Republicans and Rape: Really?

Yes, they are at it again. The Republican Party, or at least one of their members, has once again shown just how tone deaf you can be when you really try. Richard Mourdock is running for Senate from Indiana. He, like all Republicans, needs to prove his anti abortion credentials while giving the illusion of caring about women.

Most of the time it’s easy, until someone asks about favoring abortion of a pregnancy that results from rape. No woman (or any man worth the air he breathes) wants to think about this possibility, and the idea of carrying a child conceived from this act of hate is horrible beyond words.

So what do you do if you need to pander to the far right while appearing to care about women?

You have a few choices. In August Representative Todd Akin (R-MO) was asked this question and this was his response:

Well you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.

All women (and men worth the air they breathe) immediately focused on the most important part of this quotation: legitimate rape. This allows him to respond to a woman impregnated by rape by saying that since this is impossible, you must have consented. It wasn’t a legitimate rape.

To be fair, many Republicans repudiated this, and Mr. Akin lost a great deal of national Republican funding. But it’s worth asking if they did this because they honestly disagree, or if he committed the sin of saying something in public that they all believe in private but dare not say.

OK, fast forward to now. Mr. Mourdock was asked the same question. Here is his answer:

I struggled with it myself for a long time, and I realized that life is a gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.

Really? OK, I’m assuming Mr. Mourdock is a devout Christian and wanted to communicate a belief that God can (and does) create good out of evil. As a Christian I believe this. But as a man worthy of the air I breathe, I can’t believe the callousness of this statement. Does he not get the implications of this statement? Does he not know that if a woman is impregnated by rape (that Todd Akins says can’t happen) she will be told that she has a moral obligation to carry the child to term because God “intended that to happen?”

Vote Republican at your own risk.

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