U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan recently made the comment that “the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life.” The method of conception being rape. This has stirred up some interesting feelings of anger towards him.
To be completely blandly literal, yes, rape is a method of conception in that it is a method which can result in conception. If we’re being completely literal with our translation.
When I read what some of these politicians say about abortion and rape, and the legitimacy of rape in relation to conception, it boggles my mind. I have to wonder about the women in their lives.
What it must be like to be Mrs. Ryan. Her husband must not have any empathy for her plights. How would he react if his wife was attacked on the side of the road one night and raped, and a child resulted from this “method of conception?
” Would he care that this conception would be absolutely devastating to her psyche? That carrying the child of her rapist would make her feel dirty and horrible?
Besides that, has Mr. Ryan thought of what it would be like to be a woman in that position? To survive the trauma of rape just to realize with a sickening fear that your period is late? I know he can’t experience this firsthand, but could he try imagining it? Walking a mile in our shoes? Has he?
I find in the interest of fairness of the matter, I do have to mention that after watching the interview Mr. Ryan gave, his comments may have been misunderstood. His point was not to insult the legitimacy of rape, although to put it so mildly as “method of conception” is a form of insult to rape victims, but to state he believes that no matter how a child comes to be, abortion is never the answer. That is his opinion as a pro-life activist.
Personally I believe the moniker of ‘pro-life’ is a little bit of a misnomer. Most ethical committees that I’m aware of acknowledge a difference between quantity of life and quality of life. Basically, to apply the difference to this argument is to ask which is more important: Saving a fetus that, while technically living, has no thoughts or feelings and is really just being, or giving the already severely damaged psyche of a traumatized victim the chance to heal itself without adding the hormonal changes and other complications of pregnancy.
I have been in the position of a woman who thought she was pregnant as the result of a rape, and I wish those feelings on no one. I was lucky enough that it was the stress of my attack bringing on symptoms, not any conception of a child.
I am what the fanatics call pro-life, but I’m not pro-life in such a fanatical way. I would, as I am now, never turn to abortion, because of my personal beliefs. I believe that if a child is conceived, it was meant to be conceived, and should be allowed to be born. I do believe that it is a last resort, and should never be taken lightly. I hear gurls slightly older than me talking about how they just got their third or fourth abortions, and it makes me sick. I believe that is wrong.
However, I’m also pro-choice. I know that if after being raped I realized I was pregnant, I probably would’ve gotten an abortion. My fear and uncertainty, pain and shame, were so strong that that would have really been the only viable option for me. I don’t like knowing that that would’ve been my best option, but we really need to take the realities into consideration. Rather than blindly following religion, we need to consider intelligently circumstances that a woman may be a part of during this decision.
This is why I find it so important to put yourself in the shoes of a woman who has to go through this. Feel her pain and degradation; understand the impossibility of the choice. Mr. Ryan, imagine your wife in this situation, your wife who I’m sure you hold in high regard. Imagine how she would feel. And then make a judgement.