I Don’t Care What Rep. Akin Thinks about Rape

I shouldn’t have to care. He’s not my doctor. Neither his nor any other politician’s opinion on the matter should have any bearing on or meaning for my life or anyone else’s.

I shouldn’t have to care what Mayor Bloomberg thinks about nursing vs. formula for babies. Nor for what Senator Harkin thinks birth control pills are helpful.

They are all free, of course, to have an opinion on all kinds of things. But what those opinions are should have absolutely no bearing on the choices and decisions I or any other woman faces with regard to her reproductive life.

Any society rooted in a natural law tradition, as is the United States, recognizes rape as a crime. A politician might thus comment on or make promises in the course of a campaign that he or she would, if elected or reelected, work to make sure there is less rape.

But if I were raped, the sole recourse I would seek from the state is that the rapist be brought to justice that includes providing me as the victim with restitution.

How I would deal with the physical aftereffects would be an unfortunate process for me to pursue with my medical care providers—ideally paid for by the damages collected from the perpetrator, but if not, by insurance or a non-profit whose purpose is the support of rape victims.

That we can increasingly expect to hear every Tom, Dick, and Harry running for office in any capacity weigh in on our bodies ought to sicken every woman.

This is what happens when you politicize healthcare.

There are better ways of providing care for those in need. This ain’t it.

Mary L. G. Theroux is Chairman and Chief Executive of the Independent Institute.
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