Dear Richard Mourdock, God Did Not Intend For My Rape To Happen
Rape and whatever comes from it have absolutely nothing to do with divinity. Rape is an act of man. It is a despicable act perpetrated by criminals who desire power, who do not care for the life of human beings around them. When a woman gets raped, it is because someone decided that she shouldn’t be able to make her choices for herself. It’s because she wasn’t respected as a person. She was merely used for her body parts.
Your statement wasn’t just wrong, it was offensive to every woman who has gone through such a horrific experience. And Mr. Mourdock, there are more of us than you think. The problem is that we often don’t speak up about our attacks. We’re afraid of hearing people like you marginalize our experiences, or pretend that you understand what we’ve been through, only to then tell us how we should feel or handle the consequences of our assaults.
I understand that immediately after the debate, you released a statement saying, “God creates life, and that was my point. God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that He does. Rape is a horrible thing, and for anyone to twist my words otherwise is absurd and sick.”
I am not being absurd or sick by taking offense to a truly reprehensible statement. Why was it just so disgusting? Why do I have every right to be so angry? Because in that debate, you acknowledged that you aren’t concerned about God’s plan for me as a human being, as a rape survivor. You had nothing to say about my life, or how it would never be the same. You completely ignored that when there is pregnancy after a rape, it isn’t just the fetus’s possible life that is up for debate. There is a woman involved. There is a victim involved. And you ignored those women in your statement, because it’s uncomfortable to think about their situation, about their thoughts or feelings. You stated that there was a higher purpose, a more moral cause, than allowing victims to handle their recovery on their own terms.
Your statement wasn’t just a misunderstanding. It wasn’t a gaffe. It demonstrated that when it comes to women, you think that the contents of our uteri are much more worthy of your concern than the females who possess those reproductive organs. It showed that you’re willing to ignore the suffering of a rape victim, and that you’ll feel like God protects you in that choice.
Mr. Mourdock, I sincerely hope that my fellow citizens will join me in voting for your opponent and making sure that you don’t end up in a position to make laws that control the women of Indiana and their reproductive choices. I also hope that you spend a lot of time thinking about the women, the survivors, the ones whose lives will never be the same, and you come to understand that their needs and their rights should not come second to a pregnancy that was forced on them against their will.