Life in Danger and Rape Exceptions Don't Require All Abortion to be Legal

Yep...we're going to talk about abortion. Again. Specificially I'd like to discuss the common objection to overturning Roe v. Wade of "what about rape cases" and "what if the mother's life is in danger?"

First and foremost, I'd like to state again that there is absolutely zero rational person on the planet who argues against a life in danger exception. Simply stated, doctors should save the more viable life. That is almost always going to the the mother. That's basic medical ethics.

Now to the rape exception. I've made the point countless times that I do have an issue with this concept because of the very reason I am opposed to abortion: I believe the unborn child is a human being and therefore has a right to life that cannot be infringed upon (except in the above more viable life situation...and that applies to any two humans if only one life can be saved). Specifically, it's noting that the child has done nothing wrong. The unfortunate father has done the wrong. I cannot find my way, morally, to saying that it's okay to correct one huge and horrible crime (rape) by committing another huge and horrible crime (murder of an innocent human being).

That being said, in the interest of pragmatism, I could accept a compromise that only allowed abortion in cases of forcible rape and, of course, life in danger. It would need to be a very well defined exception, because such exceptions can be easily manipulated.

For example, a mother's life in danger exception should be defined specifically as genuine, physical danger to the mother that would cause her life to be actually extinguished. It should not be defined as "the mother's emotional health is in danger...she could become mentally unstable" to justify an abortion.

Similarly, a rape exception needs to be well defined. This is why I specifically note forcible rape. Forcible rape is the criminal act of physically forcing yourself on another person in a sexual manner. This may or may not involve a struggle, depending on the power situation between the two individuals. Statutory rape in many cases is very, very different. In the majority of cases of statutory rape, the participation of the minor involved is consensual in everything but name.

The average age of a female minor in a statutory rape case is 14-15 years old. A teenager in high school, most likely a freshman or sophomore. About 65% of the male offenders are 18-20 years old. In other words, those offenders are also often in high school, probably a senior based on the age, perhaps left back a year.  Translation: a huge number of these cases are both high school students with the male being a couple years older.  This is not a forced situation. This is consensual in everything but name (legally speaking). 

To include the above situation in a rape exception is intellectually dishonest. It's a person making a choice that had a consequence.  A consequence that is a human life that deserves to be protected. It's not like having a tattoo of Mr. Spock you had put on your posterior lasered off, friends. It's a human life. Just because statutory rape is legally a crime doesn't mean the female involved in the above type of cases (again, two high schoolers, one over age one under...not talking about forcible incest people) should get a pass on the consequences of her decision when that consequence is a living human being.

I digress, friends, but I think I've made my point. If you believe it is important to have a rape and life in danger exception to abortion does not mean it needs to be legal in all cases. There are lots of laws with exceptions built in. Killing of another human being in the streets is generally illegal. However, if you kill a person who is trying to kill you in self-defense, that is a very reasonable exception. Needing or wanting exceptions does not mean any action needs to be legal in all cases. Including abortion. Rape and life in danger exception? Fine...I can live with that. Doesn't mean you have to approve of the action in all cases.