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October 31, 2012

News and Tribune letters: Oct. 31, 2012

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Mourdock should butt out

If a woman becomes pregnant resulting from rape, Richard Mourdock claims that this is a gift from God and she must accept it. No, don’t even think of aborting this “gift.”

By saying this, Mourdock is imposing his religious views on another person, someone who may not believe as he does. So, where is our vaunted American freedom of religion in this case? It’s Mourdock’s way or the highway.

Another question occurs: If a young girl, say around the age of 10 or 11 becomes pregnant as a result of rape, does she still have to accept this gift from his God, even though she is not ready for motherhood, either in body or mind, no matter how destructive this would be to her at the moment or to the rest of her life?

And please, don’t say it’s not possible for a girl that young to become pregnant. It has happened. All too often.

There is also the massive psychological trauma associated with the act of rape. In forcing the victim to carry and give birth to the child, she is constantly reminded of the traumatic experience. And to make matters even more horrific, in 31 states, Indiana included, the rapist gets parental rights, meaning that he can remains in the victim’s life and make it a living nightmare until the child reaches adulthood.

Fighting this in court requires money, lawyers, time and adds stress to an already unbearable situation.

Mourdock claims to have agonized over this issue, and concluded that life is sacred (God’s gift). If this is so, why does his reverence for life stop at birth? Mourdock is most anxious to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides desperately needed health care for pregnant women, prenatal and post-natal, in addition to providing counseling, screenings and contraceptives. He is also eager to rescind PPACA, which is a small attempt to improve our very broken health care system, and which would benefit women. Ditto the safety net. In the name of “fiscal responsibility,” Mourdock ignores social responsibility and common humanity.

What I’m trying to say is that neither Mourdock, nor any other politician, has the right to make such a crucial, complex and personal decision for another human being. His pompous and sanctimonious words on women’s issues have reflected his deep ignorance and inability to feel any compassion, let alone empathy for the rape victim. He should butt out.

— Carol Tvaroh, New Albany

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