Human Rights

Abortion after rape is not a pathway to healing. It is an obstacle.

Mom, infant, rape

Their children have been called the “spawn of Satan,” “evil,” “disgusting,” and a “mistake.” They have been ridiculed and harassed for carrying their babies to term because a large portion of society believes their children are “the reason abortion exists.” Women who have conceived children during horrific sexual assaults often then face verbal assaults from the world — not because they are rape survivors, but because they have chosen not to end the lives of their innocent children.

Two violent acts

Rape is a violent trauma and abortion does not help the woman to heal or to forget that the rape occurred. Instead, abortion is another act of violence with two victims: the woman and her child. Like rape, nothing can erase abortion. Instead, some rape survivors who have chosen abortion have said their abortions were worse than rape — because in the abortion they were the ones who made the choice to end their child’s life. Abortion was not part of their healing as they were promised, but instead became an obstacle to their healing.

“I could never ever deal with my rape because I was so focused on what I had done in choosing abortion,” explained rape survivor Ashley Sigrest. “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.”



How a human is conceived doesn’t determine his or her value

Mothers of children conceived in rape are often told that their children shouldn’t have been born, but a human being’s value is not dependent on how or when he or she was conceived. Human life begins at the moment of fertilization, and that human life is innocent. Every human life has intrinsic value from the moment it comes into existence.

Paula Peyton Ilari survived a brutal sexual assault but knew that her child was a human being. Despite seemingly constant pressure to have an abortion, she chose life for her son, whom she calls the “light” in her life and her “greatest blessing.” Every time a person uses rape as a justification for legalized abortion, the individuals to whom they refer can hear them.

“When someone says that children conceived in rape should be aborted, they’re talking about me,” said Stephanie Reynolds in a video for Live Action. “My mother saw that my life was not worth any less than anyone else’s simply because of the way I was conceived and that I shouldn’t be put to death because of the crimes of my father.”

Abortion punishes the child, not the rapist

Abortion punishes an innocent child with the death penalty for the crimes of his father and can increase the mother’s risk of alcohol use, drug use, depression, and suicidal thoughts. The rapist is the only one who benefits, which is why sexual predators often take their victims to abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood in order to secure abortions for their victims and get rid of evidence of the abuse.

Rather than killing babies or subjecting women to another act of violence, lawmakers should be pushing harder to create harsher punishments for rapists. As the laws stand now, innocent children are rec—eiving a far greater punishment for rape than rapists are.

Carrying to term

“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 gonna forget what happened to her,” explained rape survivor Jennifer Christie. “I’ve been told so many times that, ‘If you just had an abortion, 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 but how we were conceived.”

For more stories about women who chose to give birth after rape, and for further assistance, visit

Editor’s Note: Live Action works to maintain the highest standards of journalistic integrity. Live Action has looked into key elements of Ms. Christie’s testimony and personal story and has found them to be credible.

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