GOD WILLED THAT YOUR FATHER WOULD RAPE YOU
Kelly, Oil on Masonite, 16" x 18.5", Richard J. Van Wagoner, Circa 1968, Courtesy of Van Wagoner Family Trust**
Below are a few examples that arose in the middle of the abortion debate as god’s way of getting around the problem of pregnancies resulting from truly legitimate rape. Parenthetically, medical evidence shows that north of 32,000 pregnancies result from rape each year and rape victims, studies suggest, are more likely to become pregnant than women who have consensual sex:
• “If a woman has [the right to an abortion], why shouldn’t a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman? At least the rapist’s pursuit of sexual freedom doesn’t [in most cases] result in anyone’s death.” Lawrence Lockman, R-ME, Maine House of Representatives, 2012.
• “The facts show that people who are raped—who are truly raped—the juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work and they don’t get pregnant. . . . Medical authorities agree that this is a rarity, if ever. . . . To get pregnant, it takes a little cooperation. And there ain’t much cooperating in rape.” Representative Henry Aldridge, R-NC, 1995.
• “It is almost but not quite impossible to become pregnant because of rape. The odds are one in millions and millions. . . .[T]here is a physical reason for that. Rape, obviously, is a traumatic experience. When that traumatic experience is undergone, a woman secretes a certain secretion, which has a tendency to kill sperm.” Representative Stephen Friend, R-PA., 2012.
• "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down." Former Missouri Representative Todd Akin, R-MO, 2012.
• Akin is “partly right on that. . . . And I’ve delivered lots of babies, and I know about these things. It is true. We tell infertile couples all the time that are having trouble conceiving because of the woman not ovulating. ‘Just relax. Drink a glass of wine. And don’t be so tense and uptight because all that adrenaline can cause you not to ovulate.’. . . [T]he fact that a woman may have already ovulated 12 hours before she is raped, you’re not going to prevent pregnancy there by a woman’s body shutting anything down because the horse has already left the barn, so to speak.” Representative Phil Gingrey, R-GA., 2013.
• “. . . . As horrible as the way that son or daughter and son was created, it still is her child. And whether she has that child or doesn’t, it will always be her child. And she will always know that. . . . I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you. . . .We have horrible things happen. I can’t think of anything more horrible. But, nevertheless, we have to make the best out of a bad situation.” Rick Santorum, a former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania who was then campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination, 2012.
• “Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” Richard Mourdock, R-IN., candidate United States Senate, 2012.
*My brother the very talented fiction writer and novelist, Robert Hodgson Van Wagoner, deserves considerable credit for offering both substantive and technical suggestions to https://medium.com/@richardvanwagoner and https://lastamendment.com
**Richard’s list of honors, awards and professional associations is extensive. He was Professor Emeritus (Painting and Drawing), Weber State University, having served three Appointments as Chair of the Department of Visual Arts there. He guest-lectured and instructed at many universities and juried numerous shows and exhibitions. He was invited to submit his work as part of many shows and exhibitions, and his work was exhibited in a number of traveling shows domestically and internationally. My daughter Angela Moore, a professional photographer, photographed more than 500 pieces of my father's work. On behalf of the Van Wagoner Family Trust, she is in the process of compiling a collection of his art work. The photographs of my father's art reproduced in https://medium.com/@richardvanwagoner and https://lastamendment.com are hers