Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pro-Life 101 - "Yeah, but what about rape?"

Today's popular Abortion Slogan is a favourite of young men wanting to look good to the girls in the class.

I won't bother spending the time re-typing it all out. I'll just re-post:

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Now, I know that the principles of rational thought are not popular these days, equally in schools as in parliaments, but one has to wonder at the willingness of so many to have their intelligence, whether real or imagined, so brazenly insulted, and their compassion manipulated, as it is by the abortion lobby in the case of the "rape exception".

The rape exception is the one argument that most irritates me. Not because of its inherent dishonesty - one expects only dishonesty from people conniving to murder helpless infants - but for the blind, drooling stupidity of the people who buy it, normally without the slightest examination. Or perhaps I should say the willing connivance of the marks. It is said that people who go to carnivals with a few shillings to spend on the ring-toss game, actually want to be swindled. Why else would one to go a carnival?

When I am talking to school groups about abortion, naturally after we have painstakingly gone through and demonstrated the existence of a human being in the womb (don't they tell these kids any more where babies come from? What are they doing in all those sex-education classes in kindergarten anyway?) someone in the back of the room will invariably put his (it is always a he) hand up and say "Yeah, but what about rape?"

He says this for two reasons: he has been taught that favouring abortion for rape is a mark of deep sensitivity and that "sensitivity" is a sure fire method of getting girls into bed, and that it is a stumper. He believes, in effect, that because the pro-life position is inherently flawed by its hatred of women and desire to oppress and subjugate them, that this is The Big One that will always end the discussion. This, he believes will establish his feminist political cred...which is also a sure fire method of getting girls into bed.

He expects me to have no answer, and sadly, this is the case with most of the people who consider themselves pro-life.

What is saddest, and most ironic, about the eagerness of most of our progressively-minded modern people, as well as many "pro-life" people, to defend the rape exception, is that they love it because it is held up as a model of compassion and toleration towards the victimised. This is especially tempting to pro-lifers who are possibly tired of being called EVIL FASCISTS. They long to be included in the ranks of the tolerant and compassionate. The same people will, with precisely the same earnest expressions, tell you all about the evils of capital punishment. They have such strong feeeeelings, you see, for the downtrodden, the oppressed, the victimised.

But who has told them that abortion is a requirement in cases of pregnancy due to rape? And what are their motives?

But these goodthinkful people will not question the motives or origin of the received wisdom. That's why we call it that. When you ask them why they support the death penalty for the children of criminals, they simply look at you with a fullwise goodthinkfully blank expression and you can almost see their grey cells desperately rushing to batten down the hatches and close the sea doors.


I once had a conversation with a Parliamentary Aid who had great ambitions. He was a member of the the-Canadian Alliance party and was clearly keen to Go Places. He had an idea, generally, that abortion should be curtailed, but of course, with his skinny under-dressed girlfriend on his arm, was very quick to say that the exceptions should include rape.

I asked him why he supported the death penalty.

He jumped like he had been stuck with a pin. "What?! I don't!"

"Oh good," I said. "For a second there, I thought you wanted to bring in the death penalty for the children of criminals."

Once again, the application of a few pieces of objective reality, connected together with the indestructible ties of rational thought, will create a Logic Grenade that will blow the feathery traces of the "rape exception" to smithereens.

In a discussion with someone who supports the death penalty for the innocent children of rapists, the following questions are often helpful:

Where do babies come from?

Who should be punished for the crime of rape? The woman? Her children?

Since abortion is a procedure that involves risk to the woman, and can be traumatic, wouldn't it be better to wait until the child is born and kill him then?

Maybe, in cases of pregnancy due to rape, we can keep a loaded gun in the delivery room, and if the sight of the child reminds her unpleasantly of the rape, we can give her the gun and she can shoot the baby right away.

Something to remember about the "rape exception" is that it is a red herring. It is not, in fact, an argument for legalised abortion in the exceedingly rare cases where pregnancy has been caused by rape. It is just a slogan, and a slogan is, as I've said before, neither an argument nor a reason. It is a claxon. A noise meant to end discussion and induce a powerful emotional reaction.

Studies have found that rape frequently does not result in pregnancy. There are chemical changes that occur in a woman's body that tend to prevent it. But the rape exception has been extremely politically useful to the abortion movement. It has been used as an emotional wedge issue to force the door open to legalising abortion in all and any circumstances.

As Scott Klusendorf likes to say, "If I change my position to support legalised abortion in the 0.01 per cent of cases of pregnancy due to rape and incest, will you then drop your support for abortion on demand?"

Its effectiveness can be seen in the fact that even in countries that have retained some legal restrictions on abortion, many of them have not dared to cross the line of the "rape and incest" emotional button-pusher. The fact that the "rape exception" collapses on the application of the slightest logic and medical facts, deters politicians not in the least.

Politicians are mostly men. And, like our high-school friend above looking to use his sensitivity to lever down a girl's trousers, politicians cannot afford to risk the shrieking and hysteria opposition to the "rape exception" would cost them.



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