Thursday, February 01, 2007

Abortion: Rape and Incest

I hope that Andrew Sullivan is being ironic in his headline reporting on "South Dakota's New, Improved Abortion Ban", which allows abortions in the case pregnancies which are the result of rape and incest (as well as those necessary for the health or life of the mother).

I'm not the first to say this, or even in the first hundred, but apparently it needs to be said again and again: The "rape and incest" exception is case of blatant, staggering hypocrisy. If the whole point of outlawing abortion is to protect the civil and legal rights of the blastocyst or embryo, innocent of any wrongdoing, then the criminal behavior of another person cannot possibly permit one to ignore those rights.

I can't find any other explanation for such blatant hypocrisy except pure mendacity. It's obvious that for such rape-and-incest-excepting abortion opponents, it's not about the rights of any person, it's about condemning the woman for having sex and punishing her by forcing her to have a baby. Why else would they except a woman who is clearly not at "fault"?

If someone actually believes that a blastocyst or embryo actually has enough "personhood" to deserve civil and legal protections, I may disagree, but I'll at least respect them for having a sincere moral stance. But I have nothing but contempt for hypocrites who conceal their sexual repression and misogyny under a insincere cloak of sanctified right-to-life bullshit.

6 comments:

  1. I think Andrew Sullivan was criticizing them. He's been a reluctant supporter of first-trimester abortion in the past, and the section of the press release he highlighted certainly wasn't flattering to South Dakota's legislators: In essence, the abortion is only legal if the woman can prove that it's rape. So if you want to have that abortion, victims, be damn sure the guy knocked you around some instead of just slipping you some rohypnol.

    I really didn't think anything could top Maryland's judicial ruling that a woman can't say "no" after she's said "yes." But I was wrong. Silly me.

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  2. This is very true. I used to volunteer for clinic defense and I've seen the anti-choice fanatics close up. There are some very weird psychological dynamics going on with those people.

    It looked to me like Sullivan was being sarcastic. As a Catholic he's against abortion, but I don't think he supports an actual legal ban on it.

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  3. I always assumed that radical abortion opponents' hypocrisy over rape and incest was due more to a bizarre pragmatism than to simple misogyny and sexual repression. I figured that they do believe that abortion should be illegal in all cases, including in cases of rape and incest. They make exceptions only when forced to by the courts.

    But people are not always clear, even to themselves, about their motivations. I have no doubt that most on the "Pro Life" front line suffer from "weird psychological dynamics" which may be the fuel for their passion on the issue. The trouble is that much of these wackos' support comes from people who are squeamish on the question of abortion and feel "something should be done" but are not that radical, but but who will remove this political support if a ban includes cases of rape and incest. This is hypocrisy at the least, and clearly indicates a lack of internal moral clarity.

    One trouble is that too few liberal politicians and commentators point out this hypocrisy because they want to depict radical pro lifers as being simply too harsh and mean rather than that they lack consistency.

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  4. Larry:

    Just wanted to add my voice to those who have recently discovered your blog (through the reference on Andrew Sullivan's). I have a limited budget of time for reading blogs, so I am awarding you my daily reading, and deleting Sullivan. Keep up your thought-provoking analysis. Thanks.

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  5. Welcome to my new readers!

    I'm pretty sure that Andrew Sullivan was in fact being ironic. Still, Sullivan is a complex guy.

    Even ordinary people--and not just vocal proponents--who are against abortion in general but squeamish about prohibiting abortions for rape and incest victims need, in my not-so humble opinion, to take a good hard look at their underlying moral values and the hypocrisy which their squeamishness unveils.

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  6. And kudos to Infidel753. Clinic defense is worthy cause. Were I not in the uber-liberal San Francisco Bay Area, where such defense is unnecessary, I would also volunteer.

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