Abortion After Rape: Yes or No?
This Prolifeblogs combox discussion brought up the subject of abortion in cases of rape, when a brave woman spoke up:
We are so under represented in the media because it is corrupt and a brainwashing thing when put in the places it is...but we might have to fight back with brutal honesty to show up the lies.She isn't the first victim of rape, nor in the minority of them, feeling this way.
I was raped, suppressed it and a growing belly for 7 months, had a baby girl, and placed her for adoption. If you hear anyone use the stupid line again, "well what if you were raped, then why should you have to carry to term a baby?" Pleas refer them to me! I'm sick of them persuading people on stuff they don't even bother asking a real woman that has been through it about! Pro-lifers are tough in general, Pro-choice people are wimps (sorry, but it is true. I bet if we did a survey they would be the ones that cried as a kid if they didn;'t get picked something)
...Why do they assume automatically women can't handle it? Two wrongs dont make a right. I am so mad at the abortion industry, I cant explain it. Its just that they would made it so easy for me to walk in the door and kill my daughter that first day I found out I was pregnant (without telling my parents or anyone first) luckily I didn't thanks to God taking over. My opinion on everything changed full over after just a few days of letting the fact that this is a little life, sink in. But they made it so easy for me to kill my daughter, and since she means the world to me today, this grudge isn't going to ever go away until they are destroyed (the companies like planned parenthood...not the people destroyed)
In replying to help readers know what we've long known from doing our own digging (instead of relying on the mainstream media), we had linked to this original post by friend and fellow blogger Rachael written in 2005, along with our blog's discussion about this very topic that ensued. In it we discuss this phenomenon of how women feel after being raped, some choosing abortion, some feeling duped into choosing it, others not choosing it.
In that AfterAbortion combox, we heard from "Susan G" about her rape experience, and from Julie who wrote that
"my mother was a rape victim at the age of thirteen. Twenty years later, when she sought an abortion for an unwanted pregnancy, she screamed throughout the procedure and had to be held down by nurses. She didn't have to say she was reliving her rape; she looked it during the retelling."Those who support abortion in the case of rape never probably ever gave that a thought.
But some surveys have found that many women do relive their rape experience during an abortion.
Imagine most of our society telling women they should HAVE to relive that experience by getting an abortion? Imagine the pressure??
Unless one has been raped, I don't think any of us can ever imagine what it's like to think about how similarly vulnerable the abortion experience is to that, even if it is supposedly a conscious choice. It's still physically vulnerable. The only way I survived my abortion was to deaden myself for over 20 years, starting with the exact moment I was up on that table spreading my legs for the male abortionist when I really, truly, didn't want to be there but believed I had no other choice, and I really, truly, didn't even think it was happening to me.
APRIL 5, 2003, 7-10 am: Four or five turn-aways, plus one mom changed her mind today! God is good. There were not the usual 20-plus moms coming in either. And the "counselor's" car must have broken down since she arrived in a cab.
The white male, mid-40ish escort from Westport walked slowly over to the chain-link fence by the alleyway today. The one I was standing behind. My tape player with the embryonic heartbeat tape was turned off for a few minutes. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched him approach, wary that he might try to grab the boombox or me, remembering how Carmen got punched in the eye a month ago by an abortion clinic client who she thought was coming to talk with her.
Instead, he softly said to me, "You’re Ann, right?" I was stunned. I had told him my name over a month ago, as he was leaving one day. Then, he hadn’t acknowledged me, or told me his name. Abortion clinic escorts are taught to ignore us. BUT HE REMEMBERED MY NAME. I said yes, walking over to him, still separated by the fence. He then asked, “What do you think about abortion in cases of rape or incest?”
I said, “What’s your name?” He told me his first name. For this post, though, I'll call him "Carl." I then replied, with pain on my face as though I was talking with a good friend, “Carl, knowing the risks women are exposed to from abortion, between increased risk of breast cancer and infertility, I wouldn’t want to subject them to that, especially after the horror of a rape.”
He answered, “My sister was raped, and she had an abortion, and she thinks it’s the best thing she could do. How can you or anyone think she should have to have a child from such a horrible thing?”
This was not a hostile conversation. He was actually, quietly, engaging me, asking me my honest opinion.
I looked into his eyes and saw the searching, the pain, the anger at the rapist. The love for his sister. I almost cried, but I answered, “Honestly, Carl? Having an abortion is really, only victimizing a woman TWICE. I have endometriosis because of my abortion. I’m at much greater risk for breast cancer. She’s now at risk too. And the rape was a violent act, but so is the abortion. Surely, you can see that, from these pictures the others are holding? And as horrible and painful as rape is, abortion for women who’ve been raped is really only victimizing females TWICE, with a second violent act.”
We were still just talking, honestly, pleadingly. No anger whatsoever. It was amazing. It was as if he was searching for some understanding, some clue as to why we really are there. Carl said, “But she is fine with it! And after all, it is her choice. It is up to her, we can’t tell her what to do.” I replied, “She may be telling you she’s fine with it, but she could be in total denial like I was for decades. And to say it’s none of anyone’s business...really, Carl, that just ignores that there is a human life in there. Do you believe that there is a life in there? Do you believe that God made you and me?”
He said, “You play that heartbeat sound and make a big deal out of it, at 6 or 7 weeks, but that doesn’t mean there is a heartbeat on the morning after!” I asked him, “Carl, are you Christian? Do you believe in Jesus Christ?” He answered, “I was raised that way, but…I don’t really…”
I said, “So you don’t really follow a faith like that anymore, OK, fair enough... But the scientific fact is that that baby has the same number of genes and chromosomes at conception as you and me...even if it doesn’t have a heartbeat for 21 days, it’s still a human life in there. I can show you scientist after scientist who has proved life begins at conception, that it’s a one-celled human organism --”
He cut me off before I could say that, at conception, even a human’s potential hair and eye color, height and weight are determined. He said, “To be human, it has to have a consciousness!” I answered, “No, Carl, it doesn’t" but he dismissed what I began to say, walking away, exasperated.
I called to him calmly, “Carl, come on, talk with me please. Don’t walk away. This is what I believe because of the scientific facts and also because I’m coming from a faith in Jesus Christ, and a belief that God creates all life.”
He came back, upset, saying, “Why should she have to be punished by having a baby from a rapist? Are you saying God wanted that to happen to her, to be raped?”
[Sound familiar? Our new President also just said that not long ago, and he got it from the abortion industry's successful miseducation of the American people]
I gazed at him, trying to reach him with compassion, saying, “No, Carl, God didn’t want or plan for her to be raped. He loves her, and all of us, and yet even God doesn’t stop us from using our free will as that rapist did when he hurt your sister. But God did have a plan for that baby once it was conceived, even despite how it happened. It pains God that the guy did what he did, but God loves all life, and there are many women -- there’s one woman right here, today -- who were raped who actually feel, even subconsciously, that keeping the baby is their way to make something good come out of something so bad, they feel as though keeping the baby proves they are better than the rapist. They can conquer the horror by doing something good.”
At this, he looked at me incredulously and began to dismiss what I said. I asked him, “Don’t you believe that allowing the baby to live is a better thing than what the rapist did to her? Isn’t it a better thing to let the baby live?”
“Carl, we are not unfeeling people. My heart breaks for your sister, and especially because she is probably in denial that there really was a baby inside her. It’s the only way she can go on thinking she’s fine, to deny that. If she admitted it, it would get to her.”
He asked me, “What do you think about the morning after pill, then?” I said, “Carl, if the woman is pregnant, that is really making an abortion happen too.” He was astounded, throwing up his hands, saying that we were hopeless, starting to walk away. I replied, “Carl, we believe in a God who made us all and also the medical descriptions of the morning after pill show that it can end a pregnancy if conception has taken place. That is where WE are coming from, on this point. The morning after pill has the ability to end a pregnancy if there is one inside the woman, and it IS a life inside her.”
Still, he turned and listened, then asked, “Do you think the Pill is OK, then?” I looked so sadly at him, and said, “No, Carl, because that can cause an abortion too, if the woman is pregnant.” He was dumbfounded, really walking away then. I still called to him, “Come on, Carl, don’t walk away. I listened to you. You asked me what I thought, let me finish telling you. If you believe that God created all of us and all this earth, then you must also believe that He created sex and all the other things we do, like eating. He created sex for two reasons, Carl: to show one other person that we truly love, bond with and give ourselves as a gift in love to that person, and to procreate. If we block one or the other of those purposes, we are playing God, we are blocking God’s purposes for Creation. We believe that is wrong to do, especially when it causes an unknown but real abortion. That is why we are against the Pill and the Morning After Pill.”
I brought over the lady whose 11-year-old daughter, born from a rapist’s act, is the light of her life, and although Carl would not look or come over again, he had to have listened to her. She pulled out a picture of her beautiful daughter, telling him how proud and joyful she is to have her. How she does NOT remind her of her horrible rape so long ago. How she only reminds her of how good God is, and will be to all those who trust Him.
He refused to come back or look at us, but I continued talking to him, quietly, through the fence. “Carl, I’m a single mom, and I’m not in a relationship right now, but if I was, I have decided not to have sex unless and until I marry again because I believe in the reasons for which God gave us sex in the first place. My point in telling you this is that I am not telling anyone to resist something that I don’t resist myself.”
And I added, “You never know what your sister could really be feeling. She could have bottled it up so tightly. After all, how could she admit to you that she regrets her abortion? YOU come here and help OTHERS have them! She probably thinks you’d dismiss her feelings or even be angry with her. You never know. She’s damned if she does admit it and damned if she doesn’t. If she tells anyone, some pro-life people -- even some of the ones who are here today, the ones with bullhorns -- will condemn her. And the pro-choice people will call her crazy for feeling regret! They’ll say she’s unstable and it’s all in her head! She CAN’T WIN, Carl. Both sides make it impossible for her to seek healing from her regret and pain. That’s why so many women don’t talk about their regret, Carl. NO ONE makes it easy.”
I asked him, “Would you read some things if I brought you them, next time?” He dismissed it, saying it would only be pro-life-slanted sources. I said, “No, it will be personal stories from women just like your sister.” He didn’t answer. Then I told him I will be praying for him and for his sister, because I know he feels such pain for her.
That’s why he’s there. He thinks he’s helping others just like her, to get rid of their pain and their shame.
- Hope After Rape; Life After Rape: "The Face of the 'Rape Exception'"
- Two women have come to the forefront to help women who have become pregnant through rape or incest, children conceived through sexual assault, and women who have had abortions as a result of these crimes (members throughout the U.S.):
a) Kay Zibolsky, LIFE AFTER ASSAULT LEAGUE, 1336 West Lindberg St., Appleton, WI 54914. Phone: 920-739-4489.
Kay is the author of the book, "The Sorrow of Sexual Assault and the Joy of Healing".
b) Julie Makimaa is a so-called "product of rape" who has done much to bust the myth about abortion being the best choice for rape victims.
"compiled, Victims and Victors: Speaking Out About Their Pregnancies, Abortions, and Children Resulting from Sexual Assault. The book uses the combined experiences of 264 women and children and provides a definitive response to the argument for abortion in assault pregnancies.(She once founded the group called Fortress International, but I think that is no longer active.)
"She has testified before a number of state legislatures, lobbied Congress and appeared on numerous radio and television talk shows, including Donahue, Geraldo and Sally Jesse Raphael. Her story has appeared in many national newspapers and magazines, including the Los Angeles Times and Washington Times and Glamour."
- Surveys about women who have been raped:
"In 1981, Dr. Sandra Mahkorn conducted the first major research of pregnant rape victims. She found that 75 to 85 percent chose against abortion."
- For those skeptics who don't like prolife sources, then go here: Mahkorn, "Pregnancy and Sexual Assault," The Psychological Aspects of Abortion, eds. Mall & Watts, (Washington, D.C., University Publications of America, 1979) 55-69.
- Feminists for Life
- Christina Dunigan also has summarized some of these facts well in this article.
- Since then, apparently, so has at least one other:
"Professor Stephen Krason points out that "psychological studies have shown that, when given the proper support, most pregnant rape victims progressively change their attitudes about their unborn child from something repulsive to someone who is innocent and uniquely worthwhile."That leads to this footnote: "Krason, 284. For an overview of the research, see Sandra Kathleen Mahkorn, "Pregnancy and Sexual Assault," in David Mall and Walter F. Watts, M.D., The Psychological Aspects of Abortion (Washington, D.C.: University Publications of America, 1979), 67-68."
- That PDF file quotes Dr. Stephen Krason's published book: "Dr. Stephen Krason writes:
"A number of studies have shown that pregnancy resulting from rape is very uncommon. One, looking at 2190 victims, reported pregnancy in only 0.6 percent."(Abortion: Politics, Morality, and the Constitution, book published in 1984 [Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1984], 283.)
- One woman's story