Rape is such a taboo subject unless it comes to arguing about abortion. Rape is an intrinsic evil that is not justifiable in any case. It is an invasive act of violence that leaves lasting scars. Most victims never come forward about it, even in an era that seems to empower both male and female victims to come forward.
Now in cases where a child is conceived, many women seek an abortion. I still believe that in any circumstance abortion is wrong, but I understand why women in that situation would choose that option. It rids her of ever having to face talking about that moment she was raped, that moment she reasonably would love to be able to forget. It allows her to escape the risk of having to be shamed, not listened to, or not believed. That to me does not sound like women empowerment. That sounds to me like she is hurt. And to take a woman who has been through a traumatic act of violence, and then make her go through another one does not seem helpful to me at all. I believe that abortion in cases of rape puts the focus on the unborn child rather than the mother. It makes pregnancy the only problem in this situation, it blankets over the wounds of the woman who wished she did not have to go through either of these situations.
If our society truly loved women, then any victim would be confident that she could walk into a hospital and get the actual help she needed. By confident, I do not mean happy and acting like she is okay. By confident, I mean that she knows she will get help, just like someone with a broken leg is confident they are in the right place when they enter a healthcare facility. We can not take away their pain, but proper ethical care standards can give them confidence and hope.
Now what does that look like? Contrary to what oppositionist would have you believe, the Catholic church states that any victim of rape has the right to defend her body from conception. She has the right to take medication to prevent ovulation or to sperm capacitation, or fertilization. However the church does not allow for the destruction or interference of an already fertilized ovum. Note this is only allowed in instances of sexual assault/rape.
The focus of the patient’s care cannot be preventing pregnancy. Any healthcare professional would say to start with the most crucial wounds, but few think of the mental wounds. Remarkably in accord with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (no. 36), “the care for the rape victim has four aspects: First, she must receive spiritual and psychological support and counseling to help her deal with the trauma of the attack. Such support and counseling will probably continue for some time after the immediate period.” Notice how the first thing is to embrace and care for the woman and her well being. That, to me, sounds a lot more empowering. Yet many health care facilities and abortion clinics immediately want to focus on giving you a morning-after pill and sending you on your way. Good medical help will also work with local authority to collect evidence in order to prosecute the rapist. This is phase three in treating a rape victim according to Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (no. 36). (to read the phases in more detail, follow this link: https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/catholic-contributions/ethical-treatment-after-rape.html). Abortion facilities don’t provide that, nor can they considering that you have to be pretty far past conception to be getting an abortion. The evidence needed is gone.
If we want a society to stand up for victims of rape, then we need to get rid of the blanket of abortion. Weeds don’t go away unless we pull them up by their roots. Abortion is not the problem here, rape is. It’s not her fault. But when the treatment focuses solely on tampering with the nature of her body, it certainly makes it seem like it is. The focus should be on her mental trauma and healing, along with helping her defend her body before conception occurs. It should be that easy to get help, but when we have people who say, “well then everyone is just going to claim they were raped” we put barriers in the way of these victims. When every woman starts to cry rape, we can talk about it. Right now, that does not seem to be the case. Right now, we need to focus on empowering these women instead of letting the privileged get away with it. Until we start listening to women instead of telling them to man up, women will never walk in with the confidence that their story is believable. Enough is enough.
Rape is wrong. And until our society is dedicated to persecuting these criminals no matter who they are and how much money they have, women don’t stand a chance. Our society offers abortion as a way out, keeping the voices of so many victims silent. We care too much about not ruining one’s reputation, and way too little about ruining someone’s life. Abortion, pornagraphy, sex trafficking, “sex sells”, and everything hypersexual about our culture blankets rape. “Well she asked for it wearing that,” “Well she is a sex worker,” “If it was rape why did she not get help before seeking abortion” and all those other statements are what victims are having to hear, and they shouldn’t have to. It does not matter who she is or what she was wearing, it’s still rape. But if we keep buying into the porn then will never unveil the truth. When we live in a society where it is easier to convict someone of murder than rape, there an issue. Especially when dealing with rape we have a living victim who can tell us in most cases exactly who it was. Pro-woman means believing her cry. It means no more porn because she is not an object. She is not an it. Her reproductive parts are not the problem, they are a gift. Child molesters, pimps, those who blackmail women for sex, porn addicts, and anyone who feeds into the sex sells agenda- they are the problem!! Her body – her choice, right? But when your job, money, and livelihood are on the line, that doesn’t seem like a choice to me. That still sounds to me just like rape. So please tell me again how you care so much about rape victims? Women who have already been through enough trauma, how is abortion their best option? Seems to me they never had a choice. She did not want to be raped, she did not want to conceive. So please tell me what her choices were? Please tell me how you have fought for women’s rights? A woman should never have to submit her body to get a promotion, pay the bills, that’s coercion. If you want equal pay, stop investing in sex, and start investing in her. Because she is worth a whole lot more than pleasure. She is a human with dignity. She is the epiphany of creation and should be treated as such. People can put words in my mouth all they want, but I will not stop fighting for the dignity of all lives. Born and unborn. Male and female.