Abortion After a Rape Is Not Like Murdering Your Mother’s Killer
Kentucky Republican David Williams is running for governor, and the state senate president has the complete backing of Kentucky anti-abortion groups.† And with this justification for why a rape victim should be forced to give birth to her attacker’s child, it’s no wonder.
Via Think Progress:
Williams said he opposes abortion even for cases of rape and incest, and he likens it to murder: ďIf somebody shot my mother, I would want to kill them, but I donít think that is the appropriate thing to do. We have laws against murder.Ē
Of course, there are numerous reasons why this analogy doesn’t work, starting with the fact that in William’s scenario, his mother is the victim of the crime, whereas in a rape, the woman deciding whether or not to carry the pregnancy is the victim.† Should that woman not want to be pregnant, or have her rapist’s baby, she is in fact being victimized over and over again, unlike Williams’ mother.
The statement is a little ambiguous, so let’s look at it from two different ways.† Suppose Williams meant “shot” as in wounded, but not killed.† Would Williams then deny his mother the chance to have the bullet removed, saying that she should simply live with it, ignore it, and maybe it will come out eventually?† Or that some day she might be happy she has a bullet in her?† Maybe that the bullet was innocent of the crime, and shouldn’t be held responsible for the actions of the shooter?
My argument is ridiculous, of course.† But no more so than denying a rape victim the right to decide if she wants to terminate a pregnancy.
On the other hand, suppose Williams actually meant “what if someone shot and killed my mother?”† Well, as for those “laws against murder,” that doesn’t seem to stop the state from enforcing the death penalty.
One of the crimes that can be punishable by death penalty?† “Feticide,” the “murder” of an unborn child by any means other than intentional abortion by a legal health care provider.† Kentucky passed a feticide bill in 2001 that made it a crime to kill an “unborn child,” first drafting a senate bill to address the issue, then a House bill passed as an “emergency” piece of legislation.† According to HB 108:
(1) A person is guilty of fetal homicide in the first degree when:
(a) With intent to cause the death of an unborn child or with the intent necessary to commit an offense under KRS 507.020(1)(a), he causes the death of an unborn child; except that in any prosecution, a person shall not be guilty under this subsection if he acted under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance for which there was a reasonable explanation or excuse, the reasonableness of which is to be determined from the viewpoint of a person in the defendant’s situation under the circumstances as the defendant believed them to be. However, nothing contained in this section shall constitute a defense to a prosecution for or preclude a conviction of fetal homicide in the second degree or any other crime; or
(b) Including but not limited to the operation of a motor vehicle under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life, he wantonly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to an unborn child and thereby causes the death of an unborn child.
(2) Fetal homicide in the first degree is a capital offense.
That emergency piece of legislation was then pushed quickly through the senate, under the guidance of Senate President David Williams.
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