Friday, August 31, 2012
I feel like I've been screaming at the top of my lungs, but no one is hearing me.
Why haven't we acknowledged that Republicans stopped talking about abortion a long time ago, escaping the tricky question of the relationship of rights between a *zygote* and the woman in whose body it resides. That's what people actually disagree on.
We aren't even talking about when the "baby" has full personhood. The sanctity of life act makes it very clear that a zygote has as many rights as a child, so there is no need to discuss blastocysts or embryos or fetuses.
Abortion is what happens, either spontaneously or medically, to terminate a pregnancy. The term's definition hasn't changed.
Why are we now talking about criminal law? Why are we getting distracted with how much at fault a person has to be in order to have a crime perpetrated against her?
Why are we talking about how, as is quite strongly insinuated, that most women lie about enduring this particular crime?
Why are we arguing points of medicine and biology? When someone uses a clause like "shuts that whole thing down," why don't we just let it stand in its own stupidity.
Instead, we are talking about when a person has the right to *withdraw* consent. We presume that she has given consent by having two X chromosomes.
(Let's not get caught up in whether she has breasts. Or ovaries. Or a uterus. Or a vagina. Or even just a vulva. We're not going to get in to a woman's medical history here. And anyway-- can't boys or men be raped?)
Hypothetically, we have to start this dissection presuming that the person in question is not lying. Let's all take a moment to let that sink in.The first step in defining rape is determining whether the survivor is capable of telling the truth.
The term made popular recently is "legitimate," which is described more precisely as "forcibly." Now we have to define force, which means we have to decide on questions of law regarding violence, intimidation, intoxication (college girls better not take any roofies!), age, mental capacity-- all in light of how much the victim did to bring this crime upon herself.
Let's break this down.
The zygote indelibly has full rights of personhood that should never be compromised.
Some politicians are willing to sacrifice those rights ONLY IF the woman in question:
1. is not lying;
2 did nothing to invite the assault (e.g.:was wearing appropriate clothing, sober, walking in a well-lighted area or during the day, sound of mind and body, adult, etc.);
3. refused allowing a man to have sex with her for good reason;
4. and could not physically prevent the act from happening.
The only reason I can think of that people are getting distracted by how much we are giving the zygote without question is because we are so insanely incredulous that anyone could believe these things.
Ten years ago we were talking about heartbeats and brainwaves and first breath. The question used to be at what point is that collection of cells turns into an individual capable of living on its own. Now the question is whether the hunk of meat holding it should breastfeed.