State-imposed Violence vs Rape Violence

Anti-choice politicians just cannot keep their mouths shut. And I hope their insatiable urge to comment on reproductive issues continues. I want everyone to know just how utterly insulting and horrifically extreme their beliefs about  women’s right to control their bodies really are.

Yet another anti-choice politician, John Koster – a councilman of the state of Washington, has honored Americans with his cogent opinion about women and “the rape thing.”

Wow. And his calling it “the rape thing” is not even the worst part. This dude thinks an abortion that a rape victim chooses of her own free will is “putting more violence onto a woman’s body?” I want to ask this Cro-Magnon, “What would you label state-mandated pregnancy?” Pregnancy can have life-altering consequences. Pregnancy can change a woman’s body forever. Pregnancy may require invasive surgical procedures. Pregnancy can result in death!

So, when a state forces a woman to bear a child against her will, is that not “putting more violence onto a woman’s body?” When a state forces a woman to risk her life and health against her will, is that not state-mandated violence? When a state mandates that a woman be strapped to a table while doctors slice her abdomen open against her will, is it not violence? Is that not state-mandated brutality?

And where does it end? Since an innocent child is his main concern, maybe we should mandate that all Americans register in bone marrow databases. Maybe we should mandate that all Americans donate their organs after death. Maybe we should mandate that any American that is a kidney or liver donor match to a child that is dying, sacrifice their life and health. I mean, the probability of adverse side effects from donation is “so rare,” maybe we should collect blood from everyone!

Strap those healthy Americans to a gurney! It’s their patriotic duty to sacrifice their bodies for innocent children!

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Don’t Call Pregnancy from Rape a Gift from God

Calling an unwanted pregnancy resulting from rape a something “God intended to happen” is just not right. The reasons are nearly innumerable. But here are a few.

Calling an unwanted pregnancy from rape a gift implies the rape was a gift as well. You can try to say, “Well, I abhor violence. I abhor rape. My god wouldn’t want that.” But even labeling the direct consequences of the violence perpetrated against a woman as what “God intended to happen” grants a divine dispensation to the rapist. Would you also claim, “This rapist wasn’t too bad since he allowed God to bless her?” I think not (unless you are crazy). Separating the pregnancy from the rape that started it is impossible for many women. So until your god starts impregnating women against their will at random, you should probably refrain from equating unwelcome pregnancy by sexual assault with heavenly benefaction.

Calling an unwanted pregnancy from rape a “gift from God,” and using that to defend a position that bans abortion even in cases of rape and incest, turns women into slaves. Forcing rape victims to carry a rapist’s baby (and in many cases, share custody with him) is the ultimate form of reproductive coercion by the state. A lot of people have never hear the term reproductive coercion. Forcing a woman to bear children against her will facilitates her ensnarement in a subservient position to her abuser – or in this case, the rapist. It is government-sanctioned abuse. This isn’t 80s Romania – this is the Unites States of America! Allowing the state to assume authority over a citizen’s body – be that citizen male, female, pregnant or not – is contrary to The Constitution of the United States and contrary to what Americans expect of their government.

Finally, forcing women to bear children against their will because it is your “God’s will” is forcing your religious beliefs on that woman. If you don’t want to have an abortion, don’t have one. If you don’t like the morning after pill, don’t take it. If you think women should just deal with the risks and unalterable physical changes that pregnancy brings with it, then by all means, bear down.

But don’t for one second think that your religious beliefs should be the standard borne by all Americans. Don’t for a moment think that everyone is obligated to serve your god by laying down their own right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness because an reprobate didn’t understand what “NO” meant. And don’t you ever rest in your cozy little bed believing women will just “lay down and take it.”

Because you bet your ass we won’t.

What Does the GOP Know About Rape?

For a party that insists discussions about social issues (namely, abortion) are a distraction, Republicans spend an awful lot of time legislating, talking about, and litigating against abortion access. It would seem that were the GOP actually unconcerned with the abortion issue and more focused on creating jobs and boosting the American economy, the unemployment rate would be well below 8 percent and the economy would have seen substantial growth above 2 percent. But alas, as evidenced by the introduction of over 1,100 reproductive health and abortion-restriction bills in federal and state level the 2011 legislative session nationwide, the GOP and their Tea Party progeny are well focused on usurping control over women’s private parts.

Abortion is a polarizing issue in the United States. A majority of Americans believe a woman should be able to control her own fertility, including having the choice whether to continue a pregnancy. Most americans agree that abortion should be allowed for victims of rape or incest, or when a woman’s health or life is at risk. But the GOP platform committee approved a party platform this week that supports banning abortion altogether without any exception for the life or health of the woman or for cases of rape or incest. The Republican National Committee will vote on this platform in full next week. The platform, including it’s careless abortion position, is likely to be approved in stride.

This week, one especially ignorant and dishonest republican, Senator Todd Akin, claimed that women cannot get pregnant from rape saying, “If it is a legitimate rape, the female body has ways of shutting that whole thing down.” (I guess he’ll say anything to score points with pro-life extremists. Or maybe he is just THAT ignorant.) I don’t believe I can pull a more bullshit claim out of the ether than that.

Akin and his buddies including Paul Ryan claim that exceptions to abortion bans for women’s health, or rape and incest victims are a “red herring.” Their meaning – “exceptions to abortion bans for rape are unnecessary because women who were REALLY raped cant get pregnant”. The GOP audacity to categorize rape according to the physical state of the victim is absolutely dispicable and illustrates just how much contempt for women’s autonomy the Republican party harbors.

The statistical occurence of pregnancy among rape victims has actually been studied. According to a study presented at The South Atlantic Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Am J Obstet Gynecol 1996;175:320-5), the national rape-related pregnancy rate is 5.0 percent per rape. Holmes, et al also concluded that rape-related pregnancy occurs with significant frequency – to the tune of 32,101 pregnancies resulting from rape each year – and is closely linked with family and domestic violence.

But the GOP doesn’t believe “legitimate” rape victims actually become pregnant.

The real GOP policy is to force impregnated rape victims to sacrifice their bodies and their lives because a fetus is more important than any woman’s sanity, health or life.

The real red herring here is that the GOP is unlikely to confirm any woman’s rape as “legitimate” enough to sanction the woman’s choice to terminate her pregnancy. Apparentlyin GOP-land, a woman could not have possibly been raped except if she lay on her death bed after the attack. So those of us who were raped by our abusive husbands – not really raped. Those of use who were raped after we passed out from drinking – not really raped. Those of us who were slipped a date rape drug – not really raped. Those of us who stopped fighting because our attacker had big fists and a knife and we didn’t want to die – not really raped.

So next time, struggle a bit more so you have some STAB WOUNDS to prove your rape was LEGITIMATE! And since you can’t get pregnant from “legitimate” or “forcible” rape, if you do turn up preggo you must just be some kind of masochist.

Victim Blaming, Slut Shaming – I’m so OVER it.

A cop in Pittsburgh is currently on trial for using his official position as a police officer to coerce female citizens into providing him sexual favors. The charges include attempted rape, indecent assault and coercion – among other things. So why am I surprised when the defense attorneys accuse the victims of lying and slander the character of these women by asserting that they are not credible?

The defense attorney Jim Ecker’s own words:

I think they all copied each other — one after another after another after another,

The similarity of testimony does not belie credibility for me. The fact is the women are repeating a similar account of events because they were all assaulted by the SAME PERSON! Unless this Skweres jerk has dissociative identity disorder, one would expect his behavior to adhere to a definitive modus operandi. The short time span over which the crimes were committed also leaves me unsurprised as to the commonality of the crimes. And the fact that Skweres has been a cop for five years means he has practiced and contemplated how to leverage his position of power to intimidate the very people who deserved his protection, not to be at his disposal. And on top of that, he is a drug using cop. Bravo!

Where are the arguments challenging the credibility of this (arguably) former police officer? I mean seriously, the police found drugs in this car! People can come out and say how great this guy is, how he served in the armed forces, or that this isn’t in his character. But criminals are often amazingly good at hiding their criminal nature behind a façade of normalcy. Just google Ted Bundy.

Read more: http://www.wtae.com/news/30587773/detail.html#ixzz1oIgMTD45

Student Activism to Make You Smile

Stop rape Slippery Rock!!!

I was out at Slippery Rock University today to take a couple students off campus for lunch and came across this little piece of activism.

Stop rape Slippery Rock!!!

Knowing that young people are working to make a difference in their community kind of makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

You Must Be Joking, Penn State

Erm…I guess not. As I type, a mob of students is gathering outside a Penn State office cheering for Joe Paterno who failed them. His (and everyone else’s) failure to report Jerry Sandusky for child abuse and possible child rape to law enforcement or child protective services is literally disgusting. From a revered leader, we expect much more.

People don’t want to acknowledge the deep-rooted rape culture that pervades our society. But when you see a Penn State student mob cheering Joe Paterno, a man who harbored a child rapist, and joking about it, rape culture is literally undeniable.

I’m going to go puke now.