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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Rick Santorum Strikes Again

I Know...Again With Rick Santorum...




Okay, okay, I realize that I've been writing a lot about Rick Santorum lately. I've got a lot I could say about the rest of the Republican Presidential hopefuls as well, trust me - the prospect of any of them as US President makes me glad that I live in Canada, frankly. But Santorum always seems to bring it back to a disability issue, and this is a disabilities blog, so he just always gives me a lot to work with, bless his heart.

This time it's his comments to Piers Morgan on Friday, January 20 about rape that have got me irked.

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/01/23/409242/santorum-to-rape-victims-make-the-best-out-of-a-bad-situation/

A Blast From My Past...But This Is Now


As I've said in this blog before, I used to be an evangelical Christian and pro-life. I was a teenager, and life was very black-and-white back then.

Life is one big blur of grey now. I know women who've had abortions for a variety of reasons - some of them have been raped. In my work, I've never had to support a woman with an intellectual disability who's been pregnant because of rape, but I've been in a couple of positions over the years where I've had to help women with intellectual disabilities deal with a sexual assault. It's heart-breaking to have to watch any woman come to terms with "Why me?" and to have to work through flashbacks, and through shame and guilt, and to help them change perceptions that what happened to them was somehow their fault. When a woman's cognitive capacity to understand these questions and feelings is lowered, it can feel impossible to to help them out of the personal hell that a rape creates.

And yet, on top of this, Rick Santorum suggests that rape victims "make the best of a bad situation" if a rape results in a pregnancy and carry the fetus to term. I wonder if that's what he'd want for his disabled daughter, Bella Santorum, if she were ever raped (not that I'd *ever*wish something so horrible on her or anybody)? To put that pressure on top of her, after everything that her body and mind would already be struggling to understand and process?

"Make the best of a bad situation" is just too disturbingly close, as commenter Jim Spice said, to  "Relax and enjoy it."  And it's too big a burden to ask of any woman, Rick Santorum, but particularly of those that may not be able to understand what has happened.

Now, that being said...if a woman with an intellectual disability is pregnant as a result of a rape, makes her own medical decisions, and says, "I want to keep the baby"...different story. Different story altogether.

Sigh


Rick Santorum...I want to write something nice about you. Promise American citizens something good regarding disability issues so that can I say something complimentary and then keep you out of my blog!

1 comment:

  1. If only some of these pro-life supporters had any idea how hard it is to tell someone you were raped. Intelligent, articulate, well-educated women struggle with being raped and trying to voice their feelings - it is horrific to imagine the guilt and confusion of someone already dealing with an intellectual impairment.
    I'm not sure if you saw the cartoon I shared on FB today. Basically telling the politicians to get out of the abortion decision.

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