According to comments made by Tom Smith (R-PA) to reporters Monday, there are similarities between a pregnancy resulting from rape and a pregnancy out-of-wedlock.
Robert Vickers, Patriot News: In light of Congressman Akin’s comments, is there any situation that you think a woman should have access to an abortion?
Tom Smith: My stance is on record and it’s very simplistic: I’m pro-life, period. And what that Congressman said, I do not agree with at all. He should have never said anything like that.
Vickers: So in cases of incest or rape…
Laura Olson, Post-Gazette: No exceptions?
Smith: No exceptions.
Mark Scolforo, Associated Press: How would you tell a daughter or a granddaughter who, God forbid, would be the victim of a rape, to keep the child against her own will? Do you have a way to explain that?
Smith: I lived something similar to that with my own family. She chose life, and I commend her for that. She knew my views. But, fortunately for me, I didn’t have to.. she chose they way I thought. No don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t rape.
Scolforo: Similar how?
Smith: Uh, having a baby out of wedlock.
Scolforo: That’s similar to rape?
Smith: No, no, no, but… put yourself in a father’s situation, yes. It is similar. But, back to the original, I’m pro-life, period.
[Another question on an unrelated topic]
John Micek, Morning Call: Mr. Smith, can I ask you to clarify one more time the question that Mark asked you. Did I just hear you say that having a child out-of-wedlock is analogous to rape?
Smith: No, I did not say that.
Scolforo: You did say that.
Micek: But you did say it, sir.
(Noise as a Smith campaign aide sought to answer, but Scolforo insisted Smith answer).
Scolforo: But you did say that.
Smith: I said I went through a situation.
Scolforo: With your daughter, with a daughter.
Smith: And it’s very, very difficult. But do I condone rape? Absolutely not. Do I propose life? Yes I do. I’m pro-life, period.
Scolforo: So what’s the similarity between those two, in other words? Just that there’s a decision involved?
Smith: (Pause.) A life is a life, and it needs protected. Who’s going to protect it? We have to. I mean that’s, I believe life begins at conception. I’m not going to argue about the method of conception. It’s a life, and I’m pro-life. It’s that simple.
Apparently, the similarity rests in the fact that a life is a life, and the method of conception is irrelevant. Try saying that to a rape victim. See how helpful it is.
The recent anti-women remarks by various Republicans are affecting rape victims and survivors alike — not only because if these people win seats and positions in government, we would be brought back to the dark ages, but now as well. These words push the blame to the woman, they trivialize and demean the traumas they endured, and they send a strong message: It is your fault you were raped. While this isn’t being explicitly said, the implications are clear – got raped? Got pregnant? Clearly you wanted it or your body would have shut it down. No, you can’t have an abortion — that would be murder!
Smith’s comment, saying that if we put ourselves in the father’s situation, it would be similar, is downright offensive. If you rape a woman, you don’t deserve to call yourself a father — you’re a rapist. Your opinion becomes meaningless, your value as a human being is non-existent, and no human being should empathize with you. You forced yourself on another person. You do not get to force your way into her life as well.