Silver lining


Anti-abortion campaigners in the UK are saying horrendous things to schoolgirls age 14 and 15 – not just that it causes breast cancer and infertility, but

Conceiving a child after rape is the “ultimate unplanned pregnancy”, but to have an abortion at this stage can be a “second trauma,” children at a secondary school in Cambridgeshire were told.

“For some people who’ve been raped and had the baby, even if they don’t keep it, something positive comes out of that whole rape experience,” pupils aged 14 and 15 were told.

Something positive comes out of that whole rape experience. Something positive comes out of that whole rape experience. Oh yes, carrying a rapist’s baby to term and then giving it up – that’s bound to produce “something positive” all right. That’s obviously much more likely to produce “something positive” than is ending the pregnancy before it gets going and continuing with one’s own life as opposed to being violently diverted from it.

H/t Andrew Copson.

Comments

  1. John Morales says

    As if an ongoing unwanted pregnancy culminating in parturition were somehow less traumatic experience than an abortion due to the same causes.

    (One can’t just resume one’s life after giving birth, is the salient difference)

  2. San Ban says

    I am always suspcicious of these “something good comes of x” claims! Especially in this case, when they’re is arguing that someone subjected to a particularly dehumanizing crime should suffer a considerable while longer in order to produce a “good” for some unknown adoptive family and an as-yet potential infant. (Of course, Catholics may agree with Theresa of Calcutta that suffering is a gift from their god, so that might be the “good” they’re referring to!)

    I think choosing abortion after a rape can be a powerful affirmation of the woman’s self-determination, a reassertion of her bodily autonomy. So can CHOOSING to carry the pregnancy to term! The salient difference between either of these options and the anti-legal-abortion activists’ intention is choice.

  3. Grumpy1942 says

    This is so evil and stupid and wrong! I find it hard to believe that someone who would take this position cares about anything at all except appeasing their god. Certainly not about humans.

  4. Amy Clare says

    So the head of ‘religion, philosophy and ethics’ at the school defended them on the grounds of ‘oh we’re looking at things from a range of perspectives’. Hmm. You’d think he’d know the difference between a perspective on something and people making up lies and presenting them as fact, such as the nonexistent breast cancer and mental health ‘risks’ of abortion. Or maybe he agrees with them and is making ‘it’s all just healthy debate’ noises now it’s been exposed.

    It beggars belief that no-one at the school realised, statistically, a proportion of those kids will have already been raped. And now they’ve had to sit there and listen to that.

    Sadly this is likely to happen more and more now we have a Tory government. And there’s also this:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/feb/18/anti-gay-book-gove-row

    Which ensures religious groups are able to distribute homophobic material in schools.

  5. peterh says

    So – they’re possibly taking a page from Santorum that a child-by-rape is actually a gift from God?

  6. sailor1031 says

    One’s getting pregnant after rape is, obviously, all part of doG’s secret plan (which it won’t tell you about). Any interference in the plan is therefore a sin. Just think what would not have happened if Mary BVM had just rushed out and gotten an abortion after the angel left!

    Actually I quite like that thought. I’ll keep it around.

  7. Patrick says

    Genius idea!

    Whenever some woman gets raped and she DOESN’T get pregnant, the state should issue her an orphan. If a free baby is like God’s compensation for letting you get raped, we should make sure that no one misses out.

  8. says

    ‘Something good’ can possibly come out of such a traumatic experience. Another possibility however, is something bad. Who decides on whether the risk should be taken, and when?

    What the campaign is actually about however, is ultimately to leave the rape victim no choice at all. And under those circumstances, attempts at persuasion are not necessary.

    The reality is that where abortion is illegal, the wealthy go to where they can have the abortion done legally and safely. The poor rape victims are left with the choice of having the baby, or going to a backyard abortionist.

  9. Brian Jordan says

    @Amy Clare

    So the head of ‘religion, philosophy and ethics’ at the school defended them on the grounds of ‘oh we’re looking at things from a range of perspectives’. Hmm. You’d think he’d know the difference between a perspective on something and people making up lies and presenting them as fact

    Not just anti-abortionists either. There are schools that let creationists in on a similar basis – and their lies are even more transparent. Of course, it’s always presented as though the fundies are there to provide balance to mainstream views – surely only a cynic could think that presenting the fundies’ lies might be the main purpose!

  10. mnb0 says

    What exactly is that “something good”? Anti-abortionists never specify. The only “something good” I can think of is a pleased, cruel metafysical entity I refuse to worship anyway.
    (note: assuming that such an entity exists is already a form of worshipping in this context)

  11. says

    @ sailor1031:

    Agreed. That is a good one and thanks. ‘Cause nothin’ says lovin’ like a virgin being ghost-raped by Sky Daddy……..

    What madness!

  12. Dianne says

    Whenever some woman gets raped and she DOESN’T get pregnant, the state should issue her an orphan.

    Because with the state encouraging or forcing children to complete pregnancies, there’ll be plenty of orphans to go around.

  13. Ken Pidcock says

    Emma-Rose Cornwall, one of the feminist activists who attended the talk, said: “SPUC’s supposed concern for zygotes is a poorly concealed desire to see women forced back into their ‘god-given’ roles as mothers and housewives, and simultaneously to punish what they perceive as promiscuous sexuality.”

    I think it unfair to assume that anti-abortion activists fail to recognize the human suffering that their proposed policies will cause. I think they do. It’s just that, to their minds, if it means putting women back in their place, sexuality demonized, it will all be worth it.

  14. says

    So, uh, what’s the “silver lining” when a priest rapes a child? Or when, in the case of a boy who reports the rape, the church conspires with the government and the medical establishment to have him castrated? Because surely gawrd wouldn’t let all that suffering happen without a reason, right?

    Ian MacDougall:

    ‘Something good’ can possibly come out of such a traumatic experience. Another possibility however, is something bad. Who decides on whether the risk should be taken, and when?

    Indeed. If there is any trope I hate worse than that of mandatory forgiveness, it’s this one. Trauma isn’t merely unpleasant at the time you live through it. It rewires you with fear, doubt, sexual dysfunction, anger — all sorts of emotions and reactions, you’ll note, that interfere with your ability to form and maintain relationships. It doesn’t make you a worse person, but it can present serious challenges to becoming a better one, or even remaining a good one. Survivors of trauma need help, not platitudes, and certainly not someone else deciding for them that they need to be challenged in this way.

  15. says

    Daisy:

    “If there is any trope I hate worse than that of mandatory forgiveness, it’s this one.”

    Very understandable. ‘Turn the other cheek’ is a recommendation that has historically been honoured far, far more in the breach than the observance. This I think is mainly down to the fact that it doesn’t work.

    But it is commonly recommended as a tactic to be used by those who perceive themselves as weak when in conflict with those they perceive to be strong.

  16. smrnda says

    The whole mandatory forgiveness is a load of rubbish – it allows people who commit monstrous acts of sexual abuse, typically on very vulnerable children, to give some performance of mock repentance where they are clearly more concerned with their reputation than they are with the harm they’ve caused, and to act like now the victim must forgive them because you’re sorry.

    I say victims have the right to determine what’s an appropriate apology and what’s an appropriate act of repentance. Not that they can’t forgive if they choose to, but the victim, not the abuser or the church – ought to get to say what constitutes a real apology.

    The whole ‘no abortion even if rape’ seems to imply that if a man can successfully rape a woman, he then has the right to impregnate her and force her to carry to term. It seems based on the idea that women shouldn’t really have opinions or feelings at all, but should just be ‘Another Happy Day’ no matter what (there was a Samuel Beckett play where a woman is gradually buried in sand act after act who keeps saying that. I thought it was a commentary on what women were supposed to be like in most societies.) It’s like women exist to get abused and suffer in some people’s minds.

  17. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    I hope to be at the counter-demo (i.e. the demo against the forced-birthers and in support of BPAS) on Friday 30th.

    Pro-Choice Protest
    Public Event · By Bloomsbury Pro-Choice Alliance

    Friday, March 30, 2012
    7:00pm until 8:30pm

    Bedford Square, WC1E

  18. Amy Clare says

    #9 Brian, indeed, in fact I believe Tony Blair defended creationist faith schools with just such an argument.

    And another thing… I wish antichoice organisations like SPUC would stop pretending to have concern for women’s health, mental or physical. If that was their primary concern they’d be teaching kids about post-natal depression or the chances of dying in childbirth. Statistically it’s healthier for a woman to have an abortion than have a kid.

    More to the point they’d be teaching girls that if they are victim of a terrible trauma such as rape then they ought to get professional help and do whatever is right for them to recover.

    But they’re not interested in people making an informed choice that’s right for them. It’s all about scaring girls into making the choice that’s right for SPUC.

    I can’t imagine what it would take to mentally recover from a rape but I’m guessing being forced to have your rapist’s baby ain’t it.

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