One author, who otherwise opposes abortion, summed up many peoples’ views on abortion in cases of rape when he wrote that a pregnant rape survivor would suffer if she chose life and then chose to raise her child:
[I]magine the [pregnant rape survivor] who feels that the best moral choice is not only to save the life of the child [by not having an abortion], but also to raise that child herself. Imagine the strain on that woman as she looks into the face of that child every day. Imagine how she must feel reliving that attack in her memory. I shudder at the thought….
Women who are raped and pregnant have a compelling interest in protecting themselves from the physical, psychological, and emotional harm that would likely result from carrying a child conceived by rape to birth. Even assuming no physical complications, the ordeal would be horrific for most women to endure.(1)
Are these observations true? Paula Peyton, who was conceived in rape and is also raising a child conceived in rape, posted the following on Facebook on August 8, 2019:
A couple of weeks ago, someone I know told me to my face that my child, because he was conceived in rape, is a demon….I thought I’d share a little about who he really is, just so that everyone will know.
My son is sweet. He loves to wrap his arms around my neck unexpectedly and give me the tightest hugs. My son is smart. He has always far exceeded all developmental milestones. My son is silly. He can always find something to giggle about. My son is a reminder. He reminds me that miracles still happen, and he is the greatest miracle I’ve ever held. My son is loved. He has a mama whose heart spills love for him everywhere because it simply cannot hold it all. My son is a child. He is a beautiful spark of light and hope and joy. He, like every other child, is filled with purpose. My son is love. He is God’s gift of love sent to heal my heart and draw me closer to the one who created us both.
My son is not a demon. He is my beloved, my angel, my twin, my heart walking around outside my body, my sunshine on a cloudy day… He is my baby.
Paula is not alone in loving her child conceived in rape.
Another mother from rape wrote about her daughter, “There has never been a day when I associate the events of her conception with her as an individual. She is such a joy and I feel so blessed.… My daughter and her elder siblings are all unique, amazing children.”
Analyn Megison, who also conceived through rape, wrote, “[T]he truth is that every time I look at my child I think of how grateful I am for this love in my heart and the joy of being a mother to someone so beloved to me who is just absolutely wonderful.”
Ruby Westmoorland, another mother through rape, said that having her daughter in her life “gave me a reason to keep moving forward, and a purpose for not sitting down and giving in to self-pity or fear or anger.”
One day, Westmoorland’s daughter learned she was conceived in rape and asked her mother how she could love her. Westmoorland wrote:
I told her – and I believe this with everything in me – that she was not a mistake, because God doesn’t make mistakes.… I told her that she was a gift to me, coming out of [a] really bad place, so that I could get through what happened. I really believe that’s why He gave her to me, because when I see her, I just see beauty. I see love. I see hope.
Edith Parkman, another mother through rape, wrote about her daughter Clarissa:
[W]hen Clarissa was born, and I looked down at that fat little black baby, with all the big old loopy curls in her hair, no thoughts of that guy came to me … this was my child. This is my baby. … I just fell in love with her. I fell in love with her before she was born – I fell in love with her when she kicked in my belly. But when she was actually born and I was able to hold that child, it was just precious to me. And I have no regrets.
Rape survivor Kimberly Cavanagh said of her daughter, “There has never been a time, ever, once, that I’ve ever regretted the decision [to choose life]. There was just an increase of love and purpose that she brought into my life with that choice.”
The experiences of mothers who have children through rape is very different from society’s misconceptions. The belief that a woman cannot love a child conceived in rape is a myth.
- Publius Patriot Or Not to Be: The (Im)morality of Abortion (2015) Kindle version
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