Last week, when asked about your personal stance on abortion, you referred to rape as one of the many “methods of conception”, a method that you go on to say “doesn’t change the definition of life”. A baby is a baby in your eyes, which is why if it were up to you there would be no access to abortion for those women that become pregnant from their rapist. I realize that abortion is a dicey subject so I’d like to get past that point for now and talk about something that would theoretically impact me for decades to come. Say I have a rape baby – what’s next?
FIrst, I want to thank Paul Slansky for bringing this to my attention. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-slansky-/paul-ryan-said-something-_b_1832377.html)He’s right in his article when he points out that NOBODY is covering this story effectively since this is not a gaffe or a slip-up. This is your thoughtfully crafted position on what happens to my body, my future and anyone around me that cares about me (friends, family, maybe a husband who didn’t know he would be taking on another man’s baby to raise). As someone who may become Vice President one day – and who is certainly considered a leader of the Republican party – your position is worth understanding thoroughly. I would like to know what you have in mind for us.
As I’m sure you’re aware, statistically, as an American woman there is a one in four chance that I will be raped at some point http://thehathorlegacy.com/rape-statistics/. The questions I’m about to ask you are pertinent since I like to plan ahead. That’s the type of person I am. I buckle up when I get in a moving vehicle, even though I’m more that one thousand more times likely to be raped than I am to be in a fatal car crash. And I try to take preventative actions whenever I can. For example, I get breast cancer screenings even though I’m twice as likely to be raped than I am to get breast cancer http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/risk/understanding.jsp.
You get where I’m coming from right? That’s why I feel better just asking you about this, because as a member of a party that has been so thoughtful in protecting me against voter fraud – something that is a quarter of a million times less likely to happen to me than being forced to have sex with someone against my will http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2012/04/24/the-myth-of-voter-fraud – I’m sure you have a plan for how to protect me in this situation. Forgive me, but I just need a few more details about what that plan is exactly.
Let’s start with the basics – money. How do I go about collecting child support? Do I have to go through the entire rape trial first or can I focus on paternity tests and then get down to the fun business of rape kits and reliving the moment on the witness stand later? You see, being raped is far more likely – statistically speaking – to happen to women that have lower incomes and babies are not cheap. Those of us who are not blessed with bodies that somehow magically flush out the sperm of our rapist without getting pregnant are going to need to provide food, child care, clothes and health care. Which division of our government is going to make sure that my child is financially cared for? Would that be the “Family Courts” (which feels HIGHLY inappropriate) or the criminal court system? Just let me know which forms to file or where I can pick up the pamphlet entitled, “So You’re Giving Birth to Your Rapist’s Baby”.
Speaking of health care, I know that you envision some sort of voucher system for Medicare. Will there also be some sort of redeemable coupon for the extra health care the baby I conceived with my rapist will require? Let’s just be honest here: I’m not likely to take the best care of the baby while I’m carrying it to term. Even if I have the best intentions I’m going to be stressed, self-loathing and probably resenting both myself and that child. That doesn’t bode well for the baby’s development.
And even if I put my “selfishness” aside and just focus on the unwanted life inside of me, there’s going to need to be some heavy therapy involved. Am I damaging the child’s self-esteem in any way by not-so-secretly never wanting it? Is the child damaged already with aggressive tendencies inherited from the rapist? This is something that needs to be closely monitored or we risk having another serial killer in the making.
That brings up a bit of a sticky issue for me as well. I may or may not come forward and prosecute my rapist (it’s a degrading and often traumatic experience and, if I’m on a college campus there’s a ninety-five percent chance http://www.cosmopolitan.com/advice/tips/why-most-victims-dont-report-rape that I will not come forward). And, let’s face it, if I did try to speak out then the odds of the rapist being convicted successfully are not stellar. Some optimists say it’s about fifty-fifty and others say it’s as low as six percent. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/19/myths-about-rape-conviction-rates Even so, the average jail time of a convicted rapist is about five and a half years http://www.skeptive.com/disputes/581 so it’s pretty safe to say that my rapist is going to be walking around free by the time the baby starts kindergarten.
Does my rapist have paternity rights? I mean, a baby is a baby when we’re looking at this through the eyes of your laws so how far does this go? Do I have to turn over my flesh and blood to a convicted rapist every other weekend if he goes to court and asks me to?? I’d like to think that our court system would somehow protect me from this possibility, but take a good hard look at the injustices that happen in any number of child custody agreements on a given day and reassure me that this scenario could NEVER happen. I don’t think you can make that promise. I don’t think that our legal system is set up in such a way as to protect, say, my future teenage daughter from being given the choice of either fending for herself with her rapist father or watching her mother go to jail – since I’ll still fighting tooth and nail to keep her safe. That ‘s what mothers tend to do.
No, the laws are certainly not set up to handle this situation with any sort of dignity towards the mother, protection of the child or well-being for anyone involved. But they are set up so that a male that will never face this situation has the ability to pontificate on how I should best handle this potential nightmare. The laws are set up so that you can sit on national television and espouse your views about rape and abortion and then sit in Congress and write laws that could directly impact me without ever once checking to see if they make a bit of sense.
Luckily for me or, more to the point, for the over six hundred women in the United States who are raped or sexually assaulted EVERY DAY, http://www.now.org/issues/violence/stats.html there is a way that we can protect ourselves. Not just from the trauma inflicted upon us by our my future possible rapists but from men like you who have given that trauma absolutely no regard. So if you could get us your answers to these questions prior to November 6th then we would appreciate it.
An American Woman
Supposedly equal in the eyes of the law since 1972 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_Rights_Amendment#1972_approval_by_Congress