Pregnancy from rape: Is abortion really the way out?
Many people, even those whose mission is to help women and girls as the victims of sexual assault and abuse, believe that abortion is the best solution if a pregnancy caused by rape or incest. Yet, research suggests that most women who get pregnant through sexual assaults do not want the abortion. In fact, they feel that abortion only adds up to their trauma.
Is abortion the real solution?
Typically, both sides of the debate agree on the presumption that women getting sexual assault pregnancies may need an abortion and that the abortion would, in some way, encourage them to recover from the assault. But in fact, it is never that easy. The stories of many women show that both the mother and her baby are helped by preserving life, not by continuing violence. However, the evidence of women who have actually got pregnant through sexual assault is regularly left out of this public debate. Many people, even sexual assault victims who have never been pregnant, may be forming opinions on the ground of their own prejudices and fears rather than the real experiences of those people undergoing this difficult situation.
Why not aborting?
There are some several reasons for not aborting. Many women who get pregnant by sexual assault do not believe in abortion, believing it would be another act of violence against their bodies and their babies. More importantly, it is believed that their children’s lives may refer to some intrinsic meaning or purpose which they do not yet comprehend. This child was brought into a woman’s life by a terrible and repulsive act. But, perhaps, God or fate will use the baby for some better purpose. Goodness can come from wrongdoings.
The woman may also find that if she can survive the pregnancy, she will be able to get over the past. By giving birth, she can regain some of her lost self-esteem. Giving birth, particularly when the conception was not intended, is a totally selfless act – a generous act, a display of courage, strength, and honor.
Open a wound that has not been healed
Many people believe that abortion will encourage a rape victim to put the assault behind her and go on with her life. But evidence suggests that abortion may not be some wonderful surgery turning back the clock to make a woman “un-pregnant.” Instead, it is a real life event which causes lots of stress and trauma. When we accept that abortion is itself an event with deep consequences for a woman’s life, then we must look carefully at the particular circumstances of the pregnant sexual assault victim. Evidence points out that abortion does not help and only result in further injury to an already bruised psyche.
But before getting to this issue, we must ask: Do most women who get pregnant due to sexual assault want to abort?
The abortion often occurs not due to the woman’s desire but as a response to the recommendations or demands of others. In many cases, resources such as health workers, counselors, and others who are typically there to protect women after sexual assault push for abortion. Family pressure, rejection of support and resources that the woman needs to keep the pregnancy, manipulative or inadequate counseling and other problems all contribute to pushing women into abortions, even though the women themselves really do not want to abort. – Hello Doktor