Recently a man running for the Senate in Missouri made the statement in public that women who are victims of “legitimate rape” cannot conceive. He claimed that some kind of science exists to support this notion that during “legitimate” sexual trauma, as he puts it, “the woman’s body shuts down,” and the egg is not fertilized.
Since hearing this defiance of biological science in the national media, I learned that this falsehood is being passed off as fact and justification for support of abortion being illegal, even in the cases of incest and rape. As a staunch opponent of ignorance and deception, and as a retired trauma therapist with thirty years of experience, I felt compelled to address this moral issue in writing.
Let me be clear, I am not advocating for or against abortion. I am stating that there is no such thing as “legitimate” rape, no anti-conception mechanism in the female body and I am asking, “Do you want state/federal government making this choice for you, your child, and family?”
Let me describe in generalizable terms a true case I dealt with years ago which we might all agree falls into that much-discussed category of “legitimate rape” and even has enough trauma to qualify as “sexual torture” or “sexual terrorism.”
A twelve-to-fourteen year-old female child of an average middle-class American family is held in a remote location out-of-state against her will.
Imagine someone you know and love in this scenario. Visualize her there. Say her name out loud. Set a photo of her next to your computer as you contemplate this scene.
I will call this child Emily.
Emily is heavily drugged and gang-raped for three days. She is then left naked in a public park at dawn, dazed, bruised, and stained with dried blood and semen. She is held in a jail cell for the ten hours it takes for her parents to come and pick her up.
In spite of the fact that Emily knows some of her attackers and will see them in her community, no one is arrested, even questioned by police.
Emily’s mother soon discovers her beloved child is pregnant.
What we know is that, regardless of what happens next, Emily and her family will live with the events of those three days for the rest of their lives. It will permanently change all their major life-decisions and family/friend relationships. The horror Emily endured will forever periodically haunt her dreams and waking state.
QUESTION: Should Emily and her mother and father be forced by law, under penalty of imprisonment, to bear the child of her rapists?
ANSWER: Yes No Undecided?
*This is not a scientific study. This is a simple inquiry of those who have an opinion.
Forward this question to everyone who might be interested in this issue. I will post the results on my website as they come in. Thank you for your time and considerations.
Jeffery Kirkendall, L.P.C. Ret.