Wednesday, November 15, 2017

He Is MY Baby --The Child of a Rape Victim, and My Little Hero, by Kelly Dautel

This is something that has annoyed and angered me:  "I'm pro-life except in cases of rape." I can't stand it.  And the same old cliched, "It's still a baby" response either. To get to my point, I'm going to go a little off point.
I like Doctor Who. I watch it completely out of order and rewatch different episodes willy-nilly. One of those is "The Long Game" and in it the "Editor" has effectively kept the entire human population as unwitting slaves, and he says how easy it was by saying "It's just a matter of emphasis. The right word in the right broadcast repeated often enough can destabilize an economy, invent an enemy, change a vote."  And this is what the term "rapist's baby" is.
We all know the many factors of abortion, and those for and against, and this isn't the debate I'm bringing today.  My focus is on the victims of rape.  Now, the argument often said is, "they should be able to choose whether they want to carry a rapist's baby."  Do you hear it though?  The contempt?  The swaying of the mind?  Despite what the words are supposed to mean, the entrant, because of that phrase -- "rapist's baby" -- changes the entire meaning. 
Rape is a horrible act against a person, and when a woman becomes pregnant, a lot of assumptions enter the picture -- a lot of cruel and hurtful assumptions.  First, let's get a full view of what is said about pregnant victims of rape: "A woman shouldn't be forced to carry a child she doesn't want.  She didn't ask to be raped.  She shouldn't be victimized by having to carry a rapist's baby, or having to raise a constant reminder of her rape.  We need to think about the woman, and her mental state.  It would be too difficult for her to raise that child on her own, and have to go through nine months and labor to bring something into the world she can't take care of, that would cause her so much pain is horrible."
This is something I hear all the time, and it sounds plausible.  A lot of people agree and it could be easy to think, "Who wouldn't?"  Why cause a woman immeasurable pain?  Well, let's look at the truth. The entire basis is on that idea that the child is the unholy seed of a rapist.  But we are forgetting something: that child has two genetic parents.  And the raped woman is now a mother.  We are talking about the child of a rape victim, but making it sound okay to kill him or her because he or she is also the child of a rapist -- because of DNA.
At the same time, we are devaluing the rape victim -- that she can't be a mother.  We have made it clear that she is now damaged from the rape, she is mentally unstable and unable to take care of herself or a child -- that she just can't.  And that is a lie straight from Hell.
It isn't a matter of choice, it's a matter of perception.  You are telling a woman that, because someone raped her, she can't be a mother.  Because someone raped her, she can't seek counseling -- she now has to bottle it down and pretend it didn't happen.  Because someone raped her, she has to forget it, or else she can't go on. This isn't healthy at all. 
As a victim of rape, I am telling you the pregnant rape victim needs to be encouraged, she needs to seek help for her depression and anxiety and possible PTSD. Instead of ignoring what happened, she needs to be welcome to accept it, to report it, to understand that she is not defined by it, and that she can live her life without fear.
I say this for one simple reason:  I was raped. I lived a horrible life of abuse and trauma, far too much to explain it all here.  I was a broken little girl, with no way to take care of myself and no desire to do so. I was molested for the first time at the age of 6 and it continued for years by my father, my brother, one of my father's friends, a boyfriend in middle school, and strangers. Additionally, I was in a violent relationship which ended with me needing surgery to put my eye back in the socket, with a new eye socket having to be grafted onto my skull because mine was too shattered to be repaired. 
To make a long story short, after all the many times I had been raped, after all the years of abuse, I sat on a hospital bed and was told I was pregnant. I didn't have a real job, I didn't have a car, I didn't even have a driver's license yet.  I was anorexic, going days without eating or just eating one meal.  I was a recovering cutter, and had suicidal thoughts. I didn't have my own home, or anything. I had tried to apply for college, but I couldn't qualify for financial aid because I was a minor, and they would have to go based on my father's income, despite the fact I didn't live with him, and he didn't support me at all. I couldn't take care of myself, I didn't WANT to take care of myself, I just wanted my pain to stop, and wanted to die but was too much of a coward to kill myself. And now I was pregnant. 
This is when I began hearing two very different stories about myself and my unborn child. The loudest being that I was broken, I was worthless, I couldn't raise this child, it would destroy me.  And that it was my choice, and it would be best for me to kill my baby. 
The other narrative I heard was that I was valuable, that I didn't deserve what happened to me, that I can do what I set my eyes on, and if that included being a mother then, yes, I CAN.  I heard these words from my preacher, from my doctor, from my therapist, and from my few friends and family. While the world screamed that I was a wreck and this baby was going to be a burden, those I trusted most said I can, and that this baby was a blessing.
I saw my child as just that:  MY child. I got into college, for MY child. I began eating right and had a nutritionist help me overcome my anorexia, for MY child. I reported and followed with the District Attorney in the charges filed against the rapist, for MY child. I was in therapy, parenting classes, and worked hard to be a better person, for MY child. I didn't decide to save my son's life from abortion -- my son saved MY life. Because when I was told I was pregnant back in that hospital room, I was told I was carrying MY child.
Words are so powerful, and my son is not a rapist's baby, he is MY baby, the child of a rape victim, and my little hero.  My son showed me what unconditional love is, what family is supposed to be like, and what it feels like to have someone say "I love you" and truly mean it with no strings attached, and even more what it feels like to be the one to say "I love you" and know I would walk on broken glass for him -- for MY son.
I am posting this and encouraging everyone who reads it to stop giving the enemy fuel, stop calling these precious children what they aren't and call them what they are: joint victims of crime, not cases of rape.  Call them the children of rape victims, not the children of rapists. Tell a rape victim she can, she has immeasurable worth, and she can overcome anything. The pain, the guilt, the sleepless nights, may never go away entirely but they will be lessened. Just like me, these women will get through this, they will get better, they can take care of themselves and be a mother. Tell a woman she can raise her own child!

BIO:  Kelly Dautel resides in South Carolina with her husband Steven and three children, plus she's a mother to a precious one in Heaven who she lost through miscarriage. Kelly is a pro-life blogger for Save The 1.


The Darling Princess said...

Thank you so much for your testimony, Kelly. God bless you all ways.