The 2012 elections brought focus on banning abortions for the “hard cases” of rape, incest and where the mother’s life is at stake. One pro-life advocate says there is too much focus on abortion for women in such cases, rather than providing them help.
Scott Fischbach, the director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, tells LifeNews that reporters were eager to corner candidates and push on the issue of rape abortions and their legality in particular.
He said, “Rape became the “gotcha” question of the 2012 election cycle. And, unfortunately, several “pro-life” candidates fell into giving some very bad answers that cost them their elections. The facts concerning abortion and rape seemed to get washed away in the noise of the campaigns.”
With the buzz having died down, he hopes people can take time to look at the facts.
First, Fischbach says his state is like others in that the number of cases when women get abortions because of rape or incest is low.
“Of the 11,071 abortions that were performed in Minnesota in 2011, less than one percent were cases of rape, incest or life of the mother,” he explained. “According to the Abortion Report issued by the Minnesota Department of Health every July 1st, never has the total number of abortions for rape, incest and life of the mother topped one percent. To be exact, the 2011 Abortion Report stated that there were 51 abortions performed because of rape and 11 where the pregnancy was the result of incest.”
“Although 99 percent of all abortions are done for reasons other than rape or incest, these are cases of serious violent crime that need to be addressed and discussed,” Fischbach said.
So what kinds of help should women receive when they are victims of rape? There are three very important steps that should be taken when a rape has occurred, Fischbach explains.
“The individual who has been raped needs to get away from the rapist if at all possible. Those who rape often rape again, so it is critical to get physically away from the rapist,” he says.
Secondly, Fischbach says the raped individual needs to seek medical attention (without washing) immediately and that emergency medical facilities are equipped with rape kits that can be used to collect evidence for future justice.
Finally, Fischbach says the victim needs to identify/name the perpetrator to law enforcement officials as soon as possible so they can apprehend the rapist.
“Rape is an act of violence and it won’t end if the perpetrator is not apprehended,” he said. “These three steps are critical to protect the individual who has been raped, but also to prevent additional individuals from being raped in the future.”
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Fischbach says pro-life people are very sympathetic to the plight of women who are rape victims who become pregnant– wanting to help both mother and child.
He says pro-life people have “long held that unborn children have a right to life, regardless of the circumstances of their conception. An abortion added to rape only brings more trauma, more pain and more scars to a very violent and tragic situation.”
For candidates who are pro-life, Fichbach urges them to “get up to speed on the facts concerning rape and abortion and to bring some compassion and understanding to the discussion.”
“And for reporters, it would be wise to bring a little less “heat” and a lot more “light” to a very sensitive topic. “Gotcha” politics serve no one,” he concluded.