Mexico’s Guanajuato Bans Abortion for Rape Cases

Just a few weeks after National Action Party (PAN) candidate Vincente Fox stunned Mexican politics by unseating the PRI party in presidential elections, PAN legislators in the state of Guanajuato raised long-standing concerns about the party by voting to ban abortion in the cases of rape. PAN has a history of being closely allied with the Roman Catholic Church and of being very socially conservative.

In a statement issued by the PAN legislators, they said, “As legislators, we have to consider not only the damage and pain of a woman who has been raped, but the greater evil that would occur with the death of an innocent minor.”

In most of Mexico’s 31 states, abortion is legal in instances of rape or when the mother’s life is in danger, but in some states it is outlawed and punishable by up to five years in jail for the mother and 10 years in jail for the doctor who performs the abortion.

This April a controversy errupted in the state of Baja California when a 14-year old who had been raped was refused an abortion at a hospital. When the mother and daughter went to complaint to the state’s attorney general, he took the mother and daughter to a Roman Catholic priest who tried to talk the girl and mother out of having an abortion.


Mexican northern state bans abortion in rape cases.

The “Good Rape”: The Vagina Monologues Returns

Even if I tried, I don’t think I could write a parody of the contemporary feminist movement that accomplished half of what The Vagina Monologues did last year. For those of you who haven’t yet heard of this play, the Vagina Monologues features women representing vaginas who talk about their experiences onstage. The premise is typically wacky, and meant to focus on issues of domestic violence.

The play earned a lot of criticism, however, for its positive portrayal of the statutory rape of a 13 year old girl by a 24 year old woman. At the conclusion of that scene, the 13 year old girl tells the audience that it might have been rape, but “well, I say if it was rape, it was a good rape.” If a male playwright depicted the statutory rape of a 13 year old girl by a 24 year old man and then had the girl say that if it was rape, it was a good rape, feminists would never stop grousing about the play (and rightly so), but as is typical among leftist movements, the same rules simply don’t apply to feminists. That part of the play reached national attention when a male columnist at Georgetown’s student newspaper was fired for writing a column asking if there was such a thing as a “good rape” (in the official explanation of his dismissal, the paper complained the student had attacked “a women’s issue on campus.”)

Anyway, Feminist.Com is trying to arrange for colleges and universities to perform the play on V-Day. V-Day is the radical feminist attempt to redefine Valentine’s Day. According to a Feminist.Com press release, “V-Day is still Valentine’s Day. But the “V” now also stands for vagina, anti-violence and victory.”

With backing from Planned Parenthood and others, the goal is to have The Vagina Monologues produced at campuses around the nation. The open question is whether or not they’ll get to portray the “good rape” scene. Wendy McElroy in a column for LewRockwell.Com notes that the Feminist.Com press release specifically warns colleges thinking about performing the play that they will be given a special script and,

You must use the version of the script of “The Vagina Monologues” that is included in the Performance Kit that you will receive. No other version of the play is acceptable for your production. Do not use the book of the play or versions of the script from previous College Initiatives. The new script must be followed. You may not edit any introductions or monologues. And you may not exclude or change the order of any of the monologues.

McElroy speculates that the V-Day folks want to do a little rewriting of history and exclude the now infamous “good rape” scene.

Either way, the play and the reactions to it will provide yet more examples of the intellectually bankrupt nature of the radical feminist enterprise. Take this quote, included in the Feminist.Com press, from a woman who staged the play, release intended to show the life altering potential The Vagina Monologues possesses:

“Overall, I loved how I felt being part of a movement that empowers women. During the months leading up to the performances, and especially during the few weeks just prior to the event, I relished in the fact that I was able to use the word “vagina” in my everyday vocabulary. Every time I saw a cast member on campus, we would speak loudly and confidently about how excited we were to be part of “The VAGINA Monologues.” During staff meetings and in casual conversation with College Deans, I would ask of they were going to attend “The VAGINA Monologues.” In dining halls, the campus store, in libraries, bars and restaurants, it was my favorite topic of conversation. Because of the College Initiative, I said VAGINA at least a dozen times a day for two months, and I was able to reclaim it as a word.”

All that rhetoric about seeing women as more than sex objects and respecting women as moral, social and political equals; now it turns out that the big message of radical feminism is that women are nothing more than sex objects after all (who can benefit from a “good rape” even), and the path to liberation is saying “vagina” three times.

Saddam Hussein Allegedly Using Rape for Political Purposes

The UK Sunday Times recently reported allegations that Iraqi dictator is using rape to intimidate opponents of his regime living outside of Iraq. The charges come from former Iraqi general Najib Salahi who fled Iraq in 1995 and now lives in Jordan.

According to Salahi, somebody sent him a videotape depicting an Iraqi intelligence officer raping one of Salahi’s female relatives. Salahi claims, and the Times quotes unnamed Washington sources as confirming, that other high ranking Iraqi defectors outside of that country have received similar videotapes depicting the rape of close female relatives.

If Salahi’s story is accurate, this is a clear case of a war crime and the members of the Iraqi state could and should face trial for instituting a policy of using rape as an instrument of terror. The United States is currently trying to bring a crimes against humanity prosecution against the Iraqi state and Salahi says he is willing to allow the videotape to be played in court as evidence of Iraq’s crimes at such at trial.


Saddam blackmails rebels with rape. Marie Colvin. The Sunday Times (UK). July 9, 2000.

Rapists, Thieves and Logical Fallacies

A recent study of 40 convicted rapists in the Virginia Prison system is yielding calls to expand the collection of DNA samples from convicted criminals to include those convicted of property crimes such as burglary. Unfortunately, the call for increased DNA collections is based largely on a logical fallacy.

The study examined rapists in Virginia who were convicted based in part on samples of DNA that had been taken from previous crimes. In 60% of the cases, the DNA sample had been collected following a previous conviction for a sexual assault, but in 40% of the cases the DNA had been collected following a conviction for a property crime such as burglary. Although the study has a relatively small sample with only 40 men, it agrees with other studies that find a large percentage of rapists tend to commit other sorts of crimes before committing rape. A study of British rapists, for example, found that more than 75% of them had committed property crimes before committing rape, with the obvious implication being that a significant number of rapes are committed by opportunistic burglars.

On the one hand these studies and others effectively debunk the radical feminist claim that rape is simply an extreme expression of normal male sexuality, and that all men, therefore, are potential rapists capable of sexual violence. In fact, as the Virginia and the UK studies demonstrate, rapists tend to come from a hard core group of career criminals who likely commit numerous acts of crime before moving on to rape. The typical rapist is very different from the average man on the street, and the claim that all men are potential rapists is nothing but a myth.

On the other hand, does this study really mean that it makes sense to take DNA samples from burglars and others convicted of property crimes. No, not unless the rules of logic have suddenly been overturned. Those arguing in favor of widespread DNA collection from burglars are guilty of a logical fallacy known as the undistributed middle. Just because all geese are birds, it doesn’t logically follow that all birds are geese. Similarly, just because a large percentage of rapists are also thieves, it does not follow that a large percentage of thieves are also rapists.

In fact a cursory glance at recent crime statistics shows the inherent problems with trying to catch rapists by DNA testing of thieves. For 1998, the last year for which statistics are available, the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ surveys estimates there were 4.1 million attempted or completed burglaries and 51,000 attempted or completed rapes and sexual assaults. These figures include rapes and sexual assaults not reported to police, but lets assume that half of rape victims not only don’t report rapes to police but also are unwilling to tell an anonymous survey of their rape. If there are 100,000 rapes each year, then there are about 41 times as many burglaries as rapes. Finally, even figuring in the issue of the same person committing multiple burglaries and/or multiple rapes, the population of thieves who are not rapists is still 8 or 9 times larger than the population of thieves who are also rapists, even if we assume that all rapists are thieves.

From a purely financial perspective, taking DNA samples, processing them at a laboratory, and then maintaining them in a computer database is a very expensive proposition to collect the minority of burglars who go on to commit rape; money that could probably be better used on more traditional methods of crime prevention.

Moreover, there’s an additional problem that relates to issues of statistical probability. Everyone’s familiar with the claims that if two random DNA samples are tested and they appear to be identical, the odds that they are not is astronomically high. The problem is that this is only accurate so long as investigators are comparing two random pieces of DNA. If police compare a DNA sample of semen following a rape with the DNA of the chief suspect who lives in the neighborhood and can’t account for his actions at the time of the rape, that is a statistically sound use of DNA. But when police start taking that DNA sample and comparing it to a DNA database of millions of individuals (and if DNA is taken from all people convicted of felony property crimes, that will quickly become a very large database), the probability that a match is a false positive starts to increase relatively rapidly.

A couple of features of DNA collection and crime patterns make such a false positive even more likely. In order to save money on DNA samples, different states actually do very different DNA tests. Rather than analyze the whole string of DNA, such tests look at a number of well-known markers, and to save money further, many states only look at five or six of these markers rather than seven or eight. Of course, the fewer number of marks examined, the higher the risk of a false positive.

Similarly, the astronomical odds assume an even distribution of genes, but this is unlikely to be true. Crime patterns in the United States tend to be disproportionately skewed against African Americans — i.e. a burglar is far more likely to be black than white in proportion to the overall racial makeup of the United States. There are numerous genetic differences that occur in African Americans that don’t occur in Caucasians. We know, for example, that the genes for sickle cell anemia occur almost exclusively in African Americans. Unfortunately this further raises the risk among African Americans that there might be false positives, since the astronomical odds assume that the genes of whites and blacks are evenly distributed in the database, even though they we know this is not the case.

These sorts of problems recently culminated in a false positive DNA match in Great Britain which has already gone a long way to creating a huge national database of DNA on most individuals arrested and convicted of crimes (fortunately for him, the man in question had an airtight alibi — he was in jail at the time on another charge!)

Collecting DNA from everyone convicted of property crimes is likely to be an extremely expensive proposition that will only marginally increase the ability of police to catch rapists, while at the same time dramatically increasing the risk of a false allegation and conviction for rape. Moreover, once it becomes general knowledge that DNA databases don’t really do much to improve the arrest rate for rape, as in Europe the push will occur to expand such testing to everyone ever arrested (a proposition for which police in New York and elsewhere are already clamoring for) or for DNA testing of the general population, which European nations have also started to adopt although it generally costs a lot of money and rarely results in an any arrests much less convictions.

Rather than take DNA from burglars, a better bet might be to make sure people convicted of serious sexual assault spend more time in jail. Much more frightening than the fact that 40% of rapists in Virginia had previously been convicted of property crimes is that 60% of them had been convicted of a previous sexual assault. Given limited funds, reducing recidivism among those convicted of rape or sexual assault would seem a better avenue to reduce rape incidence than randomly testing the DNA of millions of petty criminals.

False Accusations of Rape: Follow the Evidence, Not the Ideology

Traditional feminists often argue that law enforcement agencies still don’t take rape accusations seriously, but I’d argue the pendulum has swung too far the other way today — law enforcement agencies tend to be not skeptical enough these days because they fear appearing politically incorrect. Such was certainly the case in King County where prosecutors were recently forced to drop rape and assault charges against a ferry captain.

A woman, whose name newspapers still won’t publish even though she clearly lied about her alleged rape, claimed the ferry captain attacked her with a knife and sure enough she had requisite wounds on her shoulders. Police should have been a bit more suspicious, though, when the alleged victim told them that she bled profusely for more than 30 minutes in the suspect’s truck, but they found not traces of her blood in the truck.

How could that happen? That’s simple — the “knife wounds” were the result of any stabbing, but rather of a surgical process. The woman went to a medical center and had incisions on her shoulders to relieve abscesses which left the “knife wounds.” The prosecutors should have been able to tell the difference between surgical incisions and a stabbing wound from a knife, but apparently were in such a rush to convict the ferry captain that they didn’t bother to pay close attention (and moreover, refused to promptly release anything but Polaroid shots of the alleged victims wounds to the defense).

It goes without saying that the automatic suspicion and derision that many rape victims used to endure was wrong, but so is the current tendency to assume, as the feminist extremists tell us, that women never lie about rape and that every rape accusation should be practically treated as proof enough of a man’s guilt. Let the evidence speak rather than ideological pre-suppositions about men and women.


Rape case falls apart: skipper may be released. Tracy Johnson, Seattle Post-Intelligence Reporter, June 7, 2000.

Accused Rapist Gets Disability Benefits

The Washington Post recently reported (DNA Tested In Sex Abuse Case Against Ex-Fairfax Principal) on the case of former high school principal Anthony Rizzo Jr. A former student of Rizzo’s claimed he sexually assaulted her hundreds of times, but two separate trials have resulted in hung juries due largely to a lack of physical evidence against Rizzo.

The bizarre part of the case is that after he was fired, Rizzo filed for and now receives benefits from the state for a peculiar disability — Rizzo claims he has a “psychosexual disorder” that compels him to sexually harass any women that he supervises. After Rizzo was fired by his school in 1989 for sexually harassing female teachers he supervised, Rizzo filed for the benefits and won them on a technicality when the state of Virginia missed a deadline to reach a decision his absurd claim.

Virginia is now forced to try to demonstrate that Rizzo no longer has a compulsion to sexually harass female employees. It recently stopped his benefits after Rizzo’s lawyer advised him to invoke his Fifth Amendment right during a state psychologist’s examination to determine if he still suffered from his “psychosexual disorder.” Rizzo is suing to get the payments reinstated.

Only in America could you simultaneously have a sexual harassment witch hunt that attempts to criminalize all sexual speech in the work space, while at the same time financially rewarding a man who admits he attempts to coerce sex from female employees.