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Women Who Conceived Through Rape: My Baby Was Part of My Healing

by Sarah Terzo

It is often assumed that a woman who conceives a child in rape will want to abort that child, or if she gives birth, will regret doing so because the child will be a “reminder” of her rape. But according to many women in this situation, that isn’t the case; most don’t regret having given birth to their children.

Christina, pregnant by rape, went to Planned Parenthood. She says workers there urged her to abort, but instead she had her baby. She writes:

Had I listened to PP, I would have ended the life of a spectacular human being…. She played softball from kindergarten to college. She was the athlete of the year, her senior year of high school.

She grew up to get married … She has given us 2 beautiful grandchildren…. She is a police officer now…. I cannot imagine the void there would have been without her.

A teenager who was raped and became pregnant before Roe v Wade tried to abort her baby by swallowing a bottle of aspirin and eating ant poison. She failed. Had a legal abortion been available, she would likely have obtained one. But when her baby was born, she immediately loved him. Years later, she wrote:

To me it is an affront every time I hear all the rhetoric from the pro-abortionists. I, having lived through rape, and having also “conceived in rape,” feel personally insulted every time I hear that abortion should be legal because of rape and incest.

I feel like cases like mine are being used to further the abortion issue even though we are not being asked to tell our side of the “rape” issue. My son is not a “misfit,” nor has he in any way turned out to be like his biological father.

The rape still affects me today in only one way: That is, I’m so very blessed and proud of my son. (1)

Rape survivor Cindy Speltz says her preborn baby, conceived in rape, was the thing keeping her from “drowning in darkness”:

Everyone was encouraging and pressuring me to get an abortion…. I had no support, and at times I felt like I was drowning in darkness. Yet I had one magnificent secret gift – the flourishing life of my unborn baby. This life gave me a thread of hope to begin to heal.

I gave birth to a precious baby girl with blue eyes and dark hair, so tiny and so vulnerable. I named her Jennifer, and I knew she was a sacred gift to be loved and cherished. My daughter is wonderful, and she has touched many lives including my own. I am so thankful for giving birth to her; I have no regrets. (2)

Another mother says:

Some people have judged me harshly for carrying the child of a rapist; but when I look at my daughter, I don’t see the face of my rapist – I see my beautiful daughter, whom I love. She is the proof that something good can come from something terrible… (3)

Kay Zibolsky, founder of Life after Assault League, became pregnant by rape at 16. She writes that at first, she didn’t want to be pregnant. But as time went on, her feelings changed:

Abortion was not legal when I was pregnant

– I did not know the word “abortion.” But I do remember in the first 4 to 6 weeks wanting to get rid of the baby, wanting to beat my belly… Or do something I’d heard might cause a miscarriage. (4) …

But as the pregnancy progressed, as I could feel my baby begin to kick and move, my thoughts began to change. The baby itself was a part of the healing. (4)

Zibolsky decided on adoption. She met her child, Robin, many years later, and recalls:

Last spring, Robin and I saw each other for the first time in 26 years. I can’t tell you the tremendous joy and excitement that was in my heart.… The first thing Robin said when we met was “Boy, am I glad you didn’t get an abortion!”

I thank God abortion wasn’t legal years ago. As hard as it was to give Robin up for adoption, I’m at peace knowing I chose what was best for her – not necessarily what was easiest for me. I can live with the fact that I’ve been raped, but I couldn’t live in peace if I had killed my child.

These women prove that women can love their rape-conceived children and be grateful they didn’t abort.

1.Julie Makimaa Kathy Hoffmaster The Hard Cases of Abortion: A Pro-Life Response (Family Research Council, 2000) 14-15

2.“This Is Not Your Only Choice” Human Life Alliance Advertising Supplement 2012

3.Lisa Firth Issues: Abortion – Rights and Ethics (Great Shelford, Cambridge: Independence, 2009) 22

4.Kay Zibolsky Healing Hidden Hurts (Appleton, Wisconsin: Life after Assault League, 1995) 7 – 8

Women who conceived through rape: ‘My baby was part of my healing’

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