Thursday, November 08, 2012
The Abortion "Gotcha" Question
Not this time.
As followers of the 2012 election here in the US know, there were a couple of male Republican Senate candidates who had the unmitigated gall to comment on abortion in the case of rape. (I say "unmitigated gall" a bit sarcastically) They articulated their position very clumsily, and of course, the liberal media and the left (synonymous) pilloried both men. I thought the remarks of Missouri candidate Todd Akin were stupid and ill-informed in terms of him saying a woman's body "has a way of shutting things down" in case of rape and pregnancy. That deserved a whack. But I think his use of the term "legitimate rape" was grossly and unfairly distorted to mean what he did NOT mean. He meant "forcible," not that any rape was "legitimate." He was still medically wrong, but it's not fair to insinuate he meant something he clearly did not mean.
In the case of the other candidate from Indiana, Richard Mourdock, he was asked the "gotcha" question by the media—"What about cases of rape and incest? Will you allow abortion then?" Mourdock gave an answer that was correct in a theological sense, but very badly articulated and the media (and the Democrats) of course ran with it. You never try to explain or argue theology in a secular media interview. Most of them won't get it anyway.
Republican candidates (and pro-life Democrats for that matter) should know better. Especially with a hostile media. These kinds of questions will come. Expect them. And more than that, know how to give a better answer that they'll have a tougher time twisting and distorting. Allow me to offer a suggestion:
"Let's be crystal clear on this subject. First, let's deal with the criminal. Rape is a violent, evil act. It's horrific, and in most cases traumatizes a woman for years, if not a lifetime. At one time in the history of the United States, rape used to be a capital offense, punishable by the death penalty. It's time to restore that to law. You forcibly rape a woman, and you will be executed. In the electric chair. Swiftly.
Next, let's consider the first victim. The woman. Any woman who is subjected to the terrible ordeal and crime of a rape must be treated with the tenderest compassion possible. She needs to be surrounded by family, friends, and faith. People need to come alongside her, support her, and help her through the difficult days ahead. She is a victim of a violent crime, and deserves the swiftest justice against the perpetrator of the crime against her.
Finally, let's deal with the forgotten, third victim. And this is what makes this a gut-wrenching subject for anyone who has to deal with it. The woman undergoes a horrific ordeal, but there is a third person involved. A baby. A human being. A human being who has come into existence through no fault of his/her own. The baby is not responsible for how he/she was conceived. I cannot in good conscience say that it is okay to kill a child because of the circumstances surrounding conception—even circumstances as horrific as rape is. Rape is a horrible crime against humanity, and a sovereign God. So is the killing of an unborn child. So let's stop using this subject as a political "gotcha," and begin recognizing that there are serious issues at stake here way beyond the shrieking of activists. As a potential lawmaker, I am compelled to do the right thing as far as my spiritual values and conscience dictate. You will have to make your determination to vote for me or against me, knowing my stance on this issue. But this IS my stance, and it is a stance that has been carefully thought out in the light of much prayer and reflection."
There you have it. That's what I'd say. Of course, to the wild-eyed pro-abortion activist to whom the right to kill the unborn is like a sacrament, what I just said is anathema. But it will be difficult for the media to twist and distort. And that's the whole point.
One more thing. Contrary to the opinion of some, men are not insensitive to the subject of rape, nor does their maleness make them incapable of understanding it. Men can and have been raped themselves. Anyone remember a convict by the name of Jerry Sandusky? How about 33 young men and boys raped and killed by executed John Wayne Gacy? How about Jeffrey Dahmer's victims?
While men can't become pregnant, the damage to their psyche can just as bad. It might even be worse. Think about it from a man's perspective—a man is usually stronger and is expected to be able to defend himself. Some aren't strong, and some can't defend themselves well. Prison rape happens all the time, and the humiliation to a raped man is horrendous. Rape is rape, no matter to whom it happens. It's heinous, and deserves the severest punishment.
Let's just not punish a child as we seek retributive justice.