All rape is violating and repulsive. What makes rape such an outrage is that it takes what is supposed to be an intimate, natural and loving act and uses it for power, aggression, and self-gratification on the sole part of the rapist. The victim is left feeling used, ashamed and often angry. Then, if a woman finds herself pregnant after rape, she understandably will feel more misery and shame.
But the misery doesn’t have to stay, says this rape victim, Shauna Prewitt. http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/rape-victim-writes-akin-describes-unimaginable-joy-of-giving-birth?
Sexual Assault Response Network (SARN):
24 hrs a day 7 days a week. Confidential Hotline: 800-684-2324. Free information, referral & crisis line.
Say the word “rape”, and most people think of a random assault on a victim who was at the wrong place at the wrong time. But those types of horrendous acts only account for one in five cases in which a person forces sex upon another. In most cases, women are raped by someone they know: a fellow student, a business acquaintance, a neighbor, a relative. And all too often it occurs on a date, where smiles and social courtesies, or the inkling of romance and attraction, end in sexual assault. No matter who the perpetrator is, rape is an act of violence – a violation of body and emotion, an obscene expression of one person’s lack of respect for another. All victims of rape suffer great emotional pain. But date rape victims usually feel guilt as well, doubting their own judgement and believing the assault was their fault. Whatever the circumstances, rape is never “asked for”, deserved, or justifiable. No matter how far things have gone, if a guy attempts to force you to go further when you have said no, he is committing a criminal act. More: http://justasking.org/protecting-yourself-from-date-rape
In Case of Rape or Other Sexual Crime
- Get to a safe place.
- Seek medical attention.
- Do not comb, bathe, douche, or change clothes; do not wash your clothes.
- Do not brush your teeth or take a drink.
- Do not touch or change anything at the scene of the assault.
- Take a change of clothes with you to the hospital.
- Bring your I.D. and proof of insurance.
- Tell someone you trust.
- Seek support from a professional counselor.
- Report the crime to law enforcement.
- Decide if you want to press charges.
- Understand that it is not your fault. http://www.seymour.org/Community/sacjc/rape.html
“Women who have gone through the trauma of rape and incest need to be counseled, cared for, and listened to. If they conceived, they need to be encouraged to work through their anger and bitterness. I believe that to encourage a woman to have an abortion is to add more violence to her life. The fact that she is still alive should give her an added reason to cherish the innocent life growing inside her as well. Two wrongs will never make a right.” Kathleen DeZeeuw quoted in “Victims and Victors”
“Have you ever considered how really insulting it is to say to someone, “I think your mother should have been able to abort you.”? It’s like saying, “If I had my way, you’d be dead right now.” And that is the reality with which I live every time someone says they are pro-choice or pro-life “except in cases of rape” because I absolutely would have been aborted if it had been legal in Michigan when I was an unborn child, and I can tell you that it hurts. But I know that most people don’t put a face to this issue — for them abortion is just a concept — with a quick cliche, they sweep it under the rug and forget about it. I do hope that, as a child conceived in rape, I can help to put a face, a voice, and a story to this issue.” http://www.rebeccakiessling.com/index.html
Rape Caring Responses
She chose her broadcasting career over baby’s life, now runs radio show for post-abortive women. “Pregnancy is nine months of your life,” she would say. “Once you are pregnant, there is nothing that can turn back the hands of time: You are a parent. Your only choice at that point is whether you’re going to make a loving decision for the good of your child or whether you’re going to act selfishly, out of fear and self-protection.” “If you make a loving decision on behalf of your child, it may involve releasing that child for adoption, which is a difficult and painful choice. Or it may involve getting married when you weren’t planning to. Or it may involve single motherhood.” “While all of these options have their own difficulty, none of them involve taking the life of another human being. You will never have to live with the guilt and the grief of having taken what belongs to God into your own hands and having to live with that for the rest of your life.” “Yes, I understand the fear in your heart. But perfect love drives out fear. If you love this child, you can do the loving thing and have a decision that you can live with for the rest of your life.” Tune in to Cradle My Heart Radio with Kim Ketola Every Sunday evening at 8 CT/9 ET Live Line: 1-800-811-3003 Radio stations carrying program here. Listen Live here. http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/she-chose-her-broadcasting-career-over-babys-life-now-runs-radio-show-for-p
Pregnant Rape Victims: Quit Assuming We Want an Abortion. A group called the Ad Hoc Committee of Women Pregnant by Sexual Assault (WPSA) is responding to the national debate about rape and abortion. Heather Wilson, Deana Schroeder and other members of The Ad Hoc Committee of Women Pregnant By Sexual Assault have penned a column in response. They are demanding that their voices be heard and upset that many assume women who became pregnant after rape want an abortion. On one side are those who argue that pregnancies resulting from rape and incest occur so rarely that we shouldn’t let it impact public policy on abortion. This is hurtful to women who do become pregnant from rape or incest and who need support. It can also lead to questioning as to whether a woman or girl is telling the truth about being raped. On the other side are those who perpetuate the myth that women and girls who become pregnant from sexual assault overwhelmingly want, need and benefit from having abortions. This also hurts women and fans the flames of prejudice toward those who do not want to have an abortion, even leading some to question whether a woman or girl who wishes not to abort has “really” been raped. And it can lead to strong pressure to abort by those who think the woman or girl does not know what is really best for her. Despite the belief that most women in such circumstances would want an abortion, a national study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that only half of those who became pregnant from rape had an abortion. Another survey of pregnant sexual assault victims found that only 30 percent had abortions. Whether the true number is closer to 30 or 50 percent doesn’t matter. What matters is that women and girls who become pregnant from rape or incest need real support and resources that meet their needs. In many cases, however, these needs are not met because most people assume that abortion will solve the problem. In fact, there are no studies proving that this claimed psychological benefit occurs in general, or even for certain groups of women pregnant by sexual assault. And from personal experience, many of us discovered that abortion only added to our trauma and created additional obstacles to finding healing. From our perspective the issues and emotions involved are not as straightforward as most people presume. This is why those of us who have actually been in this situation need and deserve to be heard. We are especially concerned — and offended — when our circumstances are exploited to promote abortion on demand, especially when there is no platform being offered for us to voice our real needs and concerns. http://www.lifenews.com/2012/09/21/pregnant-rape-victims-quit-assuming-we-want-an-abortion/
Abortion After Rape. Pregnancy as a result of rape is extremely rare. A woman is only fertile for 3-7 days during her cycle and the extreme physical and psychological trauma of being raped makes it difficult for fertilization or implantation to occur.
Pregnancies as a result of rape therefore only account for a tiny proportion of the hundreds of abortions carried out in Britain every day. Abortion is not a ‘solution’ to rape. The experience cannot be undone and should be responded to with compassion and support. For many rape victims who find themselves pregnant, the biggest trauma is not being pregnant but the memory of being raped. (Mahkorn and Dolan, Sexual Assault and Pregnancy: New Perspectives on Human Abortion, 1981.)
Abortion is itself a violent and invasive procedure. It should be remembered that many women who are traumatised by abortion describe a sense of having been violated. It is old-fashioned and socially unacceptable to judge a child by his/her father’s actions or to punish a child for the crime of the father. A child may be conceived as the result of rape but cannot be held responsible. Pam Stenzel and Julie Makimaa were two such children.
- “My biological father is a rapist. But I am still a human being and I still have value. My life isn’t worth any less than yours because of the way I was conceived. And I did not deserve the death penalty because of the crime of my father.” (Pam Stenzel, Straight talk from Pam Stenzel (1998) Vision Video Inc. PO Box 540, Worcester, Pennsylvania, 19490, USA)
- “It doesn’t matter how I began. What matters is who I will become.” (Julie Makimaa,http://www.afterabortion.org/rape.html)
Abortion providers are not primarily interested in abortion for rape victims but use them as a smokescreen to cover up their real intentions. They want abortion to be available to anyone, regardless of the circumstances. The use of rape victims is exploitative and trivialises the terrible damage done to women by rape. What makes rape a terrible crime is not the potential for a woman to become pregnant but the reality that she has been subjected to a violent and humiliating attack. http://www.spuc.org.uk/youth/student_info_on_abortion/rape
Common Survivor Reactions:
Survivors of sexual violence may experience different reactions and emotional changes after an assault, some of which can be very intrusive and disruptive. All of the following are perfectly normal reactions to the abuse.
- Loss of control
- Re-experiencing (flashbacks)
- Mood swings
- Body memories
It is very important to understand that there is no right or wrong way for survivors respond to sexual violence. Any one might experience all or none of the reactions mentioned above.
Raped women who had their babies defy pro-choice stereotypes. Even though, according to Planned Parenthood’s own statistics, less than 1% of all abortions are performed on women who were raped or were victims of incest, pro-choice activists insist that abortion must be legal for these women, even if it leads to thousands of women a year having abortions for other reasons. Pro-choicers have been very successful in convincing the general public that rape victims need abortions. Implied is the belief that women who are pregnant by rape cannot possibly want their children, that they could never be happy giving birth, and that it is completely unnatural for a woman to want to have a rapist’s baby. When pro-choice activists argue that abortion must be legal in cases of rape, there is always one thing missing from their rhetoric – the voices of women who were raped and kept their babies. These are the people whom the pro-life and pro-choice movements should be listening to. These are the people who are intimately acquainted with the emotional trauma of rape and the horror of a pregnancy resulting from rape. And what they’re saying may surprise you. None of these women who chose to have their children after rape would say that their decision was easy. The trauma of being raped can haunt the victim for the rest of her life. But adding abortion to that trauma often exacerbates the situation. These women, and thousands of others, have discovered that giving birth to their babies allowed them to rise above the rape, to commit a truly selfless act, and to heal. It is most of all important for rape victims to have the support of those around them, whether they are pregnant or not. In cases where they are pregnant, we should not give them “the counsel of despair.” Rather, we should encourage them to make a choice that both they and their baby can live with. We should remember that when we oppose abortion in the case of rape victims, we are not just saving babies – we’re helping women as well. http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/raped-women-who-had-their-babies-defy-pro-choice-stereotypes/
The statistics seem counterintuitive and almost impossible to believe. But they are true. Women who have their babies often have a better psychological outcome than women who do not. One woman who had an abortion after her rape spoke at a pro-life rally in Mississippi. Here is an excerpt from her testimony:
I was raped a month before I turned 18. And because of that rape I was so fearful and so shameful that I chose abortion, out of fear. My rape was nothing compared to what I did to my child. What my rapist did to me does not compare to what I chose to do to my baby. My rapist didn’t kill me, I’m standing here alive right now. I have three beautiful children at home and a husband who loves me. But I chose to kill my child out of the shame, out of guilt, out of fear because of what a man did to me. Rape is no excuse for abortion. I want to say that. … I’m tired, as a person who was raped and a person who had an abortion, I’m telling you right now, I’m tired of using rape as an excuse. … For years I lived in depression, contemplated suicide, attempted suicide, I spend years drinking to numb the pain, to numb the horrific nightmares, was later diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, not just because of the rape but because of the abortion. We have got to speak up, it’s not just about the babies, it’s about the moms like me who think they’re making a good decision but they’re not.
You can see a video of the entire testimony here.
Pro-Life Answer to the Rape Question. 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? 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. http://studentsforlife.org/prolifefacts/prolife-answer-to-the-rape-question/
We must recognize that the children conceived through sexual assault have a voice which deserves to be heard. Julie Makimaa, conceived by an act of rape, works diligently against the perception that abortion is acceptable or even necessary in cases of sexual assault. While naturally sympathetic to the suffering her mother endured at the hands of her attacker, Julie is also rightfully proud of her mother’s courage and generosity. Regarding her own view of her origin, Julie proclaims: “It doesn’t matter how I began. What matters is who I will become.” http://www.prolifeinfo.ie/abortion/childs-view/conceived-through-rape/
James Robison is the founder and president of Life Outreach International, a worldwide Christian relief organization. He was the product of rape, but in “The Gift Of Life” he credits all the things he has been able to do with his life to, “a doctor’s conviction that life was precious and a mother’s prayer, I was born… They made the right decision concerning the right to life and that life has touched the lives of millions of people.” http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/10/26/Rape-and-Abortion-Lives-Spared-for-a-Purpose
POWERFUL: Children born out of rape stand with Richard Mourdock and his views on abortion. This is really, really powerful. These women who were born out of rape stand up to support Richard Mourdock and his views on abortion and make clear that the reason they are alive is because their innocent lives were protected by law. Get a kleenex because you’re probably gonna need it. This is a must watch: http://www.therightscoop.com/powerful-children-born-out-of-rape-stand-with-richard-mourdock-and-his-views-on-abortion/
Jennifer Bowman is slim and smiling, with three beautiful children. You wouldn’t know by looking at her that she is somebody who has some unusual connections with rape. She says that there are victims of rape and there are forgotten victims of rape. She has set up a web site as a refuge and support group for what she calls the forgotten victims of rape, the children who result from the act of rape. She is one of them, a child conceived in rape. “I wish people would stop equating us to the act that brought us here.” And for the rest of us, we can remember that people like Jennifer don’t wear a sign that says, “I was conceived in rape.” So we may not be able to help a lot. But we can make sure that in our conversations we do not equate “the forgotten victims of rape” with the act that brought them here. We can instead reaffirm the basic value of every human being and their right to live. We can work to protect innocent human life from conception to natural death. http://www.righttoliferoch.org/nforgotten.htm
“…if you think abortion is wrong because it is murder, how can you rationalize making it legal in cases of rape or incest? That is completely inconsistent. How a person is conceived makes no difference.” Thomas Lucente Jr columnist Lima News