Politician shocks with statements on rape, pregnancy and abortion.
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US politician and senate candidate Richard Mourdock has stirred a hornet's nest of opinion with his statements on abortion, including that "...I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.", according to Huffington Post.
Mourdock later attempted to suggest that he'd been quoted out of context, and that he was being incorrectly vilified, but his statement is pretty clear: If you become pregnant as a result of rape, then God intended that pregnancy. Which, by default, would indicate that God had a hand in allowing that rape to happen in the first place.
His statement not only diminishes the experiences of rape survivors, especially those who become pregnant as a result, but is insulting to both believers and non-believers. In the abortion debate, women have been consistently bulldozered when it comes to reproductive rights. Todd Akin, another US politician was recently lambasted for coining the phrase "legitimate rape"- when he suggested that women can't get pregnant from a legitimate rape, as they have ways of shutting their bodies down. It has reccently been discovered that Akin was arrested several times at anti-abortion rallies in the 80s.
That's in the US, but here in South Africa, women also face an uphill battle when it comes to their reproductive rights. Abortion remains stigmatised in many communities, and, when rape is commonplace, there are girls and women who are faced with this terrible decision every day: Do I abort this baby, the product of a rape, or do I carry it to term and either raise it or give it up for adoption?" A choice made much harder when the adoption system is already struggling with capacity issues.
What about God?
While it's important to respect the views of religious and areligious people in political debate, when it comes to the issue of reproductive rights, politics and religion seem to have an ongoing clash.
We'd like to know: Does God have a place in a debate about the abortion of a pregnancy as a result of rape?
By: Scott Dunlop