I spent the last few hours on a pro-choice blog - awful idea, because the crap they have to respond to riles me up and then I can’t sleep and I have work in the morning I have made poor choices this evening - and naturally, one of the “I believe that you can only have an abortion if you were raped” comments came up. I’ve had an argument with my reddit-reading brother over this, and I’ve never seen these points brought up before, so I thought I’d list my reasons as to why that “noble” sentiment is absolute horseshit.
So, how do you go about letting only rape victims get abortions? Surely you can’t just let people who say “I was raped”, and then they get all the abortions they want. I mean, why wouldn’t you? Safe abortion in a medical facility in exchange for untruthfulness sounds better than whatever back alley procedures you’d be forced to go through to become unpregnant (because not allowing legal abortions doesn’t stop people from seeking illegal ones. I realize pro-choicers already know this, but pro-lifers don’t seem to consider this possibility.) I’m sure law makers will realize that they can’t go this route, because those wily women lie about rape all the time already. What then? Clearly, rape victims will have to somehow prove they were raped.
How do we define “proof”? Does the victim have to report it? Or must they go so far as to get their rapist convicted? Statistics show that only around 47 out of 100 rapes are even reported. Being a victim/survivor/label of choice carries a ridiculously huge stigma. Remember that girl in Steubenville who was ‘ruining the lives of those two poor boys’ because she had the audacity to get them convicted for raping her and then putting recorded footage of their attack online for anyone to see? I’d bet that law-makers aren’t going to settle for just reporting In either case; after all, they don’t think that people who can become pregnant can be trusted to make their own decisions about their pregnancy. Hell, some of them don’t think people can even get pregnant if it was “legitimate rape”, therefore it would be safe to assume that you would need a conviction to prove that you’re not just one of those lying liars that women are.
More statistics: 5% of arrests and prosecutions lead to a conviction. What a terrifyingly low number. Basically, the victim/survivor/label of choice has gone to trial, no doubt faced a hundred different versions of “what makes you think this isn’t your fault?” (what were you wearing, what were you drinking, did you lead him on, did you fight back, are you sure you aren’t making this whole thing up), but they have a 95% chance that it will all be for nothing. One more thing - in the previous paragraph, I mentioned that “women lie about rape all the time”. There’s study going around says that 0.6% of rape allegations are falsified, and that’s not taking into account that this is only the percent of reported rapes and “falsified” may have been more like “withdrawn for reasons and falsified is just the word used even though it is completely incorrect”. Anyway, what do you think will happen when you take the myth “Women lie about rape” and add “You must be a victim of rape to get an abortion” together? If you don’t think that myth will become 5 times more powerful, you have not been following the discussion. Under “rape victim only” abortion restrictions, that 5% conviction rate would probably fall even lower.
Alright, let’s try to have some optimism. Say a miracle occurs: you do manage to beat the odds, convict your rapist, and prove that you deserve that abortion. Well done, a winner is you— WAIT. Did you manage to do all this within 20 weeks? You didn’t think that throwing these extra “rape only” restrictions would drop the 20-24 week window of time you have, did you? Of course not. Remember, that fetus has nerve endings and shit by now, so it’s practically a person - more of a person than lawmakers consider you, actually.
tl;dr - ‘rape victims only’ abortion registration + minimal chance of rape conviction (because you know “proof” will need to be provided that rape occurred) + 20-24 week deadline to provide proof = SNOWBALL’S CHANCE IN HELL OF BEING ABLE TO OBTAIN AN ABORTION
This is why people who think that “allowing exceptions for rape victims” when they want to make abortion illegal are either fucking assholes who haven’t given an ounce of thought to what they’re suggesting, fucking assholes who have no idea how rape or abortion work, or possibly fucking assholes who just want to traumatize uterus-bearers in new and creative ways. Seriously, what better way than to force someone to go through a rape trial with minimal chance of success with their only chance at a safe abortion hanging in the balance? Only a complete monster would think this is a good idea.