Accomplices in Incest : Case Study

By “Denise Kalasky”


I am a victim of incest; one of the “hard cases” for abortion. I was raped by my father when I was fifteen years old. It was not the first time, nor would it be the last. However, this time, I became pregnant.

One night, I became very sick and my parents took me to the hospital. (I believe now that they knew I was pregnant since they took me to a different hospital than normal.) The emergency room doctor discovered that, along with a very bad case of the flu, I was 19 weeks pregnant.

My father flew into a rage, accusing me of all sorts of things, and demanding I have an abortion. The doctor informed me that I was pregnant and asked me what I wanted. I had seen the “Silent Scream” in high school religion class and knew that abortion was murder. In spite of the pain and guilt I felt, knowing who the father of the baby was, it was far better to have a baby than the alternative – to kill it. I refused to have an abortion.

My father flew into an uncontrollable rage and demanded that I consent to the abortion, or that the doctor do it with or without my permission. The doctor refused because of my wishes. My father demanded that an abortionist be found – regardless of the cost.

Within one hour, this man arrived at the hospital, talked with my parents and decided to do the abortion, without speaking to me. I refused and tried to get off the examining table. He then asked three nurses to hold me while he strapped me to the bed and injected me with a muscle relaxant to keep me from struggling while he prepared to kill my baby. I continued to scream that I didn’t want an abortion. He told me, “Shut up and quit that yelling!” Eventually, I was placed under general anesthesia and my child was brutally killed.

I was told that an abortion would solve my problem, when it was never really the problem in the first place.

I was told, “Your parents know what’s best,” when they obviously were only concerned about their own reputations.

I was told, “You make the right decision,” when I was never given a choice. More importantly, where was my baby’s choice?

I grieve every day for my daughter. I have struggled to forget the abuse and the abortion. I can do neither. All I think of is, “I should have done more, fought more, struggled more for the life of my child.”

My situation may not be common, but I know it’s not unique either. The emotions and problems I’ve had to deal with as a result of my abortion are common. The trauma of the rape and abuse were only intensified by the abortion. The guilt of knowing my baby is dead is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life.

I was violated and betrayed over and over by my father, who God created to love and protect me. I was humiliated, hurt, and yes, violated again by the abortionist.

Why do even pro-lifers talk about making exceptions for abortion in cases of rape and incest as if that is a way to have “compassion” for the mother? Why is this the only “loving” response to the situation? I have talked with pro-lifers who consider my abortion acceptable, under the circumstances.

I want to tell people:

If you really want to be compassionate, give this mother the opportunity to choose life for her child. If you really love the mothers who have been victimized, don’t let them be exploited again by someone who will make a profit from their dead child — a memory that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

The next time you hear of the “hard cases,” please remind people that every crisis pregnancy is difficult for the mother. If you believe these cases are hard, you’re correct — they are extremely hard for the mother. But if you choose abortion, it’s an impossible situation for the baby. The mom needs love, support and understanding, not the pain of allowing herself to be violated again in order to kill her child. Regardless of the circumstances, regardless of the pain involved, that helpless, innocent child has no voice, no defense, and no chance, unless we offer real love and real compassion to the mother.

My abortion was over five years ago. God is still healing me, but it has been a difficult fight. I hesitated to write to you because, although I’m actively pro-life, very few people know my story. It’s still very difficult to share with people, however, I wanted to encourage you in your uncompromising stand for life.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3) God bless you.


Note: This story was published using a pseudonym to protect the privacy of the author.

Originally published in The Post-Abortion Review 2(1) Winter 1993.


Accomplices in Incest : Case Study — 17 Comments

  1. It seems to me that the only reason you truly feel this abortion to be such a terrible thing is because of that religion class you let brainwash you. It would seem to me that you are a theist and believe in a loving God. To this I must ask you, what kind of “loving” God would allow you to be raped – repeatedly! – by your father? What kind of God would need to use scare tactics – whether arguments that abortion is “murder” or that you’ll suffer in hell for not believing what they believe – to get you to have faith?

    • Perhaps the same God who would allow Himself to be nailed to a cross, accepting all the blame you heap on Him, and your judgment that He should not exist precisely because He has allowed such pain and suffering into the world.

      And in part, His answer is: “I accept all the hatred and blame. I accept your judgement. And I accept the penalty for My own need for Justice. Let my death pay the penalty for all so that your suffering may be wiped away in the new life, without suffering, which I have prepared for you in heaven.”

      This is what Denise knows and feels through and through. Not because she has been brainwashed. But because she has suffered, and in her suffering opened her heart to the understanding that suffering is not the greatest of evils. The greatest evil is the refusal to forgive, both others and God, for then you will be bound by your own bitterness if you refuse to let it go in order to breathe in the new life that God offers you.

      • very true. but be careful with your words “forgive God?” i dont think that that is correct in the sense that God does not sina gainst you and doesnt sin at all. God acctually does say in the bible that we will endure hardships and also that he will not allow any obstacle to be put into our way that is too heavy for us and nothing is too big for God to handle. notice that multiple time in the bible when people were tempted or endured hardships, they were things that satan brought against them but also things that god allowed to happen to them. not to tear that person down but to help strengthen that person. you cannot become a strong human being if you have neve experienced any hardships. actually if one didnt experience any hardhsips that person would lack wisdom becuase of not having experience. this is truly a sad situation but i definitley shows tons of respect to the woman that shared her story because other people may be able to relate to her and know that they are not alone. but i definitley find it innappropiate fo someone to say that because someone is “brainwashed” because they have religious beliefs and also innappopriate for one to bash anothers religion when speaking on sucha sensitive topic. thats just horrible. (this is directed at the one u responded to) anyways, God bless and i hope you keep standing fo what you believe is right

    • God did not allow that to happen to her, Satan did! Our God is more lovng than you could EVER imagine and He does not forsake His children… notice her talking about her healing- who do you think that came from? A “non-existant” god; I think not! God was not scaring her into keeping the child, that could not be more ridiculous! Any person with the least bit of selflessness would want to give their child life, and life is far more valuable than convenience. She is an amazing person with admirable morals, and I for oneknow that God will bless her beyond measure!

  2. My heart breaks for you.
    How can anyone believe that you can heal violence with violence?
    I agree with your opinion of the hard cases…you either believe its a baby or you don’t…
    Peace always <3

  3. Thank you for sharing your unbelievably painful story. I pray that many people will be touched by it. I pray they will see the damage done by violence heaped on violence and know in their hearts that abortion is not the “cure” for the violence of rape of any woman by any man including her father or some other relation. Retired RN/Social Worker

  4. Wow, I had never thought of it this way. I had always figured that someone who was raped would not want the memory of that rape – that it produced a child. Also, I would get away from your “birth” family as fast as I could. They did not consider your feelings, when will they? I do not count these people as your family. Glad you are recovering and to the person who questions “Why would a loving God . . . .? Man, I cannot stand that Egotistical question – Listen close and perhaps you will begin to learn something . . . God gave man a FREE WILL – to choose what ever he will do. (Insert She instead of he if you cannot figure it out, and replace man with woman also – in case you need ultimate clarity. It is NOT God that is unloving, It WAS the person she was forced to call her FATHER (her dad). That is the UNLOVING party here. I really hope you can figure this out – GOD does NOT control us like ROBOTS – do you understand this? Come on, please try to understand this. God brings the sun, the rain, and others into our lives to help us and sometimes we help others, the rest are from hell or have made incredibly unloving choices.

  5. Denise’s story is truly inspiring, and I do agree that forcing a woman into an abortion is wrong; however, at the same time I do not feel that abortion itself should be excluded as a choice. This article seems biased against abortions, and whilst I commend it for speaking out against *forced* abortions that are not of the mother’s choosing, I feel the need to point out that abortion is an option, just as birthing the child or giving the child up for adoption are. Granted, it is not the *only* option, and it should not be treated as such, but if a pregnant woman genuinely wants an abortion, even after being informed of the other options – and is supported, not forced – than she should be able to have one without any kind of hindrance.

    I hope I am not mistaken for a left-wing pro-abortion extremist, because that is not what I am at all (though I have been called that before). I merely think that abortions should be a choice for pregnant women, something for them to consider if they feel unprepared for parenthood. Forcing a woman to have an abortion is not compassionate, but neither is not allowing a woman to have one under the premise that it is an “unloving” way to handle a pregnancy. The bottom line is, it should be her choice. And she should be given the information and support she needs in order to make that choice.

    I’m not pro-abortion, per se, but I am pro-choice. My heart goes out to girls like Denise who are forced to make life-altering decisions and who are severely hurt afterwards. But not every woman is like Denise. Another young girl who is raped by her father may *want* to have an abortion, and she should be able to do so.

    • Thank you for being sensible and for eloquently expressing what I could only angrily shout at all the people(aside from the author) saying This is the reason abortion should be outlawed.

    • I appreciate your compassion for the women in these cases. It comes out in your reply. But even if a women doesn’t feel prepared for parenthood, she can give the child up for adoption. There are so many waiting to adopt. God is the author of life. And we have no right to spill the blood of an innocent child.

      • I apologize for not replying sooner. I haven’t signed on in months.

        As for your comment, sadly most children who are put up for adoption do not get adopted. They end up in our poorly regulated childcare system where they (unjustly) remain a burden on taxpayers until the age of eighteen. No, there are not “so many waiting to adopt.” A vast majority of the populace are fertile and want biological children, not only because they want to raise their own flesh and blood but also because the adoption process is expensive and tedious. Our society cannot afford any more unwanted children. The notion that all pregnant women who are unwilling to be mothers can just put their children up for adoption is too idealistic.

        I, and many other people, do not believe in God, so to eliminate abortions on the basis that “God is the author of life” would be to mix church and state – something we should never do.

        • Regarding adoption of children, 100% of healthy infants place for adoption are quickly placed. Even infants with severe disabilities are rapidly placed. Only older children, especially teens, are difficult to place for adoption, especially if they have a history of abuse and violence which frightens perspective parents.

          So, in regard to the abortion issue where pregnant women considering placing an infant for adoption, it is not “too idealistic” to assert that there are couples out there ready and willing to adopt their babies.

          Regarding your fear of mixing church and state, what you are really asserting is that the state should not put any moral principles into the law, which is absurd. Laws always reflect a moral judgment that one form of behavior is sanctioned while another is not.

          Laws against stealing and fraud reflect a moral view. Laws against pollution reflect a moral beliefs regarding a duty to protect the environment. Laws against murder at any stage of life reflect a view that such acts are wrong.

          If you oppose all laws, and are an anarchist, your reasoning is consistent. Otherwise, you are simply arguing that whenever you disagree with the moral views of the majority of people, your views should triumph because you are an atheist whose views are “rational” and the views of believers can be dismissed as being “irrational.”

          • I know people who work in the childcare system, and believe me, *not* all infants who are put up for adoption are adopted. And in fact, many adoptions fail. I once read a Pennsylvania adoption program record that stated that 60 of the 200 children within the program came from failed adoptions.

            Yes, I am afraid it is too idealistic. Remember, cari, who I was replying to, said that “we have no right to spill the blood of an innocent child.” Judging by that statement, I take it she believes abortion should be totally illegal. Imagine if it *was* totally illegal, which would eliminate the thousands that take place every year. Imagine how many unwanted children would be born to unwilling mothers (not to mention the deaths that would take place due to highly unsafe back-alley abortions). Even *if* nearly 100% of all healthy infants were getting adopted now, if abortion were abolished as a legal choice, that would change. The childcare system would overflood.

            That is not what I am asserting at all, and I find your assumption that I am offensive. A person’s morality has nothing to do with religious beliefs. I have met many immoral believers and non-believers; conversely, I have also met many moral believers and non-believers. It’s interesting that you automatically assume that I should not uphold law and order simply because I am an atheist, and yet there are so-called Christians who verbally and physically harrass girls and women at abortion clinics, and do so with the belief that their actions are rational. They are not atheists, but are they upholding the law and being moral? I should think not.

            Mixing church and state is highly danerous because people have various interpretations of God and right versus wrong. Which interpretation should rule? Which set of standards should we abide by? (Take into account, there are many, many demoninations of Christianity and each have their own set of principles.)

            One does not need to believe in a deity in order to have a good moral compass. Equating a non-believer to an anarchist who thinks only *their* beliefs are rational is quite narrow-minded and, I dare say, uncalled for.

            I was under the impression that this article (and this website) was against *forced* abortions, not abortions themselves. I see now that I was mistaken, and so therefore this will be my last post.

          • I am not equating a non-believer with an anarchist. I am only stating that an atheist who is an anarchist is at least logically consistent. If there are no moral absolutes, then one should state that truth and agree that at most they are advocating for some social “convention” that suits them and others.

            You say that “One does not need to believe in a deity in order to have a good moral compass.” But you can only say that because you have not thought deeply and rigorously about where your moral beliefs come from and whether or not they really have any weight to them.

            The average non-believer has lingering Judeo-Christian values that presume that lying, stealing, murder and fornication (or at least adultery), for example, are wrong . . . or at least should be avoided unless necessary to serve some “greater” purpose.

            But this lingering sense of what you describe as “a good moral compass” must be recognized as arbitrary, as any philosopher or theologian can explain to you, unless you have some appeal or reference point to God or some other big T “Truth” that lies outside and above the physical laws of nature.

            Without a spiritual reality in which the bit T “Truth” of the moral compass you refer to serves as a true reference point against which we can seek guidance about moral decisions, we only have, at best, social conventions which serve one group or another…often at the expense of other persons. For example, saying that human lives that are only a few months old are less important than older human lives is a value judgment. You hold that your value judgment in this regard deserves to be more respected, and even treated as the law of the land, than the value judgment of those who say that a human embryo is, by nature of being human, protected by the law to the same degree as a human adult. That is a different value judgment. Even setting aside the question of moral absolutes, if the majority of voters believe we should restrict or ban abortion, why should value judgment of a minority who disagree be given priority in the law?

            Moreover, if those who believe there are moral absolutes believe that it is revealed by god that all life is sacred, it is ridiculous to believe that they should not proclaim and seek to defend their values simply because a minority who do not believe in these absolute truth insist that their values should dominate our laws.

            In short, I think there is (a) no consistency in your argument regarding why your values should be reflected in the law at the expense of my values being reflected in the law, and (b) there is no consistency in your claim that there is a “moral compass” against which the actions of non-believers can be judged since the essence of denying the existence of any spiritual truths necessitates the denial of any moral absolutes.

            I don’t for a moment suggest that non-believers necessarily act immorally or unethically. Clearly they are capable and mostly do follow social conventions regarding right and wrong. But is it intellectually dishonest to call these social conventions “morals” if they have no claim or basis in absolute truth.

  6. Hello, I am submitting 10 Bills to Congress next month. One Bill is about eliminating Abortion in America. I need all the help I can get as I’m not asking Congress to do this . I’m telling them to do it. When I receive your e-mail I will send you the details. I would like permission to print this story in the Bill along with other information you show on your home page. Please contact me ASAP. I would really appreciate it.
    You can view what I have on my site if you like. Parents/The talks Abortion/Murder
    Thank you so much,
    Calvin Howell Heinen

  7. I was sexually abused by my stepfather from ages 8 to 21. By law, I could be considered a victim of incest. One of my greatest fears growing up was being raped and impregnated by him. I was physically developed enough and he first expressed an interest in having intercourse when I was 12. He did rape me once, when I was 14 or 15, and tried to rape me two times later, when I was about 17 and 20. A resulting child would have been both a nephew/niece and half-sibling of my half-brothers.

    I don’t see a difference between victims of incest and other rape victims. Unless the sexual relationship is consensual and between two related adults, incest is sexual abuse and rape. I don’t understand why the law feels the need to specify whether a rape is from incest or not.

    Every woman and girl should have the right to decide what to do about her pregnancy. No one should be forced to have an abortion or carry a pregnancy. I am sad that you were overtaken, suffered violence and drugging, and that your baby was killed. Even though you were a minor, I think you should have been able to make your own decision. Parents don’t own their children and abusive parents clearly demonstrate how they don’t know what’s best for us.

    Personally, I am a pro-choice atheist and I would have wanted an abortion if my stepfather had impregnated me, whether I was a minor or an adult when it happened. If I were raped today I would go to a hospital and get the necessary medication to prevent pregnancy. That would be my choice. If some religious extremist tried to make me carry out such a pregnancy, I would be just as angry, sad, and traumatized as you are.

    It is wrong for people to assume that because a woman or girl is raped that she wants an abortion. I know several women who raised the children that resulted from their rapes.

    We can all show compassion by letting every female make her own choices~pregnancy and raising the child, pregnancy and giving the child to adoption, or abortion. Those are all choices.

    The legal fight for girls under 18 to keep their babies is just now being fought in our nation. It’s too bad that the fight couldn’t have been done decades ago.

  8. Thank you for sharing your story…it is SO IMPORTANT to hear from individuals like yourself that have gone through the ‘exception circumstances’ for abortion, even for some pro-lifers! People need to realize that abortion does not solve the problem of incest, abuse, poverty, bad parenting, or any of the other reasons people use to validate getting rid of a life. I could have easily been in your situation as well. God is not to blame for the bad things that happen to us, sin is. But He can use everything for His Glory if we give Him the chance! I’m sending you a mental hug, you are strong and you make a difference in this world. And someday you will see your daughter:)

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