Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said in a debate Tuesday night that pregnancies resulting from rape "are something that God intended to happen," and the chairman of the Senate Republicans' campaign arm is standing by him.
Mourdock became the second GOP Senate candidate to find himself on the defensive over comments about rape and pregnancy. You may recall that in August, Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin said that women's bodies have ways of preventing pregnancy in cases of what he called "legitimate rape."
It's absolutely amazing these kinds of statements are coming from people who could potentially be the next leaders of our country -- making the important decisions that impact you, me and our future generations.
I'm happy, yet amazed Roe vs. Wade hasn't been overturned. It's proof that there are so many people who believe in a woman's right to choose but are only brave enough to admit it when it's law. I don't blame people for being afraid, because taking any social position in America that goes against the religious right can cost you your job, friends, and even family. Religious extremists are a mob you don't want to cross. At least gangs don't pretend to exhibit "Christ-like" behavior.
The delusional thinking is that a fetus is a human being. A fetus is only a fetus and it cannot survive without its mother's body, which makes critical thinking on abortion simple: We own our bodies, and neither the government nor the church has any jurisdiction or say in what we do with it. Once it's breathing independently outside the mother's womb it has rights, but until a fetus becomes a human being, it is part of its mother's body.
The problem with people who argue against this is they are thinking through emotion instead of logic. Abortion is a sad but sometimes necessary event, but the mother should be free to choose what happens inside her own body. The fact is that the advent of contraception and legalized abortion has done more to liberate women than any two events in history, and the all-boys clubs of "women should be kept barefoot and pregnant" are none too pleased. Women have been controlled, bullied, and abused by men since the beginning of time, and maintaining control of their reproductive rights is one of the methods men have used to keep them from rising up in the world.
As long as a woman had to be home raising kids, she couldn't go out into the world and stake her own claim or make her own money. Men not only had a physical strength advantage over women, but they enjoyed absolute monetary power as well. It's hard to have equal rights with empty pockets, and unplanned pregnancy was the catalyst of inequality.
Birth control and abortion changed all that, and in the past 40 years we have witnessed the greatest emancipation of women in American history. Women now have the power to forge their own destiny, earn unlimited amounts of money, and challenge men for political power. This evolution would never have taken place in America without legalized abortion. Overturning Roe vs. Wade has never been about saving babies. It's about controlling women, and the religious extremists will continue masking this hidden agenda until they are exposed.
All a critical thinker has to do is read what the Bible says about women, which treats them as the property of men with about the same status as cattle. Here's what American social activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton said about the treatment of women in the Bible:
"The Bible teaches that women brought sin and death into the world, that she precipitated the fall of the race, that she was arraigned before the judgment seat of Heaven, tried, condemned and sentenced. Marriage for her was to be a condition of bondage, maternity and a period of suffering and anguish, and in silence and subjection, she was to play the role of a dependent on man's bounty for all her material wants, and for all the information she might desire."
It baffles me that any woman of even modest education can embrace a book that demeans them to this degree, yet this is the power of delusional thinking. Fortunately, millions of strong independent women refused to be subjected to the tyranny of ancient religious dogma and puritanical societal norms and are boldly creating their own futures. As women continue to gain more political power, social status and financial equality, they will make America a stronger, more prosperous country.
It's time for our leaders and future leaders from the right to get with the times and treat and support women the way they deserve to be treated.