In Chile there’s an 11-year-old girl impregnated by her mother’s boyfriend, and doctors say the pregnancy is putting the child’s life at risk. But Chile has very strict abortion laws that make no provision for life of the mother, not to mention rape. And it appears the government is not going to make an exception in her case.
In a way it’s a shame the child’s plight has been made public, because Chile has the highest abortion rate in Latin America. Chilean women are getting abortions; they just aren’t getting them legally. But if this child’s very public pregnancy were to suddenly go away, she’d probably be arrested.
Could this happen here? Hell, yes. Some of the troglodytes sincerely believe that there are no circumstances in which a pregnancy has to be terminated to save the mother; that “life of the mother” is just a dodge for the abortion industry. (And if you want to read something really twisted, here’s a creep arguing against termination of ectopic pregnancy.) So, yeah, there are people Out There who would make the U.S. the Chile of the North.
It seems to me that a lot of right-wing politicians are playing at a kind of abortion brinksmanship these days. How far can they go to please their atavistic base without completely blowing it with general election voters? Obviously Todd Akin and Joe Walsh went too far. But Marco Rubio is planning to introduce a 20-week abortion ban in the Senate that makes no provision for health of the mother. Rape, incest, and life of the mother are too close to the brink, but eliminating the health exception might be enough to show he is serious.