Dear pro-life advocate…
The other day I posted a plea to abortion rights supporters to consider how the claim that abortion restrictions infringe on a woman’s right to control her body is one that intentionally misrepresents the facts. Today I want to make a plea to those who champion life but make exceptions for rape or incest to consider how that accommodation may compromise your position.
Before I make my case, let me make it clear that though, thank God, I have never experienced it, I believe rape is a truly heinous crime and rapists should be punished more severely than they usually are. My guttural reaction on hearing of one is usually that the perpetrator deserves an immediate and painful death. And incest is certainly in most every case a rape in itself. They are despicable acts for which there are no excuses. That being said, it should have no bearing on the right to life of a child conceived in this way.
I believe that when we allow for this exception, we are in essence agreeing with abortion supporters in basing our view on the welfare of the mother alone to the exclusion of the rights and welfare of the new life she bears. And in the process nullifying our position that abortion is wrong because it kills the life of an innocent child. The child conceived in a violent act by a hateful and violent man is nevertheless innocent itself and undeserving of the same punishment deserved by its father.
How can we with integrity argue that a woman’s economic status, emotional well-being, or any other hardship, though real and tragic, are inadmissible in the court of inalienable rights, yet stand with abortion supporters when the tragedy is rape or incest? And it is a tragedy, an incredibly unjust and life-altering invasion of a woman’s body and soul. I get that. But my personal suffering never gives me the right to take it out on someone else.
This life is not fair. Aborting the child conceived in rape or incest is an attempt to try and make right or at least minimize the injustice visited on the child’s mother. But in our compassion for the woman, as warranted and necessary as that is, we are making her child pay for that injustice. In the most extreme way.
Am I missing something? Is there a truth I’m overlooking regarding this? I welcome your input.