April 24, 2024

Help Me! I Don’t Have a Choice!

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Thoughts on Abortion

A day after it came out that Presidential candidate and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani reiterated that he backs government funding for abortions for poor people, we set out to find just what kind of people need this kind of protection. It was in a small town in the midwest that we found Miss Jolene Reddish (not her real name). She grew up in a poor home with twelve siblings and claims that she is voting for Mayor Giuliani because she cannot help but have sexual relations.

“I have no choice about when and whether I can have unprotected sexual relations– I have to have it. And unlike the rich people up the street, I can’t afford to have an abortion when I get pregnant.” Miss Reddish talks about her inability to control herself and the strange circumstances that surround her compulsion. “I’ve had to have my sisters keep me locked up for days at a time. I can’t bear being around my brothers. My parents are ashamed, but I really have no choice, right? I mean, I’m just a descendant of a monkey. I have no choice but to have unprotected sex!”

“I can’t seem to help myself,” said Jolene Reddish. “No matter what I do, I have to have sex at least once a day or I will die!”

Obviously, the pro-life crowd will be against government payment for abortions for their stated belief that this would amount to government funding of baby killing, but leading pro-choice supporters back the Mayor and his plan.

“It seems unfair to me that the government will not provide for these people who have no choice,” Valarie Newman of Concerned Ladies of America. “Since these women obviously have no choice about whether they will be pregnant since they have to have sex– unprotected sex at that– the government must provide, through Medicare or some other mechanism, the ability to exercise their choice to have an abortion.”

Unfortunately, other than Miss Reddish we were unable to locate anyone else with her condition, making us wonder just how important the funding is at this time, given the small constituency that cannot either remain abstinent or use some method of birth control to prevent fertilization or pregnancy.

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19 thoughts on “Help Me! I Don’t Have a Choice!

  1. That quote reminded me of what I convey to men about the “point of no return” myth when talking about sexual violence. I’m pretty sure if a young man’s parents walked in, in the “moment” he’d be able to stop. This sounds like a pretty in mature statement if you ask me.

  2. That’s true. It’s also true that this article is satire– but I had to come up with some reason for the girl in question not to have a choice. Obviously she (and everyone else does) and the choice should be before sex instead of after pregnancy.

  3. Ummm, Min. While the majority of people do have a choice, there are cases of rape out there, and if I’m correct, rape is more likely to happen to those who live in bad neighbor hoods (i.e. the poor).

  4. Loc, I’m specifically trying to illustrate the absurdity of the position that says that without abortion people do not have a choice. They do have a choice (for the most part) to abstain from sexual relations which lead to babies.

    And then I believe statistics bear out (and please correct me if I’m wrong) that a majority of rapes happen by people that you know rather than unknown.

    Seeing that these things are the case, it’s more likely that you’ll have a choice than that you won’t.

  5. MIn: You’re right that it happens more likely with those individuals who have some interaction, whether in a class, at work, or in a dating relationship (or even in a marriage) Here are a few numbers from the CDC:
    * Women are more likely to be victims of sexual violence than men: 78% of the victims of rape and sexual assault are women and 22% are men (Tjaden and Thoennes 2000).
    * Sexual violence starts very early in life. More than half of all rapes of women (54%) occur before age 18; 22% of these rapes occur before age 12. For men, 75% of all rapes occur before age 18, and 48% occur before age 12 (Tjaden and Thoennes 2000).
    With the list of indicators that might make someone vulnerable to such an act, poverty is on the list. Poverty may make the daily lives of women and children more dangerous (e.g. walking alone at night, less parental supervision). It may also make them more dependent on men for survival and therefore less able to control their own sexuality, consent to sex, recognize their own victimization or to seek help when victimized. These issues increase their vulnerability to sexual victimization (Jewkes, Sen, and Garcia-Moreno 2002). In addition, poor women may be at risk for sexual violence because their economic (and, often, educational) status necessitates that they engage in high-risk survival activities, for example trading sex for food, money, or other items (Wenzel et al. 2004). Poverty also puts women at increased risk of intimate partner violence, of which sexual violence is often one aspect. (From the CDC again)
    So I would say that someone in a poverty type situation might be more suceptible to have an abortion because of a lack of education about sexual health and/or abstinence.

  6. I understand what you are trying to point out. I’m just pointing out what most pro-choice people would think of right off the bat.

    I looked up the statistic and depending on where you look it is either 9 out 10 rapes are by someone the victim knows or 2/3 of rapes are by someone the victim knows. I also looked up the statistic for how many women are raped, and found that one woman is raped in America about every twenty minutes. What’s the big conclusion of all this? Well if you’re pro-choice it’s that all those women are getting raped and probably around a quarter to a half are poor, and the poor cannot pay for abortions.

  7. How many of these rapes result in pregnancy?

    Again, if 9 out of 10 or even 2/3 of rapes are by people they know, then the chances are that they have some degree of control over the situation. Rape is a pretty fuzzy term (as Colleen pointed out so thoroughly, such that a wife can be raped or a date can be raped, etc.). There is a degree of choice involved there.

    Statistically, there are few instances where these is not a choice at all, and even in these cases, there is no reason that abortion must be performed since there is the availability of adoption.

  8. Again, correct me if I’m wrong, but the defintion of rape is sex without the consent of one party. So a woman on a date could easly be raped. Just because she is on a date, doesn’t mean she has consented to have sex with the person she is on a date with. Also a woman that is married could be raped to. If she says no and the husband forces her anyways it’s rape. In all these cases a woman did not have a choice, she made her choice that she did not want to have sex, and the other party forced her too.

  9. Yes, a person that is on a date could be raped– If there were signs and she chose to ignore them she made a choice. If she chose to be in a room alone with her boyfriend she made a choice. If she chose to not have a way to get into contact with someone if something went wrong she made a choice. There were many choices that she chose that got her to the point before she was raped.

    As for in marriage– I would argue that the marriage vows included the concept of a sexual relationship and do not agree that a wife can be raped. As wrong as it would be for a man to force himself on his wife, I do not agree that that is rape because of the bond that they entered into (Biblically– the husband’s body became the wife’s and the wife’s body became the husband’s).

  10. If I may chim in…a woman OR a man always has a choice, no doubt about that, however even though she /he has a choice it should NEVER put any blame on the victim for not acting when she/he perhaps had an opportunity (I try to be objective, being a survivor myself). There are so many different factors that come in to account when a woman is raped, #1 fear being they may be killed.
    In the context of marriage, I still stand firm in that a woman OR man could be raped. I understand what the Bible says, but I also know of abusive marriages where sex is used more as a tool then what the Lord created sex to be.
    I’ve appreciated the dialogue that you and Loc have been having. I’m honored to be a part of such broader discussions. Have a super day!

  11. Colleen, I’ll also grant that the decisions can be hard. We’ve all seen the stories about the abused wife that stays with the husband and know that there are difficult situations out there even when dating. I’m sure that one of the reasons a girl would have sex with a boy in their teenage years is because of pressure to do it or lose the boy.

    As far as husband and wife, I have to stand by my previous statement. Yes, sex has been used as a tool in the wrong way, but it’s also been withheld as a way to manipulate and control. Both of these are wrong, sinful even, but I’m not sure that a married couple having sex when the wife says no is rape.

  12. Min, when we marry we are supposed to become one flesh with the other person, but with the majority of people in America not being Christian, many do not do so upon marriage. A good word for these types of marriages would be sham marriages. In these sham marriages, as has been noted, the woman and the man are not one flesh, this makes them two seperate parties, and if two seperate parties have sex and one says no, then it is rape. I would also like to note that true marriages are never abusive, as both parties in such a marriage treat each other as they treat themselves.

    I don’t think that was very clear, so let me extrapolate. Do you believe murder should be punished? Do you still believe murder should be punished even though God told us not to do it and it shouldn’t even exist? The same applies to rape within marriage. God tells us to become one flesh in marriage and therefore rape should not be possible, but people disobey God and do not become one flesh. In which case one side or the other can be raped.

    I hope that made sense

  13. MIn, I agree that there is a lot of pressue on women to give a part of themselves because they fear they may lose the interest of a boy. Unforunately, I have to say I see a lot of those women in my work here. There is a lot of work we can do to build women up from the inside out with a dependancy on God and no other person or idol. I also agree that sex can and has been withheld in the same aspect, but I have to agree with Loc that perhaps those individuals haven’t accepted Christ in to their life. I would hope that those who have would know what He set out for a husband and wife and that rape, with holding of sex would not occur.

  14. I don’t know if they’re truly sham marriages. I’m not persuaded in any direction on them. I know that even in non-Christian marriages many make vows that vow unconditional love (sickness, health, richer, poorer, etc) and that by refusing to have physical relations they are breaking that contract as it were.

    Since the contract is unconditional on both parties, both parties are expected to provide services regardless of what the other party may or may not have done. Now, the law of love would say (as you indicated) that one person would not demand “services rendered” when it’s not appropriate because they love the other person.

    However, this does not change the right to the service.

    An example I think is more appropriate is a contract that I would enter with ACME Website enterprises which entitles me to unlimited access to their website at any time in which the site is up and functioning. Now, ACME could send me an e-mail saying that during a certain period some functionality would be disabled, bad data could be displayed, and it could damage their systems. They instruct me not to access the site during that time. However, my contract says that I may access it at any time the site is up.

    Am I wrong to access the site? It’s not the best for me or ACME. And yet, I have a legal contract that guarantees me service.

    Even the sham marriages have a legal contract (the marriage license) that guarantees “service”, and therefore I do not think that use of the rights granted by the contract can be equated to rape, which in essences is the absence of right to physical intimacy.

    The wife or husband has, through their marriage vows, said that their partner has the right to sex with them; therefore (I believe), without the removal of that right it falls within the person’s right to have sex.

    BUT! I don’t believe that mistreating a wife or husband by forcing sex on them is a good thing to do. I don’t think that forcing shows love. I agree that marriages should never be abusive. I firmly stand behind a wife/husband seeking help from a pastor or whomever to try to confront the husband/wife about what they are doing; however, I don’t think it’s actionable in the court of law, or is rape.

    Does that at least make my position understandable if not something you agree with?

  15. Yes! Your last paragraph communicates that we are more or less understanding each other! :cheerful:

  16. I am still not understanding your position. If marriage is a contract, of sorts, as you stated. Wouldn’t one party failing their side of the contract, failing to love the other member as being deminstrated by forcing sex upon an unwilling partner, free the other party from the obligations of their side of the contract, providing services whenever desired.

  17. Who determines whether or not a partner has failed their side? What are those standards? Biblical? Vows?
    Forcing sex upon someone else is not something that is done out of Love, that is what MIn stated.
    It sounds like you two are on a similar page and getting closer to an understanding.

  18. Loc, I think you’ve zoomed in on the real issue– why did the partner withhold sex? What was the cause? There are some very valid reasons, and then there are wrong reasons.

    You see, I could argue that the spouse that was withholding was in violation because they weren’t showing love either. Love sometimes means doing something that we don’t want to do– putting someone else above ourselves.

    That’s what I see missing, and that’s probably why I can’t say that a spouse that forces another is raping them. Because at that point in time neither are displaying love. Now, the ultimate solution is not forcing ourselves on one another, but seeking help.

    What I’m also nervous of in allowing the rape word to be used in the context of marriage is this: That we’re empowering one person in the couple to say that they have control of when the couple will engage in sexual relations. Odds are the guy is not going to have a problem with it, and he is married. Once you start using a charged word, such as rape, applied to marriage you start down a path saying that the man is not entitled to sex with his wife– it’s something that she has to allow and is in complete control. In essence “your body is mine, and I still have control over my body.” Since this is anti-Biblical and contrary to marriage vows I have to stand against it.

  19. WHoa… I been missin some good conversations.

    Gotta stand with MIN on this one. I also don’t think that there is such a thing as a “sham marriage”. The Lord says in Malachi, that “from the beginning He created them male and female. Causing them to be one flesh, for the purpose of a godly seed.” Whether the family is in the Truth, and recognizes that they have become one flesh or not is irrelevant. Truth is True whether you know it, (believe or understand it) or not.

    Mrs.Meg Logan

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