Why Pro-Choice Advocates Need to Stop Talking About Rape

Unless you’ve been in the service yourself, you may not realize how many devout Mormons there are in military intelligence.

I was surprised, but it makes more sense when you know how thorough Top Secret Clearances are. You have to tell them EVERYTHING… from having ever spoken with a counselor, to having ever had a speeding ticket, to whether you’ve ever been involved in people smoking a bowl.

And God help you if you’ve ever smoked a bowl. You’ll need to provide written records chronicling each incident and then get a doctor’s letter assuring them you’re not an unhinged criminal lunatic. They’ll be interviewing your friends and first-grade teacher, just to make sure.

I mean, we can’t have our operatives selling out our nation’s secrets every time a Ruski offers them weed, right?

So, given the sky-high moral standards, it kind of makes sense how a disproportionate number of Mormons end up in military intelligence. Mormons grow up following a lot of strict rules. They’ve got an unreasonably high chance of never having smoked a bowl.

And one these faithful Mormons was a good friend of mine in my Army days. He seemed to think a decent heart hid beneath all my heathen ways, even though I’d debated many of his beliefs on several occasions. He’d even offered to propose, if I’d become just a little bit holier.

Flattering, but not tempting enough to pretend I was someone else. We remained good friends with surprisingly little friction until the subject of abortion came up, one day, on one our our many long, boring Army bus rides to the gun range.

As you’d expect, he was devoutly Pro-life. After hearing him expound on the evils of abortion for a while, I looked him square in the eyes before asking:

“But what about cases of rape or incest?”

He bit his lip, turning white. He looked pained, as though begging me not to hate him for what he was about to say:

“It’s a very… very sad thing for a woman to be raped.”

He took a deep breath before continuing.

“But I’m afraid… I still don’t abortion is okay. It’s not the baby’s fault.”

I smiled, patted his shoulder, and said I respected his position. If he really believed abortion was murder, then he should think it’s wrong in any case. I didn’t agree with him, but at least he wasn’t a hypocrite.

 

I realize my views on this subject are a little outside-the-box, but let me explain…

I witnessed a huge kerfuffle on Facebook today after someone posted a photo of a guy holding a sign reading: “Abortion has never been about ‘choice’… It’s about escaping the consequences of your choices by taking all choices away from another human being.”

Which prompted an avalanche of a thousand responses, all either supporting this position or debating it from a pro-choice stance.

And nearly every pro-choice person debating the argument brought up cases of rape. Almost every last one of them. 

They’d focused in on the concept of consequences of your choices by reminding people that woman aren’t always responsible, that they aren’t always “choosing” things that make pregnancy happen.

But I think it’s a trap. Better to focus on the idea of consequences.

Here’s why…

Anyone who believes abortion is only okay in cases of rape or incest doesn’t really believe abortion is murder. They think pregnancy is the punishment women deserve for having sex.

Why?

Because murdering children is never okay. 

If someone abandoned their baby on your doorstep, would it be okay to shoot the baby?

NO. No one who isn’t a sociopath would believe that.

But what about the fact that it’s a burden and you didn’t do anything to cause a baby to show up at your door?

It doesn’t matter. It’s not okay to kill a child. Ever.

Pro-choice advocates don’t believe early abortions are murder, because fetuses haven’t developed consciousness yet. Yes, they would become a conscious being eventually, but having the potential to develop into a beautiful baby isn’t the same as being one now.

If we honestly believed that developing every potential human was a good idea, then we’d be making sure women were pregnant as often as possible, because every menstrual cycle stops a potential human being from developing. But we don’t, because we know it’s unsustainable and we don’t really consider eggs “people.”

But if you DO believe that a two-week-old fetus is the same as a person, then it shouldn’t matter how the pregnancy happened. That fetus shouldn’t be any different from a baby that shows up on your doorstep… or a ten-year-old kid, for that matter. Who thinks shooting the ten-year-old child of a raped woman is okay?

NO ONE.

So why the double standard?

Why does it matter whether the woman was a raped virgin, or a sex-loving nymphomaniac who had loads of one-night stands?

It doesn’t, unless everything hinges on the chastity of the mother. If you think it’s okay for the “chaste” woman to have an abortion, but not the promiscuous one, then it’s not really an issue of murder now, is it?

It’s a cosmic punishment for having sex for pleasure. You want to see irresponsible women get what’s coming to them, right?

You must, because if it’s not about the promiscuity of the mother, then why is it okay to murder children sometimes, depending on whether or not their mothers asked for it?

Pro-choice advocates who argue about the extenuating circumstances of rape are falling into a trap. They’re letting pro-lifers get away with pretending it’s all about child murder, when it’s really about punishing women who don’t conform to antiquated standards of chastity.

And I think we’re better off calling them on it. Let’s quit talking so much about how slutty we think the woman is and refocus on when the fetus develops consciousness…

Because frankly, I’d change my position if someone convinced me that an early embryo had full awareness, but not because some jerk wants to force an unwanted baby on an unprepared mom, who has no resources or support, as a cautionary tale about why we should all be resisting sexual temptation.

I have far too much respect for children to let them be used as pawns in some hypocritical religious game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Why Pro-Choice Advocates Need to Stop Talking About Rape

    1. Thank you! It’s a rough issue, to be sure, but I’m always surprised more people don’t make this point. It’s such a slippery slope into allowing abortions only when women are “good girls,” and it really should be about when embryos take on awareness.

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  1. ooh, that was really good! I hadn’t thought of that before, and the practically-apologetic trap. Hmm…now I’m thinking about one of Bill Maher’s monologues about how liberals need to stop apologizing for everything. Seriously, we do, and it’s not needed. I have yet to see a conservative I know apologize or downplay their own viewpoints, but I catch myself doing it quite a bit–and it sucks. Yeah, it’s a trap–mind blown, thanks a ton!

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    1. Wow, sorry that iI didn’t reply sooner, but frankly I haven’t been keeping up with this blog in a while and am surprised by how much it blew up in my absence.

      Thank you! I realize that what I wrote was controversial, but I can’t help noticing how often rape comes up in abortion arguments as part of an explanation of how women aren’t always responsible for pregnancies… and while it’s understandable that it would come up (because what kind of monster wants to force underage women to birth their rapist’s babies), it’s also a slippery slope into undermining the general prochoice argument…

      Because if if abortion becomes okay because the pregnancy WASN’T the woman’s fault, then it easily becomes wrong when it IS the woman’s *fault*.

      And really, why go down that road when there’s already a glaring fault in the pro-life argument that’s just begging to come to light?

      That obvious one, which is: if abortion is murder, then why would it matter whether the woman in question chose to have sex or not? And if abortion is okay when the woman is “chaste,” then abortion was never about murder in the first place.

      Strangely enough, I happen to have just watched Maher’s argument about how liberals have become the apologist party since last writing this blog. Weird, since you brought it up. It spoke to me too.

      I think it’s tough, because liberals try to be the openminded party, the one that fights for the underdogs, that values different perspectives, that doesn’t want to see victimized people being bullied. We don’t generally favor the notion that someone uniquely owns the “Truth,” while everyone else is wrong.

      But maybe we need to come back swinging, because we’re currently getting clobbered by the other team. Maybe even go on the offensive, as in pointing out the glaring flaws in the pro-life argument instead of painting pictures of sympathetic victims they must want to victimize.

      The way I see it, punishing women for not being virgins is a whole lot less sympathetic than protecting babies, so we may as stop humoring the pro-life pretense, as well as demanding better parental leave policies and whatever other pro-child policies a truly pro-family person would support.

      At any rate, thank you so much for reading and for sharing your perspective. I think this is an extremely important issue and we should be thinking long and hard about how to best protect our rights.

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