Lori Thorat wrote a letter to the editor in the Plain Dealer stating, “I can’t stop thinking about the infuriating logic behind the idea that a pregnancy resulting from a rape is God’s will as espoused by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock.” In a horribly misguided statement recently Mourdock is reported to have said, “. . . I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen." Taken by many, including Thorat, that he means that God wills for children to be conceived by rape, this statement is not one that even the most ardent prolife person can stand by. It is certainly not the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Does God will the conception of a child from rape? Clearly not. That is not the plan. Even a rudimentary understanding of Scripture would reveal that this is not the way God intended for human beings to live and procreate. “For this reason a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife . . . they are no longer two but one flesh.” That is the plan that God wills.
But there is still the difficult question of the person that was conceived under horrific conditions, the effects of which will not be completely erased even if that person is removed from the situation by abortion. The question might be phrased this way, “Would God will that another innocent person be harmed in order to help mitigate the horrendous damage done to another human being by such an evil abuse of God’s gift of sex?” I believe that is the question that Mourdock really wished to address (and indeed tried to clarify later but it was too late.) And an answer must go further than a simple “yes” or “no” but must also deal with the further consequences of the “yes” or “no” answer. Either is a theological answer (including whether a conceived person has any rights and can be afforded the social justice teachings of the Church) and requires a response.