Virtual Voices

Media at war

Abortion

Two unreported or underreported aspects of the Todd Akin/rape controversy:

1.) One aspect of the debate is a vast difference of opinion about the meaning of compassion in this situation. The pro-abort side believes compassion toward the woman is aborting the child so she can put this tragedy behind her. Pro-life folks know that abortion compounds the tragedy by killing a child-and also makes it harder for the woman. A rape is a criminal and evil violation of a woman's body. A woman so mistreated needs help, and reassurance that she is still made in God's image despite being brutally attacked. She certainly doesn't need the added, huge burden of complicity in a brutal attack on an unborn child. The child is innocent. So many women who have had abortions, even under such grievous circumstances, have regretted them later.

2.) Some on the pro-abort side are raising the prospect of a woman who has an abortion after rape being prosecuted for it, if nasty pro-lifers have their way. I wrote a book about the history of abortion in America from the early 1600s through the early 1900s (Abortion Rites: A Social History of Abortion in America), and I can say this: Even when abortion was a crime and a strong societal consensus condemned it, I know of no situations where a woman was prosecuted for an abortion following a rape. Women did not do jail time following an abortion. The emphasis was on prosecuting abortionists, not women: They were seen as victims exploited by men, and American society showed no desire to re-victimize them. The 19th century history of fighting abortion is one of compassion toward both women and their unborn children.

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Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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