I’m not a fan, but at least Republican rape philosophers shine a light on the GOP’s radical views on abortion. As it stands, they’re passing laws that include no exceptions for rape survivors, and they’re doing it quietly:
Since January of this year, the overwhelming majority of abortion provisions introduced into state legislatures — 86 percent — apply to women who become pregnant as a result of rape. According to a report by the National Women’s Law Center, of the 273 anti-abortion state provisions surveyed, 235 lacked exceptions for rape survivors. Of the 38 anti-abortion provisions that actually passed in the states, 27 did not include exceptions for women pregnant from rape. A few states even highlighted the absence of rape exceptions. One proposed ban on abortion in Mississippi stated, “The State of Mississippi shall not punish the crime of sexual assault with the death penalty, and neither shall persons conceived through a sexual assault be punished with the loss of his or her life.”
Strong majorities of Americans believe laws restricting abortion should offer exceptions for rape and incest. And there is something that feels particularly cruel about forcing rape survivors to carry pregnancies to term — they’ve already been sexually violated, and it’s easy to see how legally compelling them to continue an unwanted pregnancy resulting from their assault could compound the violation and the mental and physical damage the assault wrought. Many of the abortion restrictions introduced and passed would be particularly arduous for rape survivors: Requiring physically invasive ultrasounds, making women to listen to the fetal heartbeat, or forcing patients to sit through medically inaccurate lectures intended to dissuade them from having abortions. Rape isn’t just a sex crime; it’s a crime that strips the victim of her sense of control and agency over her own body. Medical and mental health professionals who treat rape victims are often quick to assert that the most important thing you can do in support of a victim is to help her restore her sense of control, bodily autonomy and dignity. Restricting her access to abortion by making her jump through a series of unnecessary political hoops in order to obtain the procedure again denies her control of her own sexual and reproductive organs, and can re-traumatize a sexual violence survivor.
Even many of the abortion restrictions that do offer exceptions for rape or incest still wrest control out of the survivor’s hands. A third of abortion restrictions with rape exceptions require the victim to report the crime to the police, despite the fact that most rapes go unreported out of fear, shame or an attempt to regain a sense of control. Other rape exceptions go even further, applying only if the rape isn’t just reported but “verified,” or only where the rape is reported within 48 hours. Report your rape three days after the attack instead of two, and you’re out of luck.
Read the rest here.
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