Monday, June 11, 2007

The Forced Birth Movement

Reading about Sam Brownback's speech at the National Catholic Men's Conference made selecting a title for this post difficult, but finally I chose the same headline as Cliff Schechter. Among the many I considered (A Taste of Wahhabism, A Preview of Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale, Catholic Boys' Treehouses, Every Sperm Is Sacred) my favorite was "Rapists' Fatherhood Rights" -- but that's just too shrill. Well, it isn't, not really, when you consider the setting: A man giving a speech to a roomful of men. No women allowed at these conferences. And the speech includes this:

"Rape is terrible. Rape is awful. Is it made any better by killing an innocent child? Does it solve the problem for the woman that's been raped?" the Kansas Republican asked at the St. Joseph's Covenant Keepers gathering.

"We need to protect innocent life. Period," Brownback said, bringing the crowd of about 500 to its feet.

Remember that nobody in that audience has to worry about getting pregnant after rape or the possibility that he might die giving birth to the rapist's child. There is something extremely distasteful about the combination of the all-male audience and this particular topic, a topic about forcing women to give birth whether they wish to do so or not.
Cross-posted on the TAPPED blog. See Scott's response for some interesting arguments.