By Sara Gerardo
It has been 12 years since I was raped. I am finally ready to break my silence and tell my story.
For almost a year, I was held against my will and abused. When I finally got free, I was pregnant. Everyone pushed me to have an abortion, and it seemed logical at the time. Did I want the child of a rapist? What if the baby turned out to be just like him? Did I want a daily reminder of my rape living with me?
Some health issues affect my memory, but I remember the day I went to see the doctor before my scheduled abortion. I remember praying for forgiveness and hoping that I was making the right decision. I was resolved to go through with it until I heard my baby’s heartbeat. Then the ultrasound technician said, “Your baby seems fine.”
He didn’t say my abuser’s baby. Not a blob of tissue. A heartbeat. A child. My baby.
My baby wasn’t guilty of anything my rapist had done, and he didn’t deserve to die. Killing him wouldn’t change anything that had happened. He was MY child! I could not go through with the abortion.
I lived homeless for some time, but keeping my son was the best decision I have ever made in my life. I finally got a job and began pushing for a promotion—something I never would have done without my son. I eventually got a raise. I’m the first person from both sides of my family to obtain a degree.
I remember so clearly the day my son was born and holding him in complete disbelief. How could someone be so perfect? How could I love someone so much and so completely? I marveled over every part of him. My wonderful little boy.
Today I am married with two more children, and I am about to pursue my master’s degree. As for my son, he’s incredible. He has such a compassionate heart. At age five, he started fundraising for charity, and his efforts earned him the recognition of actor Patrick Dempsey. He is very bright, with an IQ over 120. He was recruited by one of the top schools in the country, skipped a grade, and is in the gifted and talented program.
My son doesn’t act like my rapist. He doesn’t look much like him. He isn’t a daily reminder of the abuse I endured. He is MY son, my treasure. The day I heard his heartbeat, I became pro-life. No exceptions!