Both Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock have lost after making highly offensive comments about rape. Both men had previously been favored to win. Both states are otherwise “red.” Did a few statements about rape, pregnancy and abortion lose them their elections? I hope so.
Is it right to lose an election based on a few words? In many races no. We all misspeak at times, but these cases were more than poor choices of words. The statements on rape, pregnancy and abortion from Akin and Mourdock were clearly indicative of their underlying beliefs. Those underlying beliefs need to be eradicated from our culture.
I hope that the voters of Missouri and Indiana voted against these men because they believe at least a few of the following statements:
- If a woman is forced to have sex she has been raped. It doesn’t matter if this happens in a dark alley with a stranger, on a date with a friend, or on deployment with a fellow service member.
- Women who have been raped have been through a terrible ordeal in which someone took control of their bodies.
- Women can get pregnant from rape and do.
- Women who are pregnant from rape should not be forced to have a baby they do not want thus further limiting control over their bodies.
- Not all women who get pregnant from rape will have an abortion, but it is cruel not to let the choice be there.
- The women who get abortions from rape (and otherwise) do not do so lightly. It is a difficult choice that will weigh heavily in their hearts forever and they know it, but sometimes it is less painful than the alternative.
I hope to never be in such a position. I don’t know what I would do, but I would hate to think the decision had been made for me.The national dialogue on abortion and rape are far from over. I hope in the future more women’s voices will be included.