To the Editor
Rape is history's most effective, cynical and deadly wedge issue. Because most people can imagine themselves or someone close to them pregnant by rape, raising this repugnant specter renders the humanity of the prenatal child irrelevant, regardless of ethical principles. As with other "hard case" wedges, it is only the power to control one's own situation that matters when such emotional possibilities are presented.
The nature of the unborn baby, the only reason to oppose abortion, is unchanged by rape. The child is actually a second victim of the crime. Exceptions for rape call for a sellout on principle. The weakening or demolition of protective laws by demands for rape or other exceptions has turned the vast majority of abortion victims into collateral damage at rates approaching one hundred percent. These children are the primary victims of the wedge. But those who have morally degraded themselves by falling for such ploys are secondary victims.
From the false claim of rape in Roe v. Wade to the federal government's coercing of the states over Medicaid, the rape wedge has been standard operating procedure for abortion zealots. Those who deal in wedge issues know that when it comes to Number One they can count on many to spurn principle and revert to outcome-based morality.