Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Where Akin Does Get It

Todd Akin speaks off-the-cuff:
In an August 19, 2012 interview aired on St. Louis television station KTVI-TV, Akin was asked his views on whether women who became pregnant due to rape should have the option of abortion. He replied:
Well you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.
I haven't discussed this issue with any doctors qualified to discuss it with, so I'll just go ahead and say that according my limited understanding and knowledge Akin and I have a point of disagreement.
(I once knew a woman who was as "legitimately" raped as a rape can be, (Amanda, here's yer cue). Besides being attacked in her room at night, brutalized, and raped... she also bore a mixed-race child. Her attacker was never caught. I'm guessing that she may also have some disagreement of her own with Akin.)

What bothers me about this whole point of discussion is how it serves to muddy the waters as to the gist of the Pro-Life position.
Pro-Life means that every human life contains within is it's being intrinsic value.
Pro-Life means that human life should be protected from the moment of it's inception.
As a Pro-Life beleiver, I believe that even zygote humans are still human beings. (not hard to figure: they are human, and one's individual being can be recognised through DNA testing).
Supposedly, we live in a classless society as a matter of law. Our station in life is not/should not be decided within the law according the accident of our birth, whether we be born from a nobleman (or noblehuperson, if your name is Amanda), or a rapist/rapee.

One cannot be Pro-Life and still be accepting of exceptions for rape,incest... yadda yadda... and whatever else exception may be politically acceptable or demanded.

By extension, you cannot claim your that own life and liberty is sacrosanct upon the basis of your humanity unless you are willing to accept that others' are as well. The Right To Life, the right to exist as an autonomous human being, is the supreme civil right upon which all other rights depend.

All of our rights begin with our right to live as autonomous human beings. If that cannot be, then I see nothing wrong with slavery, segregation, or even rape.
If it is OK with you that lines are to be drawn for political/cultural expediency (i.e: those with the power vs those without), don't complain when you find yourself on the wrong side of that line someday.

***Comments are now closed. Amanda has the last word (however misguided she may be.) Which actually gives me the last word. Well, it's my blog, ain't it?
Seriously, I recommend you all to the next post. Let's talk about the Gap Band... How incredibly cool they were...Just like Adam and Eve... you said you'd set me free... you dropped a bomb on me, Baby....


W.B. Picklesworth said...

Well said.

my name is Amanda said...

Haha. The title was my cue, Gino.

Akin's words weren't shocking to me at all. Since I keep up with reproductive rights in the news, I read people acting on this kind of rhetoric all the time. The only thing that has surprised me is the amount of attention it's brought. As a Democrat, I didn't care whether he would stay in the race. It's bullshit that the GOP wanted to throw him under the bus for putting on display the purposeful misinformation and misogyny behind the anti-choice movement in their party, especially while at the very same time adding the personhood amendment that would ban all abortions, including in instances of rape and incest, along with some birth control methods and fertility treatments, to their platform for the RNC. Cowards and hypocrites.

Overall, I am happy about the entire incident, because the backlash makes me feel optimistic about the values of the majority of US citizens, and because it puts a spotlight on the GOP's War on Women, and repro rights in general.

"What bothers me about this whole point of discussion is how it serves to muddy the waters as to the gist of the Pro-Life position."

And Akin didn't "misspeak," right? He was just repeating the anti-abortion movement's justification that they do not force a woman who has been the victim of ("legitimate") rape to grow for over nine months and then bear as a child, the product of that rape. I was taught this at Catholic Youth group, I was told this by adults. There's reason why actual biology in this instance isn't palatable to the movement.

I don't see the point in arguing about the personhood thing; you already know I completely disagree. But I will add that I find the following quote to be ironic, considering that you are arguing in favor of anti-choice, ie. taking away choice, ie. stripping a woman of her bodily autonomy:

"The Right To Life, the right to exist as an autonomous human being, is the supreme civil right upon which all other rights depend."

K-Rod said...

Bullshit, there is no "war on women". F'n liars. You lose. Go back to your dish.

But It is a fact that mammals have less chance for fertilization/wall implantation to happen if they are under physical or emotional stress.
Did that woman get pregnant from those Duke boys?

At what point should the federal government protect human life? When is it okay to kill human life?

In your heart you know I am right.

Brian said...

One cannot be Pro-Life and still be accepting of exceptions for rape,incest... yadda yadda... and whatever else exception may be politically acceptable or demanded.

I'm pro-choice and I actually agree with that statement. If you think a fetus has a claim to existence that trumps a woman's autonomy over her own body, then I don't see how the circumstances of conception would alter that.

Both pro-life and pro-choice positions have troubling implications, either for defining the boundaries of personhood or of personal autonomy. The tendency is to dismiss the other side's concerns as trivial relative to your own. That is a mistake. You don't have to trivialize one side to ultimately come down on the other.

For me, a world in which abortion remains legal is preferable simply because any lingering concerns I have about fetal personhood are largely mitigated by making that option available as safely and as early on in pregnancy as possible.

A world in which abortion is illegal offers nothing to mitigate the tremendous burden it places on women, and the incredibly invasive power it gives the state over the bodies of half the population. Moreover, it is made (much) worse by the consequences to women's health of driving the market for abortions underground...something that is not at all hypothetical.

None of which is to say that pro-lifers don't have a point. They do. I just don't think it's enough to tip the scales.

For me.

And that's really all I have to say about that.

Night Writer said...

How can a woman's right to her bodily autonomy be any more protected than any being's right to autonomy? And what is more "autonomous" than being able to live, whether you are male or female?

Bike Bubba said...

Regarding Brian's point, anti-abortion laws were historically directed at the abortionists, not the mothers. So the state never had power over the bodies of women; just the actions of the mostly male abortionists.

We could argue that the lover--or rapist--of a woman had power over her body in a way, but not the state.

What protected women? Well, rapists faced the death penalty, and those who became fathers became responsible for their progeny and their mothers.

We could do worse, for that matter, than to tie welfare checks to identification of both parents, I think.

my name is Amanda said...

I'm wondering what should be done about all the fertilized eggs ("persons") that simply don't attach to the uterine wall and are discharged along with uterine lining and blood during menstruation?! (Which happens all the time in reproductive women. We all know that, right?) Surely we must be at genocide numbers at this point in human history!!

K-Rod said...

Maybe you could save them and have them for breakfast, Amanda.

Bike Bubba said...

Or, Amanda, you could admit that there is a qualitative difference between a human being choosing to kill the embryo, and it simply failing to implant or make it to birth, in the same way that the law differentiates someone dying from heart disease or cancer from the death of a person at the hands of another. Something about the difference between unintentional death and willful killing, or something like that...

my name is Amanda said...

Tell me Bike Bubba, who you would save from, I don't know, a building on fire: an embryo that you cannot see without the assistance of a microscope, or a human whose body is autonomously viable? You can only save one. Would you watch a human body burn, and feel that you still saved a soul? One that may or may not attach to the wall of a uterus, for whatever reason?

An EMBRYO, BB. Either you're saying that an embryo has a soul, in which this becomes a religious argument - which is unconstitutional - or you're claiming that anything exhibiting "life," such as a cow, deserves the same right to that life as humans. (I am assuming no one here is a vegetarian.) Because the only thing that an embryo has in common with a human is cell division. (For peeps wanting to point out "DNA," let me preemptively throw in "so does a drop of blood." Or a hair.) Houseplants exhibit cell division.

my name is Amanda said...

On the intention note, personhood amendments would outlaw IVF. The is a pretty clear intention there, so what gives?