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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Man Conceived in Rape Supports South Dakota Pro-Life Measure

There are some in the pro-life community who don't support South Dakota's latest pro-life measure, Initiated Measure 11.

IM 11 is a measure which would ban most abortions in South Dakota. Unlike Referred Law 6 in 2006, IM 11 contains exceptions for rape, incest and the health of the mother.

The exceptions in IM 11 were carefully written to prevent abuse.

For instance, the health exception requires that the issue must involve "a serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of the functioning of a major bodily organ or system." In making this determination, the abortionist must use "accepted standards of medical practice" which must be documented in the woman's medical records. In other words, the claim to invoke this exception cannot be frivolous and must be medically substantiated.

The exception for rape and incest requires that the incident be reported to law enforcement authorities before the abortion can occur. DNA evidence must be gathered from the woman and the unborn child and turned over to law enforcement authorities for use in prosecuting the perpetrator of the rape. In other words, a fictitious rape cannot be "made up" with no official substantiating testimony to justify an abortion.

According to the latest statistics available from the South Dakota Department of Health, IM 11 would prevent more than 98% of the abortions performed in South Dakota (page 12 of the pdf report).

The sticking point for some in the pro-life community is these exceptions, however small these exceptions may be.

Some pro-lifers rightfully understand that the need to abort a child in order to save the mother from serious bodily harm is rare (official statistics place the rate at 1.5% of all abortions).

These pro-lifers also understand that regardless of the terrible, brutal nature of the crime of rape, the unborn child is nevertheless the child of the mother, is a separate human being with unique human DNA, and that the child has done nothing wrong and does not deserve to be killed for the sins of the child's father. Official statistics state that 0.4% of abortions performed in 2006 were for rape.

These concerns are not inconsequential, and are certainly not overlooked by supporters of IM 11. I can't speak for all supporters of the measure, but I know that I fully supported Referred Law 6 and worked for its passage. I believed then and still do believe that it was the best, most logically consistent bill to protect women and children. And if we hadn't come up with that bill and worked so hard to pass it in 2006, I might have misgivings about Initiated Measure 11.

But we gave it our best shot. We tried to pass the best bill, the right bill, but for whatever reason the voters did not approve it. In having done our best and failed, I have no problems supporting the next best attempt to protect the life and health of unborn children and women: Initiated Measure 11.

IM 11 will save more than 98% of the children currently being aborted in South Dakota. If you saw a burning building and knew that you could save 98% of the occupants by doing something, or 0% by doing nothing, which would you choose? For me, having already tried for 100%, the choice is simple.

But more relevant than my opinion is that of a man from Dell Rapids named Bill Connor.

Bill Connor is a grown man who was himself a child conceived in an act of rape. Bill understands the value and human dignity of the child conceived even in the midst of such a terrible crime against a woman.

Bill supported Referred Law 6 because it obviously respected and reinforced the recognition of his own humanity and value.

But it might surprise you to know that Bill also supports IM 11.

A statement of Bill's support was published at the VoteYesForLife.com blog today.

Here is an excerpt:

I recently learned that the Yes-For-Life organization is supporting a new bill that clearly allows for the rarest of exceptions. And, of course, I immediately said YES. Why, you ask, since I was the product of a rape, can I support this bill? Because, this will allow virtually every passenger on board the “ship of life” to live. And, not surprisingly, Planned Parenthood again stands in opposition. This is real life politics, requiring the inspired to rise and be heard. So don’t be confused, nor discouraged, this debate is contentious and often without reason, but silence is no longer an option.

If you value human life in the womb but have been struggling with whether to support Initiated Measure 11, please go to the blog and read Bill's entire statement.

Planned Parenthood and their abortion allies said in 2006 that really the only reason they opposed Referred Law 6 was the lack of exceptions. Their renewed opposition to IM 11 is exposing them for the liars we knew they were.

But if the pro-life community doesn't come together and support IM 11, the abortionists may win yet again.

And hundreds of South Dakota children will continue to be killed in their mother's wombs.


Anonymous said...

Was it not Christ who said something to the effect of: "The hot or cold I accept, it's the lukewarm I shall spit from my mouth."

It doesn't matter to me that a product of rape goes along with this lukewarm bill. Abortion is dead wrong. By the passing of this bill, the woman who has been raped is then raped all over again when she aborts. Eliminate abortion for all except mothers whose lives are in danger. (That has never been an issue in the Catholic Church regarding this ... I don't know why that is even brought up by pro-aborts.)

Bob Ellis said...

So you'll opt to save 0 rather than save 734 unborn children?

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