Todd-Akin

Lessons of 2012: Pro-Life politicians must prepare better for the rape question

In the aftermath of the 2012 election, the final results of the Democrat Party’s fraudulent “War on Women” narrative seem mixed – female voters broke strongly for Barack Obama, but the issues liberals stereotyped them as caring about weren’t at the front of their minds in the ballot box.

But one claim seems safe to make: Todd “Shut It Down” Akin and Richard “God Intended” Mourdock played right into pro-aborts’ hands, giving the War on Women juuuust enough plausibility in voters’ minds to at the very least deny the Republican Party two winnable Senate seats, and possibly corrupt popular perception of Republicans generally in the rest of the country.

The horror of rape carries obvious potency in voters’ minds – so much so that fear can outweigh the actual facts of a given political charge – and rape remains a circumstance in which the country is simply unwilling to forbid abortion.

The question is, what do pro-lifers do about it? Do we continue with business as usual, hoping that the culture grows more receptive by the next election? Do we start jettisoning principles in the hopes that it will make more people like us?

Contrary to the temptation doubtlessly creeping into many Republican minds, pro-lifers need not dilute who we are. The United States’ overall instincts and sympathies lean closer to life than death, and even last week, pro-lifers won numerous valuable offices and initiatives. That said, pro-lifers vying for elected office clearly need to give serious thought to how they discuss rape abortions in a way that doesn’t frighten voters who don’t share every implication of their convictions.

Part of that is easy (or at least should be): have the common sense and basic awareness to not say stupid things that you should know your foes love to exploit. That means no pontificating on the mechanics of rape pregnancy. No offhand mentions of women fabricating rape claims. And please, no speculation on the role of divine will in horrific crimes. These may be interesting and worthwhile subjects for discussion in academic forums, Bible studies, etc., but are suicide on the campaign trail. Especially with this election in hindsight, there is no excuse for any competent adult paying attention to not understand this.

The other part may be more contentious, since it concerns the divide between the pro-life movement’s incrementalist and no-exception factions. But by again turning to Abraham Lincoln’s example, let me propose a way of thinking about the question which hopefully can satisfy the former camp’s perception and practicality concerns without abandoning the latter’s regard for children conceived in rape.

We owe it to every unborn child to restore his or her right to life. Our duty is to shape the culture into a world where every abortion is unthinkable. But all missions of this magnitude are multi-generational efforts, and our duty is not necessarily to win the entire war on our own. We picked up where a previous generation left off, and we will eventually have to pass our work to the next one. While we should continue our work to humanize rape victims’ babies on various intellectual, media, and cultural fronts, perhaps our role in the current political front is simply to lay the groundwork of wider understanding and application for the right to life, protecting the babies we can now and making the America our children inherit a place where protecting the rest is a more realistic possibility.

That mission might go a little more smoothly if pro-life candidates resolved to talk like this whenever the question arises:

My fellow Americans, abortion is the human rights crisis of our lifetimes. Modern biology has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that abortion destroys a unique, priceless human life. Shamefully, we have allowed over fifty million such lives to be extinguished in the years since Roe v. Wade forced abortion on demand upon the nation. I am committed to ending this grave injustice and protecting as many innocent babies as I can.

However, I understand that aspects of this issue are deeply divisive and wrapped in powerful emotions, particularly the plight of women impregnated by rape – women who, after enduring unimaginable pain, find themselves facing additional hardships and choices they never asked for. Our hearts go out them, as does our commitment to help them find healing and to bring their attackers to justice. All of us wish we could help them escape this nightmare, and none of us relishes the thought of forcing them to endure unwanted pregnancies.

But we cannot just ignore their children, who also find themselves powerlessly facing a dangerous crossroad they never asked for. These innocent babies are not their fathers and are not abstractions – they are people just like you and me, like Monica Kelsey, Sherrie Eldridge, Rebecca Kiessling, Wendy Sikes, Jenni Maas, Ryan Bomberger, and Kristi Hofferber. Do they deserve to die for their fathers’ sins?

This is a question that torments many good hearts, but thankfully, it need not keep us from protecting the vast majority of babies not conceived in rape, because unlike my opponent, I believe that abortion policy should be decided by the electorate, not forever dictated by a group of nine. When America’s constitutional order is respected, politicians can do nothing without the consent of the people, and ultimately, what to do about rape abortions will be decided by you, not me – what you tell your elected representatives you’re ready for and will tolerate. And the national mood being what it is on this question, you have no reason to fear that any step you are not ready for will be taken.

My hope is to save as many babies as possible, and my intention is to enact whatever you authorize to that end. I would be happy to sign legislation protecting all babies, but if you instead send me legislation limited to protecting the majority from elective abortions, then that is what I will sign. While our communities continue to grapple with how to care for both raped women and their children, there is no reason we cannot act today to protect the rest of the unborn from destruction.

  • Sparky

    Yeah, Calvin that’s good stuff. You should go big with that.

  • Detroiter327

    When America’s constitutional order is respected, politicians can do nothing without the consent of the people, and ultimately, what to do about rape abortions will be decided by you, not me

    Thats why we voted everyone who believed as you do out of office.

  • Miska123

    Calvin,

    Instead of disingenuous ways of dancing around the “rape question” why don’t you just leave the decision up to the victim and her doctor? Grow up kid,

    • Les

      ‘Cause that would make the fetus a victim too.

    • Les

      That would make the fetus a victim too.

      • http://www.facebook.com/john.doey.73700 John Doey

        Ok. Hold the line. it did wonders for you!

        Amazing that you cant wrap your pointy head around the idea to force a woman to carry a rapists baby is not only insane but tyranny.

        • Les

          I can understand why you’re angry. I’ve never been raped, and I can only barely imagine what it’s like to be forced upon by someone who’s the equivalent of an old guy with drool spilling out his bottom lip. I’ve only ever heard stories and read online accounts of what it’s like, and I do think it’s absolutely unfair for the rape victim who has to bear the emotional consequences for a sizable portion (if not all) of her life. It would also be unfair for her to have to pay all the money that comes with raising a child she never asked for for eighteen years. And then there’s the physical pain of the actual birthing process… I can understand why some people would be pissed at me that after all she’s gone through, my saying that I’d still want her to go through with having the child is like a slap in the face. I think the punishment should be placed where it belongs, though: the rapist, not the rape victim or the rape victim’s child.

  • http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger

    Reactions so far: Detroiter was watching a different election than everyone else, and two other trolls with even more generic complaints.

    • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Astraspider

      If “troll” is to be defined as one who would deny you the sanctity of your echo chamber, I’ll cop to being one. But by traditional definitions, as much as the internet has any, I won’t.

      • http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger

        Not that I don’t think “troll” isn’t a fair label for your commentary (considering it’s usually chock-full of partisan deceit), but for the record, I posted that comment before you posted your first one on this article. (Speaking of thin-skinned…)

    • Detroiter327

      Ex-squeeze me? Did you miss that the overwhelming majority of candidates who publicly supported no rape or incest exceptions for abortion lost their races? The cherry on the entire cake for me was when Ann Coulter not only blamed them for losing their own races, but Mitt Romneys as well! What were the terms she used to describe people with your beliefs? Oh yes! Idiots and purist grandstanders! Even if her article didnt hurt, the whiplash from so many members of the Republican party throwing you under the bus that fast must have.

      • http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger

        Nope. I know of the two foot-in-mouth candidates who lost, and beyond that I know some pro-lifers lost and some won. But if you’ve got a more comprehensive breakdown of who won and lost (including the crucial context of how many no-exceptions candidates were running to begin with), don’t hesitate to share with the class.

        • http://www.facebook.com/john.doey.73700 John Doey

          No, Coulter called people like Akin and Mourdock “morons” saturday morning on Mark Simone’s radio show.

        • Detroiter327

          Rick Berg. Pete Hoekstra. Tom Smith. Wendy Long. Bobby Schilling. Thats just getting started. Considering you do this for a living, your either in denial or… Ill just quit there and opt out from rubbing salt in the wound.

  • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Astraspider

    I don’t see your fantasized speech as a improvement on Mourdock’s or Akin’s. It lacks a “gotcha” phrase that the press can hang on, but it’s expressing the *exact* same policy prescription that just got rejected on November 6.

    • http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger

      The policy prescription isn’t what got rejected. See links above about pro-life victories, and note that Romney-Ryan won both Akin and Mourdock’s states.

      • Sparky

        Calvin –
        What was Romney’s position on abortion, again. I realize it was pretty hard to know at any given moment in time, but I’m pretty sure it included an exception in cases of rape.

        • http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger

          But Ryan’s wasn’t. And the Democrats and the media did everything in their power to obscure that distinction and convince people Romney was a no-exceptions guy. I do have to say though, it amuses me that you’ve now pivoted to arguing how moderate Romney is because that’s what’s currently expedient for your argument. I can’t wait to see what you’ll be changing to next week.

      • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Astraspider

        So, you *are* really worried about are the “gotcha” moments? Gloss those embarrassing moments over and all will be fixed?

        You’re misunderstanding the GOP’s structural problems. Perhaps most importantly, you’re misunderstanding the constituency you value the most — the youth.

        • http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger

          It always amuses me when left-wing partisans think their various anti-conservative and anti-Republican biases constitute serious advice their opponents would or should seriously consider.

      • http://www.facebook.com/john.doey.73700 John Doey

        What? So americans actually do believe that rape is god’s “good will” and that women should be forced by the state to be further traumatized and humiliated by having to carry the consequence of that rape? Why pull punches? You’re a disgusting human being and fundamentalist kook and no longer have any real place in american society. Your ilk should do us all a favor by joining the Taliban, which is where they belong with such a retrograde mentality, and get the hell out of the country.

        YOU LOST THE CULTURE WAR. 2012 was the final battle. Doubling down on insanity, misogyny, and tyranny is not going to help.

        • http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger

          Join the Taliban? You really do need to make an effort to get your ignorance and prejudices under control before trying to take part in an adult conversation.

          • http://www.facebook.com/john.doey.73700 John Doey

            You’re not an adult. You’re a smug little creep. In fact you look barely old enough to shave. Sorry Calvin, but rational, sane adults don’t believe that rape is part of “god’s plan” and that the state should be able to force a woman who has already been traumatized and humiliated by a rapist to be further traumatized by being forced through threat of imprisonment to carry the rapists child. Amazing that you can’t see how completely dehumanizing that stance actually is. The person who believes that is not only unable to think rationally or sanely, but is an unbelievably cruel, fundamentalist bozo, who has no place in the 21st century. So yeah, my original statement stands. With a retrograde, misogynist mentality such as yours the only place left for you is in the bosom of fundamentalist islam where it’s perfectly acceptable to be a patriarchal, sexist, animal.

            Good luck!

            You guys have lost the culture for good this time. Doubling down and lying about it is not going change this fact.

          • http://www.facebook.com/john.doey.73700 John Doey

            I think Ayn Rand sums it up best here:

            Abortion is a moral right—which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved; morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be considered. Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her own body?

            Never mind the vicious nonsense of claiming that an embryo has a “right to life.” A piece of protoplasm has no rights—and no life in the human sense of the term. One may argue about the later stages of a pregnancy, but the essential issue concerns only the first three months. To equate apotential with an actual, is vicious; to advocate the sacrifice of the latter to the former, is unspeakable. . . . Observe that by ascribing rights to the unborn, i.e., the nonliving, the anti-abortionists obliterate the rights of the living: the right of young people to set the course of their own lives. The task of raising a child is a tremendous, lifelong responsibility, which no one should undertake unwittingly or unwillingly. Procreation is not a duty: human beings are not stock-farm animals. For conscientious persons, an unwanted pregnancy is a disaster; to oppose its termination is to advocate sacrifice, not for the sake of anyone’s benefit, but for the sake of misery qua misery, for the sake of forbidding happiness and fulfillment to living human beings.

            If any among you are confused or taken in by the argument that the cells of an embryo are living human cells, remember that so are all the cells of your body, including the cells of your skin, your tonsils, or your ruptured appendix—and that cutting them is murder, according to the notions of that proposed law. Remember also that a potentiality is not the equivalent of an actuality—and that a human being’s life begins at birth.

            The question of abortion involves much more than the termination of a pregnancy: it is a question of the entire life of the parents. As I have said before, parenthood is an enormous responsibility; it is animpossible responsibility for young people who are ambitious and struggling, but poor; particularly if they are intelligent and conscientious enough not to abandon their child on a doorstep nor to surrender it to adoption. For such young people, pregnancy is a death sentence: parenthood would force them to give up their future, and condemn them to a life of hopeless drudgery, of slavery to a child’s physical and financial needs. The situation of an unwed mother, abandoned by her lover, is even worse.

            I cannot quite imagine the state of mind of a person who would wish to condemn a fellow human being to such a horror. I cannot project the degree of hatred required to make those women run around in crusades against abortion. Hatred is what they certainly project, not love for the embryos, which is a piece of nonsense no one could experience, but hatred, a virulent hatred for an unnamed object. Judging by the degree of those women’s intensity, I would say that it is an issue of self-esteem and that their fear is metaphysical. Their hatred is directed against human beings as such, against the mind, against reason, against ambition, against success, against love, against any value that brings happiness to human life. In compliance with the dishonesty that dominates today’s intellectual field, they call themselves “pro-life.”

            By what right does anyone claim the power to dispose of the lives of others and to dictate their personal choices?

          • Ward Ricker

            ” a human being’s life begins at birth” — Can you actually say that with a straight face? Do you honestly think some magical transformation occurs in the process of birth that transforms an “non-human-being” into a human being?

          • Basset_Hound

            I’d like to address your thread clogging, pointless diatribe with a few questions.

            And HOW pray tell is surrendering a child for adoption such a horrible choice that you have to break out the oboes, violins and the accusations of “hate”? And WHY is it such an insurmountable obstacle for a single woman to take stock of her educational plans AND the character of the men she hangs around with BEFORE she drops trou? And WHAT made it possible for men to use women and throw them away like used tissue if the women don’t succumb to the pressure to “get rid of it or it’s over”. Unfettered abortion, of course.

            Also WHO is it that donates countless hours of time with mentoring programs for single moms and young children and donating resources for families in poverty? Those pesky pro-lifers, you know.

  • Basset_Hound

    Calvin….. I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, so I thought I’d point it out. I’m also not sure if you’re going to be able to read this for yourself before it’s drowned out by troll insults.

    Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, has called for her group to train future high profile pro-life candidates in how to handle the rape question BEFORE the group hands out its endorsement. Here is the link in case you want to check this out for yourself.

    http://www.lifenews.com/2012/11/07/pro-life-group-demands-candidate-training-after-akin-rape-dustup/

    • http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger

      That’s a great idea. Hopefully it’ll avoid future debacles like this.

      • Basset_Hound

        Now that I have your attention, I’d like to ask a question.

        If we do, indeed allow for a rape exception, how do we set criteria so that it is not a porous joke like the judicial bypass to parental consent?

        • http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger

          As someone who doesn’t like rape exceptions in principle but thinks we may have to accept laws including them when it’s the best we can get, I admit that’s not a question I’ve spent a lot of time considering. But I imagine it would be a relatively simple matter of requiring a police report confirming that a rape occurred.

          • Timmehh

            The only problem with that is, and it’s a big problem mind you, most all rapes go unreported. Many women are too afraid, confused, and ashamed to go to the police after what happened to them.

          • Basset_Hound

            And there’s the rub. What will keep this from boiling down to “we have to take the woman’s word for it”? But LONG before we get there,we need to bring US abortion law in line with many European countries. Many have waiting periods, mandatory counseling and gestational limits. Unfortunately, thanks to activist judges who prevent even the most miniscule restrictions.

          • Tania

            So your way of tackling the question of whether or not abortion should be allowed in the case of rape is, just to call the victim a liar? Do you honestly believe that every rape is reported? And no I’m not saying that every woman who claims to be raped is telling the truth either. Maybe you think that only the ones who are not too scared to come forward deserve help? And as for parental consent, what about those who have been abused by a relative?

          • Basset_Hound

            No, Tania, that’s not what I said at all. What if we tried to have a conversation about this without you putting words in my keyboard, you think??

            Consider this. I file a claim with Allstate that my husband’s truck has been stolen. What do you think they’ll ask the first thing? A police report documentation as to the make, model and ownership of the vehicle. Does this mean that Allstate is “calling me a liar”? What if I told them that I was too ashamed to come forward and report the crime, but that they were sexist pigs for not cutting me a settlement check for the newest, most expensive truck I could find? They’d probably say that they were sorry, that I would benefit from some professional help for my trauma, but that they couldn’t pay the claim without the documentation.

            As for your second point, what about parents who have no clue that the daughter has undergone a medical procedure and therefore don’t know to be on the lookout for complications? Who do you think the hospital is going to need to ask for permission to treat the girl? What if they have no clue that a coach, teacher or other authority figure has been molesting their daughter until he dumps her and they’re left to deal with the girl’s psychological damage? Here’s a link about just such a story.

            http://www.lifenews.com/2012/10/05/court-cases-make-it-harder-for-planned-parenthood-to-hide-child-rape/

            And as for those who have been abused by a relative? What do you think happens when said relative brings her to the clinic to remove the “evidence” of his crime. Numerous stories have been posted on this very blog of clinics performing the abortion and handing the girl right back to the relative for more abuse. A far more constructive solution would be to provide shelter and help for both mother and child and to insure that the perp is incarcerated for a long…long…time. But you don’t make abusive families better by undermining the rights of strong families.

        • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Astraspider

          You do what ersatz Vice President Paul Ryan has tried to do, which is try to legislate the meaning of “forcible rape” and make rape victims prove that they were physically assaulted and that they tried to fight back. Otherwise it might be just a bunch of female trickery. Yeah, with proper PR training, I think you can make that work. I say go for it.

          • Basset_Hound

            Norma McCorvey was the plaintiff in Roe vs. Wade. In 1970 she tried to secure an abortion by claiming that she was raped. Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee trotted her out as the token victim when they needed her, but dropped her like yesterday’s trash when they were through using her for their own purposes. She is now a staunch pro-life activist, and guess what Spider Man? She admitted years later that she LIED and was NEVER raped. Ever heard of Tawana Brawley who accused six police officers of raping her? How about the stripper who made the same accusation against members of Duke University’s lacrosse team, thus destroying their reputations. And oh yeah….there’s former high school football star Brian Banks who went to prison on a false rape allegation. He was later exonerated and freed.

            Yeah, with proper PR training, you might be able to come across as something more than an idiot with a dictionary. I say go for it!

          • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Astraspider

            So, you really *do* want tighter restrictions on how rape is reported and defined. That’s awesome. You’re invincibly ignorant about politics if that’s your take-away from this election.

          • Basset_Hound

            Spidey…spidey…spidey. You can call me names and launch your ad hominem attacks all day. It doesn’t bother me a bit. As long as “rape” means a physical assault that is reported to the police, that’s exactly what I mean. You’re the one that’s “invincibly ignorant” if you don’t realize that men have had their lives destroyed by accusations of rape or spousal abuse that turn out to be false because it’s “politically incorrect” to scrutinize a woman’s claims. Also, it’s a woman’s responsibility to go to the ER, and have the physical evidence collected. Otherwise it’s far more likely that the perp walks free if she doesn’t.

          • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Astraspider

            Since you’re comfortable using the term “ad hominem” I assume you know that “invincible ignorance” is a term of deductive reasoning, not necessarily an insult.

            And, given that you’d reload the rape rhetoric that we all just witnessed as a colossal political failure, I’d say the description fits.

            “But it’ll work this time!”, you say, because PR.

          • Basset_Hound

            “Deductive reasoning”? REALLY?

            I’d say I’ve read enough of your commentary to know that your term of “invincible ignorance” is nothing but another insult, glossing over the theoretical difficulties of the rape exception.

        • Zelda

          I heard a wonderful idea recently, which could be applied to the question of how to keep rape exceptions from becoming a “porous joke”: simply have the raped woman produce four male witnesses to the crime!

          • Basset_Hound

            Yeah. I get it. That’s the standard applied in Muslim countries.

            I’d like to nominate your post for the Ray Bolger Memorial Award for Best Straw Man Argument.

            I have a wonderful idea too. What if you actually READ the material instead of jumping in with sarcastic comments? To reiterate a post I made several days ago, I think before we even get there we start by implementing abortion restrictions along the lines of many European countries, such as waiting periods parental consent and mandatory counseling. I know they’re on the books in several states, more often than not, they’re blocked by activist judges. THEN we can talk about allowing for a rape exception if the victim has a police report on file and has visited the ER for treatment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.doey.73700 John Doey

    So essentially the pro-life movement’s tactic for responding to the rape question is to lie and gloss over it. Good to know and we’ll start informing voters of that tactic right now. Glad it’s here in print too so we can refer others to it.

    • Ward Ricker

      What lie? I am not seeing any lie.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ashley-Newman/1557146137 Ashley Newman

    FINALLY, thanks Calvin. You are dead on regarding Akin and Mourdock. I am shocked that our prolife politicians could not articulate our position and challenge the abortion industry. We have science and logic on our side, they have Dr. Grosnell’s House of Horror’s, Tonya Reaves botched Planned Parenthood abortion and countless lawsuits. Our team blundered this election, but like slavery and the holocaust, America will eventually see the evil that is abortion. Thanks for the motivation.

  • Zelda

    What burns me up the most about this topic is not that anti-choice people are against rape exceptions for abortion (if they truly believe abortion is murder, then it wouldn’t make any sense to make exceptions for rape); rather, it is the endless flowery justifications they offer to defend their position: “TRUE rape victims don’t get pregnant!” “Rape babies are something God intended!” “[Rape] babies are a gift from God!”

    It is obvious that they say these things to make themselves and their anti-choice brethren feel better about their position – surely they aren’t saying these things in an attempt to make the raped woman feel better about her situation.

    So my question is: why can those who are against exceptions for rape not simply admit that what they are demanding of pregnant rape victims is monstrous? Why continuously hide behind these platitudes about how every life is precious and wonderful and blah blah blah? I would have much greater respect for pro-life activists if they would come out with it and say “You know what? It IS heinous that we would force you to carry your unwanted rape baby to term despite the likelihood that it will cause you mental and physical anguish, and could have severe social, economic, and/or psychological repercussions, potentially for the rest of your life. Sorry about that, and maybe it isn’t fair or whatever, but we believe abortion is murder so you just need to go through with it.”

    Just be honest and straight forward about it, and don’t insult rape victims further by telling them how they need to feel (blessed!) if you put them in the position of having no choice but to bear their rapists’ children.

    • http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger

      If you’re really “burned up” about that, then I have good news for you: those actually *aren’t* “endless flowery justifications,” but the comments of two people who were immediately and strongly condemned by the majority of their own side. I’ve found that many of the most frustrating and confusing things about political life are easily resolved by going straight to what people are actually saying, rather than forming your opinions on stereotypes peddled by those people’s opponents :)

      • Zelda

        Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock are not the only politicians in the pro-life movement who hold the views that they hold about rape. Akin was, of course, just plain wrong about the facts, and I appreciate that people from within his own party were quick to call him out on it. But what Richard Mourdock said was, in substance, no different from what countless other politicians before him have said – including, quite recently, plausible GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum (I am sure you are already familiar with this clip from an interview Santorum did with Piers morgan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AL7NmI4XCFI) and Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan. Mourdock just said it less artfully, and caught the brunt of the outrage. Indeed, I almost felt sorry for him because I can imagine that he was saying to himself “but I only said what plenty of pro-life politicians have said already!” He must have felt quite bewildered and betrayed by those who “immediately and strongly condemned” him for holding the same views as Rick Santorum and many, many others.

        So I don’t really think it’s credible for you to imply that Akin’s and Mourdock’s thoughts on the matter are truly fringe positions in the pro-life movement., especially not Mourdock’s. These views are fundamental to the entire pro-life weltanschauung, which not only insists on forcing rape victims to carry their violently-conceived babies to term even against their wills, but also frequently persists in describing the experience as a “blessing in disguise” and the baby as a “gift.”

        I can follow along with the argument that all life is worth preserving, that fetuses are people deserving of equal protection under the law, etc., etc. I do not agree with these arguments, but I can appreciate the basis for them. I CANNOT, however, approve in any way of anyone attempting to justify their no-abortions-no-exceptions position by claiming that forcing a rape victim to bear an unwanted pregnancy to term is any sense a positive thing for the victim. Maybe for some it can be, but no one but the victim gets to decide that.

        Anyone who denies that forcing a rape victim to have a baby has the potential to devastate the victim, make her feel powerless, and even ruin her life (having a baby when you’re not ready or weren’t planning to have one can have lifelong medical, psychological, social, and economic consequences) is a coward. If you aren’t prepared to look a pregnant rape victim in the eye and say “It may be horrible to force you to carry this pregnancy against your will, but there is a deeper principle at stake than your own wishes or well-being, and that is what must take precedence,” then you have no business opposing a rape exception to abortion. Insisting that a baby that results from rape is necessarily some kind of “silver lining” for the rape victim is an audacious and insulting platitude spewed by pro-life cowards like Rick Santorum, Richard Mourdock, and Paul Ryan, among many others, as a means of justifying their positions to themselves, and while I do have more respect for pro-lifers who do not make exceptions for rape (because at least they’re consistent), I have NO respect or regard for those who justify it by telling rape victims how they ought to feel towards the resulting baby. Clearly, the likes of Santorum, Mourdock, and Ryan feel justified in telling women whether or not they can get an abortion, but how DARE they tell us how we should feel about being forced to give birth by law.

  • Tania

    And when the rape victim has decided to go ahead with the pregnancy what then? Will you pay for 100% of her medical needs? Are you going to ensure she can feed and care for the child and has adequate housing? And what about when her rapist threatens to go for custody unless she drops the charges? What will you do for her once the charges are dropped decides and he wants weekend visitation, so she has to deal with him for the rest of her life? What will you do for the child who knows he was born from those beginnings? Or the ones whose mothers have turned to substance abuse to try to forget the pain of what they have been through? What will you do for the children who end up being bounced around the care system? The trauma of forcing a woman to go through a pregnancy that was the result of a rape is bad enough, but then she has to deal with all of this. Maybe you should focus more on that, instead of trying to gloss over the suffering of the victim.

    • Tania

      And that’s just if we are talking about a women. What about the victim if she is still a child herself? Will she have to drop out of school to have her rapists baby? And have you thought about the strain that the pregnancy would put on a child’s body and the possible risks involved in that?

      • http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger

        Nobody’s denying the hardships of the situation, or saying there shouldn’t be some form of aid to help victims get through it. But killing the baby is a greater evil than the following 9 months, so justice gives me no choice. Killing an innocent child is simply not on the table.

    • http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger

      Most of your comment translates to, “unless we give someone a whole bunch of stuff, we have to let her kill someone.” Sorry, morality and justice don’t work that way. But since you’re intent on falsely accusing me of “trying to gloss over the suffering of the victim,” I guess I shouldn’t expect a serious effort to grapple with the ethics of the issue.

      As for rapist custody rights, you’re a little late to the party: http://liveactionnews.org/politics/oh-please-pro-lifers-accused-of-forcing-mothers-to-co-parent-with-their-rapist/

      • Tania

        And what you are saying that after the trauma of being raped that when a woman decides to carry child that was conceived in such an horrendous way she should then have to face the financial hardship that goes with that decision? It’s not about giving anyone lots of free stuff, it’s about giving them the proper support. Why should someone who had no choice in the matter then have to struggle to raise the child? Can you answer who you think should be responsible for financially providing for these children? And you have given me a link to an article you yourself wrote as a way to back up your claims on rapists not getting access to children born through rape? That’s about as significant as someone using the bible as evidence the bible is real! I agree with you that pro-lifers need to stand against rapists getting access to the children but that hasn’t changed anything for the women going through it. Your article talks about the women who have gone to court about their rapist, but I was asking about those who have been bullied into dropping the charges. We all wish we lived in a world where there was no such thing as abortion. I myself am the mother of three girls but that doesn’t mean I don’t think there is a better way of going about things. Give rape victims the support they need, as someone who has gone through it I can tell you it is more horrendous then you can even imagine. Also giving access to birth control and improving sexual health education will reduce the need for abortion. And while I’m at it, what about children who have been raped? Do you agree with forcing them to go through with a pregnancy too?

        • http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger

          “And you have given me a link to an article you yourself wrote as a way to back up your claims on rapists not getting access to children born through rape?”

          No, I gave you that link to refute your baseless suggestion that it’s something pro-lifers don’t care about. There are lots of problems with the criminal justice system that should be addressed, but you should take them up with the people responsible for them. It’s ridiculous to suggest that our trying to protect babies from willful execution means the burden of fixing a whole host of tangential issues we had nothing to do with automatically shifts to us, too. In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve got kind of a lot on our plate as it is.

          “Also giving access to birth control and improving sexual health education will reduce the need for abortion.”

          Actually, that’s not true. According to CDC data, virtually nobody attributes their unintended pregnancy to a lack of birth control access. Live Action writers have extensively explored the very issues you raise.

      • Tania

        What I am trying to say is that if you are saying that women who are raped should be forced to go through with a pregnancy, but as soon as the child is born care nothing for the suffering of the mother or the child then the rest of the world is right to look at you like you’re insane, however if you really want to make a difference maybe you could do more to ensure that every woman who continues with her pregnancy in such difficult circumstances, and every child that is born as a result was taken care of you would probably find you had more support. You have to see that only caring about the child before it’s born is just crazy. I think the problem is though that you want every child born as long as it wont cost you anything personally.

        • http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger

          “but as soon as the child is born care nothing for the suffering of the mother or the child then the rest”

          This is a grotesque straw man, and in response I can only suggest that you make a greater effort to familiarize yourself with pro-life thought and activism.

          “maybe you could do more to ensure that every woman who continues with her pregnancy in such difficult circumstances, and every child that is born as a result was taken care of you would probably find you had more support.”

          Um, have you looked at the federal budget lately? Aid to too few people isn’t exactly the current state of affairs.

          “you want every child born as long as it wont cost you anything personally.”

          First, I don’t “want children born” or not born; my only concern is that AFTER they’ve been created, they not be murdered. Your refusal to grapple with the main issue here isn’t helping. Second, smearing people you know nothing about comes disturbingly easy to you……

      • Tania

        I think maybe Calvin’s ethics only work for the unborn, unfortunately for him some of us have been living with the so called morality and justice of the situation for the last 19 years. But I am lucky enough to live in a country where we don’t have to worry about the cost of our health care so at least I didn’t have that to worry about, and my attackers were convicted of their crimes so I didn’t have to deal with the problem of access. However as a fifteen year old I had to deal with a pregnancy. When I turned 16 I was on my own as the children’s home I was living in was no longer responsible for me. I had to give up school to raise my daughter and had to put up with being branded a slut for being a single teenage mother. I have financially struggled every step of the way to get myself an education and to care for my children. And before you ask, no I don’t wish I had not had my daughter, and no I don’t want loads of free stuff but I did not expect to be just abandoned. I don’t think that abortion is the answer to all that but what gives someone like you who doesn’t have a clue how it feels the right to make those decisions for anyone else? I don’t regret my decision but I completely understand that for others that is too much to ask. Where was your morality when I wondered how I was going to feed my daughter? Unlike you though I can see both sides of the debate. Just because I don’t think that all people who decide to terminate are monsters doesn’t mean I think that there should no restrictions. The earliest baby to survive premature birth was 21 weeks and 6 days yet we still say that babies born before 24 weeks are nonviable and allow doctors just to let them die.How about you focus on that rather than making a difficult decision even harder?

        • http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger

          First, you’re missing my point. Let’s say there was no form of aid to parents in this country, public or private. Nada. None. Would that then make it morally acceptable to kill newborns or toddlers?

          Second, why does being able to survive premature birth make a person more deserving of life than one who isn’t yet capable?

          Third, pro-lifers ARE focusing on the parts of the issue that most Americans should be able to agree on. It’s the other side that obsesses with bringing up rape every five minutes and using it as a political weapon, and Akin & Mourdock were loudly denounced by their own side for being so careless in handling the issue. Heck, didn’t you notice that the very article you’re commenting on is one that argues FOR accepting a rape exception?

  • Pingback: Another Rhetorical Flub: FRC spokesman under fire for remarks on extramarital sex

  • Pingback: Rand Paul sends mixed messages on abortion, UPDATED

  • Pingback: How insane can pro-abortion talking points get? This insane | Live Action News