So What About Rape and Incest?


The tiny percentage of pregnancies which are the result of rape or incest have been used as justification for legalized abortion. Now that each state can set the parameters for abortion within their borders, many people will be asking, "So what about rape and incest?" As I am both post-abortive, and a rape survivor, I hope that will give me credibility to weigh in on the discussion.


In my 20+ years as a pro-life speaker, I found that very often the person who raises the "what about rape or incest?" question with me is a man. So my first step has always been to acknowledge with respect, what he wants is to protect the victim from further trauma. I find this glorious masculine instinct so admirable! There are few things that seem as horrifying to a man as the helplessness of sexual assault. He imagines the rape survivor reliving the assault several times a day, literally for the child's entire life. To save her from that, he wants to protect her by erasing every reminder of what happened. I always take the time to honor that protective instinct -- men who stand between us and harm are harder to find than when I was growing up.


My second step is to point out that abortion-after-rape often does the opposite of what he is trying to achieve. Rather than help her overcome the initial trauma, abortion exacerbates it. There are only a few studies looking at rape-survivors-who-carry versus rape-survivors-who-abort -- but even the limited evidence indicates that survivors-who-carry (whether they parent or place for adoption) overcome their original trauma much faster than the survivors who abort, while survivors-who-abort continue to see themselves as victims much longer.


There is another characteristic I saw in the research which really stood out: Survivors-who-abort expressed a sense that they had victimized someone equally as innocent and helpless as they were. By contrast, survivors-who-carry often see the birth of the child as a triumph over their rapist. They say things that sound like, "He tried to break me, but he couldn't. LIFE came out of my body." Even in those circumstances, the miracle of birth (a woman's "superpower") is a testament to HOPE. A rape survivor who aborts inspires our pity, but a rape survivor who chooses life is the epitome of a strong, heroic woman and deserves our admiration.


Most people have a double standard when it comes to "involuntary pregnancy." If you can be honest with yourself, I can prove it.


I knew a woman who was in a relationship for a few years. She was approaching 30 and her partner just "wasn't ready" to take the next step. She convinced herself that if she got pregnant "accidentally" he would want to marry her or at the very least have the baby and become a family. Thinking she was only speeding up the process, she stopped taking birth control without telling him. And within a few months, she got pregnant. (Not an uncommon story -- ask around.)


She expected her partner to be overjoyed that he was going to be a dad, and assumed a proposal would follow the happy announcement. As it happens, she misread his signals completely and was shocked to discover he had already "moved on" to someone else. They broke up instead.


Following the breakup, he assumed she would abort, and advocated for it. But she wanted that baby -- biological clock, after all. So she carried to term and gave birth to a healthy baby boy, all the while telling herself he would "come around." But he didn't. The baby's father resisted contributing support, so she finally took him to court. As you would expect, the court ruled against him and he will be paying support until his child is 18. But from the baby's father's perspective, he was "financially assaulted" and is now tied to the one who forced him into an "involuntary pregnancy."


In the above situation, the law and society side with the mom. After all, it's not the BABY'S fault his parents were irresponsible narcissists. Sure, the child came into being under less than ideal circumstances, but as a society, that doesn't matter, both parents have to provide for him financially. Because its not the baby's fault.


You see the double-standard, right? If HER "involuntary pregnancy" is the result of physical violence or emotional manipulation, then the socially-approved position is that the baby can be discarded as bio-waste. But if it HE was emotionally manipulated, or even outright deceived about paternity, society's position is "too bad."


Those are serious mental gymnastics. Of course, as an advocate for sexual self-control, what would be ideal would be for everyone to act responsibly, recognizing they have the power to avoid creating babies they are not prepared to care for... as we say, "They're called pants."

But to be honest, my best response to "what about rape and incest?" is always to ask this question. If you found out today that your birth father was a rapist, does that mean your life has no value and you should never have lived?

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