Todd Akin's recent comments about rape were reprehensible - and so is the GOP platform, modeled after legislation put forth by Akin and Paul Ryan that would ban all abortions...even in the case of rape - but it is clear that Akin isn't alone.
Oregon GOP convention delegate Emily Jarms told a reporter this week that she agreed with Akin and that:
I'm not a doctor. But I do know that it can be difficult for a woman to conceive in a stressful situation. And so I actually think that a woman conceiving during rape is so completely rare that, I mean, it almost doesn't happen.
Yep, she's not a doctor. That much is clear.
Dr. Dean G. Kilpatrick is. He's a professor and doctor at the Medical University of South Carolina (where my mother attended) and author of a "a 1996 study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, which estimated that more than 32,000 women experience a rape-related pregnancy each year."
And that figure might be low, notes the The Salt Lake Tribune:
Figures provided by the FBI only count rapes that were reported to police - Kilpatrick says his research shows that at least 80 percent of all rapes go unreported - and they don’t take into account rapes in which the victim was intoxicated or otherwise unable to give consent. Until earlier this year, the FBI defined forcible rape as "the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will."
The General Synod of the United Church of Christ has long maintained that:
Whereas, women and men must make decisions about unplanned or unwanted pregnancies that involve their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being; and …Whereas, abortion is a social justice issue, both for parents dealing with pregnancy and parenting under highly stressed circumstances, as well as for our society as a whole; …
Therefore, be it resolved, that the Sixteenth General Synod:
- affirms the sacredness of all life, and the need to protect and defend human life in particular;
- encourages persons facing unplanned pregnancies to consider giving birth and parenting the child, or releasing the child for adoption, before abortion;
- upholds the right of men and women to have access to adequately funded family planning services, and to safe, legal abortions as one option among others;
- urges the United Church of Christ, at all levels, to provide educational resources and programs to persons, especially young persons, to help reduce the incidence of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, and to encourage responsible approaches to sexual behavior.
People of faith must stand up and defend a woman's right to make her own health care decisions. It shouldn't be left up to Todd Akin, Paul Ryan or other politicans.