Richard Mourdock: Rape Pregnancies A Gift From God?
On Tuesday night, during a debate for a seat in the U.S. Senate, Richard Mourdock (R-IN) declared that pregnancy resulting from rape “is something that God intended to happen,” managing to propel him to an even more conservative position on the issue of abortion.
Though the highest court in the land declared in 1977 that a woman has a right to choose, Richard Mourdock and many other Republicans beg to differ. The now-infamous Todd Akin (R-MO), along with a slew of the GOP’s best and “right-est” have all voiced their opinions in various extreme statements, such as, “The female body has ways to sort of shut that whole thing down” and “Some girls rape easy.” Fortunately for women everywhere, many of them are now trailing in the polls.
The real issue at hand, however, is that Richard Mourdock claims to know the intentions of God. It’s a pretty popular piece of theology in many religions that bad things happen for a reason. In Mourdock’s own religion, Christianity, it’s popular to say that the “Lord works in mysterious ways.” Very rarely, however, are these mysterious ways identified as rape, and even more rarely is life—a “gift from God” according to Mourdock—given via the gift of rape.
To be fair, Mourdock did qualify his statements after the debate, saying, “Rape is a horrible thing, and for anyone to twist my words and suggest otherwise is absurd and sick.” Unfortunately for his campaign, Senator Mourdock’s remarks after the debate were not so widespread. It seems as though the Senator was implying that being raped, while a terrible crime, could result in good. Seeing a baby grow out of a crisis in life may be very therapeutic, or maybe even desired by some victims whose bodies fail to "shut that whole thing down."
Though this is a stretch, it’s foreseeable that some women would want to take that route.
Fortunately, we have a system in place here in America in which we let women make that choice for themselves, and it is called the Pro-Choice movement. Perhaps Richard Mourdock forgot that legalizing abortion doesn’t make it mandatory.
Reach Contributor Jonathan Stoller-Schoff here.