Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Why Sarah Palin doesn't care about women

Ok. So yesterday I started getting political and I think I'm going to continue for a little while. I know a lot of mommy blogs have written about how great it is that Palin is on the Vice Presidential ticket. I'm going to write about how I feel that's not true.

I find a lot of the Republican policies to be heartless: Sarah Palin's stance on abortion and sexual assault included.

It is well known that Palin is against abortion, except in the instance of when a mother's life is at risk, even in the case of rape. I have a hard time aligning this with my moral values. In the October Ensign, the LDS Church takes the stance that there are times in which abortion may be neccessary: in the case where the mother's life is at risk, rape, incest. I do feel that abortion can be used incorrectly as birth control, but I do feel it has its place and can be needed. It is cruel to deny the victims of rape and incest the option of abortion: "abortion is sometimes considered advisable to preserve the physical and mental health of the mother" (quote from the above link).

However, not only does Palin ignore the exceptions in the abortion issue, she has demonstrated that she has no feelings towards rape victims in general. When she was mayor of Wasilla, she supported the chief of police in charging rape victims for their own rape kits. While at best (and at a stretch) her stance on abortion is zealous, her actions in this matter are heinous.

When a woman goes into a hospital reporting a rape, a rape kit is used to gather evidence for forensics. Her clothing is taken away, photos are taken of any bruising and trauma, swabs are taken for evidence. Needless to say, this is a humiliating and painful experience. Now imagine getting a bill of $1200 to cover that. Lovely, no?

Maybe you feel separated from the idea of rape- that rape is what happens to other people. In Utah, 1 in 3 women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime and 1 in 8 will be raped (pdf taken from here). How many sisters do you have? Cousins? This is no small matter, and re-victimizing the woman and her family is wrong.


  1. Interesting points. I've been wanting to do a Palin/abortion/women post for awhile now.

    I thought Elder Ballard(?)'s article was interesting, though I'm not sure why abortion in case of rape is okay. Sure it's unthinkable to even think of having to carry a monster's child (whether that monster is a relation or not). But if we say (as that article seemed to) that abortion is equal to murder, then why would a murder be justified by a rape?

    It just doesn't make sense to me.

    The rape kits thing is unbelievable. Really.

    Oh, and I just read Freakonomics, which makes a pretty convincing case that rape statistics are quite exaggerated (from admittedly good motives) by rape-victim advocates. It's certainly understandable that they'd want to raise awareness, but it comes down to being dishonest or unaware or uninformed, or something.

  2. I think it is important to note that even in the cases of rape and incest and health of the mother, we are urged to pray about it and counsel with our bishops. It is probably not that case that an abortion is required in every case of rape or incest, but there would be exception. I think a lot of the rape/incest argument is still health of the mother. Elder Nelson refers to the mental health of the mother as well as physical health. I personally know a woman who has dealt with sexual assault who herself is dealing with mental and emotional disabilitiess. Had her experienced ended in a pregnancy, perhaps it would have been prudent to end it for her mental state. I don't know. That's why there was such an emphasis on counseling with your bishop and the Lord.

    As for statistics, I know that the statistics I referenced are self-reported from a random telephone survey that was done in Utah- take that as you will.

  3. So when you go into the hospital after an assault who pays for it? No one? The tax payers? if you charge it to the assault victim then they can sue the violator for all medical bills incrued. More medical bills than just the rape kit are going to be issued. If you give them all to the victim (who I'm sure has to pay for the IV's, morning after pills etc.) then the government doesn't get stuck paying it but the victim has the option of suing the assailent for whatever issurance doesn't cover. As for abortion ... it's on a personal level and should be prayerfully decided in the cases of rape, incest ect. It's on a personal basis ... and if Palin believes that rape is not an excuse for killing a life, I actually agree with her on it. It doesn't mean that legislation is going to be passed preventing abortion on such, although I do agree that something has to be done. Do you know what an abortion is? So few people know what actually occurs ... it's horrific and I cannot see anyway anyone can let someone do that to an unborn baby unless they have God's, and God's approval only.

    I am still undecided when it comes to Palin, but I don't think getting upset at her for valueing life no matter how it's created is a good way to discredit her.

    As for rape statistics, I totally agree with them. In my life more than that percentage have been raped and sexually assaulted. I think the number is low. With society today some women do not realize that they have been sexually assaulted when a man continues to push limits and clothing after being told no. Same with rape.

    Anyway, this is the first time I have discussed political issues so I'm a little passionate at the moment ;) It just makes me sick that people do not value human life ... they just don't know God's plan and his love for ALL children no matter how they are created. He is control of life ... you think he could stop rape victims from having babies? In an instant, but he doesn't. A blessing can come out of a horrible cercumstance, and I know many people who have had babies from rape, and they are so blessed by their presence. And contrary to popular thought no they don't think of that horrible act everytime they look at their child, they see God's love. A child is a blessing no matter the cercumstances, people just don't always see or understand that. It's so sad.

  4. Hailey,
    It is the taxpayers that end up paying for it, but to be honest, as a taxpayer, I don't mind chipping in for that. Too many times assailants aren't charged of their crimes, and if they are they aren't always sentenced. Charges are lessened and lifted. While it would be most fair for the attacker to have to pay for it, it doesn't always happen that way. And it's definitely not fair to expect the victim to pick up the tab.

    It's not that I'm upset at Palin wanting to protect life, it's that she doesn't see instances where exceptions may lie- instances which do exist.

  5. http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-09-10-rape-exams_N.htm

    While it is horrifying that anyone would charge rape victims, I would be sure not to get info from biased blogs. Most credible news sources admit that Palin was most likely unaware of the practice. And it wasn't just in Wasilla either.

  6. I think someone in the White House (and their Vice President) who is ProLife is infinitely better than a team who is ProChoice. Personally, I agree with Sarah...the only time to abort is if it's life threatening. It's a human life and the only time terminate that life is if there's another one in peril.

    How about that....something we don't agree on!

  7. Factcheck.com does claim it as uncertain, but uncertain doesn't mean untrue. And with people not wanting to talk about it seems like they're trying to hide something. But I suppose everything could be cheery.

  8. Sorry, Factcheck.org.

  9. The Church's stance is that a woman who is raped did not participate voluntarily in the act and so does not have a moral obligation to that child.

    Having been taken advantage of myself, I can tell you I'd have committed suicide before carrying his child. You don't know, unless you've been raped, what it would be like to be told that the hell you are going through isn't "threatening" enough.

    As for the rape kits, this is one more reason why I personally support universal healthcare. What a horrific thing to insist women pay for. Society pays for police officers and investigators. If I was robbed, I wouldn't be charged for the officer's time. If my child was kidnapped, they wouldn't charge my family for the cost of collecting evidence and investigating the crime. When a law has been broken, we as a civilized society have banded together to help each other with our tax payer dollars. Not covering the cost of rape is misogynist at best.

    Thank you for reminding me why I left the Republican party.

  10. Although i think Palin was extreme when it came to the charging of rape kits and not allowing abortion in the case of rape ( how would you like to know that you were the product of a rape that your father forced your mother to do something twisted in such a sick manner) but I'd rather have her view then that of abortion is ok in any instance even after you know what gender and we'll start to get the public to fund these. Um, I don't think so.

  11. Very interesting post. I agree with you in being doubtful about Palin. While I am really excited about a woman being in the race, more out of morbid fascination than anything, I don't think she would a good thing for our country.

    Thank you for posting about rape. I was on the Utah County Rape Crisis team for 2 and half years when I was in Provo. I worked with so many girls and women who were devastated by rape, and who were almost always re-traumatized by the attitude of the police and doctors they had to work with. I can't believe that some women actually have to pay to have the rape test done on them. That makes me want to cry.

  12. I agree with Alisa. Obviously many of these comments were not made by people who have suffered abuse. As a victim of sexual abuse I, like Alisa, would rather have killed myself than have carried the child of the one who abused me (a family member). No woman should have to endure that along with all the emotional issues that she will have to endure for the REST OF HER LIFE!

    How can people be so callous about something so horrible that they know so little about? Imagine never being able to fully enjoy being intimate with your spouse. Imagine being so afraid of men that you would have panic attacks when alone in ANY situation with one, known or unknown. Imagine that in addition to having your world turned upside down by the rape, you then had to change your life to accomodate a child begotten from the vilest of violations to the human body and soul. Sexual abuse DESTROYS people.

    To suggest that a pregnancy coming from rape should be carried on the basis of abortion being murder is heinous. Sarah Palin should be ashamed of herself.


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