Let’s forced raped women to stay pregnant

Of course they did.

Opponents of abortion rights have a long history of supporting abortion bans with three major exceptions: when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or when a woman’s life is at risk.

But, fueled by momentum from the passage of a restrictive abortion law in Alabama, a coalition of anti-abortion-rights groups released a letter Wednesday asking Republican officials to “reconsider decades-old talking points” on exceptions to such laws.

“We understand that issues like rape and incest are difficult topics to tackle; nevertheless, it is our view that the value of human life is not determined by the circumstances of one’s conception or birth,” said a draft of the letter provided to NPR by Students for Life of America, which led the effort.

But it’s not just about “one’s” conception or birth. It’s also about the female human being in which “one” has to gestate for nine months in order to be able to have an actual human life. That female human being is already a human being with a life; she’s not a process, she’s completed. If she’s not completed she can’t possibly gestate or conceive an infant, so we know she’s completed.

If we think about it from the angle of valuing her human life first, then we grasp that the circumstances of conception do indeed determine the value of the process inside her body that depends on her before it can be a human life. If the conception is a result of rape then it is violently against her will: it is something she did not want and did not seek, and it’s something that was imposed on her forcibly by the kind of human being that is free from ever being forced to gestate an infant she never asked for.

The forced-birthers of course want us to put the life of the fetus first, with the life of the host a distant second if at all. But there’s no reason to do that. An embryo has no reason to cling to life, to want to stay inside the female body long enough to have a human life; an embryo has no plans, no ongoing life it wants to continue, no dreams, no memories, no favorite landscapes. The imagined life of the embryo should not trump the real life of the woman or girl.

The letter to McDaniel comes as Charlotte Pence, the daughter of Vice President Pence, penned an op-ed in The Washington Times expressing support for Alabama’s law. “Personally, I would not encourage a friend to get an abortion if she suffered the horrendous evil of rape or incest because I care about her child — and her. I do not believe abortion provides healing,” she writes.

But it’s not about what Charlotte Pence believes. It’s about what the woman or girl wants.

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