WHAT IS A “GAFFE”? can a gaffe, even though embarrassing, be right?
A fortnight before the US presidential election, Richard Mourdock, Republican Senate candidate, committed what the media labelled a “gaffe”.
In debate with a Democratic challenger, Mr Mourdock was asked whether he believed abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest.
He replied: “I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realise that life is that gift from God.
“Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.”
He later conceded that his words were poorly chosen: “If, because of the lack of clarity in my words (people) came away with an impression other than… that I abhor violence and am confident that God abhors violence and rape… I truly regret it.”
Mr Romney’s official comment was that he is against abortion but wouldn’t oppose it cases of rape or incest.
* * *
Further south, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the city’s legislature passed a law to permit abortion in cases of rape. But the mayor of the city has vetoed it.
A local judge then ordered the suspension of a planned abortion on a rape victim, saying: “It is not possible to repair damage by causing another, greater, and absolutely irreversible damage.
“If the mother needs to repair the trauma she has suffered by cutting herself off completely from the child conceived, she will be able to do so as soon as the child is born by means of adoption, but she cannot do so by means of eliminating him from the face of the earth.”
That’s what the judge said.
Was she right?