Romney and rape go hand in hand.
Not literally, of course, but when you belong to the Grand Old Party of the United States of Crazytown, it seems the accusation is unavoidable.
"I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen," he said.
Not only do you have to suffer the humiliation of a violent (read: ‘legitimate’) sexual violation, that resulting baby is a gift from God! Want it aborted? You can go to Hell! That child will haunt your memory of the attack for as long as you live, but that’s fine, because God loves you.
It is such an indefensible position to take – so illogical, and so far from any from any crumb of rational thought.
It’s a dangerous take on moral absolutism because it promotes an ideology, literally, at any cost.
The same attitude is present amongst those who firebomb abortion clinics and release the names of abortion doctors online (but not before threatening harm upon them).
It must be understood that these threats are the property of the irrational, the irresponsible, and the desperate, as declining a woman’s right to protect her body amounts to a threat.
“How they can,” columnist Laurie Penny rages, “with a straight face, suggest forcing women with crisis pregnancies or with horrifically sick fetuses growing inside them to carry those pregnancies to term against their will and then give birth to them in pain and fear…is a matter for their consciences.”
I fought long and hard against defining myself as pro-choice.
For a fair while, my position was zip:
I am a male of the species; therefore I have no place telling women what’s best for their bodies.
But even the most fleeting glance at the situation means that no one can really sit on the fence.
To see abortion clinics in New Zealand picketed, to see doctors fear for their safety, to see women too frightened to attend these clinics that only exist to help, support, and empower…it all single-handedly destroys any chance of complacency.
Luckily, radical pro-lifers in New Zealand come across as considered and thoughtful navel-gazers when the US cast their long shadow.
‘The American Taliban’ is how Aaron Sorkin described the Tea Party in his effort to “speak truth to stupid”, and it’s no lazy comparison.
We’re seeing it evolve and distort before our very eyes: the sustained attacks on the rights of women, the holy status being placed on the nuclear family (with a subservient wife, no less), the totalitarian desire for an oppressive penal system, and above all, the single-minded need to see the US established as a Christian Nation.
If, as Mourdock insists, a rape pregnancy is a gift from the God then we open the door to all the other wonderful and Holy acts the Bible advocates: slavery, genocide, racism, genital mutilation, and rampant imperialism.
For all desire to promote individual choice, there’s no side-stepping the issue of life being snuffed out.
As Medhi Hasan put it, “I sat and watched in quiet awe as my two daughters stretched and slept in their mother’s womb during the 20-week ultrasound scans. I don’t need God or a holy book to tell me what is or isn’t a ‘person’.”But until that squirming mass of potential life is born, it remains the property of its mother – and it is this inalienable privilege that we must protect above and beyond a fetus’ right to life.
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