Weekly Update (8/18-8/24/12)


The senate race in Missouri made national headlines this week when Todd Akin, who Missouri Republicans had already voted into the House of Representatives, said on a local T.V. program “First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare.  If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”  There are many things fundamentally wrong with this statement, which shows the ignorance of many Missourians.  Ezra Klein, a blog writer for the Washington Post, informed us recently that research shows over 30,000 pregnancies result from rape annually.  He also informed us of a 2001 study in which 6.4% of 405 rape victims between ages 12 and 45 became pregnant as a result.  What message do you think Todd Akin is sending to those people?  Their rape was illegitimate?  And, therefore, not a rape at all? 
I see that the Romney/Ryan ticket is trying to distance themselves from Todd Akin.  But why?  Looking at Ryan’s record, one could easily verify that Ryan and Akin worked together on several bills, including one which was a personhood act that would make it illegal for women to terminate their pregnancy after being raped by anyone (including a brother, father, uncle, etc.)  This whole fiasco has brought abortion once again to the limelight, so I’ve decided to share my views with you on abortion. 
I’ll start with what the president said, which I don’t think I could have said better.  His speech writers (and hence, him, since he decides to go ahead and read the speeches) are phenomenal in my opinion.  “What I think these comments do underscore, is why we shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women.”  Right on Mr. President, right on!
I’ve diverged quite a bit from my former views on abortion.  In large part, I think it is because of a HUGE lack of understanding of the opposing view point.  When we classify a viewpoint as Pro-Life, it is almost as if those who are not in that camp are Anti-Life which couldn’t be further from the truth.  Once I came to understand some of the fundamental differences between these two camps of Pro-Life and Pro-Choice, I have found that the camp that cares less about life (in my opinion) is the Pro-Life camp.  On the one hand, you have a living and breathing woman, who has played a role in many people’s lives, has friends, family, and can interact with people in society.  On the other hand, you have a blastocyst, which is hundreds times smaller than one of the pixels in the dot of this i.   This blastocyst hasn’t yet made an impact on anyone’s lives yet, nor has interacted with society at all.  Yet, Pro-Lifers want to give this thing more rights than the woman?  Government has NO PLACE interfering with the private and personal medical decisions of a woman. 
Many Pro-Lifers want to argue that God opposes abortion.  Research shows that 50% of all (including the first 2 weeks when people don’t know they are pregnant and never know they were) pregnancies end in miscarriage.  Who, may I ask, is the greatest abortionist of all? 
I recently read Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner.  They explored mid-20th century Romania, where all types of abortions were outlawed.  Women that were even thought to be pregnant were forced to have a test, and come to full term.  What they found was very interesting.  Quite a while after this extreme regime was put in place, Romania suffered one of the largest crime rates of any country in the world.  If we look at the U.S., it was found that in the late 80’s, the U.S. saw a huge decrease in violent crime.  When trying to find the cause of this drastic decline, the author’s stumbled upon something.  All of the explanations of an increased police force, new and efficient laws in place, etc., couldn’t even come close to identifying the drastic decline.  It happened 14-16 years earlier, in 1973, with the Roe vs. Wade decision of the Supreme Court.  With the beginning of facilities that offered safe abortions, came the later decrease in violent crime rate across America.  Why?  What kind of life do you think an unwanted child lives? 

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