Victims of Rap

Abortion is a resource and a stake in struggles of religion, crime, politics, health, freedom, equality and power . This paper discusses whether it would affect the moral arguments if the law on abortion is carried out only on victims of rape and concludes in the affirmative.

Philosophers hold divergent views on the separating law and morals but the prevailing position is that law is interconnected to morality in establishing virtues that are related to the common good. This does not mean that positive human law should proscribe all vices nor command all virtues but it must rather prohibit only the grosser failings of mankind which threaten the very survival of society and commands those virtues which can be ordained by human means to the common good . Thus, any law that does not benefit the majority is considered as an unjust, discriminatory and immoral.

It is an undisputable fact that victims of rape go through myriads of trauma including emotional (guilt, shame, self-blame, fear, distrust, anger etc), psychological (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, low self-esteem etc) and physical (physical injury, concerns about pregnancy or contracting an STI or HIV etc). In some extreme cases, some health outcomes can be fatal such as suicide, homicide, maternal mortality and AIDS related deaths .

The pertinent question is this; what happens to all potential abortion seekers who may not be victims of rape if the law on abortion is left to only victims of rape? For instance, where incest has been committed, cases of child abuse, where the life of the pregnant woman is at risk, where the child will suffer serious physical, mental and genetic defects, and where the woman needs abortion for social reasons such as poverty and the mother being too young to cope with a child . Are these situations not compelling enough to allow for abortion? And would that not lead to discrimination and injustice on the part of the state to do so? The answer is obviously in the affirmative.

Although it is conceded that abortion law should be sufficient to place some limits on access, however these limits must be transparent, rational, and proportionate and one cannot be faulted to state that limiting law on abortion to only victims of rape at the expense of other equally compelling circumstances sins against the moral argument. In line with the above preposition, section 58(2) (a) and (b) of the Criminal code of 1960, makes provision for other abortion seekers to have abortion aside victims of rape to include incest, defilement of a female idiot and where it is established that the continuance of the pregnancy will risk the life of the pregnant woman or cause physical or mental injury to her . This provision to a large extent avoids the moral criticisms of discrimination and injustice and therefore alleviates the allegations against the moral argument in limiting the law on abortion to rape cases.

In conclusion, it would affect the moral argument if the law on abortion is carried out only on victims of rape as there are other compelling cases which would be shunned as enumerated above.