Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Decision Reversal after Rape Conception ~by Darlene Pawlik

Life long or life altering decisions should not be made while distressed.

In Case of Rape

We often hear, "What about rape," when discussing abortion. People still succumb to a confused compassion, believing that somehow, killing her baby will help a woman heal from the core violation of sexual assault.

A woman traumatized by rape is often so damaged in her psyche that she doesn't even tell anyone. It is such a deep wound that talking about it can take decades. So, too, many people do not share their abortion experience for many years. They keep it a secret, an unspoken source of pain.

So, how is it that anyone could think the combination of two traumatic and excruciatingly painful events will somehow bring anything good?

Rape Conception

At this time, this is still an experience exclusive to women. Men get raped, but they don't get pregnant. Fathers, husbands, and male friends are super important to this conversation, though. Men were created to be protectors and providers complimenting women in the roles of family, leadership, and society. Both have value and both have a voice in the discussion.

Except are the perpetrators. Forcing a woman and penetrating her, causing her to become pregnant excludes that man from the conversation. His aggression should automatically exclude him from any part of what happens next. "Rapists love abortion," says Rebecca Kiessling, president of Save The 1. They would have the evidence destroyed. The rapist should never have parental rights either. That is a whole other blog post.

No one, other than the rapist, is forcing her to carry a baby. The baby, is an innocent second victim of the hideous crime of rape. Killing her baby by abortion is no different than killing her baby after he or she is born. Rape has changed her life forever, whether or not she conceives.
I know it's legal -that doesn't make it right. Slavery was legal too. Still wrong!
Will it be difficult? Most assuredly. Can she get through it? Absolutely. And she will be victorious. She will have protected the human rights of her baby, one of the smallest and most vulnerable of society.

She needs time to process

Pregnancy changes a woman forever. No matter the outcome. She has been a mom. Most women do not know they are pregnant for around 6 weeks. Since pregnancy is about 40 weeks, she will know about 34 weeks of pregnancy. For perspective, the average woman lives to 72 years in the USA. In reality, the impact isn't how long she's pregnant, but the fact that she has a baby.

Sexual assault survivors can thrive and I know many who have, but it does take some time to process the intense emotional impact of rape. There will also be a difference between one woman to the next, if it was a simple assault of a healthy woman or a complex situation of domestic violence, continued abuses, or trafficking. Each woman needs time to work through the core violation.

How much time is completely indeterminate. She may be in a healthy, sound place one day and go into a tailspin the next. Women shouldn't be expected to make decisions related to abortion or adoption without plenty counseling from neutral parties and of time to consider the implications.

Decision Reversal

Judge Lot Moroka believes as I believe, that a woman who has been raped needs stability and time to make a decision relative to placing her child for adoption. In the case, the decision was reversed because the judge recognized the "emotional rollercoaster" of rape conception.

A living human being was created by a terrible assault, but that living human being had no part in the actual crime. She was a second victim and like many women I know, she was loved at first sight.

A child conceived by rape is still a child, developmentally no different from any other child.

Darlene Pawlik is VP of Save The 1, a speaker and blogger at
 She lives in New Hampshire with her husband of nearly 28 years.