Posted by: Christine Johnson | May 17, 2007

"We’ve Not Been Asked to Tell Our Side of the Story"

I seriously am not paying much attention to the ’08 election. Good gracious, people, it’s more than a year away!

However, I am still intrigued by Sam Brownback, and I was thrilled when he announced he would run. And so I decided that, despite the fact that I am with The Anchoress on the ’08 election, I would read this article at National Review Online. Brownback’s debate answer about abortion for rape victims is the topic.

Here, have a bite:

… “Tell me,” Wendell Goler asked Senator Sam Brownback during Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate, “Since you’ve opposed abortion in every instance except to save the life of the mother, how would you explain to a rape victim . . . why her trauma should be compounded by carrying the child to term?”

Brownback acknowledged that it was “a terrible situation where there’s a rape that’s involved or incest.” But,” he added, “It nonetheless remains that this is a child that we’re talking about doing this to — of ending the life of this child.”

I, of course, had a few more minutes than the candidate on the hotseat to think about it, but: Oh, Sam! You could have done much better than that. What you should have said was this: “Wendell, pregnancy following rape is a terrible situation for a woman to find herself in. If this happened to a woman I loved, I would want to do whatever I could to ease her trauma, and I’m sure you would want to do the same. But you and I may not know the best way to help, so we should listen to women who have been through this.”

And then Brownback should have told Goler about Lee Ezell, who was raped in 1964, when she was 18 years old. When Ezell discovered she was pregnant, she considered going to Mexico for an abortion, but in the end, gave birth to a little girl and placed her for adoption. Twenty years later, that daughter — Julie Makimaa — tracked her down, and learned the shocking details of her conception. …

Another part of the article that really stuck with me was this quote, taken from the book Victims and Victors: Speaking Out About Their Pregnancies, Abortions and Children Resulting from Sexual Assault:

One contributor, Kathleen DeZeeuw, who gave birth to a son following her attack, writes of feeling “Personally assaulted and insulted every time I hear that abortion should be legal because of rape and incest. I feel that we’re being used to further the abortion issue, even though we’ve not be asked to tell our side of the story.”

And now go get the rest.



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