“The damage has already been done”

We were stunned by the heartless rationale and poor judgment the Freedom Foundation’s so-called “Director of Labor Policy” Maxford Nelsen displayed when weighing in on women’s health issues. We think many in the Northwest may feel the same way.

In a column written a few years back for The Whitworthian, Nelsen defended failed Indiana senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who famously sunk his campaign with this statement: “…life is that gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

While the rest of the nation was reeling at the shocking ignorance of Mourdock’s statement, Maxford Nelsen rushed to vindicate him.  In his article, “Rape and Abortion: Harder, But Still Wrong,” Nelsen asserts that in the case of pregnancy by rape, abortion is still unacceptable.  And that, “Mourdock’s main point is consistent and defensible.”

Drawing on anti-abortion dogma and stony debate logic, Nelsen claims that rape is traumatic, but just because a woman is victimized, it still doesn’t give her the freedom of choice.  After all, he says, once a woman becomes pregnant through rape, “the damage has already been done.”

If you did a double-take on that last quote, like we did, we’ll repeat. Max Nelsen actually wrote that abortion in the case of a pregnancy caused by rape is wrong because “the damage has already been done.”

Lest we think him heartless, he offers, “Yes, it would be difficult to look a rape-victim in the face and tell her that she had no choice but to carry the unwanted child of her rapist…” But according to his column, that’s exactly what should happen.  Seeming to add the heinous implication that the child somehow belongs to the rapist.

The bombshell of Nelsen’s abhorrent article comes as his employer, the Freedom Foundation, struggles to maintain a shred of respectability in the Northwest.  Their website claims each member of their team is “advancing our mission to make our country a better place for people to live, work, and flourish.” But leaders of the Foundation have also disparaged women’s groups and reproductive health centers, while sharing funding with deceptive, anti-choice “Crisis Pregnancy Centers.” With this latest scandal about a key staffer, their moral credibility has suffered yet another blow

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