"You can’t force a rape survivor to carry a pregnancy to term." This is a hugely popular argument for abortion, even by many who consider themselves pro-life. But is someone’s life really worth less than anyone else’s because of the way they were conceived? Let’s ask Stephanie Reynolds, whose own mother was a victim of rape, and chose her life instead of abortion.Read Transcript More Resources Next Video
Is abortion justified in cases of rape?
Any woman who has been raped has suffered a horrific violence and injustice. She needs help, healing, and the support of her community. The rapist should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law, and in many cases, our laws must be improved to more fully protect women and girls from their attackers.
This is a very personal topic for me, because my own mother was a victim of rape. And she chose life—my life. When someone says that children conceived in rape should be aborted, they are talking about me. My mother saw that my life was not worth less than anyone else's simply because of the way I was conceived, and that I should not be put to death for the crimes of my father.
Abortion does nothing to give the woman the healing that she needs and deserves. Abortion does not erase the rape or undo the violence that the woman has suffered. Instead, abortion subjects this woman – and now, her child – to yet another act of violence that also cannot be erased or undone. As many rape survivors have poignantly testified, abortion is actually an obstacle to healing after rape. Abortion adds trauma to trauma, and it creates yet another innocent victim.
It is never fair to punish an innocent child with what amounts to the death penalty because her father committed a heinous crime. Under our current laws, we do not even give rapists the death penalty. So, to put the child to death is to give rapists more rights then we give innocent preborn children.
Listen to the testimony of Jennifer Christie, who was brutally raped on a business trip. She became pregnant, but she rejected abortion for her son. She says, “I was told that 'If you just abort, everything will be okay, and you’ll forget. If you just abort, then you can move on.' There is no forgetting. No woman is ever going to forget what happened to her. I was told so many times that “If you’d just abort, you won’t always have this reminder hanging over your head. This reminder.” Is my son a reminder? He absolutely is. My son is a reminder every day that as women we can rise above our circumstances. My son is a reminder that love is always stronger than hate, and that who we are as human beings is not determined by how we were conceived.”
After Ashley Sigrest was raped, she had an abortion. Today she speaks of the horror she experienced: “And I could never, ever deal with my rape, because I was so focused on what I had done in choosing abortion. And that’s what people don’t understand. When they tell rape victims, “Oh yes, have an abortion. So that way, you can go on and we can deal with the rape.” But the abortion just makes the rape 1,000 times worse. Because now you have these two horrible events that you have to deal with.”
Abortion is not the loving course of action for a woman seeking healing after sexual assault. We as a community need to hold rapists accountable to the fullest extent of the law, and give love and support to both the woman and her child.