On Tuesday evening, the Senate candidates for my state of Indiana met for a debate. Republican Richard Mourdock, who beat out the respected Senator Richard Lugar in a fierce primary battle, squared off against Democrat Joe Donnelly. In the course of that debate, Mourdock was asked about his views on abortion and if there is ever a reason to terminate a pregnancy. And like a long string of Republicans before him during this election season, Mourdock expressed views that were thoughtless, ignorant, and just plain offensive. When referring to abortion in cases of rape, Mourdock said, ”I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it something that God intended to happen.”
A few days ago, I wrote a letter to Joe Walsh about his ridiculous statement that abortion to save the life of the mother is never medically necessary. I spoke about my heart-wrenching experience losing a very wanted pregnancy because it threatened my life and was not viable. But Walsh didn’t really have to listen to my letter. I don’t live in his district. I don’t even live in his state.
Richard Mourdock is another matter. If that man wins this Senate race, he will represent me and my family. And while I am extremely hesitant to open up about a very sensitive time in my past, on a website visited by my friends and family, I feel like Richard Mourdock should understand just how wrong his statement was. I feel like this politician should have to answer to one of his possible constituents about such a disgusting comment. So once again, I’ll share an open letter to a Republican politician who doesn’t seem to understand a whole lot about rape, abortion, or women in general.
Dear Mr. Mourdock,
I could open this letter by pretending that I was considering voting for you in two weeks. That would be a lie. While I would’ve considered crossing the party line for a statesman like Richard Lugar, you do not have his thoughtfulness, his honesty, or his dedication to serving his constituency instead of just your personal agenda. However, whether you were ever going to earn my vote or not, you are still hoping represent the entire state of Indiana. You aren’t just running to serve the Republicans or the conservatives. You want to represent all of us.
By all of us, that includes thousands of sexual assault survivors. I am one of them.
I am a woman whose choice was taken from her in the most brutal and soul-crushing way. And I do not know what God you believe in, but I refuse to accept that this horror was something God “intended to happen.” No matter what the outcome of my rape was, whether I got pregnant or not, I would say that there was a clear absence of faith or humanity in what I went through. Stating that it worked out the way God intended implies that he had a hand in the very worst moment of my life.