Pregnancy as a result of rape

Pregnancy as a result of rape

Pregnancy as a result of rape

Rape is an act of violence against an innocent woman. When someone has been through an ordeal of this magnitude she deserves to be treated with the deepest compassion, enormous support, and special care.

But while society is finally recognizing that rape is an act of violence against an innocent victim, it still fails to recognize that abortion is also an act of violence against another innocent victim.

If a woman does become pregnant from rape, she may be made to feel twice as tainted when society is not prepared to cope with the circumstances of this child's conception. Counselors and abortion providers encourage abortion as the perfect "solution."

Irrationally, society expects her to kill her unborn child, not for something the child has done, but for the crime of his/her father. True compassion shows that women and children should be protected from rapists, and from abortion.

 

WHAT IF PREGNANCY HAPPENS FROM RAPE:

  

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DO RAPE VICTIMS CHOSE ABORTION?


Abortion proponents would have us believe victims of sexual assault always request abortion. However, despite the tragic, abusive and often violent ways their children were conceived, most rape victims chose to give them life.

The opinions, attitudes and beliefs of other people about the rape and pregnancy often make it difficult for the victim to choose any other option. Fear of being blamed or rejected by family, friends or society may make a pregnant rape victim want to cover up what has happened by removing the visible evidence of it.

The Elliot Institute found 73 percent of rape victims chose to give birth to their babies.

In 1981, Dr. Sandra Makhorn conducted a major research of pregnant rape victims in the USA. Of the 37 women, 75 - 85% choose to give life to their children.
Pregnancy and Sexual Assault, New Perspectives on Human Abortion. Makhorn. 1981

Most women in Dr. Makhorn's study felt that abortion was an act of violence and that issues relating to the rape experience, not the pregnancy, were of primary concern in counselling and rehabilitation. The baby is entirely innocent and is not to blame for the crimes of the father. Many women in the study spoke about this and emphasised their desire to protect the innocent child in their wombs from such a brutal death. Lastly, there was a realisation that abortion does not make you unpregnant.

Early in the pregnancy there may be feelings of resentment and hostility towards the child. In her study, Dr Susan Mahkorn found that negative attitudes consistently changed to positive ones as the pregnancy progressed; the overwhelming majority of the women had a positive view towards the child by the time of delivery as well as much improved self-images.

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AN OPEN LETTER TO CONGRESS : Women Who Became Pregnant Through Rape

Women Pregnant by Sexual Assault (WPSA) are petitioning (SEPTEMBER 2012) the US Congress to hold public hearings at which they and other women who have become pregnant from sexual assault will be invited to discuss their unique needs and concerns.

Group Asks Both Sides to Listen to and Respond to Real Needs of Pregnant Sexual Assault Victims

We are members of the Ad Hoc Committee of Women Pregnant by Sexual Assault (WPSA). This group was formed eight years ago to petition Congress to hold hearings on the issue of abortion in cases of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest. So far, however, this petition has not been heard by political leaders on either side of the aisle, or by most in the pro-choice or pro-life communities.

Many people have strong opinions about abortion in cases of pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. However, the real experiences and needs of women who have actually experienced pregnancies from sexual assault are often ignored, even though our experiences are frequently used to promote abortion on demand.

Recently, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding remarks made by Congressman Todd Akin about abortion and rape. From the perspective of those of us who have actually been through a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, people on both sides of the abortion debate, and the media fanning the flames of this controversy, are getting it wrong.

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.

Many people naturally fear themselves or someone they love being raped, or becoming pregnant as a result of rape. We have been on the other side of that fear. 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.

Delving into these issues properly requires more than time and space that can be given to it here. And that is exactly why we are calling for Congressional hearings to give us a chance to finally be heard.

It is our hope that the media attention given to this controversy over Rep. Akin’s comments will present an opportunity to break through the barricades preventing us from being heard.

Women who have had pregnancies resulting from sexual assault should be given a leadership role in discussing this important issue. However, most of the debate surrounding this issue has taken place without input from us or other women like us.

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.

Our situation is not uncommon, and our needs are worthy of public notice and discussion in terms of public policy and health care directives.

The members of WPSA do not claim to know all the answers to this difficult issue. But we are certain that people on both sides of the abortion debate need to listen and learn from those of us who have actually been there and struggled with these issues. Otherwise, those who do become pregnant through sexual assault will continue to be overlooked and will fail to receive the support they need.

Please listen to us and give us the opportunity to speak about this important issue.

The Ad Hoc Committee of Women Pregnant By Sexual Assault

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