A 13 year old was raped by a complete stranger and forced to give birth to a baby boy before entering high school in the state of Mississippi. 14 state laws banning abortion have gone into effect with Mississippi's last abortion clinic closing in the summer of 2022. The girls mother, unable to take time off to drive out of state or afford the abortion itself has been resigned by the Republican party to let her daughter suffer the pain of childbirth.
The mother and daughter, who we'll call Ashley, found out that Ashley was pregnant when she began vomiting uncontrollably and was taken to the hospital. Her bloodwork showed that she was pregnant. Despite the fact that Mississippi anti-abortion law has exceptions in the case of rape or life threatening pregnancy, the bureaucracy required to qualify makes this option functionally useless. Mississippi has only made two exceptions since the abortion ban went into effect and the state requires the rape to be reported to law enforcement to meet the legal qualifications.
Nationwide, rape is underreported. Approximately one in six women and one in twenty one men will be raped during their lifetimes. However, it is not necessarily in the best interest of victims to report rape. Only 5.7% of rape incidents lead to arrest, only 1.1% of incidents are referred to a prosecutor, and only 0.7% are convicted of a felony. This leads to an epidemic of rapists walking free and continuing to victimize the vulnerable. Republicans have now ensured that victims are more likely to die as a result of child birth, forced into poverty if they can't afford a child at the moment, and forced to have a constant reminder of their victimization through an unwanted child.
Do they take delight in this suffering? Is suffering the point of their legislation? Or do they view this suffering as a grim responsibility they have to their religious and moral duties? The answer appears to be the former.
The CEO of conservative "satirical" magazine The Babylon Bee couldn't contain his disdain for the victim and felt the need to performatively give an endzone dance on twitter. Dillon's comment shows the mind and worldview of Republican's quite clearly. They care nothing of the suffering, both mentally and physically, that a woman goes through during child birth. A 13-year old girl barely qualifies as a woman and is still most certainly a child. Not only could she have died in the operating procedure, her 9 months leading up to this moment were likely filled with panic, anxiety, and dread, not to mention the physical aspects of pregnancy like morning sickness, vomiting, cravings, and mood swings. Not to mention the direct and very real trauma from rape itself. This pain will take a long time to heal and having deplorable Republicans mock you publicly and celebrate your trials and tribulations is far from an emotional pick me up.
Conservative values feign virtue but delight in suffering. Their words are filled with hypocrisy and venom. An estimated 25 million women ages 15 to 33 live in states with heavy abortion restrictions.
Black women are 4 times more likely to die from pregnancy related complications and 60% of abortions are done by people of color with half living below the federal poverty line.
Luckily, Ashley has survived the birth and gave birth to a healthy baby. Yet the conservatives who mock her will ignore that a girl of 13 had to describe the birth as "painful" and if her family couldn't afford an abortion in the first place, one more mouth to feed will make the future all the more challenging.