First we had “legitimate” rape and magical vaginas that repel the sperm of rapists.

Then we learnt that certain girls “rape easy.”

Now another Republican in the USA has made another unfathomable comment about rape that makes you wonder why any American woman in possession of her sanity would even consider voting for Mitt Romney.

Pregnancy that results from rape, according to Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, is… wait for it… God’s will.


Republican senate candidate, Richard Mourdock said pregancies from rape were “something that God intended to happen.” Image via The Atlantic.

The Washington Post reports today that Mourdock said in a debate about abortion last night: “I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God. And I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

Deeply offensive rape comments from Republicans no longer seem like clumsy faux pas from loose cannons but rather a deeply worrying trend.

In August Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin landed himself in hot water when he said that victims of “legitimate” rape rarely fall pregnant because their bodies have a way of preventing the pregnancy.

He said, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

It was a statement so wrong on so many levels that it fed debate for weeks.

Then a couple of weeks ago Wisconsin representative Roger Rivard was caught saying that “some girls rape easy,” the context being that his father gave him advice that consensual sex with some girls could quickly turn to “rape” afterwards.

Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan fell over themselves running away from the remarks, withdrawing their endorsement from all three candidates.

And it would be easy to write all this off as supreme idiocy if Paul Ryan hadn’t promised in the Vice Presidential debate on October 11 to overturn the landmark courtcase Roe V Wade if the Republicans are elected.

Roe V Wade is a complicated ruling but in short, if overturned it would mean the beginning of the end to access to safe and legal abortion.

I’ll say it again: the end to safe and legal abortion. In the year 2012.

According to Planned Parenthood, Vice President Joe Biden has “made it clear that the Obama administration understands that every woman should be able to make her own personal health care decisions with the counsel of her family, faith, and health care provider.”

That is the voice of reason that seeks to maintain the status quo. Republican policy, on the other hand, has wider implications for women’s reproductive rights around the world as Romney has also vowed to reinstate the “global gag rule” which restricts funding to poor countries if it might be used for abortion, or even used to give women advice about contraception.

According to the New York Times a Romney/Ryan ticket would “promote policies abroad that would affect millions of women in the world’s poorest countries, where lack of access to contraception, prenatal care and competent help at childbirth often results in serious illness and thousands of deaths yearly.

“And the wreckage,” it says, “would begin on Day 1 of a Romney administration.
The global gag rule was “the odious restriction that has been used to deny federal money for family-planning work abroad to any organization that provided information, advice, referrals or services for legal abortion or supported the legalization of abortion, even using its own money.”

This means they refuse any funding which might possibly be used to help women control their own fertility. These men are promising to wind back the clock on women’s rights, not only in their own country but wherever US funding may reach.

Twenty years ago as an Australian working in New York City I travelled to Washington DC to march on the Capitol with three quarters of a million men, women and children to protest the possibility that Roe V Wade would be overturned in a Supreme Court challenge.

I carried a sign that said “KEEP YOUR ROSARIES OFF MY OVARIES” and chanted with hundreds of thousands of people about keeping abortion safe and legal.

We felt later, when Roe V Wade was upheld, that we had won and that women’s reproductive freedom – which is at the foundation of all other feminist freedoms – was enshrined.

Now, again, the men who think we can’t take care of our own bodies seek to legislate against them, and to keep us down.

It is nothing short of terrifying.




“I Wanna Be a Babe”

Poverty. We Need Robin Hood

Mary Robinson. How to Change the World


*Lucy (Editor of The Hoopla) is a journalist and editor with almost thirty years experience in newspapers and magazines in Sydney, London, and New York. She has been published in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Daily and Sunday Telegraphs, Vogue Living, Australian Art Review, and Gourmet Traveller. Most recently the Books Editor of the Sunday Telegraph, she has also contributed to the non-fiction books, Australia Through Time, and What Women Want. You can follow her on Twitter: @lucykateclark.


Follow us on


  • Reply October 24, 2012


    what’s even more shitty is being raped, confiding in your strongly religious friends and having them say essentially the same phrase “god only gives us what we can handle, he must know you’re strong enough to cope”

    you know what? no one is strong enough to withstand the emotional and physical torment that follows being raped (i refuse to say rape victim)
    and no one ever should be.

    the idea that god would allow someone to be raped, if they could handle it, is laughable.

    by all means get these people out of places where they can legislate our vaginas. but don’t be shocked that these views exist.

  • Reply October 24, 2012

    Jane Caro

    But if it’s not her will, who cares what someone’s god thinks?

  • Reply October 24, 2012


    So many atrocities are responded to in this way by followers of religion – “it’s God’s will”. I suppose it’s meant as a panacea to try and stop someone from feeling badly done by, but for me it’s just a cop-out. Don’t ever tell me that God planned the loss of a child to test me, or for the child to be with him in Heaven. To excuse man’s inhumanity to his fellow man as part of some mythical plan of a mythical benevolent spiritual entity. I might just tell you where to shove it!

    And I suppose a large proportion of those who support maintaining a pregnancy resulting from rape would be of the Roman persuasion?

  • Reply October 24, 2012


    I am just waiting for another Republican to say that the rape is a less horrible experience if there’s a pregnancy because then there’s a beautiful blessed baby!

  • Reply October 24, 2012


    What’s with it with religion. Are they all nuts. How can anyone educated in the 20th century believe this tripe.

  • Reply October 24, 2012

    sue bell

    they believe it because they are ignorant uneducated americans

  • Reply October 24, 2012


    the scary thing is that many seemingly intelligent, educated people also allow reason and critical thought to be supplanted by ” faith” … even scarier is when they believe they have the right to enforce their views on others.
    let’s remember also that Australia, in response to the ridiculous power weilded by Brian Haradine, likewise restricted aid funding to programmes which educated about contraception, and not that long ago

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Van Essa

    And what if the rape’ee is an athiest and doesn’t believe in God? Does that mean that the religious views of these men over-ride hers? I believe, without a doubt in my mind that politics should be secular.

    I am watching the USA elections with fear. If Romney becomes leader of the mightiest country in the world then I think we need to batten down the hatches.

  • Reply October 25, 2012


    I keep reading things in the news and think …..I have heard and read all now, it could not get any worse……but apparently it does,

    Utter rubbish keeps coming from those at the top who should know better both here and overseas. I guess that people believe the things that they are spouting is even worse.

  • Reply October 25, 2012


    @sue bell. Don’t make this an American thing. We have the same stuff in Australia. The same awful uneducated racist sexist individuals and groups. The same backward approach. By making your statement specific and racial, you are devaluing the point.

  • Reply October 25, 2012


    It really is a phenomenon that I, at least, can not explain. Americans seem to have the most outrageous ideas. Out of all the nations on earth, is there any other that represents such a paradox? Is there another nation that has such rabid notions about god, religion and life?
    They truly are the weird mob….gun toting, bible loving, hypocrisy embracing at it’s most puzzling.
    I shake my head that the nation that landed on the moon is also bats**t crazy.

  • Reply October 25, 2012


    Your right Lucy it is terrifying.

    Romneys running mate Paul Ryan is against abortion under any circumstances, even if the woman is dying & could be saved with an abortion.

  • Reply October 25, 2012


    Don’t think America hasn’t already flexed it’s muscle in poor countries regarding birth control, family planning and abortion. It has, and it’s on record.

  • Reply October 25, 2012


    ” No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her own body.

    Quote : Margaret Sanger

  • Reply October 25, 2012


    God’s Will, how many times have we heard that as an excuse for atrocities and disasters, not to mention human tragedy? From rape to war, earthquakes to floods, accidents and illness to the death of a loved one. (A friend of mine’s mother used God’s Will to explain the still birth of his child!)

    It’s inflammatory, but perhaps God needs to be brought before the International Criminal Court for His crimes against humanity?

  • Reply October 25, 2012


    Here’s another angle for those open minded to read it.

  • Reply October 25, 2012


    I think the U.S. is a very scary place. I was there recently for five weeks and there were mass shootings each week in every area I had visited. My bags were burgled twice in layovers in Dallas (the bags were locked) and now I see a TSA official has been charged. Obama is saying he will introduce less strict gun laws. I also query the fairy tale beliefs in a mystical being in the clouds by all leaders and question their intelligence to run a country. Religion is the opiate of the people, and if there is a life hereafter, why do people fight to stay alive? Whilst there is belief of god in any religion there will always be wars, women will never be equal and nutters will rule.

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Kevin Coffey

    Question to Senate candidate Richard Mourdock.
    Could you explain who Cain and Able procreated with if it wasn’t their sisters? You guys really haven’t thought this through. I can just hear them now “I did not have sexual relations with my sister”
    Good luck all you civilised Americans. Make sure you get out and vote. For all our sakes please.

  • Reply October 25, 2012


    These men frighten me. They sound crazy. They obviously have no idea and so use religion to form an argument/opinion!
    How can they make these statements and not flinch ? Are they on drugs?????

  • Reply October 25, 2012


    With all that is being said, it comes down to one thing. The right to make decisions for ourselves, no matter what sex we are, where we live, what religion we are and certainly what socio economic group we fit into, for far too long we have given away our power by voting for men and women who don’t have a clue, how is it that we give away our power?

    • Reply October 25, 2012


      gardnerm – well said. Most people are very easily lead I think – that is why they give away their power. It is also why they believe the rubbish the commercial press sprouts. Some great comments here today on this subject.

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    coffee needed

    Republicans in the US are as scary as Tony
    Abbott over here in regards to female reproduction rights. Let us pray that common sense prevails

  • Reply October 25, 2012


    The scary thing is that this is not just rhetoric, these men actually believe in magical sperm repelling wombs and all the rest of this tripe they are spouting.

    On one hand it’s a comfort to hear them expressing these views so openly, because it’s losing them both credibility and votes the longer it goes on, but on the other hand it’s incredibly disturbing that this kind of mindset is becoming so mainstream and that these men are so very dismissive of the very real problems that women face and overcome every single day of their lives.

    I hope this time next year to be living in a world where neither Mitt Romney nor Tony Abbott have been elected to hold the highest office in their respective lands, because neither of them have shown the most important qualities for a leader; The ability to see past their own rhetoric and represent all people, not just the ones who look, talk and think like them…

  • Reply October 25, 2012


    Thanks Joni, I have no personal experience with either rape or abortion, but that was beautiful to read

    • Reply October 25, 2012


      I thought so too. Sometimes good can come out of evil. Just saying.

  • Reply October 25, 2012


    The more I look up Paul Ryan ( Romneys running mate), the more horrified I get.

    ” Rape is just another method of conception ”

    Quote : Paul Ryan in interview 23/8/2012

    He has voted for the ” Protect Life Act” which failed to be passed in the house.
    Nancy Pelosi , former Democrat speaker, stated that this Act , if passed, would let pregnant women ” Die on the Floor”

    He also supports the ” Sanctity of Human Life Act “, which is an anti abortion bill that life begins at fertilisation , called “personhood “, this Bill outlaws abortion, criminalises contraception.
    He also wants to de-fund planned parenthood programs.

    It seems that overturning Roe v Wade plus these other Bills will always be on the Republican Agenda.

  • Reply October 25, 2012


    Indeed very scary people. If this is their view one wonders why we are in Afghanistan don’t the Taliban have essentially the same views towards woman.One can only hope the Americans who manage to vote can see further than their wallets and more towards compassion.

  • Reply October 25, 2012


    what the hell is wrong with these non thinking easily lead morons,,,,,,, what would their reaction be if one of these idiots daughters got raped,,,,, oh geez I just want to scream at the amount of moronic twits that breath the air that is so important for us free thinking smart educated people,,,, we are the one that have to go and fix up all their crap after they have been in power,,,,,,,,,, idiots idiots

  • Reply October 25, 2012


    religion has no place in politics. i will say it again – religion has no place in politics. religion is a choice and should stay that way. i thought the us was all about freedom and this is why they wade in on religious fights overseas.
    mitt romney is like many americans, uninformed and closed minded. after visiting the us a couple of years ago i was gobsmacked at how little the average american knows about world affairs. if its not on their doorstep then they dont know about it.
    one wonders how he would feel were his daughter raped. would he be so forgiving?

  • Reply October 25, 2012


    It is disturbing to think about the flow on effects here in Australia should they win office. These men really do hate women with a passion. Their agenda is to control women’s bodies; life itself is not their concern. They demonstrate an appalling lack of social obligation to children already born, not to mention their total disregard for the well being and health of over half their population. It is frustrating to sit here reading about this relentless war on women, and worrying to think about how many here in Australia might support such views that these Republicans express.

    • Reply October 28, 2012


      Agree with everything you’ve said, so help us if the NLP with Captain Foot In Mouth aka Tony at the helm, win.

      I seem to remember that it was TA who was pushing the “Intelligent Design” rubbish – he and the Republicans seem to have got their misinformation from the same place.

  • Reply October 26, 2012


    What if it isn’t about a few nutters What if the aim of the game is to replace the constitution with the bible.

    The rhetoric is coming from the religious right. These people are religious in the sense they go to church to be seen to be good people and thump on about God and what the bible says.

    It is well to remember that the church once dominated everybody’s lives. Henry V111 could probably tell us a thing or two about the Pope’s authority for instance.

    Start up a religion and feed off your flock! Get rich quick! All you have to do is have a conference and get on the speaking circuit, wave your arms about and sound holier than thou. Some of the churches have been at it longer that’s all.

    Not liking this one bit. Can’t help thinking there’s got to be more to it.

  • Reply October 26, 2012


    This is not a purely American issue. In Nov 2011 Cairns Post (News Ltd) journalist Gavin King wrote an article suggesting that women who drink to excess are partly to blame if they get raped or assaulted. Despite the uproar to these comments, Gavin King was not removed as LNP candidate for the seat of Cairns which he went on to win. Welcome to the 1950’s Cairns.
    All those who may wish to vote for Tony Abbott in the next federal election should watch what is happening in Queensland under “can do” absolutely anything, Newman.

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    Annie Also

    I am so relieved by the comments here. I thought after this piece there would be a whole heap of god-botherers screaming their nonsense.
    If we could just start at the beginning of one premise; there is no god, then all the other stuff the Religious say and think and believe and want to enforce becomes null and void.
    If we watch America we can learn that we are headed in the same direction. If we get a ‘god-fearing Catholic’ as a PM then we will really following the CON-servative line…
    If a PM who is an atheist cannot legalise Marriage Equality, or withdraw our troups from a stupid senseless war, who can ignore the plight of single parents trying to raise their children alone, or allow Chaplains into our public schools, then I despair at what Abbott would do!
    If the CON-servative Premiers can cut support for those in most need, can ignore the needs of those most requiring help, etc then why can’t people see what is ahead for Australia?
    Its impossible to change the minds of stupid people. Once the ignorant hear something and believe it there is no way they can become informed.

  • Reply October 26, 2012


    Watching Obama on the Jay Leno show was a huge relief, leaving aside the Donald Trump ridiculousness as we all should.

    Jay asked him about the comments from the republicans and Obama replied, rape is rape, rape is a crime, and politicians who are male should not be interfering in womens reproductive rights… then he had to stop to allow the cheering from the female audience members to die down.

    Hallelujah! Finally someone who gets it! If you haven’t seen it go watch it on youtube. It will make you feel better about the future of humankind.

  • Reply October 27, 2012


    Obama is intelligent. His opposition isn’t. I’ll be watching this election with interest. How did it come to this though. Is the religious right setting itself up against the Muslim brotherhood and if so why are women the scapegoats.

    Make no mistake. Women’s rights are on the firing line.

  • Reply November 1, 2012


    […] Rape Pregnancy: “God’s Will” […]

  • […] Rape Pregnancy: “God’s Will” […]

  • Reply November 23, 2012


    […] Rape Pregnancy: “God’s Will” […]

  • Reply November 26, 2012


    […] Rape Pregnancy: “God’s Will” […]

  • Reply November 28, 2012


    […] Rape Pregnancy: “God’s Will” […]

  • Reply December 13, 2012


    […] Rape Pregnancy: “God’s Will” […]

  • Reply January 18, 2013


    […] I’m Not a Feminist, But… […]

  • Reply January 20, 2013


    So a .357 Magnum thru this morons head would be “God’s will”. Just saying – which crimes are just crimes and which are “God’s will?”

  • Reply March 14, 2013


    […] Rape Pregnancy: “God’s Will” […]

  • […] Rape Pregnancy “God’s Will” […]

Leave a Reply