Rape is a vicious crime. When a woman becomes pregnant as a result of rape it is an immensely difficult and agonising experience for her.
Abortion is often seen as the easy solution. The fact that abortion involves taking an innocent life and exposes the woman to further emotional hurt and possible psychological harm is constantly overlooked.
There are increasing numbers of women joining the pro-life movement offering contrasting testimonies to those of the pro-choice lobby. Some represent women hurt by abortion (see womenhurt.ie) and others include people like Pam Stenzel who was herself conceived as a result of rape but cherishes the gift of life and believes she has the same right to life as anybody else.
Shauna Prewitt faced a horrendous situation when she was raped during her final year of college at the age of 21. One month later, she found out that she was pregnant and made the difficult decision to keep the baby. She admits she experienced many conflicting emotions throughout her pregnancy but began to feel a protective maternal bond with her baby. She said the day she gave birth to her daughter was a day filled with “unimaginable joy” and her daughter is now the light of her life. There are many women like Shauna whose stories aren’t heard.
Ryan Scott Bomberger is a human rights campaigner based in the US. His mother was raped in America in the 1970s after abortion had been legalised and would have been an available option to her. She chose to continue with her pregnancy and gave Ryan up for adoption.
Ryan shows us we have to be careful not to dehumanise people that are conceived in rape by using terms like “rapist’s baby” and that all human beings have the same dignity and worth, regardless of how they are conceived.