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What about Rape?
Most people, including many pro-life individuals, avoid the question of whether abortion is ok in the cases of rape. Often times, they admit exceptions to rape, incest, and the health of the mother, but are those really exceptions to the rule?
While a majority of pregnancies are the result of consensual sex, rape-based pregnancies present a unique dilemma. If a woman did not choose to engage in sex in the first place, why should she have to carry to term a child that was the result of her forced union?
First, consider why you are against most abortions. Is it because an abortion takes the life of an innocent baby? If so, do the circumstances of a child’s conception change the fact that he or she is a living preborn person?
Let’s add a hypothetical situation to this question. Suppose a woman conceived a child in rape and decided to carry her child to term and raise her son herself. After five years, however, she decides that the little boy’s presence in her life is too much of a burden. He looks too much like his biological father. Should that mother have the right to kill her five year-old son?
Obviously not. No matter what the circumstances are regarding the little boy’s conception, he is a human being with a right to life that cannot be taken away. But what about before this child is born, does anything change? No. Abortion is an act of violence that kills a living human being. The circumstances surrounding conception do not change that reality.
If you found out your best friend was conceived in rape, would you view her differently? If not, isn’t that an unfair double standard? If a child, conceived in rape, has a right to live once he is born, then shouldn’t he be protected before birth?
Look at the pictures above. Do any of the pictures look like the face of a monster? What if each of them had a rapist father? Would that change your view of them? Should a child die for the crimes of his or her parent?
Rape and incest are horrific wrongs. A woman violated in a sexual assault should be surrounded by love and support. If that assault results in pregnancy, aren’t there now two people affected by the assault? Two people in need of protection and care?
The perpetrator must be punished to the fullest extent of the law, but does the helpless child, who is guilty of no crime, deserve death? Is the violent act of abortion a good solution to the violent act of rape?
The emotional effects of rape on the woman must be addressed. Will her grief or memories of the rape disappear with her child she aborts? Aborting a child conceived through rape simply extends this pattern of violence and victim-hood. It does not “unrape” the woman, but it will most certainly increase her regret and misery.
Rape is an act of violence for which she bears no responsibility; the abortion is an act of violence for which she would be morally culpable. Abortion is not a healing or compassionate procedure for the mother or her child, and will not erase the rape.
Rebecca Kiessling, was conceived in rape. Her mother carried her to term and placed her for adoption. It wasn’t until she was a teenager that she discovered her story. You can hear her amazing story below:
Ryan Bomberger’s mother was raped in 1971. She made a selfless choice in choosing life for her son. Six weeks after he was born, she placed him for adoption and he grew up in a loving family of 13! Ten of the 13 children were adopted.
Since then, he has gone on to touch countless lives through adoption and foster care advocacy. You can read more about his story here, and watch his video below:
- Read more personal stories about the rape exception at www.abort73.com/abortion/common_objections/
- Read some additional thoughts about the rape exception from SFLA President, Kristan Hawkins, here.