In his 2000 book “Victims and Victors,” Dr. David C. Reardon of the Elliot Institute addresses the what is commonly called “the exception” in opinion on abortion: decisions regarding pregnancy resulting from rape and/or incest. The primary source for this book was research conducted by himself in the form of a survey of victims of rape who became pregnant as a result of the assault. He asked them to tell their story of the experience and the impact of their individual choice to either abort the child or bring the child to term.
With a proper understanding of the humanity of a child beginning with conception, pro-life supporters commonly vie for eliminating the exception mentality to opinion on abortion. However, a woman who has just experienced the trauma of rape or incest must be tended to in a special way in this case. As seen in the testimonies of this book, many rape victims do choose life for their child precisely because of this understanding of the humanity of the child. It is the testimonies of women who choose abortion after rape or incest that speak volumes of the trauma that abortion brings to women.
Rape in itself is a traumatic experience that strips a woman of her dignity, self-worth, proper understanding of human sexuality, innocence and, in many cases, virginity. Many cases of rape go unreported because of intense fear from the victim, such as fear that the rapist will return or fear that she will be rejected or seen as an out-cast. Therefore, most women do not receive proper post-trauma counseling.
Even when a woman does seek help immediately after rape, she is frequently treated with contempt, dealt with according to “sterile” procedure, offered an easy way out by “Morning-After Pill” or abortion, etc. These women are not allowed to vent and grieve properly, given the unconditional love that will restore their trust in humanity, nor told of the healing and forgiveness of Jesus Christ,
Because of the traumatic experience of rape, the last thing that a woman needs is for that trauma to be compounded through the experience of abortion! However, the pro-abortion movement has made these children conceived in rape a taboo in society, that people will think they have less of a right to be born. Subsequently, the one situation in which abortion is the worst decision has become the situation that abortion is expected the most. This shows the true malice of the pro-abortion movement. This is clearly beyond compassion for women, to the point of causing destruction to them.
In his book as other clinical testimony to the trauma of abortion after rape, the abortion procedure itself is described as “surgical rape” or “medical rape.” A woman is in the same vulnerable position, having her body invaded and having life and hope sucked out of here. She is again being faced by a cold, clinical, uncaring person covered in a mask. The only difference is that in abortion she must pay for this abuse to herself and the child she would have otherwise cared for by laying down her life for him or her.
“For many women this experiential association between and sexual assault is very strong. It is especially strong for women who have a prior history of sexual assault, whether or not the aborted child was conceived during an act of assault. This is just one reason why women with a history of sexual assault are likely to experience greater distress during and after an abortion than are other women.
“Second, research shows that after any abortion, it is common for women to experience guilt, depression, feelings of being ‘dirty,’ resentment of men, and lowered self-esteem. These feelings are identical to what women typically feel after rape. Abortion, then, only adds to and accentuates the traumatic feelings associated with sexual assault. Rather than easing the psychological burdens of the sexual assault victim, abortion adds to them” (“Victims and Victors” p. 15).
Pro-life doctors understand that the most urgent need for rape victims is not the need to provide abortion services, but psychological care. Some have speculated that the medical community and the Church must come up with a procedure by which the womb can be cleansed (immediately after assault) in order to prevent pregnancy from happening. The following testimonies from doctors explain why this is not a top priority.
The follow two doctors and one professor were presented with the following question: “Is there a morally legit medical procedure for a victim of rape that would avoid pregnancy by cleansing the womb immediately after assault from any sperm left from the male intruder?”
“This procedure would be called irrigation and Dilatation and Curettage (D&C). This procedure either does an abortion or nothing so far as possible pregnancy is concerned. In the mouse and we would presume it would be similar in the human being, the time when the Fallopian tube opens is only immediately after copulation. The sperm either gets into the tube immediately or the tube remains close. This is factual for the mouse and this is logical for a human, lady, person or a lady would have infected tubes continually. After rape it is important to help the person through this time of violent insult to her. Yes, the external genitalia can be washed and cleansed. This includes the vagina. The cervix ought not be dilated. Obviously the endometrium must not be scraped. Pills (hormones) ought not be prescribed because they will not inhibit ovulation or inhibit transport of the sperm. Under these circumstances these hormones can only alter the endometrium, which is doing an abortion, or they do nothing so far as pregnancy is concerned.
“It is logical that semen and secretions can be washed. It is logical that one cannot injure the endometrium or the cervix. It is logical that the person who has been violated needs much emotional, mental and spiritual. The incidence of pregnancy is extremely rare. The ‘pill’ in all varieties that can inhibit ovulation must be taken in small doses over many days. There is no evidence that a dose on the day of or the day prior to ovulation will inhibit ovulation. This has been incorrectly published in the past, but I haven't seen it recently.”
Paul A. Byrne, M.D.
Neonatologist who has paid a lot of attention to these topics
“I have heard of it, but that's all...it would definitely be unethical since fertilization may occur within five minutes of being raped...scraping the endometrium would then set the zygote/embryo up for an abortion since he or she cannot implant.”
Chris Kahlenborn, M. D.
One More Soul
“Application of spermicidal is ok but ineffective if fertilization has already occurred. Routine cleaning and disinfectant of the vaginal canal is ok. But a D&C of the uterus is problematic. The uterus would not be infected generally. Depending on the time lapse after the rape – if fertilization occurred at the time of the rape, an embryo may have already implanted in the uterus. In which case the D&C is an abortion. This would certainly be an effective way to prevent pregnancy and certainly immoral as well.”
Brian Scarnecchia, J.D.
Professor of Human Life Studies and Legal Studies at Franciscan University of Steubenville
Clearly, someone is pushing an agenda not only for killing children, but also for hurting women.