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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » "Legitimate rape" and biological improbabilities. (Page 2)

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Author Topic: "Legitimate rape" and biological improbabilities.
Blayne Bradley

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It's zero-sum though, to give them that consideration, you remove the same amount from the mother.
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Member # 1802

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So you are saying that killing the fetus (who in this example is a person with an innate right to life) is directly equivalent to forcing a woman to gestate the fetus for nine months? That doesn't seem at all equivalent to me.
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Yes, if it's actually a person, it's not remotely a zero sum game. In all but a (thankfully few, here) cases, the mother is alive at the end of it.
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Godric 2.0
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I'm sure (or at least I hope) many women have spoken out with their stories over the last few days in response to Rep. Akin. This one really grabbed me.

Today, I am an attorney and the busy single mother of an amazing second grader. My rape is responsible for both of these roles. You see, I enrolled at Georgetown Law School after learning, firsthand, that pregnancy from rape creates unimaginable obstacles for women who decide to raise the children they conceive through rape. In the vast majority of states, a rapist has the same custody and visitation rights to a child born through his crime as other fathers enjoy. In 2010, a paper I wrote on this topic was published by the Georgetown Law Journal, and I continue to travel throughout the country speaking on this issue.

I believe that the way we as a society, and especially legislators, speak about rape -- often wrongly and without a sound, reasoned basis -- restricts our ability to pass laws offering meaningful protections. After all, why pass a law restricting the parental rights of men who father through rape when too many legislators argue (without any reliance on science, fact, or experience) that “legitimately raped” woman never would decide to raise a child from that crime? Why pass a law when raped women cannot get pregnant from their rapes?

Rep. Akin, your statement poses another setback to the cause that I have fought passionately for since my life changed forever when I was raped and became pregnant from that rape at 21. But your statement has not landed on deaf ears or weak legs. My rape did not end my life and, in a profound way, I have become a stronger person after my rape. I will fight to extinguish your inflammatory statements just as ardently as I fought to reclaim a vibrant life. I hope you will find my concerns “legitimate.”

So from what I gather, the idea that rape doesn't result in pregnancy (or a decreased amount of pregnancies) is being bandied about by these politicians as a way of addressing abortion laws?

Hey, I come down pro-life, but this is idiotic. And the author of this open letter goes on to ask other sharp questions.

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Well, I don't know if Blayne was specifically referring to living vs. dying. The part that IS zero sum is control. In order to grant the fetus the same protections and rights you would a person, you have to outlaw killing it, which infringes on a woman's right to control her own body (and the inherent dangers involved with pregnancy, which is hardly a no-risk venture). So while it might not be trading a life for a life, both the fetus and the mother cannot share equal rights if one wants to kill the other. Something has to give.

Or maybe I'm underinterpreting what he said.

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Originally posted by MrSquicky:
So you are saying that killing the fetus (who in this example is a person with an innate right to life) is directly equivalent to forcing a woman to gestate the fetus for nine months? That doesn't seem at all equivalent to me.

If a woman was raped, it is basically prolonging the rape for 9 months. Many people believe an easy death to be better than torture, and I imagine that for many women being forced to have their body violated continually for nine-months only to produce a new creature that is half their rapist would count as torture.

I strongly disagree with anyone choosing abortion. I do see it as killing a child, your own child. But, I'm not the woman who is pregnant by rape having to endure the trials. That's why I believe she should still have a choice. If nothing else, allowing her to choose to carry the child to term, rather than forcing it, might allow her some amount of peace and lessen her thoughts that the pregnancy is a violation.

As for the scientific basis of the no-pregnancy from rape thing, I'd say that much of human history would be different if that was really the case. Think about it, how much ancient and prehistoric genetic sharing was the result of rape and pillage. If I remember my anthropology, it was one of our best ways of getting new genes into a specific gene pool. If rape didn't produce children, it would have drastically hindered our evolution. (Which, I suppose, isn't a big problem for people like Akin.)

Also, considering the dynamics of human society, I suspect that even within "marriage", many little humans were actually the product of rape. China might never have needed a 1 child restriction if this were biologically true.

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