After Abortion



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Rape, Incest and Abortion: Searching Beyond the Myths

By David C. Reardon, Ph.D.

“How can you deny an abortion to a twelve-year-old girl who is the victim of incest?”

Typically, people on both sides of the abortion debate accept the premise that most women who become pregnant through sexual assault want abortions. From this “fact,” it naturally follows that the reason women want abortions in these cases is because it will help them to put the assault behind them, recover more quickly, and avoid the additional trauma of giving birth to a “rapist’s child.”

But in fact, the welfare of a mother and her child are never at odds, even in sexual assault cases. As the stories of many women confirm, both the mother and the child are helped by preserving life, not by perpetuating violence. Sadly, however, the testimonies of women who have actually been pregnant through sexual assault are routinely left out of this public debate. Many people, including sexual assault victims who have never been pregnant, may be forming opinions based on their own prejudices and fears rather than the real life experiences of those people who have been in this difficult situation and reality.

For example, it is commonly assumed that rape victims who become pregnant would naturally want abortions. But in the only major study of pregnant rape victims ever done prior to this book, Dr. Sandra Mahkorn found that 75 to 85 percent did not have abortions. This figure is remarkably similar to the 73 percent birth rate found in our sample of 164 pregnant rape victims. This one finding alone should cause people to pause and reflect on the presumption that abortion is wanted or even best for sexual assault victims.1

Several reasons were given for not aborting. Many women who become pregnant through sexual assault do not believe in abortion, believing it would be a further act of violence perpetrated against their bodies and their children. Further, many believe that their children’s lives may have some intrinsic meaning or purpose which they do not yet understand. This child was brought into their lives by a horrible, repulsive act. But perhaps God, or fate, will use the child for some greater purpose. Good can come from evil.

The woman may also sense, at least at a subconscious level, that if she can get through the pregnancy she will have conquered the rape. By giving birth, she can reclaim some of her lost self-esteem. Giving birth, especially when conception was not desired, is a totally selfless act, a generous act, a display of courage, strength, and honor. It is proof that she is better than the rapist. While he was selfish, she can be generous. While he destroyed, she can nurture.

Adding to the Trauma

Many people assume that abortion will at least help a rape victim put the assault behind her and get on with her life. But evidence shows that abortion is not some magical surgery which turns back the clock to make a woman “un-pregnant.”

Instead, it is a real life event which is always very stressful and often traumatic. Once we accept that abortion is itself an event with deep ramifications for a woman’s life, then we must look carefully at the special circumstances of the pregnant sexual assault victim. Evidence indicates that abortion doesn’t help and only causes further injury to an already bruised psyche?

But before we even get to this issue, we must ask: do most women who become pregnant as a result of sexual assault want to abort?

In our survey of women who became pregnant as a result of rape or incest, many women who underwent abortions indicated that they felt pressured or were strongly directed by family members or health care workers to have abortions. The abortion came about not because of the woman’s desire to abort but as a response to the suggestions or demands of others. In many cases, resources such as health workers, counselors and others who are normally there to help women after sexual assault pushed for abortion. Family pressure, withholding of support and resources that the woman needed to continue the pregnancy, manipulative an inadequate counseling and other problems all played a role into pushing women into abortions, even though abortion was often not what the woman really wanted.

Further, in almost every case involving incest, it was the girl’s parents or the perpetrator who made the decision and arrangements for the abortion, not the girl herself. (See Accomplices in Incest for an example.) None of these women reported having any input into the decision. Each was simply expected to comply with the choice of others. In several cases, the abortion was carried out over the objections of the girl, who clearly told others that wanted to continue the pregnancy. In a few cases, victim was not even clearly aware that she was pregnant or that the abortion was being carried out.

“Medical Rape”

Second, although many people believe that abortion will help a woman resolve the trauma of rape more quickly, or at least keep her from being reminded of the rape throughout her pregnancy, many of the women in our survey who had abortions reported that abortion only added to and accentuated the traumatic feelings associated with sexual assault.

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This is easy to understand when one considers that many women have described their abortions as being similar to a rape (and even used the term “medical rape), it is easy to see that abortion is likely to add a second trauma to the earlier trauma of sexual assault. Abortion involves an often painful intrusion into a woman’s sexual organs by a masked stranger who is invading her body. Once she is on the operating table, she loses control over her body. Even if she protests and asks the abortionist to stop, chances are she will be either ignored or told that it’s too late to stop the abortion.

For many women this experiential association between abortion and sexual assault is very strong. It is especially strong for women who have a prior history of sexual assault, whether or not the aborted child was conceived during an act of assault. This is just one reason why women with a history of sexual assault are likely to experience greater distress during and after an abortion than are other women.

Research also shows that women who abort and women who are raped often describe similar feelings of depression, guilt, lowered self-esteem, violation and resentment of men. Rather than easing the psychological burdens experienced by those who have been raped, abortion added to them. Jackie wrote:

I soon discovered that the aftermath of my abortion continued a long time after the memory of my rape had faded. I felt empty and horrible. Nobody told me about the pain I would feel deep within causing nightmares and deep depressions. They had all told me that after the abortion I could continue my life as if nothing had happened.(2)

Those encouraging, pushing or insisting on abortion often do so because they are uncomfortable dealing with sexual assault victims, or perhaps because they harbor some prejudice against victims whom they feel “let it happen.” Wiping out the pregnancy is a way of hiding the problem. It is a “quick and easy” way to avoid dealing with the woman’s true emotional, social and financial needs. As Kathleen wrote:

I, having lived through rape, and also having raised a child “conceived in rape,” feel personally assaulted and insulted every time I hear that abortion should be legal because of rape and incest. I feel that we’re being used by pro-abortionists to further the abortion issue, even though we’ve not been asked to tell our side of the story.

Trapping the Incest Victim

The case against abortion for incest pregnancies is even stronger. Studies show that incest victims rarely ever voluntarily agree to abortion. Instead of viewing the pregnancy as unwanted, the incest victim is more likely to see the pregnancy as a way out of the incestuous relationship because the birth of her child will expose the sexual activity. She is also likely to see in her pregnancy the hope of bearing a child with whom she can establish a truly loving relationship, one far different than the exploitive relationship in which she has been trapped.

But while the girl may see her pregnancy as a possible way of release from her situation, it poses a threat to her abuser. It is also poses a threat to the pathological secrecy which may envelop other members of the family who are afraid to acknowledge the abuse. Because of this dual threat, the victim may be coerced or forced into an unwanted abortion by both the abuser and other family members.

For example, Edith, a 12-year-old victim of incest impregnated by her stepfather, writes twenty-five years after the abortion of her child:

Throughout the years I have been depressed, suicidal, furious, outraged, lonely, and have felt a sense of loss . . . The abortion which was to “be in my best interest” just has not been. As far as I can tell, it only ‘saved their reputations,’ ‘solved their problems,’ and ‘allowed their lives to go merrily on.’ . . . My daughter, how I miss her so. I miss her regardless of the reason for her conception.”

Abortion businesses who routinely ignore this evidence and neglect to interview minors presented for abortion for signs of coercion or incest are actually contributing to the victimization of young girls. Not only are they robbing the victim of her child, they are concealing a crime, abetting a perpetrator, and handing the victim back to her abuser so that the exploitation can continue.

For example, the parents of three teenaged Baltimore girls pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree rape and child sexual abuse. The father had repeatedly raped the three girls over a period of at least nine years, and the rapes were covered up by at least ten abortions. At least five of the abortions were performed by the same abortionist at the same clinic.3

Sadly, there is strong evidence that failing to ask questions about the pregnancy and to report cases of sexual abuse are widespread at abortion clinics. Undercover investigations by pro-life groups have found numerous cases in which clinics agreed to cover up cases of statutory rape or ongoing abuse of minor girls by older men and simply perform an abortion instead.

In 2002 a judge found a Planned Parenthood affiliate in Arizona negligent for failing to report a case in which a 13-year-old girl was impregnated and taken for an abortion by her 23-year-old foster brother. The abortion business did not notify authorities until the girl returned six months later for a second abortion. A lawsuit alleged that the girl was subjected to repeated abuse and a second abortion because Planned Parenthood failed to notify authorities when she had her first abortion. The girl’s foster brother was later imprisoned for abusing her.4

Finally, we must recognize that children conceived through sexual assault also deserve to have their voices heard. Rebecca Wasser-Kiessling, who was conceived in a rape, is rightfully proud of her mother’s courage and generosity and wisely reminds us of a fundamental truth that transcends biological paternity: “I believe that God rewarded my birth mother for the suffering she endured, and that I am a gift to her. The serial rapist is not my creator; God is.”

Similarly, Julie Makimaa, who works diligently against the perception that abortion is acceptable or even necessary in cases of sexual assault, proclaims, “It doesn’t matter how I began. What matters is who I will become.”

That’s a slogan we can all live with.


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

Learn more:

Educate others: Download and share our free Hard Cases: New Facts, New Answers fact sheet.

Citations:

1. Mahkorn, “Pregnancy and Sexual Assault,” The Psychological Aspects of Abortion, eds. Mall & Watts, (Washington, D.C., University Publications of America, 1979) 55-69.

2. David C. Reardon, Aborted Women, Silent No More (Chicago, IL: Loyola University Press, 1987), 206.

3. Jean Marbella, “Satisfactory explanations of sex crime proved elusive,” Baltimore Sun, Oct. 31, 1990; M. Dion Thompson, “GBMC, doctor suspected nothing amiss,” Baltimore Sun, Oct. 31. 1990; “Family Horror Comes to Light in Story of Girls Raped by Father,” Baltimore Sun, November 4, 1990; Raymond L. Sanchez, “Mother Sentenced in Rape Case,” Baltimore Sun, Dec. 6, 1990.

4. “Planned Parenthood Found Negligent in Reporting Molested Teen’s Abortion,” Pro-Life Infonet, attributed to Associated Press; Dec. 26, 2002.

Posted by on August 8, 2004.

Categories: ALL, Articles, Commentary, Featured

46 Responses

  1. In all honestly, raising a baby for eighteen plus years is a lot more impactful on your life than having an abortion. I’ve done both… well, still in the process of baby raising.

    I found out I was pregnant by my boyfriend when the birth control we were using failed. I immediately scheduled an abortion through Planned Parenthood. They were very conscientious, gave me an ultrasound, offered resources for counseling, asked if I was sure this was what i wanted, had me wait a week to think about it- then told me what my options were. Afterward, they gave me counseling about birth control options, and handed over a free three month supply of birth control pills. And they discounted the cost of the abortion by $700. I only paid a small portion of the fee. Otherwise… I couldn’t have afforded it. I will never not be grateful to them for helping me in my time of need.

    I have never regretted the abortion. First of all, it was early enough that the fetus did not have a brain- so I don’t consider it an ethical question in the least. There was nothing conscious or feeling inside of me to cause a moral dilemma. Secondly, I know that having a baby when I was unprepared would have disrupted my life in a terrible way. I was young, unemployed, my insurance did not cover pregnancy- so I would have lacked proper prenatal care, and I lived in a garage apartment. I couldn’t even have my dog in my apartment, much less raise a child there. I was emotionally unequipped to care for another, fully depended human being in a responsible manner.

    And my boyfriend? When I told him i was pregnant- he looked like he had been shot. It turned out he was completely unable to handle the emotional complexity of the abortion- which tells me that he would have been unable to handle fatherhood. We both agreed to this choice of action, both gave consent. I loved my ex bf dearly, and because I loved him, I knew this was the only choice I could make. I could have gone home, moved in with my mother, given up my search for a career, and raised that baby with her for the next several years. But… aside from the fact that I wanted a career, I knew my bf deserved better than to not be a part of the early life of his first child. I knew I cared too much about him to push fatherhood on him when he was barely capable of taking care of himself. He was too young for this, and too immature- and he needed time to discover himself in life. I gave him that gift.

    Yes, we broke up. That’s okay. People break up. Someone who cannot be supportive during a difficult process is not someone to base your life around. I hope he has grown up. I hope he has learned to be supportive. Yes, I was upset about the abortion. Yes, I thought about it for a few months afterward. And yes, I got over it. It wasn’t a huge, traumatic event in my life. It was a hard decision- that’s it.

    Now, some years later, with an established career and a stable relationship with a loving husband, I’m raising my first child. The baby is two years old. This is the most difficult and time consuming thing I have ever done. I know it was right to wait until I was ready and had proper support to tackle child rearing. Children are precious. Children are taxing. Children need so much from you. It’s a very big thing to raise a child- and it’s not something to undertake on a whim.

    You may feel abortion is wrong- that’s your right. In my position, you would have made a different choice. But it’s not your place to make the decision about abortion for anyone other than yourself. And you have no right to judge anyone else for the choices they make in life, or to try to restrict their right to make reasonable choices. No one is ever forced to have an abortion (that’s not legal)- and no one should be forced to give birth to a baby they are unprepared to care for.

    by Nina on Feb 21, 2011 at 2:41 pm

  2. We are glad to hear that you are now coping well. We pray you will continue to do so and that you will be a great mother to your two-year-old and any other children you may have.

    We also pray that your former boyfriend has found healing and peace.

    While many women, like yourself, can put a past abortion behind them and not experience it as a trauma, others do. We hope you can appreciate that fact. Just because you are doing well does not mean that all women can or “should” experience abortion the same way you have. We hope that you can be more supportive and understanding of the women and men who do struggle and are so deeply hurt.

    And, forced abortions do happen — not just in places like China, but in the U.S. as well. There have been a number of reported cases of women and girls being forced into abortion, as well as cases of women and girls being assaulted or killed for refusing to have an abortion. You can learn more about this at http://www.theunchoice.com/coerced.htm

    You are mistaken if you think we are trying to “judge anyone else for the choices they make in life.” It is not our place to judge others. But we know that any act that takes a human life has spiritual and psychological consequences, at least for many, many people. And our role is to try to non-judgmentally show compassion and understanding to those people (including you), to increase the public’s understanding of this “forbidden grief” in the hope that we create a more healing environment for those who are grieving a past abortion, and to give women and men who have had abortions a platform to share their stories and help each other.

    Thanks for sharing your story with us, too.

    by EI on Feb 21, 2011 at 3:48 pm

  3. As a mother to a child that I miscarried, I think that a child dying in any way is a traumatic experience. Maybe not to the one who had the abortion, but others will view it as a traumatic event. The fact that one person has an abortion and is okay with that does not mean that everyone else has to be okay with that. As someone who feels that her child was taken from her on a daily basis, it’s traumatic to me that one would willingly go through that and then say that they are completely fine.

    You are aware, I hope, that abortion was not your only option. Just because you bore a child does not mean you had to raise a child. Yes, child rearing is time consuming. Because your child is completely dependent on you for sustenence and support, love and care. You didn’t have to keep the second child you were pregnant with either.

    As for a career, you can pursue a career while raising a child. Millions of people do it every day. Abortion is not an act of love between two people. And the choice to have sex is where the choices stop in the conception and death process.

    If you were not ready to take responsibility for the consequences of having sex, you should not have engaged in the act to begin with. Do people who get AIDS just get to decide they don’t want to have AIDS and get rid of it? Don’t think so.

    As for incest and rape victims, I think that the fact that they are forced to have an abortion, no matter how young or vulnerable they are, is sickening. As previously stated, adoption is always an option. And that goes for everyone.

    If you really wanted to give someone a gift, you would keep that child inside you until it was ready to come out and then give it to a woman with no child who desperately wants one and cannot have one of her own.

    by Lucy on May 11, 2011 at 7:44 am

  4. Abortion should continue to be the choice of the woman involved, especially if she happens to be the victim of such a horrible crime. Taking the right to choose from her only perpetuates the violation against her, and the inability to take control over her own body. I believe that it is absurdly naive to assume that victims of rape are being forced to have abortions. It is their choice and should remain such.

    by Kris on May 15, 2011 at 4:26 am

  5. Kris – It is a horrible crime, as is presuming she “wants” an abortion. Studies show otherwise. RE: your comment that “it is absurdly naive to assume …” this is not an assumption, but rather based on research of women who’ve been there. (See “Victims & Victors: Speaking Out Abortion Their Pregnancies, Abortions, and Children Resulting from Sexual Assault.”) http://tinyurl.com/3gsu6fv

    Ironically, many women said they were given only one “choice,” denied the support they wanted, expected to abort and just “get over it,” and felt the abortion was “like being assaulted twice.” Furthermore, the significance and seriousness of aftereffects is also supported by research, including that of “pro-choice” researchers, such as Dr. David Fergusson.

    Published research indicates that over half of all American women aborting feel “rushed or uncertain,” yet 67% got no counseling and nearly 80% were not offered or told about alternatives. This is not “choice” as most people understand it. 65% of all women who abort suffer symptoms of PTSD and post-abortion maternal death rates are nearly 4 times higher.

    The fact that most abortions involve coercion, many are forced (see Forced Abortion in America Report), trauma and serious risks for women, most of whom want their baby but just need support, indicate it’s no favor to women, especially those already in the midst of a trauma.

    by EI on Jun 29, 2011 at 4:30 pm

  6. In general I would say having an abortion is a moral failure. The consequence of sex is the possibility of pregnancy, so the correct answer to not being prepared to carry a pregnancy to birth is to abstain from sex. If you can’t then you have a problem. You also have the option of giving birth to the child and giving her up for adoption. So there are two logical failures.

    Regarding rape victims and cases where the mother’s life is at risk, I don’t think the argument that “most” women (according to this study) don’t want to have an abortion is a good enough reason to tell a woman who has been raped that she CAN’T have an abortion.

    I can also believe that a rape victim would be forced into abortion, but that force is a continuation of criminal activity and not a good reason to say abortion for rape victims is NEVER acceptable.

    Regarding the cases where the mother’s life is at risk, if 99.9% of the time a woman’s life is not at risk, that 0.1% accounts for quite a few women. I’m not prepared to say a woman must give away her life to bring life into the world just because the percentages are small.

    So I feel like abortion is wrong and should be illegal in most cases, but I can see the use of it in some cases.

    At the same time, like murder, I believe this should be handled by the states. A people should have the right to regulate themselves and the smaller that group which regulates itself, the more relevant those regulations. The federal government works better when streamlined and not deeply involved in moral issues – a group of politically connected men shouldn’t dictate to fine detail the lives of people across this nation.

    by owlbug on Aug 13, 2011 at 11:53 am

  7. All I ever hear when abortion is the topic of interest is “women’s rights.” Sure, women should have rights when it comes to an unwanted pregnancy, but what about men’s rights? I’m not referring to rapists (the only right they should have is the right to remain silent as they’re being hauled away in handcuffs), but to men who’ve had sex with women under both of their consent. How come we men have no say in the matter, and whenever we try to voice our opinions, all we’re given is that tired old “men don’t get pregnant” argument? So? Just because we biologically cannot carry a child we have no rights to it?

    I may come across as bitter, but that is because I am speaking from personal experience. I got my ex-girlfriend pregnant when I was 19 and she was 18. I didn’t even know that I had impregnated her until *after* she’d already gone through with the abortion. She told me about it when she was breaking up with me a month later. She even said the reason she had the abortion behind my back was because she knew I’d want to keep the baby. Her initial intent was to not tell me at all, but when she decided we should break up, she saw it as a way to hurt me. She even sent me an ultrasound picture of the fetus just to prove she was telling the truth.

    I wasn’t angered so much by the abortion itself as by the fact that I wasn’t given a voice. We have this notion that men who impregnate women out of wedlock don’t care about their unborn children; we see it in movies all the time – the girl tells the boy she’s pregnant and he either takes off or tells her to have an abortion. That may be accurate in some cases, with some men, but not with all. I am living proof that there are exceptions.

    I keep the ultrasound in a safe place and look at it at least once every day. It’s all I have of my son. I used to cry every time I looked at it, but I’ve gotten to the point where I can look at it and smile now. I know he’s in a better place, and I like to believe he knows I love him even though he and I have never met.

    There is a common belief that men don’t feel close to their children until after they’re born. While that may be true sometimes, it is certainly not true all the time. I feel closer to my son than I do to most people, and I’ve never so much as touched him. He wasn’t planned (my ex had been on the pill at the time of his conception), but I would have done everything within my power to be a good father had I been given the chance.

    In spite of everything, I am not opposed to abortions themselves. I believe that they *should* be a legal option, but I believe that both parents of the child should be given a say in the matter. Because no matter what people might say, both parents are affected. I may not be the one who underwent the abortion, but it has torn me apart.

    by Eric on Aug 28, 2011 at 3:22 am

  8. So many impactful and moving stories right here.
    Its such a relief to the power of mankind that after hearing of such powerful stories that people contime to live a strong life and happy life.

    I had a very very close fried that was abused and raped as a child and became pregnant and then had an abortion still to this day those actions however dispicable the rape is the mother always has a deep connection with the baby. She has overcome alot of her demons with the study of people and psychology and in particularly with nlp she found a personal trainer in fitness and NLP called Thomas Callaghan who is well renowned and he helped turn her life around completely with certain tools and techniques in how to perceive experiences.

    The fact that 75 to 85 percent of mothers do not have abortions. Shows how connected a mother is to the baby regardless of the situation. The bottom line from my frame of reference is that if the mother wants a abortion in this situation should be totally up to her. Living beyond this as my friend did is possible with a study of how our brains work. Very powerful article.

    by Cheryl on Sep 3, 2011 at 2:49 pm

  9. Most incest is involuntary and therefore amounts to rape, and in the case of rape one might ask, “For what other crime is the innocent child killed because of what her/his father did?” You have some good articles on your website, and you should submit them to the Amy Writing Awards (see Amy Foundation website). Keep up the good work, and let me know if you want any of my articles re abortion (e.g. editorial page article in USA TODAY about how abortion can be Constitutionally ended).

    by Dennis Cuddy, Ph.D. on Oct 14, 2011 at 9:10 pm

  10. I wouldn’t abort a child who was coneived through rape.
    I don’t know if I’d keep him or have someone adopt him but i know i would never abort.
    It would just be an innocent child. It’s not the baby’s fault his daddy’s a freak.

    by BMW Princess on Nov 2, 2011 at 10:02 pm

  11. That’s perfectly fine. But abortion is still a choice and should not be considered murder or any other ridiculous thing that it is not. Most anti-abortion people, I find, feel that it should be completely illegal, which is just wrong on so many levels. I’m not saying you’re one of those people, I’m simply speaking in general. You may be willing to keep a child that you conceived through rape, and that’s great, but someone else may not, and that’s okay too.

    by Julia on Nov 6, 2011 at 6:19 am

  12. But the poor woman doesn’t HAVE to keep the child. She can give him or her up for adoption–a far better choice than allowing the child to be killed. It’s not the baby’s fault that his or her father did something horrible to the poor mother. Furthermore, we as a society should be able to help them BOTH, heal and help the mother, and let the baby live. It’s neither the mother or the baby’s fault. Just look at the testimonies of those conceived in rape:

    http://www.rebeccakiessling.com/Othersconceivedinrape.html

    I highly suggest you read Rebecca Kiessling’s testimony. Scroll down and you will see the testimonies. Who are we to decide who should live and who should die?

    by S on Dec 7, 2011 at 4:04 am

  13. No, the poor woman doesn’t have to keep the child, but she shouldn’t have to give birth to it either. As I said before, it’s her choice. If she had no say in the conception of the child, she is not obligated under any circumstances to bring it into the world. Children who are the products of rape are not at fault, but the wishes of the mother – the rape victim – come first.

    Healing is an individual process. Yes, society *can* help a person to heal, but in the end people heal on their own, in their own time and way. Some women impregnated via rape cannot psychologically handle the idea of birthing their rapist’s offspring, and no one – especially people who’ve never been raped – has the right to say they have to.

    Who are we to decide who should live and who should die? That’s a question you should ask religious extremists, advocates of the death penalty, and world leaders who have sent teenage boys to die in needless wars – not rape victims who choose to terminate packages of cells in their body.

    by Julia on Dec 11, 2011 at 10:53 pm

  14. But if that is actually a CHILD in there, a human being like the mother, and not just a “package of cells”, then we should be able to save and help them BOTH, and that child should have a right to LIVE. It is not just a package of cells. Now I mean this with absolutely no disrespect, but have you researched the development of the unborn? At only 8 weeks the child looks very much like a CHILD, not a bunch of cells. At that age it sucks its thumb! Has a heart beat, brain waves! That’s not a bunch of cells, that’s a baby, who has as much right to live as that mother.

    Religious extremists? Advocates of the death penalty? No, this is a real question in this abortion debate–who are we to say who should live or die? Should someone be killed because they have down syndrome?(Many babies are killed in the womb because they have this condition) Spina bifida? (Babies have been given surgery for this in the womb!) Or maybe because they are female? (In some countires, as I am sure you know, people opt for abortion simply because they want a boy.) If this is a real, feeling, living person–and there is much evidence to suggest this–who are we to say “you can’t live, you have no rights?”

    Now I am NOT saying that rape isn’t a devastating, horrible thing. It is, its absolutely terrible. But a woman can at least, with help and support, begin to heal, to get better, to even move on after to horror of rape…but that child will never recover from the abortion.

    P.S: Thank you for being polite in your response.

    by S on Dec 13, 2011 at 5:25 am

  15. I apologize for my late response. For the past couple of days, I have been feverishly getting ready for the holidays.

    As someone who studies psychology and has taken a Child Development class, I have researched the prenatal period at length. I recognize that a fetus is capable of thumb-sucking at eight weeks, and even before that has a nervous system. But the simple fact of the matter remains that so long as the mother did not consent to its conception, she is under no obligation to carry it or bring it into the world. It’s unfair, but that is the way it is. The desires of the traumatized rape victim, who is a fully functional human being, come first. Until birth, the child is completely dependent on its mother, taking her nutrients and subjecting her to fatigue, headaches, dizziness, back pains, bowel abnormalities, and mood swings, which will last nine months and result in an agonizing birth. I’m not trying to make children sound like parasites or nuisances, but a rape victim should never have to deal with these consequences.

    Let me ask you this, what if the impregnated rape victim is a 12-year-old girl who has just hit puberty? Her life is already damaged by the rape alone; must it also be damaged by a child that she, A, does not want, and B, does not need? You might say, “Well, she can give it up for adoption,” but that, unfortunately, is easier said than done. I know people who’ve worked in child care services and let me you now, those places are in desperate need of reform. Not all children get adopted. Granted, there are couples out there who cannot have children and would love to, but you must also take into account that there are thousands of children already in existence who deserve loving parents but do not have them and are constantly ignored by these childless couples, left in the hands of our inadequate child care system until adulthood.

    The reason I mentioned religious extremists and advocates of the death penalty was to show the complexity of your question. Abortion is such a hot topic for people, yet society in general has little problem when authority figures deem certain people worthy of death. We decide who lives and who dies on a daily basis, and for various reasons. Down Syndrome and Spina Bifida are separate matters, as children with those problems are often conceived via consensual sex. We’re discussing conception via rape – *forced* sex – and whether a victim of that heinous act should have the right to abort. Who are we to tell a rape victim that she has to birth her rapist’s child? That’s not our place. The course of action is hers and hers alone.

    P.S. You are very welcome. Thank you for your insight.

    by Julia on Dec 19, 2011 at 4:20 am

  16. That’s fine; I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

    But if this unborn fetus is truly a child, a living human being, then he or she has as much right to live as that poor mother. Killing the baby isn’t going to solve the problem, but instead could simply add the stress and guilt of the abortion onto her shoulders. Just because a child is conceived in rape, does not mean her life is any less important or deserving of protection. If one promotes abortion in the cases of rape, what is that saying about people already conceived in rape? That they don’t hold as much value or as much rights, as those conceived in love. This is simply not true!

    And yes, adoption services definitely need a revamp, but that doesn’t mean one should kill the child. We should work to fix the adoption process, try to teach chastity and reduce teen pregnancies, and other situations and factors that could help reduce the problem. Killing a child in order to save them from the *possibility* of not being adopted isn’t merciful…And I say possibility because some DO get adopted. But the SYSTEM needs changing–the children don’t need to be killed.

    And as for the authority figures deeming people worthy of death…do you mean the death penalty? If so, I have to point out that there is a vast difference between putting a convicted criminal to death and killing an innocent, unborn child, who has done nothing wrong.

    by S on Jan 2, 2012 at 4:42 am

  17. I got pregnant at 14 by rape but I miscarried due to excessive drinking & drug use. The rape destroyed me & I don’t even count that pregnancy. No1 knows about that rape or pregnancy. Then at 16 I got pregnant with my daughter I considered adoption but decided to raise her as mine. Got pregnant at 18 with twins & my husband beat me till kill the babies. After the hospital told me I lost the twins I left my husband…I was 12 weeks pregnant! My ex husband still denies I was even pregnant! Got pregnant at 20 by date rape. Didn’t even remember the rape until my son was 1 when my boyfriend was proved not the father. I had to go to therapy to remember & accept what happened. I love my daughter & son. I cry all the time for my lost twins that would be turning 5 feb 18th if I had made it to my due date…

    by mommy~brina on Jan 12, 2012 at 11:55 pm

  18. Our hearts and prayers go out to you. We especially pray you will find a post-abortion support group with women who will listen, understand, and support you.

    by EI on Jan 13, 2012 at 3:58 pm

  19. Sorry again for the late reply. I’m in grad school and my workload has been piling up.

    I don’t consider a thousanth-of-an-ounce embryo as a baby, and no, it doesn’t have as much right to live as the mother. Abortion may not reverse the rape, but it can prevent the mother from having to endure nine months of pregnancy that she does not deserve. Pregnancy is a blessing to a consensual mother, but to a rape victim it could be a curse. “If one promotes abortion in the cases of rape, what is that saying about people already conceived in rape?” First of all, as I stated before, there is a big difference between a fully functional human being and an embryo. Second, you seem to insinuate that promoting abortions in cases of rape is equivalent to thinking that people who are products of rape do not deserve to live, which is completely untrue. To answer your question, though, it says nothing. Endorsing a raped woman’s right to choose whether she wants to go through with an unwanted pregnancy or not has nothing to do with already-born children and adults.

    The system will never be revamped. Capitalist, corporate-owned America does not care about the welfare of its people; it only cares about money. And who do you think pays for the system to be run? We the people do. We’re the ones who pay foster parents and state-run child homes to raise unwanted children for 18 years. Personally, I’d much rather my tax dollars pay for some poor girl’s abortion. “We should work to fix the adoption process, try to teach chastity and reduce teen pregnancies, and other situations and factors that could help reduce the problem.” What are you talking about? This conversation is about rape victims, not unchaste teenagers. Rape and consensual sex are two completely different issues, and should be viewed in completely different ways. And by the way, you didn’t answer either of my two questions: What if the rape victim were a 12-year-old girl who’d just hit puberty? (Should she be forced to carry and birth it, even as such a young age?) And who are we to say a rape victim *has* to give birth to her rapist’s child?

    I was talking about people in general, not *just* criminals who receive the death penalty. (That was merely an example.) Picture this: There’s a war between two countries – an unjust war, let’s say – and both governments are sending young boys off to kill and die in it. Let’s say many of these boys don’t agree with the war but have to fight in it anyway because they serve their country and because they’ll be punished if they refuse. Let’s say these governments usurp their countries’ money, sending their countries into terrible recessions, in order to pay for this unjust, unnecessary war. What right do the goverments have to do *any* of that? What right do they have to send young boys to their deaths for their own selfish agendas? What right do they have to command those boys to kill other young boys who are in the same predicament as they are? What right do they have to make their own citizens suffer so they can cause devastation and destruction elsewhere? You see? We – and by “we,” I mean society – decide who lives and who dies all the time, in various ways. You can’t use “Who are we to decide who gets to live and who gets to die?” as a valid argument.

    Bottom line: Rape victims should have the freedom to choose what is right for them, free of any kind of harrassment from outsiders.

    by Julia on Jan 29, 2012 at 1:22 am

  20. 1. If size matters, how big does an human embryo have to be before you give it any value? And at what size do born persons have to be before size doesn’t matter any more?

    2. A major point of the article is that women who have had sexual assault pregnancies feel pressured by the expectations of those around them, including family, medical personnel, and legal authorities to have an abortion, even if the prospect of an abortion raises moral issues for the sexual assault victim, herself. So, if you are agreeing that we should all educate the public to not expect or advocate for abortion in cases of rape or incest, but instead leave it up to the women themselves without advocating either way, then perhaps together we can make progress toward removing one of the pressures which causes so many unwanted abortions.

    by EI on Jan 29, 2012 at 5:06 am

  21. 1. Before the nervous system develops and the embryo
    becomes sensitive to pain, it is merely a package of cells.
    Therefore, it is not alive in my book, and certainly not on the
    same level as a baby. The issue, however, is not so much
    when life begins as it is the freedom to choose.

    2. Your article seems very biased. For instance: “Undercover
    investigations by pro-life groups have found numerous cases
    in which clinics agreed to cover up cases of statutory rape
    or ongoing abuse of minor girls by older men and simply perform
    an abortion instead.” First of all, the investigators were pro-life, so they
    were prejudiced about the clinics from the start and likely looked for
    specific cases that supported their cause. Secondly, statutory
    rape and abuse can be assessed by means other than birthing a
    child. And thirdly, nothing was said about whether the victims actually
    *wanted* the abortions or not. Another example: “The father had
    repeatedly raped the three girls over a period of at least nine
    years, and the rapes were covered up by at least ten abortions.”
    While my heart definitely goes out to those poor girls, this article
    seems to say that the abortions were *all* that prevented their abuse
    from being reported, which I find hard to belief. Also, nothing is
    said about whether or not the girls wanted the abortions, or would
    have wanted them if given a choice; it simply seems to assume
    they wouldn’t. You say that the article’s purpose is to “remove
    pressures” that lead to unwanted abortions, but all it seems to do
    is wave a finger and preach that abortions are inherently wrong.

    Abortions should never be forced (in any way), but they should also
    never stop being an option.

    by Julia on Jan 30, 2012 at 11:44 pm

  22. Julia, have you ever been a rape victim? Have you ever had an abortion?

    If neither of these applies to you, please do not speak for those of us for whom this does apply. For those of us who have actually suffered these conditions, we can & do attest that the shame and pain of having been raped is difficult to bear. Abortion is a choice made, and it cannot be borne by others. It is far more damaging than having been raped. With rape, you are clearly aware that you are not at fault. With an abortion, you cannot deny that you are at fault. And often, in the case of coerced abortions, that’s the only solace you can find: that you were backed into a corner and not really given a choice. But the same internal arguments apply “I should have fought harder to stop it” it plays over & over again in your mind. All of the potential outcomes, all of the ‘what could have been’ throws you into a downward spiral.

    All of this could be put to an abrupt halt by carrying your child to term. You will never have to wonder what could have been. You never wonder feel loss, guilt or shame. What you feel is proud & honorable. You understand that no one would’ve judged you harshly if you had an abortion, but you also know that an abortion would have left a gaping hole in your life & severely damaged your psyche.

    I understand what you are saying. You have some good points. However, you fail to understand the painful miseries of those of us who have stood in this light. And you fail to understand the remarkably redemptive effects of being able to see what could be as what is, as you see your child grow.

    by jjj on Feb 3, 2012 at 7:34 pm

  23. Yes, I have been a rape victim, and yes, I have had an abortion (that is actually why
    I feel the way I do). My arguments are not meant to offend, but to advocate choice. “Abortion is a choice made, and it cannot be borne by others.” That is precisely my point – abortion is a personal decision, and those who go through with it should not be persecuted in any way.

    “It is far more damaging than having been raped.” That is your opinion. For me, being raped was far more damaging than having an abortion.

    “With rape, you are clearly aware that you are not at fault. With an abortion, you cannot deny that you are at fault.” A raped woman should not have to bear fault for a pregnancy that she did not willing cause, just as she should not bear fault for the sex that she did not want. She is not responsible for the fertilized egg that would not have been fertilized had the rape not happened. If she wants to *take* responsibility, that is her right, but she should not have to.

    “And often, in the case of coerced abortions, that’s the only solace you can find: that you were backed into a corner and not really given a choice.” I am totally against coerced abortions. As I stated above, I’m an advocate of choice.

    “All of the potential outcomes, all of the ‘what could have been’ throws you into a downward spiral.” Not all of the time. The only outcome I was concerned with when I found out I was impregnated against my will was ensuring my future. I knew that I was not to blame for my pregnancy, and I was going to do whatever I felt was right for me.

    “All of this could be put to an abrupt halt by carrying your child to term. You will never have to wonder what could have been. You never wonder feel loss, guilt or shame. What you feel is proud & honorable.” You’re generalizing here. You cannot presume to know how other rape victims would feel if they carried their pregnancy full term (in fact, you *don’t* know). What is to say that birthing their rapist’s child would not cause them psychological damage? Or physical damage, if their bodies are unprepared for pregnancy? No one can say how an individual rape victim will – or should – handle her pregnancy. That is for her to decide. The only thing that outsiders (even fellow rape victims) can offer is support.

    “You understand that no one would’ve judged you harshly if you had an abortion, but you also know that an abortion would have left a gaping hole in your life & severely damaged your psyche.” The first part of that is not true, some people *would* have judged you harshly. Are you aware that Catholicism and other religious organizations hold that abortions are inherently evil, even in cases of rape? In their eyes, anyone who has one – regardless of their circumstances – is a murderer. The second part is, again, a generalization. I am a rape victim who has had an abortion, and I do not have a gaping hole in my life or a damaged psyche. And I know others who feel the same way.

    “However, you fail to understand the painful miseries of those of us who have stood in this light.” I myself *have* stood in this light, and I understand perfectly well the “painful miseries” associated with it.

    “And you fail to understand the remarkably redemptive effects of being able to see what could be as what is, as you see your child grow.” You seem think I want all pregnancies that are the result of rape terminated. That is not true in the slightest. I’m merely a supporter of a raped woman’s *right* to abort. They don’t have to, but they should be free to do so if they feel it’s best. If they feel that carrying their pregnancy full term will give them a sense of redemption – if they see it as a way to “overcome” the rape – then by all means, they can carry their pregnancy full term. But they should have the ability to decide not to. Redemption, like abortion, is a personal thing. What is redemptive to one person may not be to another.

    I have no problem with children who are products of rape being birthed and/or kept. I just have a problem with people assuming that they *must* be birthed and/or kept. One raped woman may want to keep her rapist’s child, whereas another may not. The decision is up to the raped woman herself. Redemption is a relative and subjective word. It means what an individual wants it to mean.

    by Julia on Feb 5, 2012 at 7:20 pm

  24. I received divorce papers the day I found out I was pregnant. I was alone and barely made enough to survive on my own. I had no idea how I would be able to manage a child through all of this. I went to the doctor the following day due to some bleeding issues and had an ultrasound. I saw my son’s heart beating. In that instant, I knew there was no choice. That was my child, and he had as much right to live as I did. I have never looked back. He is 12 years old now, and he makes life complete.

    by Donna on Feb 14, 2012 at 10:46 pm

  25. Julia,

    Isn’t this article about there being forced abortions done on rape/incest victims who wanted to continue with their pregnancies? Isn’t this article also about challenging the common assumption that all rape victims want to proceed with an abortion?

    Pro-choicers advocate change for all women burdened by society’s existing views. But is there much support provided for women who believe it morally wrong to abort/or believe it wrong to solve violence with violence, and thus seek help? Is there even an attempt made by pro-choicers to protect those women from society’s perpetuated beliefs that claims babies conceived by rapists ARE ALL unwanted by their mothers, and by society? I’ve encountered my comments from various sites expressing that such babies are destined to be EXACTLY LIKE the father and thus should be terminated for society’s sake.

    Also, due to the ‘supposed’ emotions/feelings held by others surrounding rape and incest, abortion is favored as a necessity for ALL rape/incest victims. Society today doesn’t think of abortion as a shared necessity for the women who have decided for one because they have already accepted that no woman has or would ever want to bore a child resulting from rape/incest.

    Regardless of what you might personally feel towards pro-life, it can’t be denied that they’ve provided services for those women who have chosen ‘yes’ and have given birth to their child. Services, prolife based also exist for women who have later on in life regretted their decision to seek an abortion.

    Whether religiously based or not, those advocating for prolife understand abortion as an evil. I personally see abortion as murder, and while it seems harsh it I believe that it is necessary. As long as a woman’s whole nature isn’t judged, then it isn’t wrong for me or anyone else to publicly voice abortion as murder. My aim in saying this is to not convince you that you’ve done evil. I, as a prolifer, openly stand against abortion and I want to make myself useful for the young girls/women society and pro-choice doesn’t help.

    You don’t regret your decision, fine. But what if you later on in life regretted your decision and sought for compassion? You might not seek it, but others are and there is proof for the need for compassion.

    by Atu on Feb 16, 2012 at 9:22 am

  26. Regarding belief that life begins at conception and that abortion is murdering a human being, it would be murder to abort a child conceived in rape or incest just as it is with any other unborn child.

    To separate unborn children into three categories rape/incest/the-rest and decide that a person conceived in rape or incest is somehow not worthy of living…is to believe in abortion.

    Abortion is abortion. To pick and choose who deserves to live, once you decide it would be murder, is to “play God”.

    Is there something sub-human about an individual whose father raped his/her mother? Is there something non-human about a child whose parents were blood-related? Is it because that child may be born with disfigurements and bodily defects? If so, it would not be considered murdered to abort a baby if it is discovered in utero that is has spina bifida? That person is somehow less of a human being and unworthy of same consideration as a healthy fetus.

    Examine these beliefs. It is too important.

    by SUSAN on Mar 1, 2012 at 10:10 pm

  27. “Isn’t this article about there being forced abortions done on rape/incest victims who wanted to continue with their pregnancies? Isn’t this article also about challenging the common assumption that all rape victims want to proceed with an abortion?”

    I don’t deny that there are forced abortions, but this article seems very biased. As I stated above, the research from which this article obtained its information was conducted by pro-life investigators who likely searched for only the evidence that supported their cause. As someone who’s conducted research myself, I have seen how investigators can skew their results via their biases, and they don’t necessarily have to do it on purpose. When I read scholastic articles, I try to read them critically, as a scientist should.

    “Pro-choicers advocate change for all women burdened by society’s existing views. But is there much support provided for women who believe it morally wrong to abort/or believe it wrong to solve violence with violence, and thus seek help?”

    Truthfully, I find that there is a great deal of support for such women. In fact, I find more support for them than for women who choose to abort. Have you considered the harrassment that women receive for wanting an abortion? Have you considered the death threats that abortion providers receive? In general, we have more respect for women who want their offspring than we do for women who don’t, circumstances aside.

    “Is there even an attempt made by pro-choicers to protect those women from society’s perpetuated beliefs that claims babies conceived by rapists ARE ALL unwanted by their mothers, and by society?”

    True pro-choicers, such as myself, advocate choice. We believe it is the pregnant woman’s decision and that she should be supported regardless of what she chooses. Any so-called pro-choicer who believes otherwise is nothing more than an extremist who, like violent anti-abortionists, want to control someone else.

    “I’ve encountered my comments from various sites expressing that such babies are destined to be EXACTLY LIKE the father and thus should be terminated for society’s sake.”

    Those sites are sadly misinformed. Either that or they are propaganda sites which do not accurately represent what it means to be pro-choice.

    “Also, due to the ‘supposed’ emotions/feelings held by others surrounding rape and incest, abortion is favored as a necessity for ALL rape/incest victims.”

    Such favoritism is not truly pro-choice, and from what I’ve seen, it exists mainly with extremists.

    “Society today doesn’t think of abortion as a shared necessity for the women who have decided for one because they have already accepted that no woman has or would ever want to bore a child resulting from rape/incest.”

    I do not see that as the case at all. Please take into account that, just like pro-lifers, we pro-choicers have radicals who, unfortunately, like to speak louder than whoever may oppose them.

    “Regardless of what you might personally feel towards pro-life, it can’t be denied that they’ve provided services for those women who have chosen ‘yes’ and have given birth to their child. Services, prolife based also exist for women who have later on in life regretted their decision to seek an abortion.”

    I never said they did not. However, please bear in mind that certain pro-life congregations have committed despicable acts against women seeking abortions and abortion supporters.

    “Whether religiously based or not, those advocating for prolife understand abortion as an evil. I personally see abortion as murder, and while it seems harsh it I believe that it is necessary. As long as a woman’s whole nature isn’t judged, then it isn’t wrong for me or anyone else to publicly voice abortion as murder. My aim in saying this is to not convince you that you’ve done evil. I, as a prolifer, openly stand against abortion and I want to make myself useful for the young girls/women society and pro-choice doesn’t help.”

    Here’s where you’ve confused me. If you’re completely against abortions and see them as murder, than according to you, I *have* done evil. According to your belief system, there’s no difference between a desperate rape victim seeking to abort and unwanted, undeserved embryo and a woman who willingly birthed a child and then later decided that she no longer wanted it and proceeded to kill it. There is a world of difference!

    I, as a pro-choicer, openly stand for a woman’s right to decide for herself whether she wants to abort or not, and those pro-lifers who would chastise such a woman for “committing murder” don’t help.

    “You don’t regret your decision, fine. But what if you later on in life regretted your decision and sought for compassion? You might not seek it, but others are and there is proof for the need for compassion.”

    I fully promote compassion. That is one of the many reasons why I am pro-choice. I recognize that there are those women who have an abortion and then regret it later, but there are those others (such as myself) who do not, and honestly I don’t see how seeking compassion from someone who believes you’ve committed murder would be very comforting.

    by Julia on Mar 6, 2012 at 2:57 am

  28. I fail to understand your last comment: “I recognize that there are those women who have an abortion and then regret it later, but there are those others (such as myself) who do not, and honestly I don’t see how seeking compassion from someone who believes you’ve committed murder would be very comforting.”

    Women like yourself, who do not regret their abortions do not seek or need compassion since you are satisfied with your decision, right?

    Regarding those who do regret their abortions, they do benefit from compassion and that it what we offer them.

    Finally, you mischaracterize and misrepresent what those in the post-abortion movement believe. We don’t characterize those who have had abortions as having “committed murder.” That is a morally loaded judgment that does implies awareness and malevolent intent. We do not judge intent and instead presume that women who have had abortions did not have such intent, but in most cases were acting under duress. In any event, while we believe they have experienced the death of a child and that loss deserves compassion and support so they can heal and recover from that loss, we most definitely do not characterize it as “murder.”

    While some pro-life advocates do call it murder, and some do, unfortunately, have a harsh attitude toward women and men who have had abortions, that is not a view point shared by those in the post-abortion movement, which is actually distinct from the pro-life movement.

    Perhaps your dialogue on this page would be more productive if you did not assume that the worst things you attribute to “pro-life extremists” apply to those who are involved in post-abortion outreach, education, and research. There might find that you share more common ground with us than you would think once you abandon the efforts to force us into the stereotype you have created for “pro-life” advocates.

    by EI on Mar 6, 2012 at 3:18 am

  29. I never insinuated that the post-abortion movement characterizes women who’ve had abortions as murderers. I assure you, I do not think all pro-life advocates see abortion as murder. In fact, I know not all of them do as I have a pro-life friend who does not begrudge me for my decision. However, Atu clearly stated that s/he considers abortion murder, which would make any woman who has had one a murderer. Granted, s/he said that a woman’s whole nature shouldn’t be judged by whether or not she’s aborted, but murder is murder regardless of one’s nature.

    I did not intend to stereotype pro-life advocates. I merely meant to ask Atu if s/he has considered that there *are* extremists who commit violent acts. When I said “those pro-lifers who would chastise such a woman for ‘committing murder’,” for instance, I meant specifically those who would. I was responding to Atu’s comment about how pro-choice isn’t useful to society, which I found quite offensive and untrue. Both the pro-choice and pro-life sides to the abortion debate have offered services, both have good qualities and bad qualities.

    I’m a supporter of a woman’s right to choose. If she chooses to carry her baby to full term and birth it, that is great; if she chooses to abort, that is her right. But no one should deny her her voice. If she aborts and later regrets it, she should be treated with compassion; if she aborts and does not regret it, she should likewise be treated with compassion. In other words, the decision she makes for herself should be respected.

    by Julia on Mar 9, 2012 at 10:30 am

  30. I don’t believe in a god. If it can’t think and feel yet I don’t have a problem with it. If my parents would have aborted me I have no problem with that either, hard to care if you don’t exist.

    by Rageoholic on Mar 12, 2012 at 3:18 pm

  31. I feel for the fathers who want those babies, I do, but how exactly does one go about ensuring those rights for the father without taking away rights from the mother?

    by Rageoholic on Mar 12, 2012 at 3:23 pm

  32. I already know I don’t want kids, I’m not the mothering nurturing type and never will be. The idea of being pregnant is quite frankly disturbing to me.

    If I had become pregnant through rape, especially in my teens, and it were illegal for me to abort it would be highly traumatic to go through. I already have controll issues and the idea of being powerless, especially over my own body, is one of my greatest fears. I cannot imagine the horror of seeing my belly grow and swell against my will with some…thing…growing in me. I can say with near certainty that I would commit suicide in that situation.

    I’m all for those who wish to keep their babies doing so. And I am all for making women aware that it can be with help a healing experience rather than a further trauma and not advertizing abortion as the go-to solution. But that won’t be the case for all and that option should not be removed.

    by Rageoholic on Mar 12, 2012 at 3:48 pm

  33. Wow. What a touching story! I wish there more people involved in this debate like you. I didn’t want reply to any of these posts, but I thought it would be a good thing to praise you, because despite all this you still believe that no one has the right to impose their beliefs on others and tell a perfect stranger that “they know what’s best for her” . I agree with you on men should have more say in these matters, however it’s one of those touchy subjects, I still think the woman should decide what happens to her body…sometimes it’s never the same again and a lot of really gross things happen to you too. I hope one day there’s a way to transplant an embryo into a volentary surrogate mother, so men would have a fair voice in this matter. But it’s like the KKK doing one of those parades though I think it’s horrible that anyone would allow this, what’s even more horrible is that an American citizen was denied their 1st amendment right. ( I. DO think that police officers should have the right to refuse to guard them heh heh) what was done to you was very very cruel…but despite that, you remained as open minded as you were before. The world needs more people like you. Thank you for posting your opinion.

    by Sasha on May 3, 2012 at 12:11 am

  34. Okay I also wanted to say that it is very dispicable to say a woman that has been raped ( or any circumstance for that matter) rights are equal to that of a zygote or fetus that cannot survive in the outside world in an incubator even. It’s ( yes it is an “it” at this point”) organs cannot even substain it in the In the natural environment of earth …if it cannot even do the basic things of a living organism in the biological and medical sense it’s just tissue it’s still part of the woman’s body. So it has differant DNA …so what? DNA does not have rights just because it’s differant . And the crap that it’s a “potential” life…oh please. I am a “potential ” heart surgeon but have no formal training yet…does this give me more rights then the patient who can turn me down before I cut them open? No. And that line about “it’s not the “baby’s” fault for what the father did.” I’ll say it again zygotes and 1st trimester fetus are not “babies”. If I was raped the very thought of any part of him inside MY body is enough to make me emotionally traumatized to the point of being commited. I’d be disgusted enough that I couldn’t even wash up until they could collect DNA samples so I’d have A shot at justice and. closure. To let him continue to violate me by taking my hard earned athletic body and nine months of my precious time just makes me shudder. I’d have someone kick me in the stomach risking permanent injury before I’d let him win again. This
    My personal decidsion …I highly respect mothers that love their children regardless of how they were comcieved they are admirable. It would scar me forever every time I looked at those stretch marks I’d relive that rape all over again.

    by Sasha on May 3, 2012 at 1:31 am

  35. Damn, my heart goes out to you

    by Ashante' on May 30, 2012 at 10:22 pm

  36. An even better question would be, how do you ensure the rights of the mother and father while still protecting the God given rights of the baby?

    At least in the United States, the Declaration of Independence is quite clear … all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life ….

    No where in any of the text does it state all men are created equal AFTER they are born.

    I was very saddened and amazed in reading the story of the mother who had no problem ending the life of her child and actually believing it was a better way to go. Again, not even mentioning the option of adoption.

    by MamaBear on Jun 9, 2012 at 11:33 pm

  37. My reply was incomplete.

    As the DofI points out, God granted certain rights to all.

    Just like the mother and father, God granted them the right to live. He also granted that child the right to life. No one on earth is granted the right to take that child’s life away.

    by MamaBear on Jun 9, 2012 at 11:36 pm

  38. I would like to post this article on facebook

    by John Mann on Aug 9, 2012 at 4:58 am

  39. Sure. Do so with our permission.

    by EI on Aug 9, 2012 at 4:54 pm

  40. I would just like to add my two cents.
    I was raped at the age of 14. FOURTEEN. I conceived, and three months in, the accusation began. “Whore” and “slut” are just a few words that will forever remain with me. I ended up losing the baby, but truly, if I’d had the means to get an abortion, I would have. I was disappointed, of course, because every female has maternal instincts, but still. A fourteen year old should not have to deal with a pregnancy.

    by Jane on Aug 13, 2012 at 4:47 am

  41. We are sorry to hear all that you suffered, including the hurtful accusations from others who should have been offering support instead. We pray you will continue to find healing and growth in every area of your life.

    by EI on Aug 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm

  42. You, are judging people that you assume are judging post-abortive women.
    That idea comes right out of the Planned Parenthood playbook. Go to You Tube. Check out the 39th Washington March for Life, that took place January 2012. Among the 400,000 marchers, who are mostly young people that consider themselves “abortion survivors”, are hundreds of people with black and white signs which say, “I Regret My Abortion” or “I Regret Lost Fatherhood”. I have my own experience with abortion. None of us would presume to judge you.
    I recommend the National Geographic movie ‘The Biology of Prenatal Development’, where you can see the embryo’s heart emptying and filling at 21 days and can hear the heartbeat at 113 beats per minute. You can also learn that the baby has brain waves at 6.5 weeks and demonstrates right-handed dominance at 8 weeks. It is not a clump of cells but a dynamic human organism. The movie is entirely secular, with expertise provided by some of the world’s most prominent scientists.
    There are many resources for helping the post-abortive woman ,or man, learn to forgive themselves. Among the most well known are Feminists for Life or, if you are a Christian: Rachel’s Vineyard, Project Rachel and ‘Silent No More Awareness Campaign’ (the folks who carry the black signs at the March for Life). Jews for Life may also have a program.

    by Lillian Porter on Sep 12, 2012 at 1:06 am

  43. I by no means try and judge others or impose my beliefs onto them, but those who are “completely unable to handle the emotional complexity” or “unprepared” for parenthood are unprepared to engage in the act that resulted in the pregnancy in the first place. We are an educated society and are well aware of how a child is conceived.

    I hope you raise your child/ren with a better sense of responsibility. We all have to take responsibility for our actions and accept the consequences of those actions. This is true in every aspect of life no matter what the subject. We cannot just go about living our life and doing whatever we wish with no regard to any consequences for our actions. People who do this live in Prisons! Abortion should be used as a last resort and not a free pass enabling us to make irresponsible decisions.

    I had my children very young. I have made tremendous unselfish sacrifices as a result of that choice. The choice I am speaking of is the choice to become sexually active, not the choice of giving birth to the children I conceived. I do not regret that choice, nor do I regret my children. I am sure that I could have given my children more with better planning, but I am positive they appreciate the gift of life far more than any material possession I could have provided. (And they do not go without because their father and I have always put them first.)

    Is it possible to put a value on the life of a child and say that a better career, or more stable environment are worth more than the life of a child? I can understand the desire to have everything in place before bringing a child into the world, but that is something that should be considered before conception, not after, and certainly not as a justification for abortion.

    It is not my intention to judge you but rather to inform you when I say, It is doubtful that you had an abortion earlier than 4-6 weeks after conception because most people are not aware they missed a menstrual cycle until at least then. So contrary to what you believe or may have been told, your child did indeed have a brain.

    I realize there is nothing I can say or do that will change your feelings or anyone else’s on this subject ,and that is OK. I do hope others who read this will take the time to research on their own before making any decisions, regardless of the outcome, instead of acting spontaneously which is what put them in that position in the first place.

    by Jessica on Dec 2, 2012 at 9:15 am

  44. Any father that would rape his own child does not deserve to be the father of that child. The child in question should be removed from the house where the father lives and brought up by a responsible adult. An order of protection should be issued by family court that the father must stay away from that child. An OOP usually is good for one year, and can be renewed.

    by Debra on Jan 15, 2013 at 5:18 pm

  45. honestly i think that abortion is morally wrong. Sure women say they are unprepared to have a baby, but think about when they had sexual relationships with or without protection, they knew there was a chance they could get pregnant. I think under some circumstances a women has a right to choose if she wants to have an abortion, like rape or incest. Although there are better options like adoptions but i think in cases like that they deserve to choose whats best for them.

    by Maria on Jan 30, 2013 at 5:04 am

  46. I understand why you would think that in the terrible, frightening situation of being pregnant following sexual assault women “deserve to choose what’s best for them.” But that thought presumes that abortion is best, or is at least sometimes known to be best, for them. Please read our book, Victims and Victors: Speaking Out About Their Pregnancies, Abortions, and Children Resulting from Sexual Assault. In it you will discover that there is no evidence that abortion ever benefits rape or incest victims and tons of evidence that it will actually make things worse. It is very literally like throwing gasoline on a person whose clothes have already caught fire, adding one trauma (abortion) on top of a previous trauma (rape). Many of the women who “choose” abortion following rape do so because they feel pressured by others who insist it is the best thing to do (though they themselves are ignorant of the evidence to the contrary) and are often in such a state of turmoil that they trust this advice and really don’t so much “choose” as “go along.”

    IF we want what is best for rape and incest victims, rather than say that they deserve to choose abortion if they want one we should say they deserve the best medical care possible–and that includes medical treatment that looks at all of the risks and risk factors associated with abortion and an evidence based medical recommendation regarding whether the benefits of abortion outweigh the risks. Before a woman is given that information (whether pregnant through rape or not), she is not being given an informed choice, she’s being offered an uninformed choice. The difference is that if the medical evidence of risks versus benefits was fully disclosed, she would be told that there is literally no evidence at all that abortion helps in recovery from the experience of rape or incest, or in any other way, but there is tons of evidence of psychological and physical harm and negative impact on future fertility, mothering, and marriage.

    by EI on Jan 31, 2013 at 3:05 pm

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