Abortion is not a solution to Rape

Admin note: Dewunmi is baaaaaack!  Woohoooo!

However, the topic for today is very sobering. A few days ago we published this post about the views of the Catholic bishops on the option of abortion for the victims of Boko Haram rape attacks. The bishops were opposed to abortion, and as you  can see from the title, so is Dewunmi. I am actually quite conflicted, and in this case would defer completely to the woman’s right to choose.  And this even has important policy implications – far as I know,  abortion is still illegal in Nigeria. So even if these girls wanted abortions, could they get it legally? It appears to be foreign NGOs pushing for these abortions. If they came to perform them in  Nigeria, could they be running afoul of the law? So many dimensions to this problem. So let us discuss this quite honestly – do you agree with Dewunmi and the bishops, or do you think that abortion should be an option for these women? Thank you so much Dewunmi for writing on this important topic – we wait to hear from you all.


rescuedwomenI quite agree with the Health Committee of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) on its strong objections to the proposed abortion to be carried out on the pregnant women rescued from the Boko Haram camps. I also do agree that what these women need is special care and proper rehabilitation. I imagine a lot of people would think, “That’s easy for you to say, after all it is only the person who wears the shoes that knows exactly where it hurts”. That’s correct. Sadly, life indeed places one in awkward situations. I admit that this is a very sensitive and emotional issue. Rape is a gruesome and psychologically painful occurrence in the life of any woman who has been brutally invaded. It is bad enough that a woman was raped; carrying the child of the rapist is the last straw that could break not only a camel’s back but a woman’s being. I am a woman who only at best can imagine the anguish of a fellow woman whose body has been abhorrently violated. My heart and prayers goes out to every victim of rape as I can only hope and pray that you are healed from the traumatic event.
My thoughts on abortion as not an answer to rape are entirely based on my personal convictions about the sanctity of human life and the need to preserve it as much as one can. My aim is not to judge victims but to encourage them to make well-informed decisions. While I will never condemn any woman who justifies and embraces an abortion in this instance; I also honestly do not think that the murder of an innocent baby is the answer to rape. Abortion does not undo the damage done to the victim but rather amplifies the frequent incidence of violence. Two wrongs never make a right. Should a victim choose to abort the baby, she would only have succeeded in eliminating the physical proof of the rape and not the bad memories. The despicable act of rape is deep and goes way beyond the physical or exterior as it is a violation of the victim’s body, soul and mind. Whether there is a child to show for the rape or not, a common denominator is the bad memories. The major trauma for rape victims who get pregnant is not the pregnancy in itself but the memories of the violent rape. It might sound equitable for a victim to eliminate the baby of the rapist who invaded her, but the sad truth is that the baby is also a part of her. Rape and abortion are both reprehensible acts of violence against innocent persons. While rape is an act of violence for which the victim has no culpability; abortion is equally an act of violence and invasion in which case the victim is morally culpable.
It is important to note that none of us chose to be born nor had the privilege to choose which family to be birth into and it would be very unfair to hold us accountable for the indiscretion of our parents. The child who is a product of rape could be offered for adoption to a loving family unable of have children of their own. The human gestation period is not forever but nine months. It might be some hellish nine months but definitely not an eternity and after which the victim may elect to give the baby up for adoption and thereafter continue with her life. Perhaps you are wondering who would want to adopt a child under these circumstances. Maybe not you, but the irony of life is that some people would give up “everything and anything” to adopt that child irrespective of the fact that the child’s biological father is a criminal. Or is the child of a serial killer, a thief or a ritualist easier to adopt than that of a rapist? I certainly do not think so.The victim could also opt to keep and raise her child regardless of the circumstances around his or her birth. I admit that this might be a formidable task but nonetheless an option to be considered.
The consideration here should be a mother’s love for her child. Difficult I know, but were we not taught that love is the greatest gift of all. A mother’s love should be sacrificial and life-preserving. It only reflects the truth that the victim is way better than the rapist; for the reason that where he had shown hate and cruelty, the victim had shown love and mercy. We all are recipients of love that we didn’t deserve. I have heard about rape victims who were healed from the indignity against their persons and had considered the babies so conceived as blessings rather than curses. There is always a blessing in every storm because God is ever present in all our struggles and pains. On this note, I leave you with Jeremiah 1:5 which says “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”


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