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Should there be exceptions to the right to life?

By Scott Tibbs, October 13, 2010

The Patriot Majority PAC is running an ad against Sharron Angle regarding her "extreme" position on abortion. First, read the text of the interview from the Huffington Post, and then go watch the commercial.

The text is partially quoted below:

Stock: What do you say then to a young girl, I am going to place it as he said it, when a young girl is raped by her father, let's say, and she is pregnant. How do you explain this to her in terms of wanting her to go through the process of having the baby?

Angle: I think that two wrongs don't make a right. And I have been in the situation of counseling young girls, not 13 but 15, who have had very at risk, difficult pregnancies. And my counsel was to look for some alternatives, which they did. And they found that they had made what was really a lemon situation into lemonade. Well one girl in particular moved in with the adoptive parents of her child, and they both were adopted. Both of them grew up, one graduated from high school, the other had parents that loved her and she also graduated from high school. And I'll tell you the little girl who was born from that very poor situation came to me when she was 13 and said 'I know what you did thank you for saving my life.' So it is meaningful to me to err on the side of life.

Clearly, the ad is at best misleading. Angle didn't say that rape victims should "just make a lemon situation into lemonade" as the ad claims. Angle said that rape victims she counseled did do that. After Leftists howled in protest and when Andrew Breitbart posted an out-of-context clip of Shirley Sherrod, it is telling that a Leftist PAC is now pulling the same tactics. Where are the Leftists condemning the Patriot Majority?

Angle also didn't explicitly say in that radio interview that she wanted to ban abortion in the case of rape and incest, and I've not been able to find anything that would indicate she has taken that position from a legislative standpoint. However, it is a reasonable claim to make, especially considering Angle's statements about abortion in the "hard cases."

This may be an "extreme" position when espoused by candidates for elective office who fear the political heat that comes with it, but this is not am unusual position within the pro-life community.

  • The American Life League argues that "It is discriminatory and untrue to say that everyone has a right to life except a child conceived by rape or incest."
  • The National Right to Life Committee argues that "Subjecting (rape victims) to an abortion only compounds the initial violence of the rape. Only in this second tragedy, the woman becomes the aggressor against her own child."
  • Human Life International also argues against abortion in the case of rape and incest. (See here and here.)

Look, we either believe the unborn baby is created in the image of God and therefore has a right to life or we do not. If we believe that the unborn child has a right to life, rape and incest are not valid reasons to allow for that child to be killed. If we believe that an unborn child has a right to life, why should he/she be executed for the crimes of his/her father? No one denies the horrible violence of rape, but compounding one act of violence with another does not erase the first crime. Instead it only makes the tragedy worse by ending a precious life.