One of the toughest challenges that pro-life stalwarts have to handle is our opposition to abortion in cases of rape and incest. The reaction we get is best summarized in the comment, “Why are you people against abortion in the case of rape? Don’t you realize how inhumane that is? You must hate women!”
When Sarah Palin
announced that she would not permit her daughter to have an abortion even if she were raped, the hue and cries from the pro-aborts were based on the view that the public is at odds with such a statement. That did not rock Palin’s world and it has never disturbed us at American Life League.
This is why I was so moved by the sixteen-year-old girl who recently sent me a message on my EWTN Forum
I am 16 years old and I recently found out I am 8 weeks pregnant and not by choice. Let me explain. I was raped by our neighbor’s son who is a man in his 40s. He was arrested but has not gone to trial yet. … When I missed my period I told my best friend’s mother who is aware of the whole situation. She took me to a local clinic to get a pregnancy test and it was positive. 8 weeks positive. I am devastated! I don’t want to be pregnant and especially not by that man. It was bad enough that he took my virginity but to leave me pregnant. ... I can’t bear it. I feel dirty, disgusted at the fact that I have this baby inside of me that I don’t want. … I stopped going to church because I am so ashamed. I’m not showing yet but if I allow this pregnancy to continue I would have to answer a lot of questions which I’m sure I’ll get regarding this pregnancy. This is a nightmare I want to wake up from, not relive it. … Why do this [sic] things have to happen? Why [are there] so many bad people in this world? Help me make sense of this. I’m tired of crying all the time. I’m simply distraught!
My response to this young woman evoked comments from others who read of her plight and wanted to share their views with her as well.
Larry wrote, “I had a[n] aunt who was raped many years ago … My aunt gave birth to a son who[m] she ended up letting her parents (my grandparents) raise…but did go on and marry and had two daughters, but by then my cousin, her son, was very happy living with his grandparents and my aunt only lived a couple of blocks away so she was there to be with him and watch him grow into manhood.”
Larry went on to explain that this young man went to church regularly, became an Eagle Scout and even suffered polio as a child. But through it all, his natural mother loved him and he ultimately learned the truth and embraced her and his siblings.
Another young woman wrote that she had been raped at the age of 14 and, when she discovered that she was pregnant, her parents affirmed the value of the baby’s life, and actually adopted the baby and raised her as the rape victim’s “special sister.”
There are many stories like this but they never receive media attention because such stories of heroic love do not fit into the spin zone where every abortion is viewed as a positive act.
Life presents many hardships to each and every one of us. The solution is never to kill or lash out in anger, but rather to embrace the opportunity to bring good out of even the most emotionally devastating experience. Let us pray that this young woman chooses life, not death, for her child.
For more information about victims of rape and children of rape victims, we recommend the following: