Not to be outdone by all the draconian anti-abortion laws being passed in states like South Dakota, the Idaho legislature has jumped on the Fetal Pain bandwagon and passed a law restricting abortion at 20 weeks. But they've added a twist of their own: No exceptions for rape or incest.
It’s a cheap shot, but the logic behind making victims of sexual crimes bear the children is really absurd and deserves to be revealed as such. For example, Republican state Rep. Shannon McMillan justified the bill by arguing that the rape wasn’t the fetus’s fault: “It didn’t ask to be here. It was here under violent circumstances perhaps, but that was through no fault of its own.” So, we should only allow abortions in the case that the fetus did determine the circumstances under which it was conceived?
But if that weren’t enough, we have the bill’s House sponsor, Republican state Rep. Brent Crane, pulling a real deus ex machina to defend the legislation: “the hand of the Almighty.” God, he says, “has the ability to take difficult, tragic, horrific circumstances and then turn them into wonderful examples.” If God wanted to turn a rape victim into an example, he surely would find a way to do it himself. The Idaho State House is not an official instrument of the Lord’s general inclinations.
Bills like this are not only unconstitutional but morally abhorrent, and the logic used to defend them wouldn’t hold up in a town hall meeting much less a court room. But it’s worth pointing out that it’s the caprices of fetuses and God – the only things whose true will we cannot determine – that take precedent in the minds of anti-abortion zealots over the explicit will and rights of women.
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