Misplaced compassion can be as dangerous as outright antagonism. Let’s break down a few of the myths and misconceptions surrounding this delicate topic of abortion after rape.
Rape— the 4-letter word of the pro-life world, I hear it all the time. Sadly, many Christians feel abortion is excusable when a child is conceived in brutality.
I’m pro-life, except—
I know all life is from God, but—
Children are a gift, unless—
Despite your good intentions, your “except/but/unless” is a child created in God’s image. Your “except/but/unless” is my son. And he isn’t a hypothetical scenario. Not to us.
He’s like any other child— he’s Joshua.
Misplaced compassion can be as dangerous as outright antagonism. Let’s break down a few of the myths and misconceptions surrounding this delicate topic:
1. “How can a woman love such a child?”
Societal pressure to abort after conceiving in rape is enormous. It is assumed, even expected, that a child conceived in rape will be aborted.
These assumptions leave the mother-to-be, wondering if her love for her child is abnormal. Choosing your baby under these circumstances casts a pall of suspicion.
Was it truly a rape if she wants her baby?
Ask us, the women who chose life. Our devotion to our children is fierce.
As for those who say they aborted because they, “wouldn’t have been able to love that child,” unfortunately, we will never know if that’s true; But I’ve yet to meet a mother from rape who regrets her baby.
Yes, some women will see the child in a negative light, rather than seeing the child as the light in her darkness; but that’s a feeling, one during a time of fresh trauma and unbearable emotional pain.
The thing about feelings— they’re temporary.
2. “You’re carrying bad/evil/violent DNA. Your child will become a rapist.”
This is a popular theory, wrong, but popular.
Hate, rape, violence: these are all learned behaviors. Studies of serial rapists show some disturbing commonalities: criminal activity from a young age, a peer group with a hostile attitude towards women, and alcohol problems.
Additionally, there’s a study out of Sweden that suggests violence runs in families due to a “warrior gene”, however it also admits that there needs to be something to activate it: neglect, abuse. Even then, a predisposition is not pre-determination.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
3. “Most states let rapists have custody.”
Please, stop using this one. It isn’t true.
Seven years ago, only eighteen states had laws to protect a woman from sharing custody with her attacker. Now, forty-nine states are enforcing these laws.
Twenty-five states require a criminal conviction to be made for a particular sexual offense or degree of assault, which led to the conception of the child.
According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network), less than 1% of rapes result in a felony conviction if the attack gets reported (most are not).
Eighteen states and the District of Columbia require only clear and convincing evidence of the rape for rights termination. This is a common standard of proof in non-rape related proceedings of parental rights. Six states allow termination with either clear and convincing evidence or criminal conviction.
How should we respond?
If this information is upsetting to you— good, it should be. However, the answer is not to eliminate the child, but rather to help institute change. We should fight injustices, not help commit them.
4. “What about an 11-year-old who is pregnant from rape?”
This reality is a gut-punch: an abused child with child. As far as her physical health, early prenatal care is imperative, and premature delivery is common. That’s her body, but what about her young spirit? Her heart? How can we protect her?
Abortion empowers criminal activity.
When a child becomes pregnant, the investigation begins in the home. Statistically, someone within her home was the perpetrator, and this was not a one-time event.
We know what happens next, we’ve seen it on hidden cameras and heard the testimonies of ex-employees: She is promptly escorted to a women’s clinic, Planned Parenthood, perhaps.
If prosecutable information is presented, the girl undergoes an abortion. Then, she leaves the way she came, at the side of her abuser. Once back home, the cycle continues.
For rapists, pedophiles, sex traffickers— abortion is a valuable asset.
How do we end the cycle?
God help us from complicity and complacency, violence upon violence, trauma atop trauma! Where does this end?
For me, it ended with my Joshua. It ends with the approximately 32,000 children born of rape every year. Their lives are a testament to God being a master craftsman when it comes to redeeming what’s been lost, broken, or stolen by the enemy.
William Wilberforce said,
“Let it not be said that I was silent when they needed me.”
Stand in the gap with me, shine for Jesus, and speak the truth:
“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Genesis 1:31
Jennifer and her son, Joshua.
“Abraham: Planned Parenthood Covered up Child Sex Abuse; Calls for Investigation.”
Congressman Ralph Abraham, 6 Mar. 2020, abraham.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/abraham-planned-parenthood-covered-child-sex-abuse-calls-investigation.
FullMetal, Alex. “Do You Have the Genes of a Rapist?” Lunatic Laboratories, 9 Apr. 2015, loonylabs.org/2015/04/09/sexual-offences-genetics-rape/.
Holmes, Melisa M., et al. “Rape-Related Pregnancy: Estimates and Descriptive Characteristics from a National Sample of Women.” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, vol. 175, no. 2, 1996, pp. 320–325., doi:10.1016/s0002-9378(96)70141-2.
Sarah Ditum (d, et al. Why Are We so Desperate to Find a Genetic Explanation for Sex Offenders?, 13 Apr. 2015, www.newstatesman.com/lifestyle/2015/04/why-are-we-so-desperate-find-genetic- explanation-sex-offenders?
“Termination of Rapists’ Parental Rights Laws.” Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, 4 Mar. 2020, bit.ly/3fcnvl0.
© Focus on the Family. All rights reserved.