The pro-abortion crowd will often throw up the usual hard cases when it comes to their demand for abortion on demand. One hard case often raised is that of rape. They will argue that surely no woman would ever want to carry and give birth to the product of rape.
But the truth is, many do, and many have. Many women choose to keep their baby, and either raise him or her themselves, or give the baby away for adoption. And there are many such individuals who were the product of rape who are so very glad their mothers allowed them the choice of life.
There are even entire organisations which have now been set up by those pleading for the right to life for those conceived via rape. As but one example, consider rape-survivor Rebecca Kiessling. She has a website devoted to putting a human face on this issue.
As she says, “Have you ever considered how really insulting it is to say to someone, ‘I think your mother should have been able to abort you’? It’s like saying, ‘If I had my way, you’d be dead right now.’ And that is the reality with which I live every time someone says they are pro-choice or pro-life ‘except in cases of rape’ because I absolutely would have been aborted if it had been legal in Michigan when I was an unborn child, and I can tell you that it hurts.
“But I know that most people don’t put a face to this issue – for them abortion is just a concept – with a quick cliche, they sweep it under the rug and forget about it. I do hope that, as a child conceived in rape, I can help to put a face, a voice, and a story to this issue.” Her site is found here: www.rebeccakiessling.com/index.html
But here I wish to tell the story from the point of view of a mother. One very moving story appeared a few years ago which is well worth reporting on. The lengthy testimony of a teenager who was raped and left pregnant is worth reading in its entirety, but let me just offer some parts of this amazing story:
Little Phoebe “will never want to know the truth about the man who gave her life. She was conceived on a cold December evening when Elizabeth – then a 16-year-old virgin – was dragged into the back of the van and raped. All that Elizabeth will be able to tell Phoebe one day is that her father was a stranger in a hooded top who forced himself upon her. She has no idea of the man’s age, ethnic background, even height, such was the confusion of that evening. Indeed, he could be one of three possible individuals.
“One of the few things that Elizabeth is sure of is that she was raped three times that night, by three different men. That Phoebe exists at all almost defies belief. Practically everyone who knew exactly how Elizabeth had fallen pregnant – doctors, siblings, even her own father – urged her to have an abortion as soon as possible. The only person who pleaded with her to at least consider having the child was her mother, Sarah. Today, Elizabeth and Sarah are together to tell their remarkable story to the Mail….
“‘Everyone, save for mum, thought I should have an abortion,’ she says. ‘My dad even made an appointment at the clinic, and they showed me the little blob on the scan, I presume, to convince me that it was just a mass of cells and the whole thing would be over quickly. But I couldn’t go through with it. At school, my friends – most of whom didn’t even know about the rape – couldn’t understand why anyone my age would want to have a baby rather than an abortion. And the few I did tell about what had happened were even more horrified that I would want to go through with the birth. But I did. And I don’t regret it for a moment. Every time I look at Phoebe, I know I made the right decision. I never wanted to end my baby’s life just because of how she came to be’….
“News of the impending addition to the family caused a deep rift. The other Cameron children – Julian, 32, Nicholas, 29, and Alice, 13 – were horrified. One day, Sarah found a note Alice had typed on her computer. It read: ‘Dear God, please help me to love this new baby, because at the moment, I hate it.’
“As Elizabeth’s bump grew, though, people outside the home had to be told – and the inevitable tuts ensued. ‘People have been horrible,’ admits Sarah. ‘But that just made us more determined to fight for this innocent little child. She had not asked to be conceived, had she?’ On September 15, 2006, little Phoebe arrived weighing a healthy 8lb 4oz. Sarah stayed by Elizabeth’s side during the long labour and was the first to hold the little girl. Both new mum and grandmother admit they were relieved that their only feeling on setting eyes on her was one of adoration.
“As Sarah puts it: ‘She was so pretty, with thick dark hair and beautiful blue eyes. People may wonder how it is possible to love a child conceived in this way, but believe me, I love her even more because of it. All the hatred I felt towards those men disappeared when I saw the baby. I put Phoebe on Elizabeth’s breast and that was the most moving sight. In that moment, it wasn’t about her being attacked in some car park, it was simply about the precious moment a new mum holds her baby.’
“Elizabeth concurs. ‘I have never, ever blamed Phoebe for what happened. While it was terrifying, knowing that I was going to be a mum made me look forward and focus on something else. I suppose I have tried to look beyond what happened, to the life that was created’.”
The article concludes, “And Phoebe? What will Elizabeth tell the child when that difficult subject has to be broached. ‘If I have to, I will say that she was the good that came out of something bad. And I will tell her that, however she came to be, I have never ever regretted having her, and I would not be without her for the world’.”
This is quite an amazing story, and well worth reading in its entirety. Truly good can come out of evil, and this is a great example of it.
A version of this column originally appeared in www.billmuehlenberg.com.