What Makes People Do Silly things?

I am currently traveling in Europe.  News travels.  Ridiculous news travels even faster.  Say hello to Todd Aken.

Senate candidate Todd Aken opened mouth and inserted foot.  (Did I mention Republican candidate Todd Aken?)  For anyone and especially politicians that is not hard to do.  It seems Americans expect their candidates to know everything there is to know about everything.  We are human, you know, and to misspeak is not that hard to do.

There are two conditions that make it incredibly easy to misspeak.  The first condition is when someone is pandering.  This means someone is saying something because he expects his audience to like that type of reply.  The words just jump out with no mental processing like “what did I just say”?

The second condition is even more dangerous.  This involves someone who just holds a “flat earth” type of view.  This group of people think they are smarter than their listeners and can talk their way around any obvious holes in their view.

The first condition is about the fool in all of us, and the second is about people unfit for public office.

So, by now everyone knows Todd Aken told a clever interviewer, that there were degrees or types of rape.  If someone was really raped, their body would naturally prevent conception.  So believing that a woman does not have a right to choose, even in cases of rape or incest, was in Aken’s mind sound.

It is certainly defensible to be against abortion and strive to see the number of abortions reduced.  What is in question is who decides whether an abortion is an option, the woman or others?

There are many ways to approach this argument.  Most people think that if a mother’s life is in jeopardy, she has the right to end the pregnancy.  (Most people but not all.)  How can someone take the position that they have more right to choose who lives than the mother in question?

From saving the mother’s life, it flows to rape and incest where the woman did not voluntarily become pregnant.  Why should she carry to full term?  Who of us has the right to force her when she did not ask to be pregnant in the first place?

Now the slippery slope comes to degrees of voluntary intercourse where pregnancy was not the goal but it happened anyway.  Why should it not be the woman’s call to end the pregnancy if she does not want to commit to raising a child at this point in her life?

The usual argument says the fetus has rights too.  Ending life is an important decision with large ethical and moral tones.  Yet, I come back to the same issue.  The pregnancy is real for the woman.  She may be choosing to say “not now” (because I am a student, new employee, have other responsibilities, etc).  How can any of us say to her “you must”?

The situation people like Aken get themselves into is that the simplest logic suggests no to ending pregnancy in all cases will provide the greatest strength to the unwanted pregnancy case.  Life is just not that black and white.

Fundamentally, the issue rests upon the fact that only the pregnant person has a right to decide.  The rest of us can encourage, either way.  The women is the only one who can get pregnant and it is her body.

The Akens of this world have gotten their wires crossed.  They have lost sensitivity and with it, sound judgement.  Views like this (that he can pronounce whether someone could or could not end their pregnancy) are basically flawed.  If they are flawed on this subject, what else are they flawed on?

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