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Hayley Rose

Hayley Rose
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I was born when Halley’s Comet last appeared overhead and named accordingly. Since then, I've become a writer, artist, and columnist. In addition to Open Salon, my work appears frequently in The Huffington Post, All Things Healing, Gender Across Borders: A Global Feminist Blog, and several other publications. I blog daily at my site HayleysComments.com I recently published my first book, "I Know Why They Call a Shell a Shell." The book is about domestic violence, a topic that I am very vocal about. It chronicles my journey away from tumultuous love affairs by weaving stories of her past with stories from literature, music, and visual art of both modern and classical significance. Find me on Twitter @HRoseStudios

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AUGUST 20, 2012 3:17AM

Quit Your Rape Baiting, OK? Thanks

Rate: 22 Flag

Recently Representative Todd Akin made some outstanding remarks. When asked if abortion should be permitted in cases of pregnancies resulting from rape, Akin replied,"From what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume maybe that didn't work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist."

It is people like Akin who make my job easy. It's like what Cousin Eddie says to Clark Griswald in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation regarding the Jelly of the Month Club. It's these soundbites of truth, glimmers of how these mostly male conservative representatives truly feel about women that is the "Gift that keeps on giving the whole year. " And I don't even know where to begin with this one...

I am losing track of when the War on Women officially began. It feels like so long ago, though I consider Chris Smith's infamous "Chris Smith Bill" to be the first metaphorical shot. The bill had a clause that called for the redefinition of the word "rape." By redefining rape, Smith thought he could save the government some money. To achieve this budget cut, he intended to limit abortion coverage for Medicaid recipients by only allowing those who were "forcibly raped" to obtain the procedure.

Who exactly would be given the role of rape-victim interrogator is beyond me. In fact, where would they even draw that line? If the victim didn't fight back, does that mean the rape wasn't forcible? And if the rape is deemed "not forcible," must she suffer an unwanted pregnancy as a result? And what about victims of incest? People who have been exposed to long term sexual abuse?

Technically that may not be considered "forcible" because victims in those situations are often helpless, young and lack support from their other family members, therefore, they might concede to their predator because it is ongoing. Well it really doesn't matter, do you not see my point?

Men like Akin and Smith are micromanaging our vaginas. They are also micromanaging and trivializing our dignity --- the dignity of women everywhere and the dignity of countless unheard victims and survivors of rape and sexual abuse. Shame on them.

And what about this part of his quote, "I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist."

Does this man even know what he's talking about? Has he reviewed the statistics? That 90% of rapes never get reported to the proper authorities. That on average, a rapist perpetrates ten sexual assaults before ever getting caught. That only 3% of rapists go to jail and of that 3% many have short and/or reduced sentences?

Akin has also been quoted speaking out about the morning-after pill citing that it should be illegal because it is a "form of abortion." There is actually no proof that the morning after pill is indeed what Akin says it is: an abortifacient.

A recent New York Times article reports that the federally approved labels on the morning-after pill do not support the research presented by today's leading scientists. "Studies have not established that emergency contraceptive pills prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the womb. Rather, the pills delay ovulation, the release of eggs from ovaries that occurs before eggs are fertilized, and some pills also thicken cervical mucus so sperm have trouble swimming. "

I would say that certainly does not constitute as an abortion but more so some type of vaginal flushing. So to answer my original question, "Does this man know what he's talking about?" I would have to say no. Akin has no idea what he's talking about. And he proves the point that I am trying to make: that the men who started the War on Women are completely out of touch with women, their target du jour, and the distraction that is the War on Women allows them to take the heat off the real problem: jobs or lack thereof.

Have you ever heard of a family having to go on government assistance because they cannot afford to pay their rent or feed their children due to an abortion? No. But have you heard of a family needing government assistance to pay their rent and buy their food because they have too many children and not enough work? Yes.

Abortions do not cause financial hardships. However, when the amount of children you have exceeds (or greatly exceeds) the amount of children you can afford, financial hardship ensues. Add to that an economy with limited work opportunities and you got yourself a pickle.

Most people forget to mention that sometimes people choose to get an abortion for financial reasons, i.e., because they cannot afford to support a child or children. This sounds like a very responsible choice: to utilize all available options while taking into consideration one's means before deciding to start a family (which may very well be the concept which spun the idea Planned Parenthood).

Some people consider this to be responsible; the choice to terminate an accidental pregnancy for financial reasons as opposed to sharing the financial burden of an unexpected child with family members and tax payers. Other people, like Akin, find this idea to be heinous and morally wrong. People like Akin put unborn fetuses first before any other considerations, even considerations such as income and jobs. And as long as people like Akin, Smith and their constituents continue "rape baiting" nothing will be done about the job situation or the economy.

Rather than do good or enact positive change in this country, Akin and his constituents have used an ideological War on Women to take the heat off the actual issues by using women as scapegoats. And an excellent scape goat they are! Through the tactic of divide and conquer, they have created a huge division with the idea that those who do not use birth control or have abortions are morally superior to those who do. Rather than bringing people together in support of one another; rather than teaching Americans to empathize with those who were put in the position to make the difficult choice that abortion is, they have taught them to hate. They have taught them to judge. They have taught Americans that those who have abortions are murderers and those who use birth control are sluts. And through all this propaganda and rape baiting they have forgotten one universal thing about themselves: that they too are human and not some omnipresent moral force put on Earth to subject the rest of us to religious beliefs that tout male superiority and dominance over women, their bodies and their decisions.

Though I have presented scientific fact and statistical knowledge, it makes no difference to those waging the War on Women. They do not go by facts or statistics. They use their religion as a shield to dismiss scientific facts as heresy, and favor the perpetuation of carefully selected myths convenient to their purportedly pious lifestyle.

Well Representative Akin, maybe you're right, but before we get rid of abortion let's address some bigger issues. First, you should concentrate on job creation and bringing back the living wage so families in dire straits don't have to turn to abortion when an unexpected pregnancy occurs. I anticipate your response to that would be something along the lines of "there should be no excuse for unplanned pregnancies. If you are abiding by the laws of The Bible they simply should not occur."

Well, that brings me to my second point: why is there a demand for abortions? What exactly is keeping these clinics in business? Could it be that very type of thinking? Some states have put so much stock into the idea that sex without marriage is morally wrong that many schools now lack of sex education. Could these new abstinence only "sex" education programs be responsible for leading today's ignorant youngsters into the scary world of teen and unwanted pregnancies? Maybe.

What about adults and mature women who are seeking abortions too? Could their need for the procedure have to do with the lack of access to affordable contraception and health care? Could this have to do with the fact that for an uninsured woman, birth control costs $40 - $120 per month and that in 2011, around 46 million Americans were uninsured? And that brings us back to the jobs issue, again.

Perhaps Representative Akin and his constituents aren't really trying to avoid real issues like I've suggested: that for Americans, health insurance is a luxury and that the living wage is a privilege. Perhaps Representative Akin truly has a dream; a vision of a world in which fetuses are able to roam free from the threat of abortion. "As far as I'm concerned, the morning-after pill is a form of abortion, and I think we just shouldn't have abortion in this country," he said in an Aug.8 interview with KCMO radio (HuffPost).

With all this talk of outlawing morning after pills, abortion and now with all these new "Personhood" initiatives everyone is at risk. Just because it started as a War on Women no longer guarantees that men are safe. With the ridiculous Personhood rulings taking off across the country, men won't be able to enjoy pornography the way they used to. Forget about worrying about mom catching you. If the lawmakers behind Personhood get wind of what you've been doing you might be arrested for child abuse or even worse (GASP!): murder.

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The argument about finances makes no difference to guys like Akin. Nothing about his views makes fiscal sense, so why should this?

He thinks fertilized egg=person, and we shouldn't hold the circumstances of conception against that person. He doesn't care about rape because he doesn't care about women. The question is what he'd do if a loved one got raped and pregnant. Let's just say that carrying to term isn't the likely outcome. Unfortunately, an awakening to personal reality doesn't equal an analogous awakening to public reality. Someone who talks about women with so little empathy is someone who thinks he's special.
That his comment is barbaric is beyond question; that hus party's leaders won't really address it is also clear.

Thank you.

r.
I read this comment he made last night and thought I was reading wrong.
"As far as I’m concerned, the morning-after pill is a form of abortion,"
Right and everything else we women do is wrong too.
Blah hayley Blah
the need to blame/fear the other is so important in what has devolved to today's politics and by reflection, society, that I expect to hear some misogynist, racist, xenophobic content every time a politician speaks. The de-evolution of the current Republican party makes it more likely in their daily course but they are hardly alone. I just cannot conceive what their wives and daughters think of them.
If it's a legitimate rape" ? ? ?
Just when I think dinosaurs like him are extinct, another one rears his ugly, prehistoric head. ... I shudder to think of whom Romney would appoint to the U.S. Supreme Court (with at least four of the current justices set to retire) if he wins the election, and how their regressive rulings will affect women and girls for generations. ... Rated.
"If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Really? Most women can't get pregnant from rape? I'm still trying to understand this concept, that's equivalent of saying if someone forces poison down your throat instead of you attempting to kill yourself your body will shut down the poisoning.

Yeah, it does make it easier for you to blow holes in all the ignorance these people spout. It wouldn't surprise me if he believed his own ignorance, some people think everything in their heads is true. He obviously knows nothing about female anatomy, his poor wife.

Good to see you here.
Even in an election year where stupid statements abound, it's hard to believe that this one will be topped. Unbelievable. And downright scary.
Actually, apparently some GOPers are calling for him to get out of the race and Romney, albeit after sleeping on it, has put out an almost definite statement against it.

It's the idiot voters one worries about. How did this guy even get in the nomination?

P.S. - I thot the morning-after pill prevented implantation, not fertilization. Whatever...
Akin is a sexist idiot. Legitimate rape? Wtf!
FAQ - Alpha Pregnancy Resource Center

www.alphaprc.com/d-5/FAQ

The morning after pill is an abortifacient—a drug that causes the uterus to shed its lining and abort any baby forming there. Some of the possible side effects of ...
Thanks I will be correcting this later. However often the egg is not fertilized but sperm are still around to potentially fertilize it for three days after unprotected sex, so in many cases it is more like. Vaginal enema than an abortion
A fertilized egg is not a human being, a fertilized egg is not a human being, a fertilized egg is not a human being. See , I'm using the Fox way of repeating something until it is believed. Maybe the right wing trolls will believe it, because God knows, they have not a clue! The morning after pill and the birth control pill make the uterus 'hostile' to fertilized eggs. The fertilized egg isn't even close to being a human until it implants. Many do not implant naturally, just nature in the mix. How dare some religious fanatic rewrite science to claim an untruth! People can delude themselves all they want, but the fertilized egg is not human-until it implants! Tons of right to life misinformation on the web, none of it scientifically sound!
You can't get pregnant by rape, a public service announcement by the people who brought you creation science. Oh, and there's no global warming. Why understand science when ideology will do?
His views of fertilized egg = person is not so hard to understand. His view that a person deserves protection is just as easy to understand. So, I guess the disagreement is when does that fertilized egg become a person? Anyone want to take on, and explain, that answer? Using his starting point he is correct in protecting a person.


Why is it that you are not allowed to go into labor and rush in for an abortion?
Catnlion,
Yes, using that definition and assuming everyone else is required to use that same definition, he is. I'll deal with the definition in a minute, but I have another question first:

Do we believe (and I include you in this question, I'm not being sarcastic here) that if, God Forbid, his wife were raped and was of a fertile age (I don't know) and got pregnant, that he'd insist she carry to term, particularly if news of the rape became public? OK, so she's hypothetically had a very traumatic experience, a reminder of this experience is growing inside her, a reminder that (for whatever reason, I'll assume legitimate here) he was unable to protect his wife? Particularly if it happened in an election year? What are the odds this is taken care of quietly? I don't think that I as a husband could handle that, not that I'd blame my wife, but that I'd be miserable. I wouldn't blame him for taking care of it; I'd blame him because my take is the only way he reaches that conclusion is to think he's special.

Let's move on to the definition of a human being. Different religions define it differently, so the first question is whether we're favoring one religion. We can say "fertilization" but a two-celled organism is not most peoples' idea of a person; I'd call it a potential human being but not an actual one. Do we say "when recognizeably human," say, after the fetus outgrows a tail and gills, which all human fetuses (fetuses produced by humans as opposed to by other animals) do? Do we say at viability? That one entails problems because medicine keeps pushing that date back.

Let's go in the other direction: Prior to fertilization. What are sperm cells for? The only purpose we know of is as potential human beings. That means that we were presumably designed By Our Creator such that the vast, vast, vast majority of potential human lives die during every Successful act of procreation.

Then there's the further issue that we don't necessarily act like we say we believe. Let's say we believe that human life begins at conception. OK, following that to its logical conclusion, I have to ask how many of us have ever been to a funeral for a miscarriage.

Not simple. Not willing to treat it as simple.
Hayley, although one can easily understand the so justified opposition that we all can have in such barbaric and cynic statements and ideas as the '' legitimate rape'', your analysis is an objective one, giving the ground both for creative thinking-thus actions- but, saddly, gives the ground for such a frightening sadness. Is this man still an authorative...has he still has his work, cause if yes...well, there is no reason... Be well, and thank you for the informative work. Rated.
Give Akin a break. He didn't get pregnant when he was raped (though the willing-unwilling legitimacy is in question), so he assumed it worked that way for everyone.
I'm pretty sure the whole "micromanaging my vagina" concept is way over Mr. Akin's head. I doubt very much he can say the word out loud. Rated.
I still can't believe that government or religion can stick their noses in any woman's business./r
K,

First a disclosure. I'm not a believer as he is, and I was married to a rape victim.

People with his believe tend to be together and marry each other. So I would assume that his wife has beliefs that are close to his. How many people do you know that would not consider getting married to someone of a difference faith? So if his wife got pregnant, even by rape, it would be "God's will" and they would have the child. How the child came to be is not the child's fault.

They are also careful where they "spill their seed". One of my best friends, married for 25 years still uses condoms. (Don't ask, TMI and I don't know.)


When science doesn't know we are left to make decisions on faith and opinion. Those who have a very strong faith tend to use that point of view. Look at the Jewish faith. Thousands of years ago they developed dietary laws. Now we would call them food safety laws but they kept those who followed them from dying from food borne illness. So why follow them now that we have refrigeration etc?

Do I understand where he is coming from? Yes. That doesn't mean I agree with all of them. Even though I believe that President Obama is taking us down the wrong path and is hiding crime that others, maybe even him, committed that doesn't mean he is right sometimes.
Christine

So you believe that you have the right to go have an abortion the day before you go into labor and deliver? The only thing that is stopping you is the government sticking it's nose in a women's business.
Thank you so much for your comments! So many great thoughts and zingers here!

:::PLEASE FORWARD THIS LINK TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE!!!:::
(same article now on HUffPo) thanks!

The War on Women Rages On

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hayley-rose-horzepa/war-on-women-rages_b_1814787.html

Thanks!

Hayley

Hayley

:::PLEASE FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE!!!:::
Catnlion,
Yes, his position on carrying to term is internally consistent. I kind of started my last comment by saying that.

Yes, no detail of conception is the child's fault.

That nonsense about internal female mechanisms for biologically avoiding pregnancy in rape cases was just way over the top.

I'm not in favor of late term abortion. Neither, if you read the decision, is Roe v. Wade, which doesn't make them illegal but condemns them. (It's been a long time since I read it.)