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McCaine, Metamucil and Misogyny

Now, my real life job is working in the field of domestic violence and sexual assault. I am very aware of the many meanings that the term "health of a mother" could include. I am aware that "health" could refer to her mental state as she carries the child who is the product of a violent rape. How dare that woman consider her mental state as a valid reason to abort a child? How dare she consider herself so important or her life so valuable that she might protect herself from this reality? How dare she question her mental or emotional well being? How dare she think for even one moment that she "can’t" carry that child who is innocent but who was used as a weapon by the rapist. Who is the owner of the behavior that so truly devalues human life? Who is the perpetrator of that abortion? It’s not the mother. It’s the rapist who used his penis and his sperm to control, humiliate and subjugate the woman he raped and who used the potential child as a method of control. This is one issue that the republicans just refuse to understand. It’s not the woman who chooses an abortion after a sexual assault who devalued human life. It is her rapist. He bears the sin, not her. He’s the one who chose to use the potential of life as a battering ram.

I am also aware that "health" might refer to her desire to stay alive and unbeaten by an abusive partner, since the number one cause of death or injury during pregnancy is at hands of a partner. One of the many causes of pregnancy in an abusive relationship, one I hear over and over again is marital rape. He refused to take no. He refused to use a condom. He refused to pay or take her to get contraceptive. He doesn’t want any other person to see her naked and won’t allow the exam to get contraception. Many women who have abortions have them because they are in an abusive relationship. These women might picture leaving the man and being clear of the abuse, someday. However, if they birth his child, this man will have the legal right to track her and the child. That child becomes the pawn in an abusive relationship. The pregnancy becomes a means of control and a way to "prevent" the inevitable abandonment that will come when she can finally escape his grasp. (90% of all abusive relationships end in divorce eventually and the ones who don’t get divorced are often the most dangerous).

Women die when pregnant with an abusers child. The number one cause of death during pregnancy is at the hands of a domestic partner. They are beaten more frequently when pregnant. Pregnancy and a child ties them to the batterer. How dare that woman try to protect herself from death and injury by aborting that child? How dare she try to preserve her life and sanity?

I am also aware that "health" could refer to life and death medical conditions such as pre-eclampsia where being pregnant is literally life threatening. There are a multitude of medical risks associated with carrying a child to term under certain conditions. How dare those women want to live at the expense of the unborn child? How dare those husbands wanting to save the life of their wife, or mother of the children at home? How selfish for not putting that unborn child first?

After reading these examples, is it not clear that Mcsame…not only in his sneer, but in his dismissal of a woman’s health as a valid reason for abortion, does not value women? Is it not clear that he sees women as only an object, not as important valuable assets to be saved and honored? A grown woman can be used, abused and forced into pregnancy. Her life has no meaning on it’s own seperate from that child. Her life does not compare to the value of that unborn baby, in his eyes.

Yes, abortion means that sometimes we see that the mother, her health, her relationships, her sanity, her contribution to society is more important than the potential held in that unborn child. This is a decision that is made every day during a war. Every single day in Iraq decisions are made about the "worth" of this life or that. Every day. Every day Mcsame has presided over the execution of innocent women and children in Iraq, but he does so with absolutely no regret, no conscience, no verbalized contrition.

I get tired of the argument being skirted. Yes, women should have the right to an abortion because their lives have meaning and value. They should have the right to decide for themselves their own capacity to give birth to a child of rape or incest. They should be able to decide for themselves their capacity to deal with the legal ramifications of having a child with an abusive man. They should have a right to decide for themselves the limits of their love.

In a society that values life, life is valued. When women aren’t beaten and killed by domestic violence, when rape is no longer a 1 in 3 occurence among women, when disabled children and their families are fully supported, when this country role models the value of human life…then maybe we can have a serious talk about abortion. But until then, that unborn child is the consequence of women not being valued in this society, and that consequence belongs not just to her, but to every single human being who turns the other way when these abuses occur.

If, I have offended anyone, please forgive me, but you cannot imagine the stories that I hear every day, that make it so clear to me what that sneer on mcsames face really meant. I was a survivor of a gang rape at age twelve. The boys involved ranged in age from 11-16. At the age of twelve, I beat on my stomach every single night to the degree that my mid section was bruised. I was so frightened that they not only branded me verbally but that their animal behavior could have been so powerful as to brand me for life. Today, I am free of that brand, and very grateful that I did not get pregnant. I know that if you value women, then you know that women are not super heroes, but human. That we are fragile mentally, emotionally and spiritually, just like men. We deserve protection from the abuses of power and control not collusion.

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I am a licensed mental health counselor specializing in the treatment of trauma. My twenty years of experience in treating survivors of domestic violence, childhood abuse, sexual assault and war have increased my desire to participate in studying the invariant relationships related to violence. My current pet theory has to do with denial and truth. The invalidation of those who suffer from trauma, has created symptoms that plague our society. The most serious symptom being the perpetuation of violence in our denial of it's consequences.

The truth shall set you free. But it takes skills (emotional intelligence) to handle the truth...because most of society...
"can't handle the truth."