Mourdock’s Akinesque Gaffe
Indiana Republican Senate Candidate Richard Mourdock may have made an Akin-style gaffe. Mourdock stated during a debate with his Democrat opponent that when pregnancy results from rape it is something God intended. However, if one takes into account the entirety of Mourdock’s statement it tells a different story:
The only exception I have to have an abortion is in the case of the life of the mother. I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God. I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.
In other words, Richard Mourdock opposes abortion even in terms of rape. His campaign just put out a press release accusing his opponent of twisting Mourdock’s words while attempting to clarify his remarks. The press release states:
God creates life, and that was my point. God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that he does. Rape is a horrible thing, and for anyone to twist my words otherwise is absurd and sick.
Hopefully, it is not too little too late. The controversy surrounding Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock’s views speaks to a larger gaffe in logic in the Republican Party on the abortion issue. A part of a person’s ability to live involves them being able to rationally consider their actions and make choices using their reason.
Contrary to what anti-abortionists will tell you, a woman who chooses to have an abortion is not committing murder. Since the developing embryo she carries is not alive in the sense of actual human beings and is in the woman’s body the embryo remains at her discretion and can be terminated at her choosing short of when the fetus is medically viable. A woman exercising her choice to have an abortion affirms her life since, if she did carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, her life and health could be at great risk. If the pregnancy is carried to term the woman in question would forced to care for child that she may or may not want or be able to care for.
When it comes to the Republican Party aside from the obvious inconsistent stance they have taken on abortion (which is grounded in religious thought), fortunately, it looks like they maybe softening their anti-abortion views. Mitt Romney has distanced himself from Akin and Mourdock’s remarks and stated his Administration would not oppose abortion in cases of rape.
This being the case, were I an Indiana voter I would still cast my ballot for Mourdock. With the threat of Obamacare coming down the line, the last thing Americans need is for one or both chambers of Congress to be controlled by the Democrats who might slow the implementation of their healthcare plan but would see it implemented none the less. Mourdock and other Tea Party Republicans would be an important buffer to Obamacare’s implementation as well as many other socialist schemes the President (should be be re-elected) and his party propose.
The true pro-life stance is one where an actual human being’s life is not sacrificed for a potential or non-human entity (which is what a developing fetus ultimately is). To truly respect life means to allow women the right to choose to have an abortion and, simultaneously, keeping the procedure legal. Individual rights are for actual, living human beings that protect people from the harmful actions of others and are not to be used for potential beings or the non-living.
Update 10/26/2012: The Washington Post has published an article outlining how Republicans still have a shot at grabbing control of the Senate resulting from riding Mitt Romney’s coat tails.