Gordon Campbell covers some pretty good points from Alison McCulloch about why we here in NZ shouldn’t be too “oh, you stupid Americans” over Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments:
Unlike in the US, where … thanks to the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v Wade, abortion is legal to around 24 weeks, our Crimes Act covers abortion at all stages of pregnancy, and abortion is only legal under a narrow set of grounds, of which rape is not one.
So there you go, proud Kiwis skiting to your international friends about our liberal ways and great track record on progressive issues. US abortion law is (in this one respect, at least) better than ours. Want to know why?
The 1977 Royal Commission on abortion, on which our current laws are based, actually made an argument frighteningly similar to the one Todd Akin is now furiously backing away from.
In its report, the Commission noted, citing some questionable sources, that among a “considerable number of rape victims” there was a “very low incidence of pregnancy”.
Even worse, it went on to argue that if rape were a ground for abortion, women would simply lie about being raped.
How do you like that, New Zealanders?