Romney’s Abortion Exception: How Would A Woman Prove Rape?

Posted on August 28, 2012 by


Romney rape exception

Sir, do you propose to take every woman’s word about her rape? How do you implement this plan? Or do you not…

Reuter’s reporter Steven Brill makes an excellent point in his column today: How would a woman “prove” rape to qualify for Romney’s abortion exception?

We’ve heard from Todd Akin about what is deemed “legitimate” rape. Now we’ve heard from GOP senate candidate Tom Smith, who seemed to liken  his daughter’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy as something “similar” to rape.

The republican party seems to have a number of different definitions of rape, it appears.

Brill, who apparently discussed this paradox with his own daughter, writes:

Would a woman’s rapist have to be convicted in court? How would that work, given that in most criminal cases it takes longer than nine months from when the crime is committed to catch the criminal (assuming the criminal is caught), prepare charges and reach a verdict. In fact, the window would be significantly less than nine months; it would start from when the pregnancy is discovered and end somewhere around the 16 to 20 weeks left during which abortions can be performed most safely.

The likely truth is this: Akin and Romney and Smith (and the Republican platform) don’t condone sex before marriage. So when they make absurd remarks about “legitimate rape” it means they don’t a) believe women who claimed they are raped are telling the truth or b) that women who have sex outside of marriage are sinning in the eyes of God and therefore sluts.

Sluts, as we all know, are not entitled to exceptions. For the sluts who are not birth control, well those sluts get raped because those sluts are asking for it. And sluts should not, whatsoever, have access to abortions.

So here is the factual answer to Brill’s daughter’s question. Most women can’t prove rape. This is why most women don’t press charges. This is why 54% of rapes go unreported.

Here’s the other answer, as stated by Irin Carmon:

If you believe pregnancy from rape and pregnancy from sex out of marriage are “similar,” then you implicitly believe that the problem with rape is that it’s non-sanctioned sexual activity, as opposed to a crime against a woman’s person.

Where does this leave women who are raped and it results in pregnancy and who want an abortion? It leaves them in the same exact position as women who are raped because they’re sluts. Having to explain or create “exceptions” leads us to a place where society deems an abortion appropriate or not. And that is not society’s choice. That’s a woman’s choice. Because if we are to have the same rights as men, then it is up to us to determine the reason to terminate a pregnancy–whether it’s rape, premarital sex or just a big fucking, miserable mistake.

(Photo illustration by 731; Photograph by Eric Kayne/Getty Images)

(Source: Business Week)