When I first began as an ally for women’s reproductive rights, I had been largely unpolitical up to that point in my life. But, after working with rape survivors I felt an obligation to help make the world safer for women by joining their efforts to make sure our laws give them basic rights over their own person and body.
I was deeply disturbed to hear the unquestioned mythologies of the pro-life advocates. A more current example is Todd Akin, who recently said “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” You get the connotation, ‘this woman says she was raped but if it were “legitimate” her body would have somehow blocked the unwanted sperm, so we know what kind of woman she really is.’
As I say I was amazed and depressed to hear such incredible dishonesty used in an effort to control the lives of others. The person saying the absurd mantra was usually a man, usually with a knowing smirk, and never with a shred of evidence to back it up. For a man to be pro-life usually costs him next to nothing, but his interference in someone else’s life may cost her the ability to keep her life in balance. And, if he succeeds in making abortion illegal, it may cost her own life as well.
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