There is nothing good about rape. That it has been injected into the debate about the legality of abortion is, how can I put this, unfortunate. On the other hand, it is a very effective way to reframe the debate.
Simply put, the rape exception or incest exception or any other exception is not a good result for pro-choice supporters. I was a bit flabbergasted when I heard Rep. Akin state that “doctors” have told him that women cannot conceive from a rape. From what I read, approximately 25 thousand pregnancies occur every year as a result of rape. Because not all rapes are reported and the possibility exists for it to be over reported, the number is problematic at best. So, let’s split the difference. Twelve and a half thousand a year. Those women would be eligible for an abortion. But they would still have to overcome the barrier of proof–that they were raped or victims of incest.
Is that too many, too few? If you answered C, none of the above, give yourself a point. Pro-life supporters have reframed the debate around exceptions. To do so they took an absurd position. Now they want to bargain to allow in certain circumstances. It’s a great negotiating tactic. They aren’t giving up nearly as much as women will. To the vast majority of women, this result means you have no choice at all. It is OK to be outraged at the stupidity of Rep. Akin’s comments and the subsequent ballyhoo. It is not OK to narrow this issue to the exceptions. Doing so gives up the game.
I love the irony of people who love liberty restricting choice. Samantha Bee illustrates this well here.