Originally published in The Post-Abortion Review, 1993.
Forced to have sex with her father, Doris became pregnant. When the pregnancy was discovered, she refused to have an abortion. Her father, however, found an abortionist who would perform the abortion without her consent. She alone has had to pay the price.I am a victim of incest; one of the "hard cases" for abortion. I was raped by my father when I was fifteen years old. It was not the first time, nor would it be the last. However, this time, I became pregnant.
One night, I became very sick and my parents took me to the hospital. (I believe now that they knew I was pregnant since they took me to a different hospital than normal.) The emergency room doctor discovered that, along with a very bad case of the flu, I was 19 weeks pregnant.
My father flew into a rage, accusing me of all sorts of things, and demanding I have an abortion. The doctor informed me that I was pregnant and asked me what I wanted. I had seen the "Silent Scream" in high school religion class and knew that abortion was murder. In spite of the pain and guilt I felt, knowing who the father of the baby was, it was far better to have a baby than the alternative - to kill it. I refused to have an abortion.
My father flew into an uncontrollable rage and demanded that I consent to the abortion, or that the doctor do it with or without my permission. The doctor refused because of my wishes. My father demanded that an abortionist be found - regardless of the cost.
Within one hour, this man arrived at the hospital, talked with my parents and decided to do the abortion, without speaking to me. I refused and tried to get off the examining table. He then asked three nurses to hold me while he strapped me to the bed and injected me with a muscle relaxant to keep me from struggling while he prepared to kill my baby. I continued to scream that I didn't want an abortion. He told me, "Shut up and quit that yelling!" Eventually, I was placed under general anesthesia and my child was brutally killed.
I was told that an abortion would solve my problem, when it was never really the problem in the first place.
I was told, "Your parents know what's best," when they obviously were only concerned about their own reputations.
I was told, "You make the right decision," when I was never given a choice. More importantly, where was my baby's choice?
I grieve every day for my daughter. I have struggled to forget the abuse and the abortion. I can do neither. All I think of is, "I should have done more, fought more, struggled more for the life of my child."
My situation may not be common, but I know it's not unique either. The emotions and problems I've had to deal with as a result of my abortion are common. The trauma of the rape and abuse were only intensified by the abortion. The guilt of knowing my baby is dead is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life.
I was violated and betrayed over and over by my father, who God created to love and protect me. I was humiliated, hurt, and yes, violated again by the abortionist.
Why do even pro-lifers talk about making exceptions for abortion in cases of rape and incest as if that is a way to have "compassion" for the mother? Why is this the only "loving" response to the situation? I have talked with pro-lifers who consider my abortion acceptable, under the circumstances. I want to tell people, "If you really want to be compassionate, give this mother the opportunity to choose life for her child. If you really love the mothers who have been victimized, don't let them be exploited again by someone who will make a profit from their dead child -- a memory that will haunt them for the rest of their lives."
The next time you hear of the "hard cases," please remind people that every crisis pregnancy is difficult for the mother. If you believe these cases are hard, you're correct -- they are extremely hard for the mother. But if you choose abortion, it's an impossible situation for the baby. The mom needs love, support and understanding, not the pain of allowing herself to be violated again in order to kill her child. Regardless of the circumstances, regardless of the pain involved, that helpless, innocent child has no voice, no defense, and no chance, unless we offer real love and real compassion to the mother.
My abortion was over five years ago. God is still healing me, but it has been a difficult fight. I hesitated to write to you because, although I'm actively pro-life, very few people know my story. It's still very difficult to share with people, however, I wanted to encourage you in your uncompromising stand for life.