I'm writing this post because I wanted to sort out why Indiana Senate Candidate Richard Mourdock's debate response bothered me - when I essentially believe that what he said was true.
Mourdock said, in response to a question about his views on whether abortion should still be legal in the cases of rape or incest, that "Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen." I, too, believe in God. And I believe that God is in all things, for good or evil. I believe that all life comes from God. I don't think Mourdock was trying to say that God intends for rape to happen. But I still think it was wrong for him to what he did, and here's why.
Mourdock is interviewing, if you will, for a position of power - to represent ALL the people of the state of Indiana in the U.S. Senate. Many of those people are not Christian. More than half of them are probably women. Statistically speaking, a significant number of them have been victims of rape. It's fine for Mourdock to believe as he does, but it is NOT fine for him to impose his specific beliefs on the people of his state. It is NOT fine for him, as a potential member of the U.S. Senate, to impose his specific beliefs on the entire population of the United States - and especially not okay for him to impose his specific beliefs on the women of the United States. It's fine for him to hold those beliefs, which are firmly mainstream Christianity, but he needs to understand that when he says that, in that context, he is effectively saying he intends to impose his beliefs on others.
Look - I believe that abortion is not a good thing. In an ideal world, there would never be the need for an abortion - all pregnancies would be wanted, would be healthy, would be risk free. But in this world, that is not the case. There are so many situations when abortion is the lesser evil and it's not my place, or your place, or the government's place to judge. I firmly believe that the decision to have an abortion rests with the mother, in consultation with whoever she feels she wants to consult: the father (one hopes, and that he is not a rapist), her family, her doctor, her spiritual adviser, her friends, her God. Only she knows whether she could go through with a pregnancy, whether she could care for a child or give it up for adoption. If an abortion is a consideration, it is up to her to make that difficult decision.
I believe that the absolute LAST thing a rape victim needs is to have to undergo public scrutiny and shame in order to secure an abortion if that is her decision. It's so appalling to me that this is even a consideration. Anyone who suggests that that is even an option, as if that makes this judging of others okay, has no compassion. I don't understand why abortion legislation is even part of the discussion about rape, when it is inevitably even more harmful and painful to someone who has just been subjected to a horrible crime.
Finally, I emphatically believe that, with regards to rape, the ONLY thing we should hear from our legislators is that rape is an abomination, that it is a completely reprehensible crime, and that those that commit rape will hunted down and brought to justice. No victim blaming. No talking about "legitimate" or "forcible" rape. No discussions about what the victim SHOULD do if they were impregnated. I don't understand why we don't hear this strong condemnation of rape from our leaders, when nearly 1 in 5 women have been a victim of rape. I don't understand why it is justifiable to go to war in other countries over a few thousand deaths when hundreds of thousands of women in the United States are raped every year and the majority of these criminals go unpunished. There is something seriously wrong with this picture.