The official Republican Party platform is opposed to abortion under all circumstances other than to save the life of the mother. There are no exclusions for pregnancy resulting from rape or incest.
There have been some high profile candidates seeking elective office who have effectively said something akin to the platform, albeit in a less-than-politically correct manner, and who have gotten into trouble because of it. Most noteworthy are Todd Akin, who is now famous for his “legitimate rape” comments, attempting to argue (incorrectly) that women’s bodies can somehow prevent a pregnancy if under enough stress, and Richard Mourdock, who said that if a pregnancy comes about as a result of a rape, it was something that god intended and, thus, it shouldn’t be aborted. Only in word is the latter declaration not a statement that the rape itself was something that god intended.
One thing I sometimes wonder about — as it’s not a knowable statistic — is how far back we each have to go, to find a direct ancestor who was conceived in what was, by modern standards, a rape. Not necessarily a violent rape (which is what I believe Rep. Akin meant when he said “legitimate”), but a rape all the same. You really only need to go back to an arranged marriage and chances are, a child of that marriage was conceived in a rape.
That doesn’t justify or excuse the rape, though.
I’ve written before about how abhorrent I consider the concept of rape. Arranged marriages still happen, and the girls often willingly go along with it because they’ve been taught that it’s their role. That teaching is just as horrible as the rape itself.
The Mourdock statement is troublesome because he is applying the opinions of his own god, to the question of abortion. It’s been said so often that I’m not sure who first said it, but you know you’ve created god in your own image when he hates the same people you do. Of course, it’s not a surprise that a lot of religious groups seem to think that abortion is morally wrong.
It comes from a straightforward interpretation of Exodus 20:13, which holds that one of the ten commandments is not to kill. Because we understand how babies are conceived (now), they are extending this rule to the unborn. Fine.
But can’t an argument be made, though, that Genesis 2:7 dictates that life begins when we first breathe the “breath of life”? If so, then life wouldn’t begin until quite literally the moment after we’re born, when the doctor slaps us to start us breathing…. Anything before that, then, could be fair game for termination since it wouldn’t be alive. Thus, it couldn’t be killed.
Of course, the other big problem with the no exceptions for rape and incest rule is Deuteronomy 22:28-29, which holds that a woman must marry the man who rapes her. It doesn’t say anything about what she should do with any babies conceived as a result of the rape.
So, if I may be totally tongue-in-cheek when I say this, the punishment for someone being raped, shouldn’t be to bear the child. She should just marry her attacker.
And then she could just pretend she’s the next incarnation of Lorena Bobbitt….