The Rape Exception: Getting to the Roots of Abortion

mercy, garden

Love him or hate him, Matt Walsh has a way of purposefully stating the obvious with a take no prisoners approach. I haven’t read many of his posts but Yes, I am Prolife Even in Cases of Rape and Incest. Here’s Why had me at the headline. I, too, share this sentiment and, as my very personal story illustrates, so did my parents.

As the forty-second anniversary of the infamous Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton decisions approached and then passed, I experienced so many emotions that I found myself shying away from writing anything about it. After all, it’s all been said – and said often and thoroughly. Yet, as I found myself reading columns and listening to homilies on the topic, a theme solidified. We’re missing the obvious because this battle for life has gone on so long. The big picture is so cluttered by so many pieces of the puzzle, that the basic premises are obscured.

Words Mean Things

Forty-two years is a long time to work toward a country without legalized abortion. If there’s one thing that we’ve done wrong as prolife advocates, it’s that we’ve allowed the pro-abortion side to change the topic. They’re really good at that – calling us anti-abortion rather than prolife, for example. As Bishop William Francis Medley told us at our diocesan Respect Life Mass,

“We’re not anti-anything. We’re for life!”

That simple negative, concocted by those who sponsor a misbegotten right to kill children was willingly taken up by the media. It attempts to label us as the people of no, who usurp the rights of others. Contrary to that designation, we know that we are a positive people who respect both mother and child.

What Are the Abortion Basics?

A baby is a baby is a baby. No life is more precious than another in the eyes of God – and by extension in the eyes of the faithful. We are all made in His Image and Likeness.

An icon for her love of the forgotten – including the poor and the unborn – Blessed Mother Teresa didn’t discriminate. The unwashed masses of India, the forgotten sick, and the unwanted unborn all reflected God in her reality. She famously spoke up to pro-abortion presidents and never wavered in putting her convictions into action.

Biology Is Clear

Questioning the humanity of the unborn child is utilized as another diversionary tactic. Here, however, we have science on our side. Even that secular bastion of education, Princeton University, acknowledges that life begins at fertilization. On the first day  following fertilization, the human embryo is identifiable as a specific individual human being on a molecular level. The heart beats at between eighteen and 21 days. Brain waves can be measured at six weeks while organs are in place and developing at 8 weeks. The undeniable truth surfaces with little effort, if only we will seek it.

The Exception Argument Has Become Cliché

In a deeply flawed attempt to deflect from the real issue of the humanity of any unborn child, hypotheticals have injudiciously been employed. “What about the rape or incest conceived child?” they bemoan. How quickly (or if) they are successful in distracting from the main question is up to us. Because if we allow the conversation to stray from the humanity of the child, we endanger our message – all life is precious. There is no inconsistency of worth, in the eyes of God, between the wanted and the unwanted. Once we allow that we are willing to save the many at the cost of the few, we’ve so diluted our position as to have surrendered to a world that will always allow abortion in some instances.

A child conceived in rape is no less human, no less a child of God. She is a gift to the world, brought about in a horrific way, yes, but not at the expense of her worth. That her mother underwent a traumatically violent experience, has no bearing on her right to live. The sins of the man who violated her mother could never be justly purged by another act of violence against an innocent.

What Else Needs to Be Said?

When we take all of these points into consideration – what more could possibly be said? Allowing ourselves to be lead down the primrose path with illogical twists of not so rational rationale only weakens the entire prolife message. Our convictions, and language, need to remain firmly focused. We need to promote the reality of the humanity of the unborn – all of them. The tools are certainly at our disposal.

Once the biological facts are shared and our youngest brethren are acknowledged as being God’s beloved children, we must take up the mantle of love. By better communicating our love of all involved – the unborn, the parents, the post-abortive and, yes, even the pro-abortion minded – we will begin to see a positive change in those around us.

As Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley stated in his Homily at the March for Life Vigil Mass,

“To change people’s hearts we must love them and they must realize that we care about them. They need the witness of our love and our joy. To evangelize is to be a messenger of joy, of good news.”

An unwavering, united approach is needed for the triumph of Life. Confidence in the facts, focus on the message, and an all-encompassing love – these are the winning ingredients to a country without abortion. No exception, no compromise.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on google
Google+
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

60 thoughts on “The Rape Exception: Getting to the Roots of Abortion”

  1. I’ve never understood the argument for a “rape and incest exception”. Rape and incest are the acses where abortion is even LESS justified than usual. Surely all can see that it is wrong to apply the death penalty to someobody for a crime committed by his father over which he had no control or knowledge?
    In addition, the legality of abortion in cases of rape and incest is the perfect way for the perpetrator to conceal his crime, so permitting him to continue his abuse of the mother who is re-victimized again and again. How could anyone who claims to be concerned for the rights of vulnerable women, possibly defend this?

    1. Knowledge brings understanding and it is impossible to to understand something that you are judging. Surely you can see it is wrong to abuse someone, to rape someone, to force them into what you believe they should do. The only way to healing is through understanding. How much experience have you had in this area? Is it wrong for a child to suffer poverty and the many obstacles that go along with it? Is it wrong for the child to starve? From my experience it seemed that the more we suffered the more justification those who judged my mother had that we deserved it. Well she should have never loved that man, well that’s what she get’s for being a sinner. What you think that the children should suffer in that way? I only get one experience in life, I don’t get to come back and get re- do. And sorry doesn’t fix it. At some point humans need to start taking responsibility for the children we give life to. Just look at all the suffering because of greed and judgment. Like I said I would have rather waited to be brought to life then to have been brought to life to suffer. My mother did not deserve to be miserable and alone, that certainly was no benefit for her children to watch her struggle and be treated the way she was. Her life was important and I would have rather she enjoyed it instead of the burdens she lived through to raise me and that would of been a sacrifice I would have been happy to make for her.

    2. “Surely you can see it is wrong to abuse someone, to rape someone, to force them into what you believe they should do.”
      Absolutely. How on earth could you have thought that I thought otherwise?
      However I expect the State to put laws in place prohibiting people from murdering each other, and if necessary send officers of the State to use (the minimal necessary) force to prevent them murdering each other. Very sorry to hear that you have a problem with that.

    3. If you’ll notice, your comment applied only to the man involved in a scenario where a woman becomes pregnant through rape.

      “Surely all can see that it is wrong to apply the death penalty to someobody for a crime committed by his father over which he had no control or knowledge?”.

      You’re looking at it the wrong way. Women in such situations seek an abortion because they are carrying a fetus in their body that was conceived against their will and that they have no wish, nor responsibility, to carry to term. They have the right to control their bodies and their lives. A fetus may have a heartbeat and developing organs but they are not organs that can sustain life outside the womb. The fate of the fetus is therefore subservient to the will of the woman. A fetus can be spontaneously expelled from a woman’s body, unable to survive of its own accord. This is the same act of nature that results in the death of a fetus when it is removed from a woman’s body during an abortion that a woman has decided is the best course of action for her. A fetus will be born a person that may go on to achieve much, but it’s eventual status does not grant it rights greater to that of the woman. This is true even if women have given birth to children conceived through rape, voluntarily or not, and fought to come through it for themselves and the child who resulted from their continued pregnancy.

      “In addition, the legality of abortion in cases of rape and incest is the perfect way for the perpetrator to conceal his crime”
      Again, pregnancy through rape is not about men. This is a serious issue and perpetrators should be brought to justice and prevented from re-offending, but this should be done through enforcement of the law and providing support to victims that enable them to identify their abuser and crimes committed against them. Prohibiting abortion is not the way to do this. Not all cases of rape and incest result in the victim becoming pregnant, so if a visible pregnancy is the best means our society has of prosecuting offenders, what does that mean for victims who don’t become pregnant? Shouldn’t the law endeavour to protect all victims of sexual abuse and wouldn’t you support it’s enforcement in this regard? So whether or not a victim continues a pregnancy to term doesn’t apply in this regard.
      Some people are in favour of supporting women in such situations and that support extends to ensuring women are able to access their rights. That’s how people who claim to be concerned for the rights of vulnerable women can possibly defend abortion.

    4. What I understand about you anti-choicers is that you clearly believe that each and every time a man and woman have sexual intercourse they have already made a choice to become parents and to bear all of the attendant costs and risks of becoming parents.

      So no matter why they have intercourse — and every single time they have intercourse through their lives , you say they have already made their choices to become parents no matter what.

      That’s false and you know it. People do not have intercourse each and every time in order to become parents. That may be the furthest thing from their minds, especially since all they might want is intimacy without parenthood.

      You can only advance your ‘argument’ on religious grounds that have no bearing with respect to the actual choices people make. by espousing that it is some kind of natural law that removes both men’s and womens choices.

      You also implicitly argue that men and women who want a child and have made a decision to have one have also made a decision to have malformed children with serious defects that limit their survival once born — taking whatever they get, though that was not part of their decision at the time they chose to have a child.

      And then, you totally ignore everyone else who was raped and whose rape led them to be pregnant or become a parent against their will.

      And you are anti-freedom, for if freedom means anything it is the right to make decisions parenting, health and risk decisions/choices without your interference. Freedom without such personal freedom is freedumb for the ignorant.

    5. Larry, there is not, nor has there ever been, a contract that says “All
      experiences that all people will ever have will be wonderful and happy; if for
      any reason, any experience is not wonderful and happy, then whatever steps
      necessary to erase it are permitted, even at the cost of human life.”

      While your questions and observations are for the most part well-worded (although
      the specific take on the “You People” meme is a bit disconcerting) they are in fact the exact reverse of reality.

      LARRY SAYS: “What I understand about you anti-choicers is that you clearly
      believe that each and every time a man and woman have sexual intercourse they
      have already made a choice to become parents and to bear all of the attendant
      costs and risks of becoming parents.”

      In fact, since pregnancy and birth happen in only one way, the possibility that
      it can happen has to be considered by any two fully aware people entering into
      the act of sexual intercourse. For those who understand this reality, there are
      a number of paths to minimize the outcome, but what remains is that none are
      perfect, and if the eventuality occurs, ignorance of it, as in “I chose to
      ignore it” is no excuse or reason for killing. Unless you hold that most people
      are herd animals to be kept by some uber-class, then yes, people who engage in sexual intercourse will “bear all of the attendant costs and risks of becoming parents.” It’s part of being a vital, independent and responsible adult.

      LARRY SAYS: “So no matter why they have intercourse — and every single
      time they have intercourse through their lives, you say they have already made
      their choices to become parents no matter what.”

      Again, if they are fully aware people of character, then they are aware of the
      potential, and will take the appropriate steps – including NOT having sex – to
      minimize that potential. Willfully dismissing the possibility of pregnancy
      while engaging in the act that causes it is an act of supreme arrogance – or stupidity
      – or both.

      LARRY SAYS: “That’s biological and reproductive captivity that always
      removes our moral agency.”

      This is as completely inside-out as can be, but typical of the collectivist,
      secular humanist philosophy behind the current dehumanization of women and babies. It is precisely our moral agency, if correct, that drives our behavior, and guides our actions by recognizing our inability to completely overcome biological reality.

      It is precisely our moral agency, if healthy and balanced, that puts
      consequence above immediate pleasure, and channels our personal outlook towards
      a life-long, decades-founded perspective as opposed to “we have tonight, let
      the devil take tomorrow.”

      “Biological and reproductive captivity” is a useless, empty phrase;
      one may as well rant against our “Biological and digestive captivity”
      in that we need to eat things that aren’t always candy and beer in order for
      our bodies to remain healthy. We should be able to eat whatever we want and not
      be bound to the consequences, right? How dare we be forced into such gustatory
      slavery!?

      LARRY SAYS: “That’s wrong and you know it. People do not have intercourse
      each and every time in order to become parents. That may be the furthest thing
      from their minds, especially since all they might want is intimacy without
      parenthood.”

      It’s exactly right, and the error is sadly on the part of those who
      intentionally choose to ignore realty. Again, to echo your repetitive
      statement, they must consider the potential for parenthood each and every time.
      If it is the furthest thing from their minds, then they are simply taking very
      grave risk. In which other area of our daily lives do we willfully ignore such
      life-and-death possibilities?

      LARRY SAYS: “You can only advance your ‘argument’ on religious grounds
      that have no bearing with respect to the actual choices people make. by
      espousing that it is some kind of natural law that removes both men’s and
      womens (sic) choices.”

      Again, completely wrong. In fact, I can advance my argument on scientific grounds (as you would have seen had you read the entire article and explored the links) as well as ethical, religious or otherwise. It is a proven fact that, when a sperm and egg fuse, life begins. This is so well-proven that it is replicated in laboratories; In-vitro fertilization could not occur without this given fact.

      What befuddles me is that in issues such as evolution or “climate change” (or whatever the current nom-du-jour is,) “science” is heralded as the be-all and end-all. Yet, in as clearly a scientifically solid a field as embryology, “science” is roundly
      ignored. If actual choices are made without consideration of this solidly
      founded set of scientifically proven facts then, again, it is no arbitrarily-imposed
      natural law that removes choices. It is reality, pure and simple. “Natural law”
      exists without our ability to consent or dissent. It is the emotionally arrested
      and self-important brat that throws tantrums against such realities. We may as
      well rage against the speed of light or the inability to breathe underwater.

      LARRY SAYS: “You also implicitly argue that men and women who
      want a child and have made a decision to have one have also made a decision to
      have malformed children with serious defects that limit their survival once
      born — taking whatever they get, though that was not part of their decision at
      the time they chose to have a child.”

      This attempted diversion is groundless to those who understand that life is imperfect. To rephrase your statement conversely, you would make the standard Progressive assertion that people who do desire children should be able to “custom-tailor” them, or at least engage in some kind of eugenics, not even in order to “keep the gene pool clean” but simply in order to not negatively impact their own comfortability status. To consider children as no more than accoutrement or decoration, and therefore being satisfied with only nflawed versions, is the basest form of arrogance. As well, only empty souls will discount the amazing revelations that the love and commitment to other-than-normal children will generate. This I speak of from personal experience.

      LARRY SAYS: “And then, you totally ignore everyone else who was raped and whose rape led them to be pregnant or become a parent against their will.”

      Very simply put, adding murder to rape is not a form of relief or justice. In the article, which I am unsure that you actually read, the author says it with wonderful clarity: “A child conceived in rape is no less human, no less a child of God. She is a gift to the world, brought about in a horrific way, yes, but not at the expense of her worth. That her mother underwent a traumatically violent experience has no bearing on her right to live. The sins of the man who violated her mother could never be justly purged
      by another act of violence against an innocent.” By what you believe
      about aborting children conceived in rape, then in your view, nobody conceived
      in rape should be allowed to live. Should we round them up and exterminate them
      now? On the other hand, would you give up one year of your life to the care of somebody in order to save her entire life?

      LARRY SAYS: “And you are anti-freedom, for if freedom means anything it is the right to make parenting, health and risk decisions/choices without your interference. Freedom without such personal freedom is freedumb for the ignorant.”

      Let’s look at this more closely. If, to paraphrase, “freedom is the right to make choices without outside interference” then where is the freedom for the aborted child, whose sole choice, that is, the choice to survive, has been most violently interrupted by outside interference? If you actually mean “the right to have irresponsible and casual sex without consequence” then you are not talking about freedom; freedom takes consequence into regard. You are talking about license, which is not a state to be defended as it dismisses consequence as a personal burden. Freedom has its roots in responsibility, as any student of the classical understanding knows. License creates only increasing clamor and greed as unfettered desires run wild. Freedom to do the right thing without being forced is the essence of liberty. “Freedom” to do
      whatever the hell you want without being stopped is debauched chaos, and has no
      business existing in a society that hopes to expand and thrive.

      The bottom line is that the secular humanist, the atheist, the progressive and the statist do not place anything above themselves in the order of importance in their own lives. Tragic events are to be “made better” by Nanny State or some other “authority” allowing them to remove any and all subsequent events regardless of how unpleasant. This is the view of the sociopath: “I will kill in order that I should not undergo a temporary, unchosen burden regardless of other options.”

      Rape is a heinous crime, and its perpetrators should be rendered unable to repeat it. In a larger view, too, the horribly unbalanced image of sexuality present in the environment needs to be brought back to what was once, briefly, a healthy place where people are not sexually objectified, where they are more concerned with character and purpose than with obeying their genitals, and where the sexes are equal in both dignity and potential in every aspect, and especially that one rare gift – the gift of life; each one respects both his or her place, and the places of all others, in the exercise of that gift.

      Each person engaged in this “conversation” should, honestly, for one moment, think what you are defending at it’s core. There is room for improvement everywhere, and Cardinal O’Malley’s quote is the best guide I can find:

      “To change people’s hearts we must love them and they must realize that we care about them. They need the witness of our love and our joy. To evangelize is to be a messenger of joy, of good news.”

    6. Wow.

      1. “Larry, there is not, nor has there ever been, a contract that says “All experiences that all people will ever have will be wonderful and happy; if for any reason, any experience is not wonderful and
      happy, then whatever steps necessary to erase it are permitted, even at the cost of human life.”

      WHEN did I say anything like that? That is a straw man argument, and I am not a straw man.

      2. “Unless you hold that most people are herd animals to be kept by some uber-class, then yes, people who engage in sexual intercourse will “bear all of the attendant costs and risks of becoming parents.” It’s part of being a vital, independent and responsible adult.”

      Well, I hold that people can make choices for themselves. They are not captive to their biology, and the decision to become a parent shouldn’t be simply a matter of biology any more than the decision to hazard
      any and all health risks.

      You are saying biology decides everything. Thus it is you, not I, that reduces men and women to herd animals unable to make responsible decisions or exercise moral agency. That’s why I use the term biological captivity.

      3. “Again, if they are fully aware people of character, then they are aware of the potential, and will take the appropriate steps – including NOT having sex – to minimize that potential. Willfully dismissing the
      possibility of pregnancy while engaging in the act that causes it is an act of supreme arrogance – or stupidity – or both.”

      Intimacy hardly depends upon not having sex … or being open to the possibility that if you do, you might become a parent.

      What is irresponsible is your view that it is ‘responsible’ to be irresponsible … to let your biology make the decision for you.

      Nor did I even begin to suggest ‘wilfully dismissing the possibility of pregnancy’. But if that happens, the decision to become a parent has hardly been made.

      4. “It is precisely our moral agency, if correct, that drives our behavior, and guides our actions by recognizing our inability to completely overcome biological reality.”

      Which is another way of your saying that biology is
      everything. That we can and should chain men and women’s moral decision making
      about becoming parents or bearing risks because of their biology and reproductive capacity ‘naturally’ shackles them. Clearly, in your view they are
      animals without moral decision-making agency.

      5. “It is precisely our moral agency, if healthy and
      balanced, that puts consequence above immediate pleasure, and channels our personal outlook towards a life-long, decades-founded perspective as opposed to “we have tonight, let the devil take tomorrow.”

      Healthy and balanced? Why isn’t intimacy healthy and
      balanced when combined with responsibly deciding one doesn’t wish to be a parent or bear any of the attendant health risks of pregnancy. What is healthy
      and balanced about an ovarian or ectopian pregnancy? What is healthy and balanced about the desire to not bear a child who is unlikely to survive outside the womb? And who are you to tell me or anyone what is healthy and balanced? What you don’t want to do yourself, don’t do yourself. But don’t try to make your personal morality into a common ethical rule, because it simply isn’t.

      6. “Biological and reproductive captivity” is a useless,
      empty phrase; one may as well rant against our “Biological and digestivecaptivity” in that we need to eat things that aren’t always candy and beer in order for our bodies to remain healthy. We should be able to eat whatever we want and not be bound to the consequences, right? How dare we be forced into
      such gustatory slavery!?”

      Each of us eats to live … all known life forms do. We have sex for many reasons, and most of these have nothing to do with choosing to become parents. And, when we have sex, we are not choosing to bear or hazard health, life and other risks merely because we have sex. We are not just animals at the mercy of our
      biology and reproductive systems. But you would make us such animals.

      7. “Again, to echo your repetitive statement, they must
      consider the potential for parenthood each and every time. If it is the furthest thing from their minds, then they are simply taking very grave risk. In which other area of our daily lives do we willfully ignore such life-and-death possibilities?

      I am saying that they have a choice about such life and
      death possibilities. It is you who are arguing that they don’t.

      8. “Natural law” exists without our ability to consent or
      dissent. It is the emotionally arrested and self-important brat that throws tantrums against such realities. We may as well rage against the speed of light or the inability to breathe underwater.”

      Natural law says we can’t breathe underwater. Well, scuba divers do. Natural law says we cannot fly. Well, take a plane. Einstein may be right about the speed of light … but whether that limits us in how we use quantum dynamics for travel remains uncertain. Nor is there any natural law about becoming a parent: only the kind of biological captivity you clearly favor over responsible decision-making.

      9. “I can advance my argument on scientific grounds …”

      There are no scientific grounds for saying that a zygote, embryo, or fetus is a person. Being biologically human does not imply personhood. And I am well aware that the body can continue existing, whereas the person who occupied it is not ‘at home’. In those cases we do not call it murder to disconnect life support systems keeping the body alive.

      10. “This attempted diversion is groundless to those who understand that life is imperfect. To rephrase your statement conversely, you would make the standard Progressive assertion that people who do desire
      children should be able to “custom-tailor” them, or at least engage in some kind of eugenics, not even in order to “keep the gene pool clean” but simply in
      order to not negatively impact their own comfortability status. To consider children as no more than accoutrement or decoration, and therefore being satisfied with only nflawed versions, is the basest form of arrogance. As well, only empty souls will discount the amazing revelations that the love an d commitment
      to other-than-normal children will generate. This I speak of from personal experience.”

      I have not said any such things so I am not one of the progressives you refer to. I believe that people have the liberty to make choices for themselves and their families insofar as these do not jeopardize others.

      11. “By what you believe about aborting children conceived in rape, then in your view, nobody conceived in rape should be allowed to live.”

      My view is that any woman who has been raped should have a choice about what she wishes to do if that rape has led to her becoming pregnant. It is you who say she should have no choice.

      I could go on, but you are one of the anti-choice persons Iwas referring to earlier. You are against human liberty. You insist upon a natural law which not only doesn’t exist but which you believe allows you to remove other people’s agency as persons.

    7. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

      Without empathy, there is no love. To claim to love is not to love.

    8. I see you haven’t replied to my replies to you.

      That, in my opinion, is because ‘reproductive coercion’ –i.e. biological captivity — is very hard to argue for as a policy towards all women of child-bearing age all of the time. And it’s especially hard if your ‘natural law’ assumption is contraindicated by personal agency.

      Not that I can convince anyone with your beliefs otherwise. As I have said, I respect the actual choices people make for themselves without reservation.

      I only wish you would.

    9. Hi, Larry.
      The reason I haven’t replied is because I have a very full life outside of commenting on articles. When I have the time to look at what you have said, and really consider your positions in a more-than-knee-jerk kind of way, I will. It may be a week from now – I don’t know.
      But don’t think I’ve just blown this off. Discussions of this type deserve a deeper consideration, and when I have the ability to do so – perhaps this weekend while enjoying a fine craft amber ale or Portado, I shall.

    10. Thank you, Corky. I look forward to this. I am retired … and I’ve been very sick for the past week, briefly getting out of bed to reply to various posts.

      G*d bless.

    11. “Retired”
      Sounds nice – I’m about 10-11 years away from that, hence the very full life.
      I’ll get back with you once the current maelstrom fades, and I hope you feel better soon. I’ll put you in my prayers.
      +Peace+

  2. Brigit, thank you for sharing your powerful story. No child should be made to suffer & die for the sin of another. The circumstances surrounding one’s conception in no way lessen that child’s dignity & right to life. True compassion reaches out to both the mother & the child in such a situation. Abortion only leaves deeper scars & serves to cover up a crime, allowing the perpetrator to continue victimizing other women (& children). My prayers are with those women experiencing such difficult & painful circumstances — may they be guided by strength, mercy & compassion in choosing to give their child every opportunity for life & for love…& may they, in return, receive that same love.

  3. SnowCherryBlossoms

    God Bless you! God creates each human being and knows them before they are even conceived. I believe it is these children who could have been aborted but were not, that will help end abortion. God has a way of doing things like this!

  4. So you’re okay with forcing a woman to spend at least one year of her life donating her body to the absolute worst thing that ever happened to her? You do know that pregnancy is really very rough on us, right?

    1. You are aware she is speaking from first hand experience, right? I thought the article was beautiful and poignant, and will serve as an inspiration to the many, MANY women who have ALSO made the sacrifice Birgit made. Not all of us are called to sainthood, that’s for sure. It’s hard work. I bet her little boy is pretty happy with the choice Birgit made too!

    2. Birgit Atherton Jones

      I’m sorry the Church wasn’t there for you, Jayna. Thank God you did receive help and chose life/adoption. My experience is different from yours. The Faith is exactly what sustained us all.

      Fortunately,there are so many ways to receive support during a time such as this. In one way or another it can be found – even for those who are post-abortive (Rachel’s Vineyard). I’ve seen nothing but love for all involved from the Catholic Church and other organizations with which I’ve worked for decades.

      http://designsbybirgit.blogspot.com/2014/02/14-and-pregnant-is-life-over.html

    3. To be honest I am glad the church wasn’t there for me, because the freedom of getting to know Our Father has been such a wonderful, healing experience. My help came from God, Birgit. I went through the pregnancy in secret from everyone except my attacker. I was stalked day and night and survived many attempts on our lives during my pregnancy. It was God who helped me deliver the child alone.

    4. Birgit Atherton Jones

      When I speak of the Church, I’m speaking of God and His people in the form of the earthly body of faithful instituted by Jesus. Glad you and I were both helped by Him!

    5. Birgit, thank you for sharing your story; I thought it was inspiring how your family came together. The only way in which any Catholic family can have the strength to do what your family did is to actually live the faith that they profess: this isn’t about “reputation.” That much came through loud and clear in your blog post.

      Imagine if all of our Catholic families were anything like yours.

    6. …I did’nt see any Catholic’s around then…
      –Jayna Ayers

      You didn’t open your eyes and look.

    7. yeah, right! It’s my fault…that’s what the problem was. I’m fairly certain we don’t want to go into the conversation of what I seen the Catholic’s doing.

    8. Jeff,
      We are all called to live a life of holiness & to strive for sainthood…each according to his or her own state in life. My calling may be very different from yours…or that of KarenJo12…or of Brigit. We are all called to be partakers in the divine nature through conforming ourselves & our wills to that of Jesus Christ. No doubt, for many of us, this path to sanctification will require great sacrifice as we unite ourselves more closely to Our Lord’s Saving Passion.

    9. I dunno, Jeff; not all of us are called to sainthood?

      I thought we were, even though we’re not all going to get our own feast day on the Church’s liturgical calendar! 😉

    10. Not only that, Jeff, but Birgit’s story inspires and challenges the rest of us to want to have Catholic families like hers.

    11. I have experienced this also the mother free will is essential. Give her support, tell her your experience, educate her ect. But shackle her against her will, Jesus doesn’t take people to the cross, He leads them away.

    12. I am saddened to hear of a mother giving the gift of life to an innocent child being referred to as being shackled against her will. Jesus will lead a woman through such a difficult situation. This precious child is His creation, too.

    13. True. But the Blessed Mother also proclaimed, “I am the Handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to Your Word.” She accepted — with grace, trust & humility (though surely not without fear or confusion, as she was human, after all) — carrying the Divine Child within hr womb. Rape is a barbaric & cowardly crime. Abortion after sexual assault brings only death to the child & more suffering to the mother. These women & children deserve LOVE.

    14. Where did Mary’s fear and confusion come from? Was it not the result of laws and religious beliefs about women and conception?

    15. The Blessed Mother was asked to take part in the greatest mystery of human history…the redemption of humankind through the Incarnation of God-Made-Flesh. Surely anyone would experience awe, fear & confusion to be asked to take part in such an incredible event. Her infusion of grace & trust in God’s Will allowed her to make her Fiat with her whole heart & soul. I pray that you continue to find peace & healing in Jesus Christ. May God’s mercy be upon us all as we place our hope & trust in Him.

    16. Exactly she was asked and she excepted, she was not forced. Just as Moses was upset when he came down from the mountain, so to Jesus would wonder have we learned nothing, yet? Still today in the Church women can’t be priest, I don’t get it, when it was a women who started “Christianity”.

    17. Yes, it was a woman, the Blessed Mother, who was the 1st & greatest Disciple — but it was Our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ, who began Christianity.

      I do believe crimes against human life greatly grieve Our Lord, as He clearly revealed His plan for human life in the Scriptures… (Deuteronomy 30:19) “I call heaven & earth today to witness against you: I have set before you life & death, the blessing & the curse. Choose life, then, that you & your descendants may live..” (Jeremiah 1:4-5) “The word of the LORD came to me: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I consecrated you…” (Psalm 139:13-15) “You did form my inward parts, you knit me together in my mother’s womb…you knew me right well; my frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret…” (Psalm 127:3) “Children are a gift from the LORD, the fruit of the womb, a reward.”

      Our Lord also spoke strongly against the shedding of innocent blood. (Proverbs 24:11) “Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to death; don’t stand back & let them die.”

      I don’t ask that a woman be forced to do anything. I ask that her heart be converted & turned toward the child in her womb & that she feel the same mercy, compassion & love for that innocent child that others ought to extend to both her & the child.

    18. Do you see how the woman’s worth is being minimized still to this day? Did you know it was Mary who was the Immaculate conception? It was there in her acceptance, in her womb that Christianity was conceived. Jesus was Jesus because of who his mother was. Is the victim of a crime not innocent blood to force her into something would be shedding innocent blood.

    19. I absolutely agree that today’s pornographic, anti-life culture
      minimizes & demeans women (& men). Abortion serves to further
      exploit, victimize & demean women…as well as coarsening our
      culture’s attitude towards the weak, defenseless, & vulnerable among
      us.

      Yes, Mary is the Immaculate Conception…& yes,
      within her womb Christianity was conceived. But…Jesus is not God
      because He was conceived in the womb of Mary…He was God from time
      immemorial. It was through Mary that He took on the lowliness of our
      human flesh. It was Mary, the Theotokos (she who gave birth to God),
      who was chosen from before all time to be the mother of Our Lord. Mary
      is who she is because He-whom-the-universe-cannot-contain became
      flesh-of-her-flesh as He grew in her womb. His divinity was humbled in
      taking on our humanity…her humanity was exalted in giving birth to The
      Divine.

      I leave you with this…thank God both you & your mother had the strength & compassion to give the precious gift of LIFE to a child who was conceived in circumstances that were less than ideal. May more women have the strength (& help they need) to do the same. Peace. God bless —

    20. “I don’t ask that a woman be forced to do anything.” If you support the re-criminalisation of abortion you ask that a woman pregnant through rape is forced to continue the pregnancy against her will.

    21. JoAnna, the fact is that if the woman was planning on having a wanted birth and instead you force hear to have an unwanted birth, then you deny life to the wanted child. You are not saving life, you can causing the loss of one life and forcing the birth of an unwanted fetus. Killing a born baby to save an unwanted baby is insane.

    22. A fetus is not a human being. It is not being ‘executed’ for a crime. It is neither innocent nor guilty.

    23. ——-“A fetus is not a human being.”——-
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6E4GPkO7eo&feature=youtu.be
      If it’s growing, isn’t it alive?
      And if it has human parents, isn’t it human?
      And human beings, like you and me, are valuable, aren’t we?
      ——-” It is not being ‘executed’ for a crime.”——-
      While the intention may not be execution, he/she is still being dealt a horrible death.
      ——-“It is neither innocent nor guilty.”——-
      Innocent, according to the dictionary, means without guilt. He/she can therefore not be “neither”.

    24. Yes, they can. Are you going to say that a table is innocent, even though it, LIKE a fetus, lacks the capacity to be either innocent or guilty? The default of being without guilt is innocence. HOWEVER, sweetie pie, the point you missed is that the default of being without the CAPACITY to be guilty is ALSO being WITHOUT the capacity to be innocent.

      A fetus can have human DNA and it can be alive. It is NOT however a human being/person/a human/human life/etc….

      If the death of a fetus is cruel, then the death of a woman during childbirth is even CRUELER. I’ll leave it to YOU to figure out WHY that is, though. Oops.

    25. The question of innocent or guilty is a human one. In your average court case, any person who didn’t commit or help commit the crime is labelled “innocent” (lack of capacity often being the alibi). Women in our age of brilliant medicine and technology, don’t die in childbirth anymore except for extremely rare cases. You bring up a very good question, what defines a human being?
      If it’s not being alive and having human DNA, then what?

    26. Every child under the age of about 7 is incapable of being innocent or guilty. Apparently you think it’s OK to murder them all too.
      Murdering a woman during childbirth is equally cruel (not “even crueler” [sic]) as murdering a child. Why do you bring this up though? Nobody here advocated or even mentioned murdering a grown woman.

    27. No, apparently you are unable to read for comprehension.

      A newborn is more capable of being innocent or guilty than a fetus. If you don’t understand how pregnancy works, maybe it’s best to take a remedial course in biology before openly displaying your ignorance for all to see, again, next time. After all, there is a WHOLE lot more to the business of being born than just being born. OOPS.

      I never SAID it was okay to ‘murder’ someone if they were incapable of innocence or guilt. Perhaps you should re-read your (or the) response that I was replying to first before making ASSumptions, again. I merely pointed out how it was impossible for a fetus to be either guilty OR innocent. Oops.

      If that IS what I was saying, then please do feel free to tell me how come you didn’t think I was saying that it was okay to ‘murder’ a table, then? I mean, especially considering that you apparently think that determining there is a lack of innocence or guilt on the injured party’s behalf means that that person is saying that it IS okay to ‘murder’ them?

      And, actually, yes, you ARE saying that it is okay to murder women during childbirth, given that the ONLY criteria you give for something to be ‘murder’ is killing someone with human DNA. A woman has human DNA. Childbirth, that thing you so ARDENTLY argue should be mandatory, yet stubbornly remain so effing IGNORANT about, IS the third leading cause of death (aka killing) for women, WORLDWIDE. Therefore, by YOUR logic, you ARE committing ‘murder’.

      Finally, if it is NOT crueler to end a woman’s life via childbirth, then you ARE automatically saying that it is crueler to end a fetus’ life. Remember, the woman is ACTUALLY innocent, while a fetus is incapable of being EITHER, yet, when that ‘magical’ innocence is applied to the woman, instead of the fetus, somehow it ‘suddenly’ becomes SO unimportant in determining one’s worth.

      Further to that, equating a woman with a fetus displays your DISGUSTING disregard for women. Thanks for helping us prove what MISOGYNISTS you are, though, OOPS, again.

    28. https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-cl=85114404&v=Y9YK0nbKALQ&feature=player_detailpage&x-yt-ts=1422579428

      Why is a newborn more capable of being innocent or guilty than a fetus?

      Which of the many aspects of pregnancy are you referring to?

      Murder is the deliberate killing of a human being when it does not fall under the category of legitimate self-defense. Natural death is no one’s fault.

      What source are you citing in saying childbirth is the third leading cause of death? All the sources I’ve looked at https://www.google.com/search?q=third+leading+cause+of+death&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8#q=third+leading+cause+of+death+worldwide don’t make this statement.

      Poor countries that suffer a significant number of deaths in childbirth need the help of countries like ours to make childbirth safer.

      We pro-lifers have the highest regard for women, before and after birth. Abortion is unsafe for both mother and child.
      http://prolifeaction.org/faq/abortion.php#risks
      http://www.lifenews.com/2013/06/10/botched-abortion-leaves-babys-head-inside-mothers-womb-lawsuit-filed/
      http://www.lifenews.com/2012/09/11/autopsy-proves-planned-parenthood-killed-woman-in-botched-abortion/

      Can you prove that the unborn child is NOT a human being? Otherwise, allowing abortion would be like a construction worker rashly blowing up an old building while there’s a chance someone’s inside.

    29. A human being is an organism of the species homo sapiens. It is biological fact that a fetus is an organism of the species homo sapiens. Therefore, a fetus is a human being. This is basic biology.

    30. Nope. A fetus can not be proved to be of the human species, since many genetic errors occur during transcription. Yet, cells can be proved to be such, so you just called them human beings. Basic biology… you do not have, apparently.

    31. Grace--amoiesu.wordpress.com

      I am a woman, and it is my sincere prayer that if I were ever raped (Heaven forbid!) that God would see that I conceived a child. Such a traumatic tragedy would certainly challenge my Faith that God brings good out of bad, but a child would be the perfect embodiment of this truth. It would be worth getting through 9 months of increased hardship to be healed for the remainder of my life through the intense love of mother and child.

    32. Birgit Atherton Jones

      Technically it’s 9 months – not ‘at least a year’.

      Further, she isn’t being forced to do anything, there is a reasonable expectation that she act morally by not killing an innocent. As civil members of society, there is a reasonable expectation to treat all members of society with respect. That includes respecting their right to life.

      Many things in life aren’t necessary fair or lacking in trauma. Getting a cancer diagnosis, being paralyzed from an accident, or being subjected to hatred or biogotry – all these things aren’t fair. They are the crosses our particular lives encounter. How we handle these crosses determines our willingness to suffer through trials in godly humility.

      Sexual assault is trauma that can never be undone. Believe me, killing the child doesn’t undo the damage of rape – it adds more trauma.

      I’m reminded of yesterday’s Mass reading from Romans:

      1Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.

  5. I am a love child born out of wed lock in 1971, to a mother from a Catholic family. My experience with the Catholic religion & beliefs were not that they pro life or pro women. My mother was so ashamed to tell her family that know knew anything about me until a surprise party for one of my aunts birthday, I was about 9 months old. That day I drowned in the bottom of the pool. Left up to the beliefs of the Catholic Church I would not be here and I was conceived in Love. The church abandon my mother and I. I could go on pointing out the Hypocrisy that I am now hearing come from this side. The Catholic Church has been one of the most abusive towards Women and children so before I listen to anything they have to say about women and children I believe they have some atoning to do.

    1. “If the church is going to drowned the babies or put them through inhumane abuse physical, sexual,emotional abandonment until they kill their spirits”

      The Church doesn’t do this, and in fact teaches against all these things. Sinful people acting against the teachings of the Church do these things.

    2. Birgit Atherton Jones

      The Church doesn’t persecute those who were conceived outside marriage. She challenges her members to raise them up, care for them and their mothers, and invites them lovingly into the community. Note how many pregnancy centers and adoption agencies are Catholic.

      That some individuals seem to have been very poor representatives of Catholic teaching is not a mark against the Church – it’s a mark against fallen humanity. Having experienced rape and pregnancy when I was 14 (43 years ago), I never experienced what you are sharing. The love, support, and respect has been inspirational. Now, some members of our community weren’t nearly as supportive or loving, but that goes to their individual choices and lack of love of neighbor.

  6. Thanks for writing this article. Simple to understand, practical and so true. I know your story Bridget and I stand with you as to being FOR life – with no exceptions. Patti Smith, rape conceived adoptee with Lutherans for Life

    1. Birgit Atherton Jones

      Thank you for your kind words. Yes, I have a personal stake in this – all life is precious. We don’t get to decide who is ‘worthy’ or not! No exceptions!

  7. Pingback: What the Holy Father Said About Rabbits & Why - Big Pulpit

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: