Vote 2012,  Women's Rights

Another Republican Senate candidate on rape and pregnancy

First there was Todd “legitimate rape” Aiken in Missouri. Now it’s Richard Mourdock, running for US Senate from Indiana.

I believe life begins at conception. The only exception I have for to have an abortion is in the case of the life of the mother. I struggled with myself for a long time but I came to realize life is that gift from God, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape. It is something that God intended to happen.

Now Mourdock is entitled to his belief. And nobody has the right to prevent any woman who shares that belief, and becomes pregnant as a result of rape, from carrying her pregnancy to term.

The problem comes when people like Mourdock try to use the laws and the courts to impose that belief on others.

Mourdock, with support from the Tea Party movement, defeated longtime Senator Richard Lugar in the Republican primary in May.

Update: Ta-Nehisi Coates observes: “Mourdock of course, by accident of biology, will never have to bear such gifts.”

Further update: Unlike Amy Sullivan I’m not a Christian, but I agree with what she writes here, especially this:

Despite the assertions of many liberal writers I read and otherwise admire, I don’t think that politicians like Mourdock oppose rape exceptions because they hate women or want to control women. I think they’re totally oblivious and insensitive and can’t for a moment place themselves in the shoes of a woman who becomes pregnant from a rape. I think most don’t particularly care that their policy decisions can impact what control a woman does or doesn’t have over her own body. But if Mourdock believes that God creates all life and that to end a life created by God is murder, then all abortion is murder, regardless of the circumstances in which a pregnancy came about.
Ultimately, if someone wants to believe that God is in control and everything works out as it’s meant to, that is fine by me. For that matter, I know plenty of people on the opposite end of the political spectrum from Mourdock who have referred to a pregnancy after long stretches of infertility as a blessing from God. But if it’s Mourdock’s choice to believe that all human life is intentionally created by God, then he needs to understand that a rape victim may not see her pregnancy in quite the same light. And if she should decide that the pregnancy is a constant reminder of her rapist that she just cannot bear, that’s her choice, too.

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