Monday, August 27, 2012

Rape and Abortion

In the wake of Congressman Akin's infamous statement about rape and pregnancy, the left had a field day attacking conservatives on their anti-abortion stance. Many on the right ran for cover, trying to distance themselves from his statements or even his position.

Let me go on the record as saying Mr. Akin's statement about pregnancy from rape is ignorant and demonstrably false.

Let me also go on the record as believing abortion should only be legal to save the life of the mother.

No rape and incest exception? No.

Even as they ridicule, pro-choicers are aware that a rape exception is inconsistent with the pro-life philosophy and use that against us. We may as well stand for what we believe in and be able to explain why.

The fundamental question about aborting an unborn child is this: What is it?

If the unborn is a blob of tissue, little more than a cancerous growth inside the mother or a parasite inside a host, then we shouldn't even be having this conversation. Aborting this little blob has no more moral significance than removing a mole.

If the unborn is a human being at a slightly earlier stage of development than an infant, then we must treat that life with all the care due any other human being.

The circumstances of his conception does not change that.

Rape is a horrible thing. Besides the physical violence, there is emotional trauma that will need a long time to heal, if it ever does.

And aborting the child produced by that attack will not change any of it. Allowing the child to be born, however, brings a little good out of that horrible thing.

After all, our society doesn't put rapists to death. Why would we kill their children? The child is not responsible for the act that brought him into the world.

You may be thinking, "Isn't it cruel to make a woman carry a child conceived in rape to term?" I don't think so. But even if it were, it's not all about her any more. There's another life involved. That innocent little life deserves to be protected. And many women, after carrying such children for nine months, realize they love and cherish that child as much as any other.

And if the mother doesn't want to raise the child, the line to adopt healthy infants is wrapped around the block ... many, many times.

All that said, though, I wouldn't make outlawing abortion after rape part of any party's platform. It's not something many people will be receptive to at this point in time. Tactically, it's something we should ease into.

Life is full of partial victories. If abortion was only legal in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother, the vast majority — by some estimates, 99+% — of abortions would cease. If, in time, we were able to convince people that rape isn't a good reason to abort a baby, that would be ideal, but we shouldn't set ourselves up for a much more difficult fight when we still have the larger one to win.

9 comments:

Corey Wilkey said...

I love this...being a moderate democrat, I myself but still not having never really figured out exactly how I feel about abortion. That being said, I did not disagree with anything you said in this post... Especially the part about not killing the rapist so why kill the child.

Thanks for sharing :)

ChrisB said...

Thanks, Corey.

VinnyJH57 said...

If the unborn is a human being at a slightly earlier stage of development than an infant, then we must treat that life with all the care due any other human being.

What do you mean by “we”? In our society, a person is not obligated to risk his own life or health or well being for a stranger. How do we justify imposing on a woman the obligation to risk her own life or health or well being for another against her will?

Life is full of partial victories. If abortion was only legal in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother, the vast majority — by some estimates, 99+% — of abortions would cease.

Surely you don’t believe this to be true. If abortion was only legal in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother, desperate women would seek out illegal abortions as they did before Roe v. Wade. Abortions would continue just as the consumption of alcohol continued during prohibition and the consumption of narcotics continues today.

ChrisB said...

As a society, we are morally obligated to extend legal protections to those unborn humans. It's true that no person is obligated to risk their life for another, but when you extend that to the nebulous "health," well, no parents are legally required to provide certain things for their children. If it risks their "health," too bad.

And, ok, maybe it would only be 90% of abortions that would cease, maybe only 50 -- that's a win. Yes, there will alway be illegal abortions, but making abortion illegal in most circumstances won't just make it harder to get one, it will change the way people see it. It will go from a perfectly acceptable, viable option to something that has to be done in the dark, away from respectable society -- meaning something's wrong with it and maybe they should find another way.

It amazes me that giving birth to your own child is considered such terrible thing in some quarters of society. If you judge a people based on how they treat the most vulnerable among them, we're not doing well.

VinnyJH57 said...

As far as I know, throughout most of human history and in most human societies, the unborn have not been deemed to have the same status as the born. How do you justify this moral obligation that no one else ever seems to have recognized? Millions of unborn humans are lost through miscarriages every year and no one thinks society needs to do anything to protect them.

Bryan Liberty said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Srivatsan Manivannan said...

Works perfectly and lets us actually learn more :)
Am keen on reading more posts from you :)

officialpain said...

I have recently come to the conclusion that the "sanctity of life" extends from conception to natural death. As horrible as rape incest are-no abortion! As tragic as it is-God chooses who lives when a mother's life is in danger! As horrible as child abuse is even when it leads to rape/murder of the child-no capitol punishment! Of course the offender would spend the rest of their life in jail. If you going to claim you are pro-life it has to extend from conception to natural death.

ChrisB said...

Hi, officialpain,

" If you going to claim you are pro-life it has to extend from conception to natural death."

I can understand the sentiment, but I don't share it. The Lord saw fit to order the death for certain crimes to both Moses and Noah, therefore it is not inherently immoral. It should be carefully used, but I think there are times when it is appropriate.