to parent her child by law, she may choose to give it up for adoption, or to legally abandon a new born at a hospital, fire station, or the like. Obviously, this is oversimplified. If she was truly traumatized to the point of psychosis, it is likely she would not be punished by the law. As to your second question, I’ve read some of Boonan’s work, but it’s been a while. So, treating it with only my cursory memory of his analogy, I’ll address the legal perspective. The toxic waste analogy would never give rise to liability and the expectation that body parts would be donated under the law. It’s definitely played out in real life. Money is the only compensation a victim would ever get. If it was ever made law, I can all but guarantee you that there would be protests in the boardrooms, streets, and homes of everyone across the country. It’s so legally unworkable it’s almost hard to know where to begin describing it. I don’t know what legal background you have, if any, so forgive me if this sounds patronizing. Maintaining exceptionally dangerous substances, things, or practices on a piece of property (think: detonating explosives, possibly toxic waste), often gives rise to what we call “strict liability.” This means that you are liable for any harm your activity causes, regardless of how good your precautions were. Even in these situations though, we do not require bodily donation as a form of damages. We don’t force people to donate their bodies when they stab someone in the kidney. We don’t for other forms of liability, like that which arises through negligence (the car accident analogy- you injure someone in a wreck, you’re a match for their kidney, we can’t force you to donate.) This is the analogy Calvin so flippantly dismissed, without acknowledging that there is never, no matter what form the liability takes, a situation where people are required to donate parts of their bodies to make victims whole. To do so would be a violation of the principle of bodily integrity, which is the principle that makes rape wrong, makes slavery wrong, makes involuntary sterilization wrong, makes involuntary abortion wrong, makes the government forcing you to be a test subject for syphilis drugs wrong. The government can’t even force you to donate your organs after you are dead. I hope this sufficiently illustrates how this would be incompatible with our current legal system. One final point: to analogize becoming pregnant to leaving toxic waste on property and harming a child is also a false analogy, from both a moral and legal perspective, but it fails particularly spectacularly from a legal perspective. Strict liability exists out of the policy principle that certain activities, while they may be valuable socially, are so dangerous to the general public that they must only be undertaken by someone who use willing to assume ALL liability. That this should be compared with a woman’s sex life is simply ridiculous- Boonan could have picked a better analogy. It’s basically like saying that when ever women have sex, they are engaging in a) an unusually dangerous activity that they b.) have no right to engage in and c.) bear the entire responsibility. I realize there are some latent hostilities to sexuality lingering around this “news site,” but I hope rational minds will prevail. On both a moral and legal note, Boonan’s analogy is also not analogous to pregnancy because the woman does not cause the fetus’ dependance in the way the toxic waste owner causes the baby’s. The analogy fails for two reasons. 1.) The pregnant woman may be responsible for the fetus’s existing (arguably), she is not responsible for its state of need. That’s biology’s fault. 2.) The man with the toxic waste owes a duty of care to the baby that the woman cannot owe to the fetus at the time she has sex, because the fetus does not exist when she has sex. The man’s liability arises out of his duty to care. The woman owes no duty, so she can have no liability. I know this is somewhat rambling, but I can’t take the time to edit it. I hope it somewhat addresses your questions. If you’re interested, whole books have been written on the subject that could do a more thorough job of explaining this than I can right now (one of my favorites: McDonagh- Breaking the Abortion Deadlock- from Choice to Consent; one short article Calvin needs to read: James Rachels “Active and Passive Euthanasia;” another good one: Joslin- Legal Regulation of Pregnancy and Childbirth) Sorry, billable hours call! http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger “Calvin’s misogyny all over this comment thread (and website) [...] this blog is simply NOT a safe space for rape survivors.” Victimhood status is not a license to lie. Sorites Paradox I refuse to engage with you past this comment. You have personally insulted me, my intelligence, and my integrity, regardless of my status as a rape survivor. It is also up to a survivor, not YOU, to determine whether she feels a space is safe. Your words are there for all to see. I stand by my assertions. http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger I responded forcefully but honestly and fairly to YOUR unprovoked, unfounded attacks against MY intelligence and integrity. THAT is what stands for all to see. Wade Felty You are a pig. PIG. I wish your mother had better sense. Wade Felty Neither is your membership in a lunatic aslym. Simonjm1970 Pls give me some time to go over this and thanks for your indepth reply Sorites Paradox You’re welcome, hope it is of value to you. You’re free to respond for the rest of the commentators to see, but I won’t be responding- I’m tired of all the hate and misogyny, tired of being followed around by someone I expressly stated that I did not wish to engage with- and I won’t be coming back to dialogue. Simonjm1970 Thats a pity I would have liked to explore what you said in detail. If you wish to take it up privately let me knwo. Sorites Paradox You’re welcome, hope it is of value to you. You’re free to respond for the rest of the commentators to see, but I won’t be responding- I’m tired of all the hate and misogyny, tired of being followed around by someone I expressly stated that I did not wish to engage with- and I won’t be coming back to dialogue. chrislvsgod Wow! I am amazed at how many angry people have responded to this issue. I agree with you Ana, a baby’s life is a formation of God’s beautiful handy work and none should be murdered. Two wrongs do not make a right, faith in what God can do in all situations is what we should all live by. God turns all evil that satan had intended to good, we must believe!! cemiller108 Are you or someone you know facing an unplanned pregnancy? Please check out our new and improved site. There are tons of resources and support available for pregnant women that you may not even know about. We are dedicated to assisting women with unplanned pregnancies find the resources and support they need. Anything from medical care, material assistance, housing, child care, and other necessities a new mother might need are available… http://www.facebook.com/pregnanthelpnow http://www.pregnanthelpnow.com LeBraun If you aren’t offering abortion services as an option, then you are just another of those horrid “crisis pregnancy” places depicted in 12th and Delaware. Guest Edited propaganda. http://www.12thanddelaware.org/index.html Evelyn Worthington I LOVE IT! Thanks Ana! Pingback: A Pro-Life View During Sexual Assault Awareness Month Pcjc_usa This whole site is absolutely horrifying. I don’t really understand why it’s so necessary for some men and a bunch of brain-washed women (Ana Benderas, etc.) to want to control women’s lives from top to bottom, and from the inside-out, literally. Maybe it’s based in evolutionary psychology (power consolidation, control of resources, dominance…whatever), maybe it’s terror management theory (people do whatever their religion tells them to do in exchange for “salvation”, just like fundamentalists like the Taliban do); but whatever it is, it’s terrifying. The unborn baby is connected to an umbilical cord through a woman’s placenta…she can do whatever she wants with that until it’s no longer a virtually 100% dependent part of her body. Amen. guest There’s nothing horrifying about wanting to save lives. Take a look in the mirror to see who has been brainwashed. Most children are completely dependent on someone until around age 18. Should parents/guardians be able to decide that their lives are worthless and dispensable too? Why is it so horrific for a parent to kill their five-year old and not their unborn baby? Both are human lives, with their own set of DNA. Why does being more vulnerable and innocent make you less valuable as a person? Pro life is not about controlling anyone or gaining any spiritual points. Its about saving innocent lives. chrislvsgod Wow, could not have said it better myself!!! Amen http://www.facebook.com/people/Michelle-M-Williams/1021964754 Michelle M. Williams If the parents of a child from birth to 18 die someone else can always take care of the child. If a pregnant woman dies the embryo and fetus die invariably (unless it’s past viability). There is a big difference. http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger Why is that a big difference? http://www.facebook.com/people/Michelle-M-Williams/1021964754 Michelle M. Williams If the parents of a child from birth to 18 die someone else can always take care of the child. If a pregnant woman dies the embryo and fetus die invariably (unless it’s past viability). There is a big difference. LeBraun More than 85% of all abortions occur prior to 12 weeks gestation. To compare a non-cognizant, non-sentient embryo in an early developmental stage incubating within the body of another person with a birthed, viable (capable of life outside the womb) child is ludicrous. “Pro-life” is a misnomer. It is pro-enslavement for gestational purposes. Pro-life would consider the psychological and physical health of the mother. grdawg People need to realize that the unborn child, prior to 12 weeks gestation, is much more developed than you are stating here. The heart begins to beat (a measure of life we use for born people) at only 21 days. Brain waves can be measured at 6 weeks (another measure of life). Both of these measures of life that we so commonly use occur before many women even know they’re pregnant. Also, some studies show that an unborn child may be able to feel pain as early as 5.5 weeks. http://www.aul.org/2008/03/fetal-pain-legislation-women-deserve-to-know/ The incredible humanity and individuality of the unborn child does indeed exist at the time of every abortion, including those before 12 weeks. This modern report shares amazing facts we should all be aware of in this debate: http://www.dakotavoice.com/Docs/South%20Dakota%20Abortion%20Task%20Force%20Report.pdf Ready1923 What’s terrifying is a woman who can destroy a human life for the sake of convenience. Without any regard for the life inside her. That child is the same miracle 5 minutes before it is born than it is five minutes after. http://www.facebook.com/people/Michelle-M-Williams/1021964754 Michelle M. Williams A fetus is not more important than her life. http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger Nobody’s saying it’s “more” important. We’re saying it’s “equally” important. http://www.facebook.com/people/Michelle-M-Williams/1021964754 Michelle M. Williams A fetus is not more important than her life. Wade Felty You are sick and deluded. JDC In what way? chrislvsgod What is absolutely wonderful about my faith in Jesus Christ? It’s that I dont have to DO anything in exchange for my salvation, just believe in Him who died for my sins. This is faith NOT a religion. My God says that it is wrong to kill, also He knew us prior to us being conceived, so that means that that baby is already a human soul which should NOT be killed. I will pray for you. Pingback: A Pro-Life View During Sexual Assault Awareness Month | LifeNews.com davenisbet87 The question of ‘but what if she was raped’ is the #1 thing people say to be any time I (try to have a civil) discussion about abortion with anyone. I think it’s inconceivable madness to say that a perfectly healthy child should be murdered, in any circumstances. Jamie My friend was recently drugged and sexually assaulted. She went to the hospital after the event occurred and after she was examined, chose to take the morning after pill. This whole event was terribly traumatizing for her and getting an abortion would also be traumatizing, I am sure you agree. However, you know what would have been even worse? Carrying a child for 9 months afterwards and having to give birth. Considering the awful state my friend is in right now she also said that she would have “gone crazy” if she had to endure a pregnancy on top of that. Who knows how her physical and mental health would have been at the end. What if she didn’t make it to the end and suffered a miscarriage due to the physical and emotional stress? No one should be forced to give birth if they choose not to. Of course, there are those that choose to bear the child and they as well as those who do not should be respected for their decisions. Taking away the right from someone to make those decisions on their own bodies, especially one who was raped, is causing them far more harm. Have you been raped Ana? Have you ever been faced with carrying a child after you were violated and raped? I have gone through this site hoping for intelligent and humanistic insight into the pro-life movement but the articles I come across are very vague and uneducated, yours included. This short video does not address any of the complications involved in this heavily emotional and moral issue. Though it should never happen, children are being abused, molested, and killed every day. Why did you not choose to address issues such as these? What does Prolife mean then? That you choose to protect the rights of theoretical and developing life instead of actual living, breathing human beings? It certainly seems that way. Also, why do you humanize the rapist and call them the ‘father’? Shouldn’t that term be reserved for males who love and take care of their children? You look at life from such a specific scientific view (aka conception: when a sperm enters the egg), so why not call him the sperm donor? If anything isn’t that being more sensitive to women who have will not have a positive association with this person? Pingback: A Pro-Life View During Sexual Assault Awareness Month « Prolife Philippines 4womensfreedom I often wonder what pro lifers opinion is on premature babies. The earliest premature baby to survive was 21 weeks and six days old. If you take that as five weeks equal one month it is four months and one week old. Yet they still argue that it is a person, that might be, but it is not a viable fully formed person. I myself do believe that life is precious but if you gave birth to a baby before this time it would die. I watched a tv program were a very sad mother told the story of her dead child, who had been delivered at 23 weeks and how it had never left the hospital and spent its couple of years alive being continuously operated on. She said that she wished that she had not been convinced by the Drs to try and keep it alive after they had, had to deliver it early. Also countries were rape has been used as a weapon of war are in terrible trouble, all of the unwanted children are being neglected because the women can not look after them as they are suffering from serious depression and mental illness. They are therefore suffering from lack of education, emotional stability, love and care. The women are like shells of people, living in fear. Some of them have endured terrible atrocities. Such as being repeatedly gang raped, having rifles, guns and other objects inserted into them. They have been tied to trees and repeatedly raped until their insides have fallen out. They have vaginal fissures, where urine constantly streams down their legs. Some of them are not actually women but children themselves. Some of them have watched their children be raped and murdered before they were attacked and violated. This is the sort of thing that some people are on this site are saying are “not really that bad”. I tend to disagree. liveaction While some premature babies do spend an incredibly long time in the hospital, many of these babies do go on to have good lives. However, the value of a human life – and whether or not a person is allowed the right to life – should not be based on how “good” or “bad” their life is. That is too subjective. Every human being does have an equal right to life. As far as the women you mention, we would absolutely agree with you that this is a horrible scenario for women. Many wrongs must be corrected in the countries you discuss. These wrongs don’t make abortion right, but they do mean that there is much more work to do. It is very untrue that we think these things are “not really that bad.” We think they are just as horrible, unthinkable, and evil as you do. Zooeeee I thought this was credible until I realised she was religious. LeBraun Ana is WRONG because (a) the moral imperative is ALWAYS to protect the personhood, bodily autonomy and health of women and (b) in accordance with that imperative, every woman has a right to safe reproductive health choices, including safe abortion care. Forcing women to gestate and give birth in the case of crisis pregnancy is enslavement. No woman should EVER be forced to bear the additional psychological trauma of gestating and giving birth to her rapist’s spawn. Ana’s statements are VERY offensive.