Should the baby resulting from a rape be aborted?

woman's face in shadow

Rape is a horrible and traumatic event in the life of any woman who has suffered its indignity.  It is the forcible act of sexual intercourse against the will of a woman.  Should she become pregnant not only must she bear the memory of the rape but she also carries the child of the rapist.  The question, then, is whether or not a woman should abort the baby that is the result of a rape?  This is a very difficult question to answer.  After all, it is a highly emotional issue.  Of course, I am a man and cannot possibly relate nor understand what it would mean to be in the place of a woman whose body has been invaded in such a way. I can only speak from what I know and what I believe about the sanctity of life that is derived from God's word.

In my opinion, a baby that is a product of rape should not be killed. It is not the fault of the baby that it has been brought into the world.  Why should the life of the baby be sacrificed because of the indignity suffered against the woman?  Yes, I know rape is horrible, and that it is wrong.  I know the woman has the right of self-protection and emotional security.  But I also know that love is greater than all these things, and few things on earth have greater love than a mother for her child.

I know some will strongly object and say that my attitude is callous and insensitive to the needs of the woman.  Indeed, a woman impregnated through rape has suffered greatly; and bearing the child would certainly be a reminder of the horrible incident.  The "father" would not support the child, and the mother would be left to raise the child on her own.  Without a doubt, the woman gets the raw end of the deal.

It is only natural, then, for a woman to want to protect herself physically, emotionally, and financially by removing from her very body that which has invaded her through rape.  I cannot blame a woman for desiring to justify an abortion intellectually and emotionally in this case.  But still, in spite of the great indignity against the woman and in spite of the emotional and financial hardships she would bear in the future, must the child be required to pay for the sin of the rapist?  Is it right to kill the child who is not at fault?  Is it right to take the life of someone who has done nothing wrong?  In civilized nations, protection of the innocent is a primary concern.  In the hearts of mothers, love should win out.  Love that sacrifices and gives life, instead of taking it, should be the goal.  Just as Jesus loved us and sacrificed Himself for us so that we might have life, so too should the mother give life to the child.  Is it fair?  No.  It wasn't fair for Jesus to die for us either, but He did it anyway.  He showed us what true love really is.

For those who place no credence in God's word nor the sacrifice of Christ, it all comes down to the person's values.  If a woman considers the life in her womb to have human nature, even though it is the product of rape, then she will be more likely to spare its life.  However, if she considers what is alive in her to be nothing more than an invasive parasite, then killing it would be easier to do.

In today's world, sterile medical terms are used to describe the life growing in the womb thus making it easier to detach oneself emotionally.  "Embryo" and "fetus" are clinical words that do not carry emotional baggage.  Terms like "baby" and "child," however, do.  Which words do you use?

How can anyone not realize that what is alive in the womb is human in nature?  How can anyone so easily dismiss its life?

That is easy for you to say

Of course, while sitting here in the comfort of my office, it is easy for me to urge women to keep babies who are the products of rape.  After all, I don't have to carry the child, suffer the emotional trauma, or bear the financial burden.  This is true.  The closest I can come to experiencing their situation is to try to imagine what I would do if my wife were raped and impregnated.  Years ago, I decided that if it happened, I would want to raise the child as my own.  I dearly love children and could never simply want to get rid of it.  My wife feels the same way.

Jesus showed me His great love by sacrificing His life for me--a sinner.  I deserve to be judged harshly by Him, yet He is gracious and kind.  I, too, must be gracious and kind in response.  Therefore, I would keep any child given to me and raise him or her as my own and with all my love and dedication . . . by God's grace.

 

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CARM ison