Sunday, October 28, 2012

There has been a great deal of talk in political circles lately on the topic of rape and abortion.  Several persons of note have publicly stated that there should be no exceptions for use of the medical procedure which was guaranteed by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade.  The most recent statement was by Indiana Senate Candidate Richard Mourdock who said that rape should not be an exception because if a pregnancy resulted from rape, the fetus should be thought of as  a gift from God.  Missouri Senate Candidate Todd Akin recently made a similar remark, arguing  in the case of a "legitimate rape" a woman's body will prevent conception so there is no need for a rape exemption.  And of course, during the Presidential Primary season, former Senator Rick Santorum opined that life begins at conception so abortion is murder.

Each of these men have stated that their opinions in this matter are a result of deeply held religious beliefs and buttressed by a powerful faith in the Almighty.

Well, first, let us note that all of these persons are men who can never get pregnant and leave it at that.

But if you are a believer (and I am) God works his will in the real world, so before you make such a firm conclusion, it is worthwhile to look at how the real world works.  Akin's remark turns out to simply not be true.  Rape victims do get pregnant at a rate that is consistent with other sexual activity.  And, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, scientific studies of the matter show that anywhere from 10% to 25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in a miscarriage.  This number cannot take into account the unknown and unknowable number of pregnancies that end in miscarriage without the mother ever knowing that she was, for one brief but unknown moment, pregnant.

Look here, God surely isn't murdering all of those babies.  I don't think he works that way.  In fact, I think it must be self-evident that a human life cannot begin at conception because God is not stupid.