Since Ohio passed its fetal heartbeat bill without exceptions for rape and incest, and Alabama’s Legislature voted for the nation’s strongest abortion ban that also does not include exceptions for rape and incest, there have been a lot of people taking exception to the lack of exceptions.
Case in point: self-described “conservative” blogger Jennifer Rubin with The Washington Post:
Townhall.com’s Political Editor Guy Benson tweeted:
CBS News finds the most extreme example of someone impacted by Ohio’s ban, an 11-year-old rape victim who isn’t subject to the pending law (and they don’t make that clear until the sixth paragraph).
The politics surrounding abortion are emotional and sometimes gross, and addressing rape and incest in this debate is the proverbial third rail for politicians (ask Todd Akin).
Rape is horrific, and incest is horrendous – even more so when the victim is a child or teenager. These women deserve all of the support and care we can give them. On that I agree with those who argue for exceptions.
However, if an unborn child is a living human being, which biology and common sense tell us that she is, then there are no circumstances that will change the nature and worth of that baby. She doesn’t become less of a human being because she was conceived during rape or incest.
For someone who is pro-life (which I have been all of my adult life) the circumstances of how a baby is conceived does not change my view of abortion.
First, I want to point out that many of the people complaining about these new laws would still complain about them even with exceptions for rape and incest. We saw that in Iowa after our fetal heartbeat abortion ban was passed.
Second, pregnancy due to rape is rare. That fact in itself could be used to argue for or against exceptions depending on one’s point of view. The fact it is rare does not make the circumstances any less tragic, but I bring this up to point out this is far less common than some might believe.
In ordinary, consensual circumstances, a woman under the age of 35 has a 25-30 percent chance of getting pregnant during each ovulation cycle. Those odds are in ordinary circumstances when two fertile adults are trying. The daily pregnancy rate is about 3.1 percent. Also, receiving proper medical treatment after rape can reduce the odds of pregnancy dramatically.
In 2004, the Guttmacher Institute found less than one percent of post-abortion women they surveyed had an abortion because of rape. In Florida, where state law requires a reason to be given, in 2018, less than one-fifth of one percent of the over 70,000 abortions in the state provided rape or incest as a reason.
Third, abortion after rape does not decrease the trauma a rape victim feels, but it could very well increase the regret she feels because some women who have abortions do feel regret and that just compounds the trauma.
Fourth, abortion is wrong regardless of the circumstance. That baby is innocent. That baby did not decide her father would be. She is not responsible, just like her mother is not responsible. Abortion perpetuates the violence and victimization of the original rape. It creates two victims out of one. Also, that baby has the same right to life as a baby conceived any other way. Arguing for a rape or incest exception is the same as saying those children do not deserve to live. Do you think that children conceived in rape alive today believe they do not have the right to live? We do not punish children for the sins of their fathers. The rapist, not the innocent child, deserves justice. Abortion compounds the horrific wrong of rape or incest.