Most Americans actually agree with the premise that abortion is morally wrong, but many would not want to outlaw the practice altogether because of certain extreme cases like rape and incest.
I believe that any abortion is morally wrong, regardless of the way in which the child was conceived, except when doctors are faced with a choice between saving the life of the baby or the mother. Yes, even in case of rape or incest.
Here are the four reasons why I maintain my pro-life views even those difficult circumstances.
1. It is the only consistent position in regards to viewing unborn life as a person.
Scientifically, human life begins at the moment of conception. There is no denying this fact. What is disputed is that all human life is worthy of protection and regarded as a “person.”
To say that you are pro-life, except in cases of rape or incest, is to undercut the entire pro-life argument. If the life in the womb is worthy of protection, it is worthy of such regardless of how it began.
Nothing changes the fact that the life in the womb is human. Nothing, therefore, changes the fact that it is worth saving.
2. It does not punish a child for a crime they did not commit.
I feel certain if they could choose, a child conceived in rape or incest would rather not have come into existence through those circumstances. But no one gets to choose how they are conceived and to whom they are born.
As a whole, our society seeks to prevent punishment of people based on circumstances beyond their control – except the unborn. Currently, babies can be aborted based on the parent’s desire for a certain gender, their refusal to care for a child with possible mental or physical handicaps, or the manner in which they were conceived. How is that just?
As Trevin Wax wrote, “Currently, there is no death penalty required for the rapist. I refuse to believe we ought to give an innocent victim a sentence more severe than the perpetrator of the crime.”
3. Those conceived in rape are not “products,” they are real people.
Politicians often speak of the life in the womb in these instances as “products of violence.” These children are not simply nameless, faceless products. They are real people, many of whom grew up, were loved by their mother (adoptive or biological) and have loving families of their own.
Actor Martin Sheen’s wife Janet, one of Angelina Jolie’s adopted daughters, Zahara, singer and actress Eartha Kitt, and pro-life activist in Atlanta, Ryan Scott Bomberger, were conceived in rape. In fact, you could talk to numerous business leaders, artists, pastors, doctors, scientists and adorable children whose lives began as a result of rape.
It is easy to speak of stopping a product. It becomes much harder when you recognize that these are actually human beings whose life is ended.
4. It recognizes the tragedy involved, while seeking to not add another.
Despite insinuations to the contrary, the consistent pro-life person abhors rape and incest, as both are violations of the dignity of the victim. Detesting those crimes and immoral acts, however, does not require one to believe that the resulting pregnancy should end in abortion.
You can talk to those who have endured the horror and shame of rape, only to see that tragedy end up in a blessing of life. Do not take my words for it. Listen to them.
Jenni [a child conceived in rape] says her mother tells her that “it was a horrible thing that happened, but this was a little light in her life.” A daughter to raise “gave her incentive to recover.” Aborting Jenni “would have been just another trauma,” her mother says.
The child is, according to these women, part of the mother, no matter the evil deeds of the father. They are not only the offspring of a rapist. They are the child of the women.
Circumstances do not change the value of a life outside of the womb, neither should it alter our perspective on the unborn.
But what if the child causes emotional pain to the mother? I answer that here.