MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry delivered an on-air open letter to Richard Mourdock Saturday morning.
Mourdock, a Republican Senate candidate from Indiana, has drawn harsh criticism from both sides of the political spectrum following comments he made at a question and answer session regarding abortion.
“The only exception I have to have an abortion is in the case of the life of the mother. I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God. I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
On Saturday morning Harris-Perry, a sexual assault survivor, called out Richard Mourdock for his views on abortion and rape on MSNBC and talked about what it means to be a survivor:
“Sometimes I still flinch when I’m touched a certain way, even if it’s the loving embrace of my husband … Even some seasons of the year are harder for me. Those of us who are sexual assault survivors call these triggers. We spend our lives — the lives we lead after the attack — avoiding and managing these triggers.”
Harris-Perry then equated Mourdock’s beliefs about abortion to the act of rape itself:
“You see, Mr. Mourdock, the violation of rape is more than physical. Rapists strip women of our right to choose, of our right to say no, of our right to control what is happening to our bodies. Most assailants tell us it is our fault. They tell us to be silent. Sometimes they even tell us it’s God’s will …That is the core violation of rape – it takes away choice. Richard, you believe it is fine to ignore a woman’s right to choose because of your interpretation of divinity. Sound familiar?”
She then further addressed Mourdock’s specific claim that such pregnancies are a “gift from God”:
“When we survive sexual assault, we are the gift. When we survive, when we go on to love, to work, to speak out, to have fun, to laugh, to dance, to cry, to live, when we do that, we defeat our attackers … For a moment, they strip us of our choices. As we heal, we take our choices back. We are the gift to ourselves, our families, our communities, and our nation when we survive.”
Harris-Perry then proclaimed to Mourdock and all his “shameless endorsers” that she would not be giving up her right to choose without a fight.
You can read Melissa Harris-Perry’s complete letter to Richard Mourdock at tv.msnbc.com. What do you think of her statements? Is it wrong to compare Mourdock’s belief that a woman should be forced to carry her pregnancy to term with the actions of the rapist who impregnated her?