Wednesday, October 24, 2012

An Open Letter To Richard Mourdock ...

Mr. Mourdock:

I understand that you are a man of faith.

And I understand that it is your faith that informed what you said last night in the debate: “I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

You were just saying what vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan has also said, that the method of conception is immaterial, that life is life, and that life should be preserved no matter what, even if the preservation of that life means that the United States mandates that a woman who has been assaulted in the most heinous of ways is forced by her government to endure, against her will, a pregnancy and bear the child of her rapist, a rapist who, in many states, has paternal rights to the child and can therefore inflict further pain on the woman he raped by pursuing custody of the child and remaining a presence in the woman's life for years to come.

Of course, you will never, ever, under any circumstance, find yourself in that situation.

And I find it fascinating that those who have been the most vocal about telling women what they should or should not be able to do inside their own bodies are men.

Men. Over and over again, men who will never find themselves in that situation are very comfortable deciding what women should do.

How very easy for you. You can wrap yourself in the mantle of your faith and proclaim that women should be forced to carry pregnancies that are the result of rape because you believe that your God ordained that pregnancy as a gift.

How very simple.

I ask you, though, to consider an alternate view.

I am not religious. And I do not believe in God as the Bible defines God.

So in the event that I were raped and I became pregnant as a result of that rape, do you know how I would understand that series of events?

As biology.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Not a gift from God.

Biology.

A sperm fertilizing an egg and that egg implanting itself in the wall of my uterus.

Whether I would choose to carry that pregnancy or not is immaterial.

What is material is that you have absolutely no right – none whatsoever – to force any woman, through legislation, to endure the outcome you require of her.

You do not have that right, sir. You do not have that right.

No one has that right. No one. Only the woman who has been raped has the right to decide what is right for her body. Her psyche. Her life.

Today you said, “I spoke from my heart. For speaking from my heart, for speaking from the deepest level of my faith, I cannot apologize."

You are entitled to your faith. But you are not entitled force others to act according to your faith.

One of the tenets of your faith is that God gave humans free will, is it not?

If so, humans are free to decide the courses of their own lives, to decide what is right and what is wrong, what is to be done and what is to be left undone.

And they – at least, those who believe – according to your faith, live their lives knowing that they will one day appear before God and answer for their decisions or, if you will, their sins.

That is between each human and their God, Mr. Mourdock. You do not enter into it.

You need only answer for your own life.

Until then, stay out of mine.

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