My dear friend Rev Bev Dale shared the article below and commented, “OK people of faith, step up to the plate on this one. There are too many women hurting from the bold and ignorant statements by men who should know better (and who are in positions of power to set unsympathetic policy decisions.)”
A Faithful Response to Trivializing Rape
–Rev. Harry Knox, President and CEO, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
As a progressive faith leader, I am grateful that so many individuals and groups are, like me, outraged at the comments multiple public officials have made which trivialize rape. Because these statements reveal some of the true feelings behind extremist attempts to limit abortion, they are useful to people who believe, as I do, that “the truth will make us free”. We deserve to know where our leaders stand on important issues.
However, the talk about definitions and legitimacy raises serious concerns. As a pastor, I am especially worried that women, men and children who have survived the horror of rape are re-traumatized each time a public figure suggests that some kinds of rape are less valid than others, or argues that a survivor of rape doesn’t deserve the right to make his or her own health care decisions because politicians know better. This stunning lack of compassion must bring forth feelings that are literally unimaginable for those of us who have not lived through such an assault.
Let’s make this clear: All rape is real and harmful, and, if a pregnancy results, no woman who has survived sexual violence deserves to be doubted, questioned or judged for her subsequent decisions. Every possible support should be offered to those who have been violated in this morally repugnant way. The last thing that should be done is to limit the options available – to do so runs counter to every tenet of good pastoral care, which calls for empowering survivors, not taking power and resources away from them. It is simply unacceptable to harm a rape survivor again….
If you agree, please contact us at the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is much to be done, so let’s work together!