Romney/Ryan, abortion, and the humanity of women. (And church and state, too).

Yesterday I had the honor of being on a panel with Daniel Ellsberg on HuffPost Live, and the good fortune to be given the opportunity to talk about how, in fact, the little matter of which party sits in the White House is hugely important to American women, because there’s one party that treats 50% of this nation’s citizens as autonomous people, and one party that doesn’t.

Then a little later in the day, this was reported:

Defending his stance that abortion should be illegal even in the case of rape, [Indiana Treasurer/candidate for US Senate Richard] Mourdock explained that pregnancy resulting from nonconsensual sex is the will of God.

“I’ve struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God,” Mourdock said. “And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

And I honestly found it refreshing. Because Richard Mourdock said, out loud and for all to hear, that which so many of these anti-choice culture warriors carry in their hearts: This is God’s will, and if you abort any pregnancy, regardless of its provenance, you are acting to thwart the Almighty Himself.

This isn’t about compassion for the poor witless woman who might not know what she’s missing out on if you don’t force her to undergo state-sanctioned rape in the form of a transvaginal ultrasound; this isn’t even, really, about human life. This is about the will of God, and the belief held by a great many people that humans are required to bend to that will — and that for women, there’s a lot more will to go around:

Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man…. [A man] the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 1 Corinthians 11:3 & 7

To be clear: There are millions upon millions of Christians who have grappled with verses like those I’ve just quoted and come to an understanding of their faith and Scripture that support women’s equality and our right to bodily autonomy. (And just to be clearer still: I believe that all modern-day monotheism, including my own, requires this kind of grappling, because none of our Scriptures are without ugliness).

But the Christians standing at the head of the American right wing are not that kind of Christian, and they’re the ones we’re facing.

God is above man, and man is above woman. If you were raped, that’s not cool (in no small part because rape is equated with sex, and a woman’s sexuality belongs to the man she married/will marry), but if that rape made you pregnant? Well, that’s what God wanted. And women who attempt to thwart God’s will are not only making God reallyreally mad, they are upsetting the natural order of things, and that cannot be allowed.

I think it’s helpful to be told flat-out that this is what we’re battling. Many anti-choice activists may honestly believe that they’re acting to protect children (though I might argue that if they really want to protect children, they might consider the needs of the fetus after it becomes a baby, but I digress), but leaders of the anti-choice movement are acting to protect what they know to be the Divine order.

But I live in a secular nation. I live in a country where the separation of church and state is written into law. I live in a place where your knowledge of the Divine order should have absolutely no legal bearing on my life.

There is one party that agrees with that notion, and one party — the vice-presidential candidate of which stands behind some of the most extreme anti-choice bills on the American scene – that does not.

One party that is working — however fitfully, however imperfectly — to protect the right of half of this country’s citizens to be legally recognized as humans with autonomy over their own bodies, and one party working to declare zygotes legal people, to require physicians to lie to patients about the established medical facts of abortion, and to allow hospitals to deny abortions to women even when their lives are in immediate danger.

This is not about the medical procedure called “abortion.” This is about the separation of church and state, and it is about allowing women to be human.

Don’t tell me the parties are the same. 

Update: Mitt Romney taped an endorsement for Mourdock on Monday, but his campaign told TPM yesterday that Mourdock’s views do not reflect Romney’s. And yet for all that, the campaign has said today that it has not asked Mourdock to pull the ad. So. There’s that. 

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15 Comments

  1. Didn’t the GOP in the form of Aikin say that women’s bodies – in the case of rape – had a way of closing down the pregancy process? That’s against the will of God surely?

    I think the formular for the abortion debate is quite simple with the question: Do you have a vagina?

    Yes? then let’s hear you views.
    No? then shut up!

    I can’t see how the sanctity of life can be reconcilled with Drones being used on innocent women and children.

    As for Corrinthinas; St Paul spent too long in his lonely room and wrote a lot quite troublesom scripts.

    PS Well done on Huffingdon!

    Reply
  2. I won’t touch the issue of rape right now. I have too much work to do today, and not enough emotional reserves. However, the other day, I say the ad referred to in this article in a departure lounge in the UK. “What do you call a woman who’s had an abortion?” it asked ominously on a white screen. Then it faded to pictures of women with the words “Mother, daughter, sister, friend.” It made me so happy to hear a friendly voice on the issue, albeit in a foreign land.

    Reply
  3. Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat.Com™ and commented:
    This is an excellent post Ms. Hauser. Thank you.

    Reply
  4. Your appearance with Daniel Ellsberg yesterday was amazing, Emily, and you held your own against people who were obviously not in tune with the message you and he were trying to get across (which spurred me to begin working on my first blog post in a while, which is almost ready for prime time).

    Whatever you may think of President Obama — and there is plenty to not like, even where there is more to like — the fact remains: taken on the whole, he is a much better alternative to Mitt Romney. Yes, I know there are other candidates, but we have to think realistically. The system we have allowed to grow from our electoral complacency is a two-party one; in good conscience, I cannot accept Mitt Romney as credible. He has more holes in his platform than the cheese named after one of the countries where his money hides.

    The is no perfection in the Presidency. No person staked to that position can please 100% of Americans. It is pointless to try. Besides, the Constitution says nothing about doing that, only that Americans must be protected and their welfare seen to. Americans don’t have to like how that is managed, especially where personal ignorance holds sway.

    Mitt Romney and his cohorts have one thing on their mind: getting elected to promote their right-wing agenda. His sudden drive towards the middle is nothing but a ploy; were he to be elected, he would snap back to the right so fast that most Americans would be deafened by the sonic boom. There is no countenancing the election of a confirmed mountebank as President. The man lies and is unrepentant in doing so. His running mate is also challenged in the truth-telling department. Is that who we want representing us?

    If I’m going to pick one over-arching reason to reject the Romney-Ryan ticket, it is because I have a now 7-year-old daughter who would be forced to grow up under potentially draconian reproductive laws produced by them and their cronies in Congress. I cannot sleep at night knowing that the reproductive freedom of 51% of the population is at risk of being turned into reproductive servitude, and that any uterus-bearing person may become baby-making chattel at a whim. This must not stand, and not simply now, or on November 6th, but for all time. We must fight back against the ignorance and parochialism that threaten to doom this nation and turn it into a mere footnote to history.

    Reply
  5. Reblogged this on .

    Reply
  6. Eric

     /  October 24, 2012

    You make good points. I probably disagree, but my beliefs are not nearly as strong as yours. Allow me to ask some questions/comments.
    1. How should people’s religious views influence their voting? Is it equally valid to believe the death penality is wrong if your justification is the justice system is fallible or if you believe it is wrong because life is sacred. Shorter: should voters use only secular motivations?

    2. “humans are required to bend to that will — and that for women, there’s a lot more will to go around”
    A. Bend to that will — This I think is where Christians in politics gets complicated. Individually, God wants us to submit to His will. He will not force us (free will). So if God won’t force Christians, what should Christians do with society? Should we force people to take care of the poor, the elderly, and the sick? Should we force people to not abort their children? Should we force people not to murder and rob? The last question obviously goes to far and leads to anarchy. How and where do you draw the line?
    B. Women — I agree that is how it is now implemented. At Christ’s time, His teaching was incredibly liberating to the disenfranchised. The modern church needs to get back to its roots.

    Reply
  7. Eric

     /  October 24, 2012

    To the previous commenters:
    @Bill — I understand the desire to limit it to only those who would make that choice. But everyone has been in the womb? Both genders can be impacted by abortion.
    @Barefoot — good point. It’s easy when talking politics or controversial issues to not know that for people around you this is not an interesting conversation but a current reality.
    @nefariousnewt — baby making chattel? That seems extreme. There’s contraception; there’s abstinence; there’s adoption. Plenty of ways to avoid baby making.

    Reply
    • Eric, I was being a little flippant. I basically mean it’s a woman’s right to chose what happens to her body. I always maintain that these MEN who ponitificate and pronounce on the issue are more worried about the unfulfilled sperm than the unborn child – who’s welfare they could care a fig about once born.

      Reply
      • Eric

         /  October 24, 2012

        It is much easier to pontificate than act. I do know several couples who had to go outside the US to adopt. Others chose to go through long waiting times here. I don’t have the numbers, just anecdotes.

        What particular actions about the child’s welfare would you like to see? I think incentivizing two parent households would be a good start. Based on conversations with low income people, they say they are better off living together than getting married. I looked for some actually data and could only find this: http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2012/10/alstott-presents-.html

        I’ll keep looking.

        Reply
  1. On The Pro-Life Movement < Library Grape

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