Vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan believes abortion should be illegal in virtually ALL cases and he would make that the law! He’d force rape victims to carry their babies to term. Isn’t that punishing the victims twice?
When Lisa Doyle’s daughter, Julie Olson, now 25, was a high school junior and a virgin, she tagged along with a friend to a local party where she ended up being drugged and raped. She has no memory to this day of how she actually got home.However when she woke up the next morning she was bruised and bleeding. She knew she’d been raped. But she was so ashamed, filled with self loathing and guilt, that she told no one for three weeks.
For three weeks, she lived with the horror of her experience pent up inside and was terrified that she might also be pregnant and infected with a sexually transmitted disease.
Now, if vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan has his way, Julie, would not be able to have an abortion, if she had become pregnant during the attack. Ryan believes women should only be entitled to an abortion in cases in which a doctor decides an abortion is necessary to save a mother’s life. That’s it.
“I’m very proud of my pro-life record, and I’ve always adopted the idea that — the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life,” he says.
Ryan actually co-sponsored the “No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act,” with the now-infamous Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, who recently told the world that women have the physical ability to prevent a pregnancy if they are undergoing a “legitimate” rape. Wow! That’s a close colleague of Paul Ryan.
So how does Lisa Doyle feel about the new vice-presidential nominee’s position that rape victims shouldn’t be able to get a legal abortion in the US?
“To say that the after effects of my daughter’s rape were devastating, is an understatement,” she told me. “I still remember so many nights when she would wake up shaking and having night terrors. Dealing with that, plus her extreme state of self loathing and her loss of dignity were all hard enough. Had we had to cope with that AND face a pregnancy — I can’t imagine how we could have gotten through that.”
Imagine that. Imagine feeling traumatized by a rape but also so totally helpless because you were being forced to carry your rapist’s baby. Imagine having no choice in the matter. “We’ve taken such a step back in time. I can’t believe that we’re even having these conversations,” says Doyle.
Exactly. But we are having these conversations because Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says the Supreme Court should reverse the landmark Roe v Wade decision to legalize abortion. And his vice-presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, has actively worked to restrict women’s access to abortion, even if they’ve been raped.
“Being raped is incredibly traumatic for a woman. Having political leaders take away their right to make their own decision about their physical and emotional health themselves, victimizes them all over again,” points out Yvette Lozano, director of Intervention Services at Peace Over Violence, an organization which provides counseling services for rape victims.
“A rape that results in a pregnancy could result in a lifetime of contact between a victim and her rapist,” points out Joelle Gomez, executive director of the Women’s Center in Stockton, Calif.
Can you imagine that? She points out that 80-90 percent of rape victims know their rapist in some way – as an acquaintance, an ex-boyfriend, a neighbor, a family member, etc. She says that they are often terrified of retaliation if they report the assault, so you can see how afraid they would be to carry their rapist’s child. If they did give birth to the baby, they might be forced to share parenting duties with their rapist.
“A victim could feel so devastated by being stripped of all her rights, on top of being raped, that it could have dire consequences,” Joelle fears. She worries that young women especially, might seek illegal abortion as they did in the past.
Joelle’s organization, a rape crisis center, counsels 4000 rape victims a year, and she says that it is rare for a victim to actually want to continue a rape pregnancy. But that would all change if Paul Ryan got his way.
What’s also amazing in all this discussion, is that there is NO discussion about how to punish rapists themselves — the perpetrators of violence against women.
That is all forgotten as Ryan, Akin and their supporters obsess about which rapes are “legitimate,” “forcible,” and how women need to be controlled.
“I lay next to my daughter holding her for hours as she cried,” remembers Lisa Doyle after her 17-year-old finally revealed that she had been raped. “To think that having a choice could have been taken away from my daughter, is absolutely sickening.”
What do you think Hollywoodlifers? Should rape victims lose their right to have an abortion or not?