Disciple of Thecla
8/27/12 at 06:50 AM 2 Comments

Todd Akin, and the Abortion Exemption for Rape

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A Missouri candidate for the Senate, Todd Akin has reignited the fierce controversy over abortion, especially abortion exemptions in cases of rape and incest. Todd Akin's comments were misguided at best, misogynistic at worst. Akin attempted to dismiss the entire controversy by declaring that women cannot become pregnant during rape, “The female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” However, he also included the term "legitimate rape," which implies that some women who claim to have been raped might not have been raped at all. To me, that is where his comments become less misguided and more misogynistic.

In a phone interview [August 20th] morning, Mitt Romney told National Review Online that Representative Todd Akin’s recent remarks on rape are “inexcusable.”

“Congressman’s Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong,” Romney said. “Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive.”

If Akin had not used the word "legitimate," then there would be little controversy about him. Akin had also said about pregnancy from rape, "First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare," Now that is a solid statement for us to debate, not to criticize or condemn but to debate.

As I stated in an earlier blogpost, before I became a Christian, I was a pro-life Atheist. DNA is what makes us human, and humans obtain their DNA at the moment of conception. I once believed in exemptions for rape. Then, I realized this exemption discriminates against the unborn on the basis of how the baby was conceived. No person chooses his or her method of coming into the world.

That being said, I have not yet seen anyone discuss this issue tactfully. The conservatives do not know how to talk about the issue, and the liberals refuse to listen or consider any discussion over the matter. The liberals tend to demonize the conservatives for fun and enjoyment.

One thing that disturbs me is how the media and popular culture portray rape. Some women such as Lady Gaga glorify rape. Cosmopolitan and Fifty Shades of Grey consider rape to be romantic. The third Twilight book has sex so rough that it might as well as be rape, but somehow in Twilight, it is okay because they love each other.

But then, there is the notion that women are always the victims - not the survivors - of rape. I have seen that portrayal in some police shows and some books. Popular culture believes that if a woman is raped, then she is permanently damaged, both psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Rape is damaging. Like all other injuries, women survive and overcome the damage done to them. The problem is not that pop culture portrays rape as an injury. It is a grievous injury. The problem is that pop culture portrays rape as permanently damaging. If a woman has cancer and lives through it, then she is a cancer survivor. If a woman lives through rape, then she is always the rape victim and never the survivor.

To refer to a woman as a survivor grants her a certain level of personal inner strength - psychological, emotional, and spiritual strength. To refer to a woman always as the victim denies her any inner strength. Victimhood denies women the last source of empowerment remaining to them. This notion of women always as rape victims and never rape survivors has certainly tainted the dialogue about abortion and abortion exemptions.

Mitt Romney first called on Todd Akin to reconsider his words and to contemplate quitting. When that did not work, Mitt Romney urged Todd Akin to drop out of the Senate race.

"Todd Akin's comments were offensive and wrong and he should very seriously consider what course would be in the best interest of our country. Today, his fellow Missourians urged him to step aside, and I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race," Mr. Romney said in a statement from his campaign.

Meanwhile, I have yet to hear from Obama or the news media about a Democrat who solicited sex with a minor through Craiglist and then committed statutory rape with that minor in some bushes. Although some lawmakers call on him to resign, an actual sex crime from their own party is ignored and overlooked both by the mainstream media and the Obama campaign while they focus on the words - not actions - of a certain Republican.

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