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What would it be like to live with a wife or daughter pregnant by rape?

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Iris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:45 AM
Original message
What would it be like to live with a wife or daughter pregnant by rape?
I woke this morning to NPR's report on Harriet Miers and her willingness to support a constitutional amendment banning abortion except if the life of the mother is at risk.

It got me to thinking about what this country might look like in that situation. Send your daughter off to college, someone slips her a date rape drug, and she comes home pregnant. You pay her expenses and watch her go through the ordeal of carrying her attacker(s)'s (known or unknown) child. Or, say a woman who is married is raped. Her husband is just expected to live with her while she carries her attacker's child?

I wonder if living in such an era would put more emphasis on the crime of rape? It has been said on this board and other places that rape is a highly underreported crime. It has also been suggested by some politicians that women cannot get pregnant by rape. So, rather than bring attention to crimes against women, could we simply go back to blaming victims even more than we do now?

The right to choose and the crime of rape are not just "women's issues." How far do the right-to-life folks have to go to make this any clearer?

I know a constitutional amendment banning all abortions is unlikely, but I also think that the pro-life camps will never be satisfied until that is the law of this land.

I wonder when people - women and men - will start paying attention?

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acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:47 AM
Response to Original message
1. I hope I never have to find out.
Of course, the fundies are doing their level best to see that we get that opportunity.
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Iris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:51 AM
Response to Reply #1
4.  And, I guess I should add, there are some women who would choose
this destiny. And I'd say they have a right to do that, even if their spouse didn't like it. But, again, that would be her CHOICE and she would also be choosing the consequences. I've seen a couple of books written by fundy women about their experience of giving birth to a rapist's child. I don't think either one of them lost a husband over it.
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DIKB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:48 AM
Response to Original message
2. Not until...
A man can be raped and impregnated against his will, or religion doesn't rule us but reason does instead. Either way, I'm not holding my breath for it to happen.
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Niccolo_Macchiavelli Donating Member (641 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:50 AM
Response to Original message
3. when their wives and daughters are impregnated by rape
in defense i'd say many a lot earlier...

but paying attention and doing something about it are a different pair of shoes
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mrcheerful Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:00 AM
Response to Original message
5. Until R vs W
that was the law of the land. A lot of domestic violence was the direct result of things like that happening. The husbands had a tendency to blame everything on the woman and for some reason in their minds the woman caused the rape. Then if said husband did stick it out with their mate, they ended up taking their anger out on the child that was the product of said rape. In another words, child abuse and spouse abuse increased after a rape. Also suicides increased from the way women were treated after a rape and the numbers were higher among those that had a rape child. look at the myth's of rape that are still around today, she asked for it because she dressed to sexy, she really wanted it, etc etc.
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Iris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:02 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. And I'm asking, do we really want to go back there?
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 07:03 AM by Iris
I think we've come a long way since then and doubt it would be that extreme - AT FIRST. But once the dark settles around our new Dark Age, who knows? Orphanages? That was Newt Gingrich's solution and he wants to run for president in 08.

(I assumed the child would eventually be given up for adoption.)
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zbdent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:00 AM
Response to Original message
6. I'd love to see a bunch of righties who had to deal with the fact that
their fourteen year old daughter was now carrying the child of their worst nightmare minority, who they claim "raped" her . . . and now they have to raise the child because the daughter is forced to take a minimum wage (whoops, that doesn't count - they would have fought against minimum wage) job just to help pay her medical bills, mainly because they barely had enough money to cover their own health care costs, which they don't understand why it's getting so expensive . . .

and every day they have to look at that kid, and realize that their rightie friends are looking at them as having become the enemy . . .
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Iris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:06 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Actually, when I lived in south Georgia, a friend of mine who was
pregnant said there was a teenaged girl who went to the same doctor. Her parents would come with her but made her sit across the room. My friend actually saw them in public and the girl would walk many paces behind them or in front of them - but definately "away" from them. My friend for some reason thought they were religious - I'm not sure how (this was in 1989, when Harriet wrote her now famous opinion!) but I remembert there being some element of religion involved - not unusual in a town run by one very large church.
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:09 AM
Response to Original message
9. this is Democratic PA Senate candidate Bob Casey's view too
and the "Democratic establishment" is backing him against another Democratic challenger ...

disgraceful ...
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:11 AM
Response to Original message
10. who has claimed, or implied that you can't get pregnant by rape?
That is absurd.

And no, of course most folks haven't spent a lot of time pondering this - they keep it "intellectual" (i.e., arguing a point - not thinking about it empathetically) and would say - it isn't the baby's fault .... (ergo no abortion.)
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mrcheerful Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:18 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Thats the real problem with pro-life
they try to keep it at an intellectual level and under play human emotions. Its easy to do that when its not your life thats effected by anything. This is the same type of thinking that allows humans to live with themselves even though they know they are wrong.
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Iris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:59 AM
Response to Reply #10
17. Back in '89 there was a senator who didn't see a problem with incest b/c
"that's how we get good race horses."

The man who said you could not become pregnant from a rape was a politician here in Georgia - he was once a practicing doctor - scarey.
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whatever4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #10
22. You made my point
and, I have to say again...I'm thankful I have no daughters. Now more than ever.

I'll always be glad I can tell my children that none of them were mistakes. No one "made" me have them, I had a choice every time. And I choose them.

When they overturn legal abortion, and I think they will, all I can think is, none of those women (and girls) will be able to tell their children that.

What were you? You were a mistake kid, if I'd had my way, I'd have never had you. Kid. You were the worst thing that ever happened to me. Kid. You ruined my life, you miserable kid. No I didn't know your father and they never CAUGHT him, you bastard kid.

No, I wouldn't say that stuff. Most women wouldn't say that stuff. But a lot more of them will think that stuff, when they get their way. I never HAD to think that stuff.

I think if abortion were illegal, I might never have had kids at all. Why take the risk, why shell out your body like that, why ever risk pregnancy?? By choice? oh hell no way.

Sadly, I think it's the type of people pushing for it most that are the most likely to have family members hurt by it. Hurt by illegal abortion, coat hangers, and do I wonder if any men will feel badly when their daughters are mutilated, scared, left unable to have children, and some dead from it. Will they ever realize the senselessness of it, of trying to force women and girls to reproduce? I just can't feel sorry for them anymore. Just their poor daughters born into the slavery, male-dominated lives completed in adulthood by wallpaper, school activities and dinner on the table BY 6 and shut the hell UP about that womens lib crap...they're the one's I feel sorry for.

Preaching to the choir, I know, sorry.
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Iris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. speaking of wallpaper - ever read the short story "The Wallpaper"?
Basically a woman goes crazy from being essentially locked away after losing a child and believes the people in her wallpaper are talking to her. It's about some "treatment" they used to prescribe for middle class women who, in hindsight, were suffering from depression - the woman basically went to a sanitarium and did absolutely nothing. To clear her pretty little head, I guess.
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whatever4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #24
26. No, never did
But it sounds like, well probably a good story, but not one I could easily read. Treatments for women. Shudder. So often times the cure worse than the ill, so much needless pain and suffering.

I noticed this following was a needless rant, I'm trying to stop now :)

I think I'd be okay with this world, the violence and horror and all of it, if it weren't for the pervasive sexism, hatred against women, and ignorance of it all. If it weren't for that, I might have been okay, you know what I mean? Might not be so bad, but for so many of "them" naming women the smaller, the weaker, the needier ones with a set lot in life, and them turning around and subjecting that smaller, weaker person to violence and unfairness of ALL kinds. Violence and discrimination against women is common. Commonly done by men, but hardly recognized that way. How ridiculous.

When a man wonders why a women would be offended, if he insisted on holding the door open. Yeah. How many ever had the presence of mind to understand how hypocritical that macho attitude is, if she's been beaten or raped? Oh, so you'll hold the door open for me then? Funny, a stranger, looked a lot like you, did something altogether different, and I know he thought it was thing to do, must have, but honestly it's left me distrusting the motives of ANY guy that painfully aware of his physical dominance, so needing of that recognition, while my casual admittance of your superior strength doesn't give me any good feelings AT ALL. Friend. Yeah, nice when they're nice, and real MEAN when they're not. Not to generalize, too much, but it's just one window into how one, and maybe many more than one, women might feel that men OVERALL would have no idea about. Why don't she like me to hold the door? Bitch. She might have been hit by a guy just a few hours ago, or been hurt by a big strong guy just like YOU. Jerk.

That whole macho gripe about "holding the door open", it makes me laugh.

I hold doors open for men, when convenient and helpful, and I tell THEM to be liberated. I say, let me hold the door open for you, and allow you the same caring. Allow you to liberate yourself from that need to help me, for a second, liberate YOU from that role.

I don't usually get past "Be liberated" in the speech though. They laugh. Usually. I'm happy either way.
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Iris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #26
29. You hit the nail on the head with the door holding scenario.
It is really trivial in light of all that goes on in the world. I would much rather a man stand up to his buddies when they are spewing forth demeaning comments about women. I can open my own, door, thanks, but I can't change attitudes with out some REAL help from some real men.

This discussion reminds me of when I worked in a bank. The loan processing department was near my office. You would not believe the hoopla on Valentine's Day - the flowers, the candy, the stuffed animals - never mind all the misery these men created throughout the rest of the year. They could make it up in 1 day.

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TheCowsCameHome Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:14 AM
Response to Original message
11. Ask some goody-two-shoes like Santorum what he would do.
And make him answer without waffling.
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Alpharetta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:39 AM
Response to Original message
13. I could afford the $3 abortion pill they're using now

Pay her expenses to carry to full term? Well if I can afford that, I can afford to get that $3 pill so many folks are using nowadays. Misoprostol. Sure there are some medical risks, but then again there are medical risks with abortions too.



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Iris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. And. . there are medical risks from pregnancy and childbirth as well.
Everyday women die from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth - maybe not so much in this country.
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okieinpain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:39 AM
Response to Original message
14. hey wait until a accused rapist ask for visitation rights.
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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:45 AM
Response to Original message
15. I was the product of rape.
My mother had me, and 'kept' me and I never realized until I became a mother just how bad it had been for both of us. Once she finally married, her husband agreed to adopt me and make me 'legitimate' but only if I was sent to live with my grandparents.

My grandmother let me know for the rest of her life that I ruined theirs and that she was 'required' to take me in or she wouldn't have done it. (The only answer to my question of why I wasn't just sent to an orphanage...the common threat...was 'what would the neighbors think')

Nobody ever called me a bastard or anything like that but I was let know in other ways that I wasn't 'fit' company for other children (including my cousins) and that my mother was the town slut. Not true, of course, but this is what I grew up with.

Abortion wasn't legal when my mother was pregnant but I often wonder why she put herself through what she did. There was a doctor in town that would have taken care of it for her. I wouldn't be here, of course, but maybe my mother, who died at the age of 40, would be.

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Iris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. China_cat - such a sad story.
But I'm glad you are here today. I wish the people around you when you grew up had been braver and more compassionate.

And, I want to be clear that if a woman chooses to have a baby conceived through a rape, that is her choice to make, and the people around her should accept her decision and, most importantly, the child.
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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #18
27. The point I was making, or trying to,
was that a child of rape could fully understand a woman choosing not to carry a rapist's offspring.

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Iris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. yes. And you did it quite well.
Sadly, I don't think the woman-hating fundies will care what anyone has to say on this issue. It's their way or the highway.
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AirmensMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:14 AM
Response to Original message
19. A lesson they could learn ...
We used to know a very important fundie minister. My husband grew up knowing him and he was known to be very strict and intolerant. By the time I met him, he had changed. His daughter had gotten divorced. OK, I know that's not the same as rape ... but it's pretty traumatic to people who believe it's a huge sin. Here's what he told us: "You can be as dogmatic about something as you want to be. But when it happens in your family, things look different to you. It's time to think about what really matters." His daughter was more important to him than those rules. He accepted divorce as something that happens, not a sin or a moral failure.

The same can be said for an unwanted pregnancy, especially one resulting from rape. If it happened to their loved ones, perhaps they would think differently. I don't see anything else getting their attention.
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SCDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. On the same note
I attend a Unitarian Universalist church sometimes and the minister used to be a Southern Baptist Preacher in the hills of West Virginia. His adult daughter is lesbian and having to weigh not just his religion but his job against his family and everything well he is a great minister and now is a UU preacher and the most open and wonderful person of all.

Until it happens to you or your family.
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AirmensMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. How many people have said it?
Sadly, the most tolerant people seem to be the ones who have had to deal with situations that might not exactly follow their plans. Admitting that we're human actually helps us to become more human.
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Richard D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 09:05 AM
Response to Original message
23. Well . . .
It's just one step from this to total social ostrazation of both the raped woman and the child. Remember the old stuff about raped women about how the brought it on themselves by being promiscuous, careless, etc.? Dark age stuff that is so in danger of returning. Not too far from that would be stoning the woman for daring to get raped.
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zann725 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
25. What about a woman raped by Father/relative forced to bear THAT...
child AND visual proof of THAT emotional burden of incest for life?
That would be a truly heavy burden...particularly for an under-age victim...as most incest victims are.
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Iris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #25
30. yes. I shudder to even think of it. Did you see my post further up
about the politician who, in 1989, wondered what was wrong with incest anyway? Isn't that how we get "throughbred race horses?"

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