PRO-LIFE BASICS: What about abortion when pregnancy is the result of rape?

All too often, we hear proposals for “pro-life legislation” where babies could be protected—but not if the mother is the victim of sexual assault. Have you ever stopped to think about this? Perhaps not, but pro-abortion groups certainly have, and one of them has provided a point to ponder.

“Opponents of abortion rights walk a fine line when they condone any abortion. Based on their own definition, they are guilty of being accessories to ‘murder’ in certain circumstances by accepting rape and incest exceptions.”This quote from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice shows that even they recognize the inconsistency of making exceptions to the pro-life position.

Human beings’ lives begin at fertilization. Prolifers must take this fact seriously, because the person living inside the womb is as real as you and me.


It is wrong to discriminate against people who have been born because of the manner in which they came into the world, and it is also wrong to discriminate against preborn persons by attempting to justify abortion in cases where the mother was the victim of a crime. Some people believe in good faith that when rape results in pregnancy, abortion can remove the painful evidence of that rape. But will it?

Will abortion erase the memory or heal the emotional and physical pain of the assault? Will abortion, in effect, erase the crime against the mother?

Hardly. Rape is an act of violence inflicted upon a woman. She is an innocent victim. Abortion, on the other hand, is an act of violence that a mother inflicts on her own child. Abortion only re-victimizes women who have been raped.

This child’s father may go to prison for his crime, but his innocent preborn child can be executed without trial, jury or judge. Moreover, justice to the mother will not be achieved by sending her to the local abortion clinic to “solve” her problem. A mother’s real needs must be met. Providing life-affirming medical, financial and emotional care meets these needs, and pro-life groups around the country—more than 2,900 crisis pregnancy centers, and groups like Life After Assault League—are doing this work.

The point: No exceptions

Pro-lifers are hypocrites if they condemn the murder of a preborn child in one circumstance but allow it in another. Think for a moment about your circle of friends. Can you tell just by looking at them how they were conceived? If one had been conceived in rape, would you treat him or her differently? Of course not. Regardless of how a life begins, each person—born or preborn—is valuable. For assistance please call: Life After Assault League 920-739-4489.

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About the author

Judie Brown

Judie Brown is president of American Life League and served 15 years as a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.