Rape is Violence–So is Abortion

August 25, 2012
The issue of aborting a rape-induced pregnancy recently rocked a Senate campaign. The images it summons of violation, unfairness and burden assure the topic instantly launches infuriated responses. Deeming it part of the 2 percent of abortions that are medically indicated — the other 98 percent being elective (for convenience’s sake only), per the Guttmacher Institute — our nation overwhelmingly supports the right of a woman to abort such pregnancies. Legalities aside, is the solution as helpful as what we assume?

Psychiatrist Dr. Karl Benzio noted in his 2007 testimony to the Pennsylvania legislature, “As a psychiatrist, I have treated a number of mothers who have aborted a child conceived through rape as well as mothers who decided to carry the baby. Almost all those who had abortions regretted their decision and had psychiatric sequelae because of that decision. For those who carried the baby, almost all would not reverse their decision and have a child they love and who loves them, unconditionally. Interestingly … carrying the child led many on a spiritual journey trying to understand God, evil, redemption, justice, fairness, and forgiveness, among other things…”

Many women actually find healing through carrying the baby to term and giving him/her a good life, either themselves or through adoption. Alternatively, women victimized by the violence of rape can be hurt a second time by the violence that is abortion. Abortion for pregnancy by rape is a prescription that harms the two innocent people involved, the mother and offspring. Why execute one of the blameless parties?

Ryan Bomberger, who was conceived of rape and subsequently adopted, reminds us, “There’s something beautiful that can rise from the ashes of such a violent act.” I’ve known several people conceived through rape, and none wished they weren’t born.

Andrè Van Mol, MD

Andrè Van Mol, MD

André Van Mol, MD is a board-certified family physician in private practice. He serves on the boards of Bethel Church of Redding and Moral Revolution (moralrevolution.com), and is the co-chair of the American College of Pediatrician’s Committee on Adolescent Sexuality. He speaks and writes on bioethics and Christian apologetics, and is experienced in short-term medical missions. Dr. Van Mol teaches a course on Bioethics for the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. He and his wife Evelyn —both former U.S. Naval officers—have two sons and two daughters, the latter of whom were among their nine foster children.