You say you oppose abortion even in cases of rape, incest and even if the mother’s life is in danger. You say you are being compassionate and religiously pure. You think you are being good and faithful followers of God’s law because you value human life …but you’re wrong about that. You are in fact making a value judgement. You are determining that the life of a fetus the size of a cashew nut is more valuable than that of the mother, a mother who may be a 14 year old child or an impoverished mother of 4. In any event without fully seeing, perceiving or evaluating each of those situations you are making uninformed decisions that have the power to destroy the lives of thousands of women and those who love them.
Have you Right to Lifers ever paused to think about the act of rape? It’s ugly. It’s a horrible act that one human being inflicts on another. What would it be like to be raped, wounded, traumatized, terrified, injured, beaten, or bloodied by your parent, uncle, brother, or a stranger?
If you don’t know you’re lucky because here are the statistics:
Ø 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. ( National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women Survey. 1998.)
Ø 7% of girls in grades 5-8 and 12% of girls in grades 9-12 have been sexually abused. (1998 Commonwealth Fund Survey of the Health of Adolescent Girls. 1998.)
Ø 1 out of every 3 women will be sexually assaulted before the age of 18 (DSM IV)
And if you’re shocked by those numbers think about this:
Ø In fact rape is not solely the result of illegal Mexican immigrants:
o 93% of juvenile sexual assault victims know their attacker because
o 34.2% of attackers are family members and
o 58.7% are acquaintances
o Only 7% of the perpetrators are strangers
Now take it to the next step. Imagine that while you are trying to heal from the physical and psychological traumas of rape you find out you are pregnant. Not good news.
Not only are you pregnant but what if the law says you can’t have an abortion.
(If you’re rich you can buy a solution. If you’re poor you are pretty much screwed)
So now, you have been raped, injured, tormented. You’ve suffered social and emotional consequences of rape and now you will suffer more conflict and stress because of an unwanted pregnancy. If you are very lucky your family will be supportive and helpful but in most cases because of personalities, family idiosyncrasies or cultural prohibitions they probably aren’t. You are probably young [RAINN (The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) estimates that there were 17,342 pregnancies in 2012 were the result of rape]; you lack resources, you have no idea what to do and you are scared out of your mind. You have been sentenced by the ‘Right to Lifers’ to carry your rape-induced pregnancy to term. If your family rejects you, you have few options. Perhaps you’ll have to run away from home, perhaps you’ll try to abort the baby in a back alley with a coat hanger and die from an infection or perhaps you’ll commit suicide. Any way you look at it the outcome is grim.
Now let’s say that these depressing outcomes don’t occur. The teenager carries the baby to term and delivers it. Let’s even say that the family decides to keep the baby and raise it. OK so let’s look at some of those statistics. Given that rape and child sexual abuse are serial crimes and statistically perpetrators commit these crimes throughout their lives and since these kinds of criminals are often sociopaths (anti-social personality disorder) we can conclude that the perpetrator — aka the baby’s father —is a sociopath. Now one of the things we know about that particular disorder is that it has a genetic component. OK so those statistics tell us that the baby has a 33% chance of growing up with some sociopathic/psychopathic traits (girls have a slightly decreased likelihood).
So now we have another factor to consider. Not only do we have an emotionally unstable situation, perhaps with an immature, reluctant, confused child-mother and perhaps with an already over-taxed highly stressed family but worst case scenario would be that the unplanned, unwanted developing child may begin to show anti-social traits or worse as time goes on. Assuming worst case scenario we can predict problems in school, violence and delinquent behavior starting in elementary school, trouble in the community ending up with drugs, crime, court and probably prison by early adulthood. So now think about the emotional and actual cash cost to the family and the community and link it back to those short-sighted ‘Right to Lifers’ and their endless efforts to save unwanted fetuses.
If you look at the big picture; if you think beyond the cashew nut phase and consider how an unwanted, unplanned pregnancy will affect not just the mother and her family but potentially hundreds and thousands of people over time, perhaps you can open your eyes to a bigger more potent truth. Unwanted and unplanned pregnancies result in unwanted, unplanned children. They may be children born to females who are themselves children. Children who are the result of rape are more likely to be neglected or abused because they remind the mothers of their traumas and the man who inflicted them. These neglected or abused children are most likely to display psychologically troubled and socially troublesome behavior; they are likely to commit petty crimes early in life, turn to drugs and alcohol, be truant from school and turn to gangs and crime in their teen years. They are likely to require emergency medical services, become a burden on our social service, protective service and welfare system and be incarcerated for violent crimes against others.
I know you aren’t used to thinking beyond your noses and taking long range views but you need to make an exception here folks. These are serious social issues that have huge impacts on our country and the world we live in. You cannot afford to let your simplistic religious views interfere with our social stability, economy, or safety. With so much of the world in crisis, when you have so little real influence over the world’s trouble spots and trouble makers why not concentrate your efforts one of the few things you can control.
Let go of this short-sighted, anti-family planning issue; let people plan their families and their lives in a reasonable manner and by doing so can reduce the amount of urban tension, domestic violence, prison overcrowding and (here’s one close to your hearts) reduce government spending for social welfare programs.
Most of all look at the long-range implications of some very personal issues and take a more realistic socially just stance on Planned Parenthood, birth control and abortion, by doing so you can help elevate many of the profound social problems complicating our society today.