A recent article on the news and lifestyle website Insider objected to Texas’ newly enacted but not yet effective abortion law, which bans abortions once a heartbeat is detectable at about six weeks gestation, specifically because it does not contain exceptions for rape or incest. Insider quoted a Texas abortion provider, Dr. Bhavik Kumar, lamenting that if the law had been in effect sooner, a 13-year-old girl raped by her grandfather would have been unable to travel hours from home to seek an abortion at his facility.
Interestingly, the Insider article did not link to any related news stories and apparently was taking Khumar’s word about the alleged minor patient. Khumar was quoted as saying, “She shouldn’t have to be dealing with any of what she’s dealt with, but when I think about if a law like this were to go into effect and she wasn’t able to access abortion, if that’s what she had chosen, then what would her life be like? How different would it be? It’s difficult for me to think about that, to have that choice robbed from somebody.” No context was provided as to how long ago the alleged incident happened, or how far along the girl was in her pregnancy. Even when taken completely at face value, Khumar’s claims fail to acknowledge several important points about women who become pregnant from rape.
Abortion does not un-rape a girl or woman
Abortion cannot undo the trauma of rape perpetrated on a girl or woman, nor is it therapy that can heal her. Jennifer Christie, who conceived her son Joshua from a brutal rape, shared that “[Abortion] doesn’t ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ erase the memory of that day. A child is far less a reminder of the assault than is breathing. Or waking up. Putting one foot in front of the other. The rape will live with you everyday. Baby or not.”
Women who have been raped deserve compassion, support, and justice. Compounding their trauma is neither compassionate nor supportive, and abortion fails to bring justice because it penalizes the child rather than the rapist.
Abortion can become an ‘obstacle to healing’
While abortion after rape is repeatedly cited as an act of compassion for the woman, Live Action News has previously noted that, far from being a solution, abortion can actually be “an obstacle to healing” from rape. This is because in the abortion decision, the victimized mother gives permission for a traumatic death to be inflicted upon another vulnerable, innocent person. As one rape survivor observed, “[T]he abortion just makes the rape 1,000 times worse because now you have these two horrible events that you have to deal with.”
Choosing life opens a pathway for healing
As Paula Peyton Illari, whose son was conceived through rape, explained, “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.”
Kathy Folan, who placed her son conceived in rape for adoption, 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.…
I was empowered and strengthened by my experience, without which I would not be whom I am today.
Texas’ abortion law lacks an exception for rape in recognition of the powerful reality that abortion is not a real solution to the devastation of rape. Far from making the rape disappear, abortion can compound the woman’s trauma and prolong her healing process.
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