Today’s post is by Kristine Kruszelnicki.
As a pro-lifer who does not support the rape exception, I cringed as I watched Todd Akin’s suicidal interview. Todd Akin should never have publicly raised an argument that he was not able and prepared to back up – especially one as groundless as the claim that “legitimate rape” doesn’t result in pregnancy. Doing so not only discredited his entire statement on abortion, but also brought the entirety of his pro-life convictions into question.
Much has already been said on the matter of where Todd Akin went wrong (see yesterday’s post by Jen if you missed it), but I’d like to take a few moments to emphasize where Todd Akin went right.
Let me be clear: I don’t believe this is reason to support Akin, and certainly the right doesn’t wash away the wrong, but for the sake of discussion, it does bear mentioning that his subsequent point (and the only one he should have made, in my opinion) is nonetheless valid and worthy of consideration:
but the punishment ought to be on the rapist,
and not attacking the child.”
This statement addresses the seriousness of the rape and that a crime did occur and should be punished. The statement also emphasizes the humanity of the unborn by pointing out that the rapist is not the same as the rapist’s child. Finally the statement emphasizes the crux of the opposition to the rape exception: We should punish the rapist, not the punish the child conceived in rape.
I’d like to now introduce a slightly more successful interview that follows on the tails of the Todd Akin comments. Rebecca Kiessling was interviewed on the Piers Morgan show a few days ago, thanks in large part to the rape-abortion media attention generated by Akin’s blunder. Rebecca faced a very hostile and forceful Gloria Allred (who kept interrupting her with outlandish and sometimes irrelevant comments) and a less than supportive Piers Morgan (who promised Rebecca the last word and then repeatedly allowed Allred to interrupt and talk over her), but I feel she nonetheless stood her ground and argued well.
At 6:37 Piers asks Rebecca: “My problem is with the women who get raped and impregnated and they are desperate – desperate – to not have the rapist’s baby. On any human level shouldn’t they just have a basic human right in that situation to make that decision for themselves, isn’t that what a modern America should stand for?”
Rebecca responds: “Modern America has said, according to the supreme court, that it is cruel and unusual punishment to give the death penalty to a rapist or even a child molester… I don’t think that I or any other child similarly situated deserved the death penalty for the crimes of our fathers.”
Gloria interrupts by pointing out that it’s only the death penalty if you consider an embryo equal to a full-grown woman and when Rebecca finally gets the floor back from Gloria and from Piers, Rebecca continues:
“You know I may not look the same now as I did when I was four years old or four weeks old unborn in my mother’s womb but that was still undeniably me. I would’ve been killed. My life would have been ended… I was targeted for abortion – that was my near-death experience and the fact that I was younger doesn’t make it any less real or any less significant than someone who wakes up out of a coma to find out they were almost killed in an automobile accident.”
Gloria cuts Rebecca off yet again, trying to voice a tangent about coma victims getting raped, and when Rebecca gets to finally finish her thought she concludes with:
“Gloria I’m a woman. You talk about how much you care about women, but what good is my right to anything as a woman if I don’t have my right to life?”
One thing is for certain, Todd Akin screwed up. But we can be grateful for one thing: Akin has allowed pro-lifers and pro-choicers to once again discuss the ever-crucial matter of whether or not abortion should be permissible in cases of rape. To read more on the matter, please re-visit the point/counter-point debate had between Monica and I this past spring.