South Carolina state Rep. Nancy Mace (R) has faced some intense backlash and opposition for supporting rape and incest exceptions to an abortion bill working its way through the Legislature this week, according to Newsweek.
The bill, which would've banned abortions at the detection of a fetal heartbeat, passed the House, but the legislative session ended before it got through the Senate. Abortions are legal up to 20 weeks in South Carolina.
Mace, in the course of defending the exceptions, shared that she was raped when she was 16. She said even though she would prefer pregnant rape victims choose to have the child, she doesn't want to legislate that choice out of their hands.
"A rapist is not a father," Mace said on the House floor two weeks ago. "And I hope and pray any women or teenager who is raped or assaulted or a victim of incest would choose life. [But] I'm not going to take that [decision] away from anybody else. You have no idea what a woman or child goes through who is a victim of rape or incest."
Pro-life organization Personhood SC and Republican state Rep. Josiah Magnuson passed out cards opposing the rape and incest exceptions with a message: "It is a twisted logic that would kill the unborn child for the misdeed of the parent."
Mace expressed outrage at the implication that rape is simply a "misdeed."
"Rape is NOT a 'misdeed.' Rape is an abhorrent crime," Mace wrote on Rapists are NOT 'parents' and should have no rights as a 'parent.' Women and children who're raped are NOT 'killers' and they do NOT have 'twisted logic,' Mace wrote on Facebook. "As a mom, I think about my children all the time and when I reflect on what happened to me... All I can say is the prospect of watching one of my children slowly fade away as a teenager like I did is terrifying. Unless you've walked in those shoes, you can't comprehend the trauma. Women and children who're raped are VICTIMS of an UNWANTED CRIME that is physically and emotionally TRAUMATIC."
Magnuson acknowledged that the wording on the card was not ideal, but he stood firm in his opposition to the rape and incest exception.
"She has put herself out there as a defender of her position. I'm putting myself out there as a defender of my position. We need to have a legitimate conversation on the issues," Magnuson said.