Abortion is not a "right;" it is a "wrong."
WHAT ABOUT IN CASES OF RAPE? For a man to force a woman is an unspeakable crime. Every woman fears such circumstances above nearly any other evil. Every husband and father of a daughter abhors the thought of those under his care being violated. Such cowardly evil boils the blood of every true man, and turns the stomach of any normal person. Such selfishness shows a heart so small and closed that it hardly qualifies to say it is made in God's image.
Whenever abortion is argued, invariable the pro-abortion speaker will say, "If you outlaw abortion, then rape victims would have no recourse but to bear a rapist's child." Is this a valid reason to keep abortion legal for any woman for any reason? Let us consider three introduction points, and then a brief discussion.
First, let us define "rape." Rape is the forcible imposition of a man on a woman for sexual intercourse. This study is discussing assault (forcible) rape, not marital rape or remorse over consensual sex. Whether a rape occurs behind the bushes or on a date, it should be reported to police and charges filed. (College students, are you listening?)
Second, it is interesting that the percentage of rape abortions is actually less than the percentage of unwanted babies conceived outside of marriage. Fifty-one percent of unmarried women who become pregnant with boyfriends have abortions; less than half of rape pregnancies are aborted. The rest carry the baby to term and give the child up for adoption or opt to keep it. In one study of 37 rape pregnancies, 28 carried to term.
Third, stiffer laws and enforcement is better protection for women than abortion rights. Sex criminals should face the quick and severe wrath of an angry society (government) (Rm. 13:1-5); this would go far in preventing these tragedies (Ecc. 8:11).
UNCOMMON. The rape argument for abortion is a smokescreen used to prejudice undecided minds. These situations make up a very small percentage of abortions in the United States. The Alan Guttmacher Institute, a research arm of Planned Parenthood, completed a survey of 1900 women who had an abortion. The reasons for having an abortion:
- 21% said they were not ready for the responsibility.
- 21% said they could not afford the baby.
- 16% were concerned about how a child would change their lives.
- 12% blamed a relationship problem.
- 11% felt they were not mature enough.
- 8% said they had all the children they wanted.
- 1% were the result of rape and incest.
Keep in mind that this 1% figure is from a "pro-choice" source. The AGI Mission Statement says it favors the "freedom to terminate unwanted pregnancies." According to their data, about 14,000 women have abortions each year because they became pregnant after rape or incest. This is out of a total of 1.37 million abortions. There is the likely possibility that the true number is even smaller. In many cases, there is social pressure to claim rape to justify a decision to abort. Forty-three percent of women obtaining abortions identify themselves as "Protestant" and 27% as "Catholic." Both groups are historically anti-abortion, but often give exceptions in cases of rape or incest.
That false claims of rape are made is commonly understood in discussion of the abortion issue. The story of Jane Roe, of the infamous Roe v. Wade Decision, is a case in point. In the early 1970s, Norma McCorvey (her real name) fabricated a story about being gang raped at a circus, mistakenly thinking this would permit her to obtain a legal abortion in Texas. In 1987 she revealed that the baby was actually conceived "through what I thought was love." She had made up the story. Another case is Pennsylvania's Medicaid program. Up until 1988 abortions were funded for women who claimed they had been raped, without requiring reporting to a law enforcement agency. Abortion clinic personnel issued thinly veiled invitations for women to simply say they'd been raped. Since they didn't have to prove it, and no one would arrest the "rapists," many took advantage of the offer. Based on unsubstantiated claims, the state funded an average of 36 abortions a month. When the legislature added a requirement for reporting the rape to a law enforcement agency in 1988, the average dropped to less than three abortions per month.
UNLIKELY. The likelihood of becoming pregnant from rape is, thankfully, very low. Pregnancy occurs in only about one in four thousand rapes. (Normal pregnancy rates are about 1 in 1,000 copulations.) There are physical reasons for this. It is likely because of timing (not during the three days a month a woman is likely to get pregnant), and because the rapist often does not finish the sex act. Also, some women who are raped are sterile, are on contraception, or are before/after child-bearing years.
There are emotional reasons for this. A rape victim rarely gets pregnant because conception is unlikely during psychic trauma. Our benevolent Creator so made the feminine reproductive system that she rarely conceives under stress. All have known married couples who wanted a baby and tried to conceive-but met with frustration. Finally they adopted a baby and then conceived shortly afterward. To get pregnant and stay pregnant, a woman's body must produce a very sophisticated mix of hormones. Hormone production is controlled by a part of the brain which is easily influenced by emotions. Every woman is aware that stress and emotional factors can alter her menstrual cycle. There's no greater emotional trauma that can be experienced by a woman than an assault rape. This can radically upset her possibility of ovulation, fertilization, implantation, and even nurturing a pregnancy.
Links to this entire series:
by Allen Webster
- Abortion Wrongs: Part 1
- Abortion Wrongs: Part 2
- Abortion Wrongs: Part 3
- Abortion Wrongs: Part 4
- Abortion Wrongs: Part 5