Just yesterday, I had the (rare) occasion to deliver some good news out of my state of Indiana on reproductive rights.
Today, I bring you the news that our Republican Senate candidate, Richard Mourdock, was asked during a debate with his Democratic challenger, Joe Donnelly, whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape and incest.
Now, this is a question that shouldn't need asking, for about a dozen different reasons, but Mourdock's answer is precisely why it gets asked.
I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.There ain't enough fuck you in the world for this guy.
Naturally, Mourdock reacted with huffy indignation when asked after the debate if he believed rape is part of his deity's plan—an eminently reasonable question given that he said "it is something that God intended to happen."
"Are you trying to suggest somehow that God preordained rape, no I don't think that," Mourdock said. "Anyone who would suggest that is just sick and twisted. No, that's not even close to what I said."So, basically, his deity would never orchestrate a rape, but would definitely exploit a rape to impregnate a rape victim. Cool. Sounds great. Where do I sign up to worship this excellent decision-maker?
In January of this year, Rick Santorum said something similar: "I've always, you know, I believe and I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created—in the sense of rape—but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you."
And I'll make the same observation about Mourdock now that I made about Santorum then: This guy is so catastrophically incapable of self-reflection that he is able to acknowledge that rape (forcing a woman to do something with her body she doesn't want to do) is a Terrible Thing, while simultaneously asserting that the denial of abortion (forcing a woman to do something with her body she doesn't want to do) is a Moral Imperative.
I'm really hard-pressed to see why I should be any less contemptuous of a man who sits (or is campaigning to sit) at a big mahogany desk in Washington making decisions about my body without my consent than I should be of a man who used physical force to make decisions about my body without my consent.
Undoubtedly, Mr. Mourdock would be outraged and horrified to be compared, even obliquely, to a rapist.
As well he should be. I am horrified to have to make it.
Of course, a man who holds the position that he should be able to legislate away my bodily autonomy and supersede my consent about what happens to my body shouldn't be too goddamned surprised by the comparison.
There's nothing else left to say about these guys. (And I use "guys" advisedly: Santorum, Akin, Walsh, et. al.) They are so hostile to agency and consent that they write the actual victims of rape and unwanted pregnancy right out of any thought about pregnancy as a result of rape. They don't even acknowledge the existence, the very humanity, of women and other people with uteri, no less respect our right of self-determination.
No one who doesn't respect the agency and consent of half the population should be fit to hold public office in a democracy.
But in the US, it's now a required position of one of the two major parties.