I feel like this one ought to be added to our nifty rape chart…
At a candidates’ debate last night, U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock of Indiana expressed his belief that life begins at conception and that the only case in which he’d approve of a pregnant woman having an abortion was if her life was in danger. Then he added this:
Life is that gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that it is something God intended to happen.
Welcome to the 24-hour news cycle, Mr. Mourdock. Not surprisingly, your comments have caused outrage.
Here’s what Feminist Majority president Eleanor Smeal had to say:
Does Mourdock mean that God intended for that rape to happen, and for it to result in a pregnancy? Is the next step not to prosecute the rapist–and to force [the rape victim] to marry the rapist? This is not so far-fetched and is happening in Afghanistan and Morocco. Such religious extremism threatens women’s lives–in fact, threatens all of our lives, and religious freedom itself.
Mourdock tried to walk back his quote today with the old “I regret the misinterpretation” excuse:
If there was any interpretation other than what I intended, I really regret that. Anyone who goes to the videotape and views that understands fully what I meant.
Sounds like he’s saying that every pregnancy is planned by God, even if the woman had no say in the matter at all. Even if she was violated and abused. As Smeal pointed out, it’s a slippery slope from that religious-based viewpoint to what goes on in countries with religious extremism as their de facto legal system.
The Twittersphere has been quick to jump on the religiosity of Mourdock’s statement:
@Human Choices: Apparently, Richard #Mourdock wants rapists to get to pick the mother(s) of their children. How very Christian of him. Not.
@sensitive_b: “Apparently the 1950s aren’t far back enough, they now want to take us all the way back to the Calvinist idea of predestination?”
And @lwdgrfx started a new hashtag: “#GiftsFromGod: health, love, friends, rapists’ babies”
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney “disagreed” with Mourdock’s comments, but continues to endorse the candidate and has run an ad in his favor. You can ask Romney to pull that ad here.
As Smeal concluded, “Religious extremism has no place in public decision-making that can cost women their lives and freedom.”
“Why should women be paid equal to men? Men have been in the working world a lot longer and deserve to be paid at a higher rate. Heck, I’m a working mom and I’m not paid a dime. I depend on my husband to provide for me and my family, as should most women… and if a woman does work, she should be happy just to be out there in the working world and quit complaining that she’s not making as much as her male counterparts. I mean really, all this wanting to be equal nonsense is going to be detrimental to the future of women everywhere. Who’s going to want to hire a woman, or for that matter, even marry a woman who thinks she is the same, if not better than a man at any job. It’s almost laughable. C’mon now ladies, are you with me on this?”
This quote and article are viral on Facebook right now, with people swinging from utter shock to staunch anger. Shock over the ignorance of the quote and anger over the injustice of it being used to slander Ann Romney. There’s controversy over whether she actually said this, but my thinking is that it doesn’t matter. Even if her words weren’t these, her and her husband’s sentiment is in line with this thinking. Romney is the current embodiment of the war against women, and if he is elected, we will get a return to the 50s.