It seems that every time I turn on one of the news channels, I get some guy, a politician, talking about something like reproductive rights or abortion or rape or all three together. If it's rape he's discussing, there's often some biological "fact" he wants to share with us about the topic. The speaker is obviously not a physician or a biologist, and it's also clear from what he's saying that he hasn't had any biological training since high school, which was maybe 30 or 40 years ago.
So, what are these politicians-turned-biologists talking about? Well, some of them are telling us how women's bodies react to rape. They're letting us in on their special knowledge of this particular biological area. They're not quoting scientific studies or any particular research. You might say that it's folk wisdom - if you were very kind. What they actually say is that if a woman is really and truly raped - really and truly - then she won't get pregnant.
The people telling us this fact, as I say, are all men. And what they're getting at is that there shouldn't be any abortion under any circumstances - so-called rape or not.
But whose problem is this? Men can't get pregnant. Should men even be allowed into the discussion? And especially excluded should be conservative Republican Congressmen whose mission in life seems to be to tell others exactly how they should live their lives.
Anyway, I wonder if we'd be hearing any of this if it was men that got pregnant. Would we be hearing about abortion and rape and right-to-life?
I don't think so. I don't think we'd be hearing anything at all. The topic would be long gone. I think we probably would have heard about it earlier in our history, but there wouldn't be any discussion at this point.
Are you kidding me? Can you imagine comments from pregnant men contemplating abortion and being told it was out of the question? It would be something like: What is this - Nazi Germany? Nazis! The state is telling me. . . me what I can do with my body? My body!!
Cries of fascism! socialism! communism! all kinds of "isms" would ring in the air, night and day. The references to Hitler and Stalin would be unending; that is, as long as any discussion lasted, which wouldn't be long. If men could get pregnant, abortion would be available on demand at the corner drugstore. You can count on it.
It is clear that when some politicians open their mouths and start to speak, there is no real connection to any fact, logic, reason, scientific evidence, or least of all, truth. Wait a minute. Is this what they mean by "free speech"? It's not free speech; it's more like worthless speech.
L. P. McGovern