Furry and wrath race along my spine and down my arms into my fingertips as I start to write this. I’ve taken a long break from reading political. Yesterday, however, I heard my Missouri Representative’s comments. Rep. Todd Akin, on the Fox News Jaco Report said:
“legitimate rape” rarely results in pregnancy because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
He has since recanted his statement as off the cuff. I didn’t care. When I was about nine and again at about thirteen, at least those are the times I remember, I was raped by a family member. At a women’s survival group I heard the gut wrenching tales of sexual abuse. Some as extreme as the the women, who was young at the time, being passed around for use by the male relatives of the household. So when I heard Akin’s words I was screamed in my head. “It does not! You know nothing about biology!”
If I had gotten pregnant and not allowed an abortion, I would have been a sixth grade mother.
A scene from the movie Chinatown played in my mind. It stars Faye Dunaway and Jack Nicholson.
I know I would feel just like Evelyn Mulwray (Faye) being interrogated by private detective J.J. Gittes (Jack). He thinks she killed her husband when she caught him with a beautiful woman. He asks her about the woman again and she promises to tell the truth.
“She’s my daughter”
He slaps her.
“She’s my sister!”
He slaps her other cheek.
“She’s my daughter!”
He slaps her and she falls to the couch sobbing.
It turns out that Evelyn had been raped by her father when she was younger. I understood why Evelyn didn’t put up her arms to defend herself from the pain of Gittes’ slaps. When you’ve suffered the pain of having your sense of dignity and trust stripped away physical pain becomes almost a relief.
Much of the anger and pain that still resides had me screaming about politics. Rep. Akin is running as a Republican for US congress. He has been asked to step down from other members of the GOP including Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney. They may disagree with his view on science but they may end up with similar opinions on abortion in the parties platform. At the time I was writing this it was unclear if the platform all ready has anti-abortion language including no exceptions for rape or incest (NPR) or if it will be proposed.
Writing this has been very cathartic. And I want to look at this situation from a calmer view. His words show how important it is for human beings to understand our biology. It’s my opinion that reproductive procedures for males or females have no place in legislation. Instead, decisions need to be made between people and their doctors.
If a woman has been violated once, don’t violate her again with impersonal legislation. Especially legislation used to pander for votes.
Akin did mention at the interview that rapists should be punished but not the child. Once again, it is a matter of biology or a person’s view on when life begins. A rape victim could take an emergency contraceptive.
Morning-after pills can prevent pregnancy because conception typically doesn’t occur immediately after sex. Instead, it may happen up to several days later. During the time between sex and conception, sperm travel through the fallopian tubes until they potentially reach an egg. As a result, using emergency contraception soon after unprotected sex isn’t too late to prevent pregnancy. . .
Keep in mind that the morning-after pill isn’t the same as mifepristone (Mifeprex), also known as RU-486 or the abortion pill. Mifeprex terminates an established pregnancy — one in which the fertilized egg has attached to the uterine wall and has already begun to develop.
Emergency contraception is most effective within 24 hours after unprotected sex. There have been controversies over these pills when Pharmacists refused to fill them.
I would like to have enlightened words to say on the subject about the sacredness of life. How everything happens for a reason so a child even because of a rape would be a blessing. But I don’t have those words. Words of wisdom about how we can stand up to the ignorance of others aren’t with me right now.
Please share your emotions of any kind, or thoughts on this matter in the comments or you can email me. tara . miller21 at gmail. com