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Austin Cline

Conceived in Rape Tour

By June 20, 2011

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You might't think that a title like "Conceived in Rape Tour" would have been created by satirists, but in fact it's the real title chosen by anti-choice activists in Mississippi who are campaigning for a new "personhood" amendment to the state constitution. They think this is a good way to create support for laws criminalizing abortion that won't even allow for exceptions in cases of rape.

"Be it Enacted by the People of the State of Mississippi :

SECTION 1. Article III of the constitution of the state of Mississippi is hearby amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION TO READ :

Section 33. Person defined. As used in this Article III of the state constitution, "The term 'person' or 'persons' shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof."

This initiative shall not require any additional revenue for implementation.

Once upon a time anti-choice activists were willing to allow exceptions for rape, incest, and the health of the mother when it came to banning abortion. No more. Today anti-choice activism has become explicit in its refusal to allow for any exceptions, even if it means a woman dying. Note that there are no exceptions allowed for in the above amendment. It doesn't matter if the woman was raped. It doesn't matter if her life is in danger. It doesn't matter if the fetus isn't even viable.

This is the direct and intended consequence of "personhood" amendments: state constitutional amendments that define "personhood" as beginning at the moment of conception. They will entail that a fertilized egg, even before implantation, has full constitutional rights including a right to life that includes a right to use a woman's body, organs, and systems against her will.

Rebeccca Kiessling has long been an advocate for the personhood rights for every human being, no matter the circumstances of their conception or birth. Rebecca will be answering the "tough" questions on abortion, specifically discussing children conceived in rape, as she was.

Conceived in rape and targeted for abortion, Rebecca will explain why Mississippi voters should vote "Yes" on Amendment 26, and what the abortion "exceptions" proposed by many really mean. "I know that most people don't put a face to this issue. For them, it's just a concept -- a quick cliche, and they sweep it under the rug and forget about it," Rebecca explains on her website, rebeccakiessling.com.

"I do hope that, as a child of rape, I can help to put a face, a voice, and a story to this issue." Rebecca passionately defends the rights of preborn babies, and was recently quoted at a Personhood hearing as saying, "If you really care about a rape victim, you would want to protect her from the abortion, and not the baby. A baby is not the worst thing that could ever happen to a rape victim - an abortion is."

Source: Personhood USA

So, aborting a pregnancy that occurred because of a rape is worse for a woman than actually being raped? Talk about dismissing how bad rape can be for women; somehow, I doubt that Rebeccca Kiessling really is in any position to declare what is and is not bad about rape and how it "rates" compared to other things that happen.

Even worse, perhaps, is the assertion that you cannot "care" for a rape victim if you support their ability to make their own decision about what to do with a pregnancy that results from rape. How is it that "caring" for a person who was attacked must include preventing them from making further choices about what happens to their own bodies?

Finally, there is a sense in which the anti-choice position is actually similar to being pro-rape. The anti-choice position necessarily means denying women the right to make their own autonomous choices about who or what makes use of their bodies, organs, and systems. Being anti-choice means denying women the right to determine who or what can be inside their own bodies.

Once you adopt that principle, upon what basis can you oppose rape? It's no coincidence, I think, that those religious forces behind the anti-choice movement are also generally the same ones which reject the idea that a woman can (for example) be raped inside marriage and which argue that it can't really be "rape" if a woman is dressed wrong, behaves wrong, or is sexually active already. It's not a coincidence because it all revolves around the idea that women cannot or should not make autonomous choices about their own bodies.

This means that the "Conceived in Rape" tour is, in a sense, also a "Pro-Rape" promotional tour.

June 20, 2011 at 2:44 pm
(1) Karen says:

This kind of misogynistic thinking makes me so mad I want to spit. Mind you, if I were honestly anti-abortion, if I believed that some meaningful concept of “personhood” began at conception, I would oppose exceptions for rape and incest. But I don’t happen to believe that a few self-organizing cells qualify as a person, and even if they did, their well-being certainly shouldn’t trump that of the person bearing them.

I’m not sure where a fetus becomes a person… and so I honor the full, real personhood of the mother by insisting she be allowed to make her own choices about her body.

June 24, 2011 at 3:16 pm
(2) Doris Green says:

I totally agree that giving personhood to a few cells especially from a rapist is unconscionable. .
The abortion controversy exists not because of those who have abortions or those who perform them or that if may be an act of murder.
It exists because of the intense feeling of those who are bystanders and who are not affected directly by the act of abortion.
The reason for those intense feelings is the belief that they (and all humans) are the creation of their God. They are compelled to project their ignorance and fear into the uterus of every woman.
… It is interesting to note that the most fervent anti-choice groups are led and directed by men. Women who have been freed from the tyranny of biology are now compet¬ing with men for jobs, money and power. They are a threat to the power that men have traditionally held over women.
… When life begins is not the issue, but who is best prepared to make the decision to transmit life to a new generation. … The issue is not the definition of when life begins, but the definition of power.
Will this power be wielded abso¬lutely by those who cannot become pregnant or will it be shared by those who can?
Reproductive freedom is a pri¬mary right in the quest of true
equality. It is as basic a human right as freedom of speech an and is incorporated in the right to privacy.
The decision to have or not to have a child must be the choice of the individual and not the state.
Access to safe abortion must not be limited by government.
For state and federal laws to deny medical coverage to the poor, that which is available to those who can afford a legal abortion, is dis¬crimination of the worst kind.
To force poor women to seek unsafe termination of an unwanted pregnancy is inhumane. Let every child be a wanted child.
And forcing a rape victim to carry that fetus to term is barbarism.

June 24, 2011 at 10:12 pm
(3) Heathen Holiday2 says:

Very well said, and something I have long thought. The really scary thing about the rabid do-godders attempting to assert this kind of control over women, their own bodies, and their right to privacy is that it wouldn’t stop with women. Oh, this particular issue is unique to women, to be sure. It does seem, however that this would just be a springboard for further intrusions into our constitutional rights to privacy and self-determination. Where does such control (for our own good, of course) stop?
When a child is forcibly born of rape, does she then have no control over her own body either? So it would seem. The religious mania for control over all aspects of society by imposing their own sense of morality on everyone violates everything the Founding Fathers were trying to accomplish in setting forth secular principles in the Constitution and breaking with the religious oppression of the past. Sad.

June 24, 2011 at 4:15 pm
(4) LAM says:

What does one expect from Mississippi where “Grandpa-Daddy, and Uncle-Daddy” are common. Once again woman are nothing but cattle to be slain with out a tear shed. I’m surprised they still let woman have the right to vote, oh wait, their men folk tell them what to do, sorry I forgot.

June 24, 2011 at 4:32 pm
(5) O says:

The Whole idea behind all of the is that the woman is not allowed to make her own choices or is allowed to think for herself. This is all very, very Pro-Rape! When does it stop? Babies mean nothing to the anti-choice people, look at foster care, it is a mess. They, the anti-choice, need to be stopped!

June 24, 2011 at 7:17 pm
(6) Borsia says:

So then almost any couple who uses in vitro fertilization would be serial killers. After all the clinics almost always create more embryos than are used. If each of those embryos has “personhood”, which by their definition they would, every one not carried to term is murder. It would probably be 1st degree murder being that it is planned in advance.

Apparently these dullards think that a return to back alley abortions and a rise in crime are preferable.
These same people are opposed to sex education, contraception and any other means of lowering the need for abortions in the first place.
Are they going to raise all of these unwanted children? Are they going to pay child support?

This is why we should ALL have a bit of religiophobea.

June 28, 2011 at 12:22 pm
(7) Jack says:

Michele Bachman has 23 foster children. Does anyone think she personally raises them all or any of them? She’s in it for the money. At $200 per month per child, that’s about $5500 a year, asumming she will get that money for 15 years, that’s about $82800.

June 27, 2011 at 8:36 am
(8) Raymond says:

In fact, the egg’s fertilization in a woman in normal pregnancies is dependent upon the sperm. The egg is the submissive part of the arrangement. If the sperm were not swimming toward the goal of fertilizing the egg, nothing towards fetushood would occur. The egg would go out with the menstruational fluid. So, based on that could we say that sperm is the prime mover of pregnancy, since it is the part that actually moves toward a goal. So, when males masturbate, the lives of the sperm, of which there are millions, are cast to the wind and die off, so are theses guys killing the prime mover of life? And are they guilty of murder?
Just askin.’

June 29, 2011 at 11:37 pm
(9) Sally says:

The members of capitalist legislative bodies are the most worthy arguments for retrospective abortion that I ever heard!

July 5, 2011 at 2:09 pm
(10) Todd G says:

If a fetus is a person and they are using a woman’s body against her will…isn’t that a form of rape in itself, or at the very least theft? And in that case would the fetus need to be held accountable in a court of law?

July 5, 2011 at 7:32 pm
(11) Joan says:

This may sound naive, but is the answer the pro-life people give to abortion being wrong that it is sinful – against their god’s wishes? If that is indeed the case, that most certainly entertwines religion with government decisions. In a secular democracy, that would definitely be unconstitutional. So why is there controversy? I obviously don’t get it.

July 5, 2011 at 7:41 pm
(12) Austin Cline says:

So why is there controversy? I obviously don’t get it.

They don’t believe in or approve of “secular democracy.” They don’t want a secular democracy, they want a Christian theocracy.

July 6, 2011 at 8:17 pm
(13) Joan says:

Yes, I know. I mean, where’s the controversy for the rest of us living in a secular society? We don’t make laws based on anyone’s religion so this shouldn’t even be an issue.

July 7, 2011 at 7:21 pm
(14) dave Y says:

Unfortunatly thats not true Joan, there have been and stiilare MANY laws on the books that are religious morals in our country, the first one that comes to mind is the laws against paligomy, if thats NOT a raligious moralI’m not sure what is.
ther are thoasnads of examples of these kind of laws, and you would be amazed at local ordinances, the first hat comes to mind is not selling beer or booze on sunday morings!
this just goes to show that ALL religious intitutions in this Nation NEED to be REGULATED to teach them to keep their noses out of real life business, take away their tax status if they MENTION who they would like to see in ANY Government office, put their pators and preachers in JAIL for lying to children on where the world comes from as child abuse, this nonsense only makes children fail tests in school and lowers their grade average, in an Industrial Society that should be considered child abuse, and those that say that laws in the Constitution should be overturned should be found guilty of Sedition!
The sipmle reality is that the ignorant and the retarded have no right to feel comfortable in this world until they accept reality, there is no right to be religously psychotic, and those that think there should be such laws NEED to be removed from society and Institutionilized!
And there is a cure to thios problem folks, its called Banishment, something we have lost track of in the Modern world, you simply take Fundies that won’t stop trying to overturn the Constitution and EXILE them, this should be done ALL over the world, make it so these morons have no where on this planet to live besides Antartica!


July 7, 2011 at 9:49 am
(15) Joan says:

Some of us have not gotten too upset when theists come up with a bill to do something unconstitutional (as in violation of separation of church & state) because we always think it will be struck down in the courts. What’s stupid is that these people are allowed to spend time and taxpayers money to come up with these bills in the first place. There ought to be some kind of court review BEFORE it gets to the legislature for a vote. If it’s inherently against the constitution in some way, it should just be thrown out BEFORE lots of time and money is spent on trying to pass it.

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