During a U.S. Congressional hearing last week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attempted to belittle and refute the testimony of Dr. Ingrid Skop, a Texas OB-GYN who supports the Texas Heartbeat Act (SB 8), which was recently and temporarily blocked before being reinstated. The pro-life law restricts abortion to the first six weeks of pregnancy in the state, and Ocasio-Cortez angrily told her fellow legislators that they should apologize for even allowing Skop to speak.
Skop offered her expert witness testimony to Congress, stating that she has delivered more than 5,000 babies in her 29-year career. She has also cared for women who have suffered the horrific effects of botched abortions that had been forced on them by their family members or their partners. She recalled one patient who had already suffered one coerced abortion and a botched second abortion after her boyfriend told her to abort the baby or she would be homeless. She wanted her children, but she wasn’t allowed to make that decision.
During her testimony, when asked specifically about rape, Skop said that she believes six weeks offers enough time for a sexual assault survivor to get an abortion. Ocasio-Cortez found this offensive and used that opportunity to exploit rape survivors for the benefit of the abortion industry.
The exploitation of sexual assault survivors
“I need to correct and address an assertion that was made not too long ago, this idea, this myth that, first of all, that this law S.B. 8 provides ample time for a victim of abuse to seek abortion care,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “Because once again we’re in a room of legislators who are attempting to legislate reproductive systems that they know nothing about. Six weeks pregnant—and it’s shameful that this education needs to happen, because this conversation shouldn’t even be held in a legislative body—six weeks pregnant is two weeks late for one’s period. When you are raped, you don’t always know what happened to you. And I speak about this as a survivor. You are in so much shock.
” […] “Unbelievable. Unbelievable that the Republican side would call a witness so irresponsible and hurtful to survivors across this country. Honestly. You deserve your constituents an apology.”
She’s right, of course, that sexual assault survivors are left in shock and many do not seek immediate help at an emergency room. Still, many are too young to understand what has happened to them because they are teenage girls being abused by older men. No one is denying that sexual assault is a horrendous crime that leaves survivors traumatized, especially since the assault has likely been carried out by someone the victim trusted. But that is no excuse to put women and girls through the additional trauma of abortion or to kill a completely innocent third party.
Unlike Skop, Ocasio-Cortez may never have held the hand of a woman who has been injured by a botched, legal abortion. She has likely never seen the horrific results of what an abortion can do to a woman and as an abortion supporter has likely turned a blind eye to what an abortion does to the preborn child. She ignores the scientific evidence provided by doctors like Skop regarding life inside the womb and abortion’s negative effects, and focuses on one thing — rape, which reportedly accounts for 1% of all abortions in the U.S. In using assault victims to support abortion and keep it legal, Ocasio-Cortez is using their trauma as an excuse to allow any and all babies to be killed by abortion without limit.
The time frame is irrelevant
The six-week time frame used in the Texas Heartbeat Act is irrelevant to what abortion is, what abortion does, and who abortion kills. It doesn’t matter how old an innocnet human being is when you kill her, killing her is always wrong. From the first moment of fertilization, that baby is a distinct individual who deserves to not have her body destroyed and incinerated because society sees her as unworthy of life. Whether she is one day old or six weeks old, no set age determines her humanity.
Likewise, whether a woman is given six weeks, 15 weeks, or 24 weeks to seek out an abortion is not what this is about. Ocasio-Cortez and other abortion supporters would stand against the Texas Heartbeat Act even if it gave assault survivors 12 weeks or 15 weeks or 30 weeks to have an abortion. No restriction on abortion is acceptable to abortion advocates like Ocasio-Cortez.
Choosing life is better than abortion
A sexual assault survivor should never be told that killing her baby is the best or only option available. Yet, Ocasio-Cortez implies that there is an expectation that all sexual abuse survivors who become pregnant abort their babies. She acts as if that woman has no other choice and would want no other choice. When abortion advocates make this assumption, they inadvertently act as further oppressors to rape survivors.
In reality, assault survivors who choose life report a joy that those who choose abortion don’t. “The fact that I got pregnant because of the rape was disgusting,” said Nina. “I felt like I had to get rid of it. Somehow, I figured that because I got pregnant I must have enjoyed it. I couldn’t tolerate that concept. I was so ashamed…. The rape was nothing compared to the abortion… The rape was bad but I could’ve gotten over it. The abortion is something I will never get over. No one realizes how much that event damaged my life. I hate my rapist, but I hate the abortionist too. I can’t believe I paid to be raped. This will affect me the rest of my life.”
Kathy was a junior in college when she became pregnant from rape. “I was in a state of shock and panic,” she said. “[G]iving birth to him is what healed me. Giving birth to Nathan did not destroy my life, as the abortion side would like you to think is the only outcome, but gave reason to a painful experience. He is the beauty that came out of a very dark place. To kill him would have meant not only enduring the pain of rape, but the guilt and trauma of knowing my child died at my own hands….”
Abortion advocates either deny or ignore that a sexual assault survivor might want to choose life, but countless have done so. They have realized that while they were the victim of rape, they would be victimizing an innocent human being during an abortion. Assault survivors who become pregnant should be helped throughout their pregnancy and the birth and early years of parenting.
Notably, there are times when abortion restrictions can act as an unexpected way out of coerced abortion. Care Net president Roland Warren recently told Live Action News that in Texas after the Heartbeat Act took effect, “A couple of clients came in and before they did the ultrasound the woman said, ‘I hope that the baby’s more than six weeks.’ Which shook me a little bit because she said that would take the decision off her plate.”
Not all women want to choose life or death for their children. Many want their children to live, even when those children were conceived in rape. But society continues to deny this fact.
Planned Parenthood doesn’t help assault survivors
While Ocasio-Cortez called Skop “irresponsible,” Ocasio-Cortez and other abortion supporters irresponsibly believe that Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses care about women and will help survivors of sexual assault. In reality, Planned Parenthood has repeatedly failed to report the sexual abuse of minors as it is required to do by law. It takes the money for the abortions and returns the girls to their abusers. In doing so, Planned Parenthood proves it cares more for profit than for survivors of assault. Ocasio-Cortez and others who believe abortion is the only answer for women who have become pregnant from rape are complicit in this abuse of trust.
Abortion advocates like Ocasio-Cortez can yell as loudly as they want to that abortion is a right or a necessity. But they are only resorting to yelling because they cannot intellectually argue that science is wrong about life inside the womb. No one can.
Science proves life begins at fertilization. The circumstances of a human being’s conception don’t reduce that human being’s humanity or worthiness. These innocent children deserve better than the death penalty and their mothers deserve the opportunity to love their babies.
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