Human Interest

Rape is a horrific trauma that abortion cannot heal

abortion pill, DIY abortion, at-home abortion

During the second day of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for the possible confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) questioned Barrett about rape and abortion.

Blumenthal shared the story of a woman named Samantha, whom he said was out with friends and coworkers one evening and woke up the next morning in a coworker’s home. “She had been raped,” he explained. “After she was raped, Samantha was, in her words, ‘a zombie.’ She couldn’t change clothes, couldn’t shower, couldn’t drink or think. She wanted this event to be erased from her memory. Samantha’s attacker also began stalking her, and she was struggling with depression and PTSD.”

Two months later, Samantha learned she was pregnant from the assault. The trauma of the rape was then compounded by the realization that she was pregnant from the rape. Blumenthal said she told him, “I knew if I couldn’t end this pregnancy, it would end me.” She sought and obtained an abortion.

Rape is an act of violence

There is no question that rape is an act of violence that causes trauma. The emotional and physical pain caused by rape is incomprehensible. There is one person to blame, and that is the rapist, who should face justice and punishment for the crime.

Abortion is an act of violence

Abortion is also an act of violence that causes trauma, but it has two victims. One victim is the target of a direct attack on his or her innocent, young life. The other victim is the preborn child’s mother who, in cases of rape, has already recently survived a traumatic experience. An abortion may seem like a chance to stand up for herself against her attacker, but it is another attack against an innocent human being — the woman’s own child. Many rape survivors who have become pregnant and chosen abortion have regretted their decision immensely. Samantha, mentioned by Blumenthal, felt suicidal… and in her immense pain took someone else’s life. In no other situation than abortion would such a decision have been legal.

 

Abortion is not therapy

Rape survivors suffer trauma and many, if not all, will need assistance in dealing with any mental health concerns that arise. Pregnancy will add to this need. Blumenthal seems to believe that abortion solved Samantha’s mental health concerns as he repeated her statement: “I knew if I couldn’t end this pregnancy, it would end me.” Samantha needed help to deal with her trauma, her depression, and her suicidal thoughts, but was abortion really help? Abortion itself has been associated with an increased risk of depression, alcohol and drug use, and suicide. It is not a problem solver. Abortion compounds problems.

 

Choosing death for an innocent human being, who at two months already had a beating heart, a brain, hands, feet, and a face, does not erase the pain and trauma of rape. Penalties should be harsher for rapists, not for innocent children and their traumatized mothers.

READ: Rape survivor who became pregnant regrets taking abortion pill: ‘It kills me every day’

Choosing abortion after rape

One woman told LifeNews about her rape and subsequent abortion. “[…] I had no ability to process what was happening in my life,” she said. “I couldn’t even tell anyone. I was shocked, embarrassed and disgusted with myself. In the week that followed, anger and fear built up in my heart until I felt I had no other option.” But after the abortion, she began abusing alcohol to numb her pain. Years later, she said she regrets the abortion “to the fullest extent possible.”

“My heart hurts deeply with the wounds that came from my assault,” she said. “But the pain of knowing that I will never meet my child hurts deeply. While I continue to wonder how I could have coped with having a baby from rape, I know that killing him did nothing to heal my pain.”

Another young woman became pregnant from rape. “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….” She went through with an abortion and said, “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.”

Choosing life after rape

While some women who have chosen abortion after rape found only more suffering, some women who have chosen life after rape say they have found peace.

Kathy Folan was a junior in college when she became pregnant from rape. “I was in a state of shock and panic,” she said. But she chose life for her son. “[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….”

After rape, Paula Peyton felt she had “no reason to go on living.” Then she learned she was pregnant. She chose life for her son despite the pressure around her to abort. “He was the happiest baby I’d ever seen and has continued to be the most joyful child,” she said. “[…] Our story isn’t a sad one. It is true that it’s marked by trauma, but it isn’t sad. Our story is one that tells of the boundless, redeeming love of God, who saw me in the depths of my despair and gave me my life’s greatest blessing…”

The answer to rape is not abortion. For victims, the long journey toward healing will not come through victimizing someone else, but through assistance, time, and love.

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