Letter to the Editor

Questions on abortion exception

Quick set of questions for those who say they favor a ban on abortions but who will allow an exception for a rape-caused pregnancy.

Under the ban-with-exception, if a pregnant woman seeks an abortion but does not claim to have been raped, it is a given that the ban will not permit the procedure. But what if she does claim that a rape occurred? Will the law just take her word for it? If she is found to be lying about being violated and nevertheless gets the abortion, it is a given that she is in trouble, is it not? But what if she is not lying and the law has not yet caught the rapist? The law would require the conviction of the rapist to establish the fact of the rape, would it not?

Even if he were caught at the scene, due process (5th and 14th Amendments) would hold that until he is convicted, it has not yet been established that he is the rapist. But time is moving along, ticktock, ticktock. His attorney could, and most probably would, delay the proceedings well past the birth. If the rapist were not caught, how would the victim then establish to the law's satisfaction that a rape actually occurred?

It seems to me that the ban-with-exception would permit a rape victim to procure an abortion only after the most favorable and startlingly unexpected chain of events had occurred. Such a law would not be efficacious medicine but rather a mere placebo. Tell me where I am wrong.

DONN S. MILLER, Tamms, Ill.