Social Question

Kayak8's avatar

Conceived in Rape--What do you think?

Asked by Kayak8 (16447points) June 9th, 2011

A woman, Rebecca Kiessling, was born as a result of her mother’s having been raped and was raised by adoptive parents. Her webpage is here. She is now working to remove the “rape exception” allowances on more restrictive abortion laws.

In other words, in those places where abortion is restricted to only those cases where the woman has been raped (or other similar restrictions), Kiessling would have that loophole removed so that even when a woman has been raped, she would not be able to have an abortion. This is the latest in the “personhood movement” which purports that the instant a sperm hits an egg and fertilization takes place, the cells should be granted “personhood.”

This “personhood” designation unwittingly creates other challenges as well (removing an ectopic pregnancy would be considered an abortion using this line of thinking, issues of rights of inheritance further muddy the water, etc.).

What are your thoughts on the rape exception and the “personhood” debate?

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54 Answers

FutureMemory's avatar

I have a somewhat extreme view on abortion rights. I think the woman should be free to do whatever she wants with what’s growing inside of her, at any time, without restrictions. Period.

TexasDude's avatar

Woman’s body, woman’s choice. No matter the circumstances.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Yeah, I’m going to go ahead and sign up for what @FutureMemory ‘s selling, revolutionary as it is.

filmfann's avatar

I have a niece who was raped, and has a son as a result. The rapist is now in jail for doing the same thing to other women.
My niece decided to go thru with the pregnancy, and raise the child. It was a very brave thing for her to do, and she was blessed with a very supportive family. The boy is now 9 years old, and is a lot of fun.
That said, not everyone is in the position to be able to do this.
Everyone has their own situation, and I feel it would be ignorant to try and apply my niece’s happy solution to everyone else.
Women need to be able to make their own choice.

SuperMouse's avatar

My body my choice. Period. I believe that if it were men who got pregnant and carried the baby abortion would be legal under all circumstances, no questions asked, no exceptions.

chyna's avatar

Every woman should have the choice to do what is best/right for her.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

So I’d just like to bring up this point about legally making someone a person upon conception: It makes it so that they are also a person for other things, like inheritance. As in, my mother left her house to the 12 week old fetus inside of me, who isn’t even born, and can’t decide what to do with her estate. It jams up the courts soooo much, and is generally a legal nightmare.

marinelife's avatar

I think the experience of the mother takes precedence over the fetus resulting from rape and the exception should stand.

The woman who was raped should have the sole choice.

josie's avatar

If women do not want to be pregnant, what gives the Political State the power to force them to be pregnant?

I think abortion is pretty sad business, but I think the State is worse for telling women what they may or may not do with their reproductive organs.

I vote for the woman, not the Political State (or Church or whatever)

Zaku's avatar

I think it’s horrible. I disagree with “personhood” for unborn humans, and I think women should have the right to choose always. They do anyway, and it’s just a matter of how much society condemns people who want to terminate pregnancies, and what level of support and medical care is available. The more choice, support and medical care, the better.

So in the deplorable condition where there would be a law denying the right to legally abort, I would prefer the lesser evil of there being as many exceptions as possible, including the doubly-outrageous situation where a woman has been raped literally as well as legislatively.

casheroo's avatar

I think while she of course views it as “I could have been aborted”..I mean, any one of us could have. But to make a woman who has been raped endure yes endure..pregnancy is just cruel. No matter the circumstance, a choice of the one whose body it is should decide.

JLeslie's avatar

I think she is pro-life at its extreme. I actually don’t get why rape is an exception if generally a person feels life begins at conception, that it is murder, and that it is ok to make a 14 year old who does not want to have a baby go through with a pregnancy, but not a rape victim. Is it a life or not? Do you give a shit about the mental status of the mother and her capability to handle pregnancy and being a mother or not?

I think it is horrific to make a rape victum carry to term, but it seems consistent.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Sweet holy moly, I am not for abortions even in case of rape, because it creates two victims. But logically I would acquiesce that in the case of rape where a woman had it done to her and she was not a willing participant in it. To try to sell me on that BS that it is all her body and she can do with it what she wants. If she thought it was in her best interest to sell her kidney or a lung, I bet she couldn’t it with her complete autonomy, that is.

FutureMemory's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Do you think you’d hold that opinion if you were a woman?

SuperMouse's avatar

@Hypocrisy Central do you think you would hold that opinion if you were told that because your ejaculate is made of living, swimming sperm it
was now illegal for you to spill
your seed unless it was inside an ovulating woman with the sole purpose of impregnatig her? Seriously, how can you call a person’s right to do what they want with their own body BS?

Haleth's avatar

” the case of rape where a woman had it done to her and she was not a willing participant in it.”

Uh… that is the case in all instances of rape. Rape, by definition, is sex with someone who is not willing.

I think that arguing over a woman’s right to an abortion during rape takes the focus off a woman’s right to an abortion in general. It almost seems like this argument is just a distracting rhetorical device used to get us to slowly give up our ground. If a woman’s right to an abortion after rape is up for debate, then it’s suddenly much easier to argue that abortion after rape is a special privilege and that abortion for other reasons shouldn’t be allowed at all.

I was going to give a rational and well-reasoned argument for why I think a woman should be allowed to make her own choices and have an abortion if necessary. But my visceral, gut-level reaction is winning right now. I pretty much want to dickpunch every single person who thinks we shouldn’t have this right.

Pandora's avatar

Although I do not believe in abortion, I equally do not believe in harming someone. I think some people can manage through such a situation but for some it would be too much. To force someone to have a child of rape is horrible. Once again the woman is being forced to do something against her will. It may not be as violent as the rape but mentally I think it is just as harmful. It should be her choice. Especially since her rights were already violated. The law would violate her a second time.

TexasDude's avatar

It almost seems like this argument is just a distracting rhetorical device used to get us to slowly give up our ground.

Ding ding ding, we have a winner. It’s called “incrementalism.”

Kayak8's avatar

Here is the bit that REALLY scares me . . . This personhood movement is trying to get this “life begins when the sperm touches the egg” crap put on the ballot in a number of locations. There are MANY implications of this strategy and there are voters in some states that would support this nonsense.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I feel the life and well being of the woman who finds herself pregnant, under whatever circumstances supercedes that of the unborn.

A woman who has been raped though, how awful to think in this day and age there are still places where she is made to feel even worse by being forced to carry a child formed from such a horrible event.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@FutureMemory @Hypocrisy_Central Do you think you’d hold that opinion if you were a woman? In spite it make no difference in the point made, I would more than not think different about it if I were a woman the same as I would about boxing, strip joints, men’s magazines and maybe a whole lot of other things. Men and women think different.

@SuperMouse @Hypocrisy Central do you think you would hold that opinion if you were told that because your ejaculate is made of living, swimming sperm it was now illegal for you to spill It is illegal by the higher law, but as a secular law I would be against it. However, you failed to mention the big, big glaring difference in it; I own 100% I have taken nothing from a woman to produce it. Should I have it extracted from me against my will there is no way I can send it back, big difference.

Seriously, how can you call a person’s right to do what they want with their own body BS? Because anyone who thinks they have complete autonomy over their own body is living a folie à deux. Here is why it is BS, if I knew a neighbor or someone who needed a kidney bad, he don’t get one he is toast. I get tested and I am a match. I tell him “Charlie, I am old, I am done with sports and such I really do not need this extra kidney….but you do, say you cut me a check for $350,000 and the kidney is all yours”. I can land in prison should word get out. Why? Because I am not allowed to do whatever the hell I want with my own body. Don’t try to circle around and make it about the money because I can donate sperm and get money for it so the mere fact of the money is a non-starter.

TexasDude's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I knew a neighbor or someone who needed a kidney bad, he don’t get one he is toast… ..._Because I am not allowed to do whatever the hell I want with my own body.

Implying some of us don’t also support people being able to sell their organs.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I’ma be real: This woman is only saying such a thing because she’s here and alive now. Otherwise, she wouldn’t’ve known know the difference, would she?

SuperMouse's avatar

@Hypocrisy Central are you seriously trying to convince me that a woman who lets a man come inside her – or in the case of this example – was
forced to let a man come
inside her has taken something from that man?
That is preposterous!

As for the rest of your argument, it is a straw man
and is absolutely ridiculous.

Pro-life zealots, especially
male pro-life zealots who IMO
have no business even weighing in on the subject, can
couch it in whatever terms
they would like but the reality
is that the whole issue of
reproductive rights boils down
to men attempting to control

I am done engaging with you
on this topic in this or any other thread. As I have said before, this debate is a waste
of time and energy.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

I believe exactly what @FutureMemory said, adding on that I don’t think there is such thing as a “wrong” reason to get an abortion.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@SuperMouse Why do your posts look like poetry? Am I missing some kind of meter?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Implying some of us don’t also support people being able to sell their organs. It doesn’t matter if anyone or everyone here on Fluther supported or wanted to ban allowing one to sell their own organs, enough people in American support it or the law would be repealed, and you could sell whatever you wanted that you could live with out to the highest bidder.
That is a whole different issue though

@SuperMouse @Hypocrisy Central are you seriously trying to convince me that a woman lets a man cum inside her – or in the case of this example – was forced to let a man cum inside her has taken something from that man? That is not what I said. I will break it down, you asked me about if it would be illegal for me to spill my seed if I would like it. No, because my sperm is all mine. If I were somehow inebriated to the point I could not stop any woman from jerking me off, after having slipped me some Viagra to make sure I would rise to the occasion, and captured it once it left my body; it is out of my body and gone. The OP spoke to rape. If she is raped then logically it was something done to her as oppose to being a willing participant, if not why even bring up how the pregnancy happened? The woman raped took nothing from the guy who forced her to take it. So being logical I say she should not be forced to keep it, I don’t have to agree with the logic I just go with the best logic to solve the issue. I can do that take my emotion and put it aside for the better logic. It does work most of the time.

SuperMouse's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs I am posting from my iPhone and even if it looks right as I type, the returns get all wonky! I think I might post a question about how to fix it!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I despise abortion when it’s used for “birth control” when someone has carelessly fucked up. But I think it should totally be allowed if a woman has been raped. As much as I dislike abortion, I can’t honestly say what I would do if I were in that situation. I feel that completely justifiable reasons for abortion are incest, rape, or if the pregnancy puts the mother’s life in danger, but it would still be a really difficult choice for me.

I think it would be really stupid to outlaw abortion for rape victims.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I believe a woman’s right to choose when and if to bear a child supersedes any person, or any party’s political, morale or religious agenda.

I feel abortion is a tragic solution and I would rather that adoption be used wherever possible. But it is not my body nor is it my make. I would defend that woman’s right to choose every time.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

The worst part about outlawing abortion, even for rape, is that it won’t stop women from getting them, it’ll just stop them from having them safely, so that there are tons of women getting back-door abortions and becoming sterile or even dying from the unsafe abortion.

Haleth's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs Excellent point. Outlawing a behavior doesn’t stop people, it just forces the behavior underground. Prohibition didn’t work and the was on drugs is not working. People still drank then and do drugs now, and there is/was a crapload of fallout as a result.

perspicacious's avatar

There are no such places in the USA.

Plucky's avatar

I’m not surprised that she’s righteously religious ..and of course she’s selling a dvd.

I agree with pretty much everyone ..forcing a rape victim to carry a fetus to term is just bloody wrong. Horrible.

JLeslie's avatar

I mean really this is what they do, chip away at every little part of legalized abortion. They already outlawed “partial birth.” So many states have laws that the parent must be informed (which makes me sick, and even some pro-choice people vote yes on that). Many states have laws that you must wait 2,3,7 days from the first time you walk in to get an abortion, to actually being able to get the abortion. We have doctors who feel it is just fine to not offer, not even offer, a rape victim a morning after pill.

poisonedantidote's avatar

She is obviously biased, I wonder if she would be so against abortion if she had been aborted.

(yes, I actually just said that).

poisonedantidote's avatar

Just thinking on this a little more…

If my sperm hits and egg, the egg becomes a person, in 9 months it will become a real person/born, and if I abort it it’s murder. Ok, but what about people that eat yogghurt? should we not convict them of genocide? or something allong those lines. Yogghurts contain bacteria, that over millions and million of years, could turn in to an advanced form of life.

Really, if you look at the hostory of the universe, all life comes from hydrogen and other basic gasses. So, shouldn’t we make it illegal to breathe. How would you like it if some 14 billion year old alien had breathed up all your ancestors?

For those that don’t know me yet, the above is just my sick humor, not a legit argument

Blackberry's avatar

She’s crazy. The end.

TexasDude's avatar

If sperm were ever declared to have personhood, I’d be sentenced to death for genocide and war crimes.

Kayak8's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard It seems unlikely as it would be a sexist law. You see, my eggs commit suicide about one per month.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I haven’t read the other posts yet so I’ll keep this short because I’m bound to repeat what has already been said.

I believe that the choice should lie with the pregnant woman. I’m very uncomfortable with tghe whole “personhood” theory. I’m sure Rebecca Kiessling is glad she’s alive but she can only be glad to be alive because she now knows what she would be missing if she wasn’t. An aborted feotus can’t miss what it never had and wasn’t even conscious enough to experience.

I’m pro-choice in the majority of circumstances but even more so in the event of rape. What Rebecca’s mother did for her takes real strength that I can only admire but, I am 99% sure I couldn’t do it myself.

Blackberry's avatar

Just think of all those dead babies absorbed into all those socks and tissue : (

chicklit's avatar

People always talk about the personhood of an unborn child, but in doing so, they neglect the woman of her own personhood by attempting to make her own decisions for her. It shouldn’t be a matter of human life, but human rights.

lonelydragon's avatar

I don’t believe a woman impregnated by rape should be forced to give birth. By requiring a rape victim to carry that pregnancy to term, the state would be forcing her to re-live that experience all over again. This would be harmful to the woman’s mental state, especially since many rape victims have PTSD. It should be the woman’s choice, period. If a woman feels strong enough to carry that pregnancy to term, then I admire her strength, but not everyone is able to do that.

@poisonedantidote I have been laughing all day at “breathing up all our ancestors”!


It’s an unfortunate circumstance of course, but it’s not the unborn baby’s fault what happened, so why does the child have to suffer the consequences? Give the baby a chance to live and experience life for him/herself. Why create 2 unfortunate circumstances?

WMFlight's avatar

For some reason this has made me think of the thousands of back-street aborted baby girls that are aborted just because they aren’t male and I think this still goes on in India. No one seems to care if it’s a third world country.
Anyway, of course a women should be able to chose whether to have an abortion but I think as quickly as they possible.can
Heaven knows a woman’s state of mind after rape is fragile but to have a piece of her rapist move into her body for nine months blighting what should be a happy time and then effectively hold her to ransom for eighteen years afterwards demanding feeding and clothing and education. It’s horrible. Of course eventually she’d reach an emotional compromise or go insane.
Not allowing a woman to have an abortion after rape is just another way of punishing the woman for the man’s crime. A delight of men with medieval minds who think that all women who are raped were asking for it.

Nullo's avatar

I can’t imagine that it would be easy, but I feel that the kid didn’t do anything to be aborted for.

JLeslie's avatar

@Nullo After a rape if the woman goes to a hospital she is offered the morning after pill to prevent pregnancy. That is unless the hospital she goes to is against it, or the doctor who sees her is against. The embryo, if there is one, isn’t even implanted yet.

Nullo's avatar

@JLeslie I’m alright with nick-of-time prevention. But rape-babies are people like the rest of us.

JLeslie's avatar

@Nullo Understandable. A lot of people are not even ok with the morning after pill. We had a Q recently about it.

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