Should Abortion be Permitted in Cases of Rape or Incest?

Posted: January 17, 2012 by liftyourvoice1 in Abortion/Sanctity of Life

Often Times when the issue of abortion comes up, people will argue that a mother who was raped should not have to keep her child. Hank Hanegraaff has a great article on page 425 of his book “The Complete Bible Answer Book.” I thought I would post it here for you to read.

SHOULD ABORTION BE PERMITTED IN THE CASE OF RAPE OR INCEST?

When the subject of abortion comes up, rape and incest are often used as an emotional appeal designed to deflect serious consideration of the pro-life position: “How can anyone deny a hurting woman safe medical care and freedom from the terror of rape or incest by forcing her to maintain a pregnancy resulting from the cruel and criminal invasion of her body?” The emotion of the argument often precludes serious examination of its merits.

First, it is important to note that the incidence of pregnancy as a result of rape is rare, with studies estimating that approximately 1 percent to 4.7 percent of rapes result in pregnancy. Thus lobbying for abortion on the basis of rape and incest is like lobbying for the removal of red lights because you might have to run one in order to rescue someone who is about to commit suicide. Even if we had legislation restricting abortion for all reasons other than rape or incest, we would save the vast majority of the 1.8 million preborn babies who die annually in the United States through abortion.

Furthermore, one does not obviate the real pain of rape or incest by compounding it with the murder of an innocent preborn child. Two wrongs do not make a right. The very thing that makes rape evil also makes abortion evil. In both cases, an innocent human being is brutally dehumanized.

Finally, the real question is whether abortion is the murder of an innocent human being. If so, abortion should be avoided at all costs. In an age of scientific enlightenment we now know that the embryo even at its earliest stages fulfills the criteria needed to establish the existence of biological life (including metabolism, development, the ability to react to stimuli, and cell reproduction); that a zygote is a living human being as demonstrated by its distinct genetic code; and that human personhood does not depend on size, location, or level of dependence. Thus, abortion should be avoided even in cases of rape and incest.

For further study, see Hank Hanegraaff, “Annihilating Abortion Arguments,” available through the Christian Research Institute (CRI) at http://www.equip.org.

Proverbs 17:15:
“Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent-the LORD detests them both.”–

 

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Comments
  1. galatians220life says:

    I love this: “Two wrongs do not make a right. The very thing that makes rape evil also makes abortion evil. In both cases, an innocent human being is brutally dehumanized.”

    It is absolutely the truth. Society tells rape victims that they can get rid of the problem by getting rid of the child. This only creates a third problem that will last with that woman for years. Society forgets that not only is that child partly the woman’s attacker, but the child is just as much part of that woman herself. So when she loses the child, it’s only afterwards that she feels that loss of connection and has regrets for it. So now, she not only feels damaged by the attack, but also broken by doing this harm to herself.

    Some doctors will try to convince women this is the smartest option, but it’s not. It’s never the smart choice.

  2. dochlyv says:

    The following is actually an approach I could really only take with those who profess to be pro-life and believer that we are persons from conception.

    What I like to get my students to think about on this particular issue is the way the question is framed; “but what about in cases of rape and incest?” This usually means that in the majority of cases in which abortion is sought (largely for convenience and as a birth control method) they object to it. The way of questioning “but what about . . .,” is very telling if you think about it. It suggests that in nearly every case abortion is wrong. So, my line of questioning goes, then, like this: “So what makes abortion wrong in cases other than for rape and incest?” They will normally answer something along the lines that, “it is a human life.” Then I ask, “Is it any less of a human life simply because he or she was conceived through rape or incest?” The obvious answer is “no.” The means of conception have no bearing on the moral status of the person conceived. What happens in this case is that people usually throw logical consistency out the window and turn to a more emotional appeal.

    People will appeal to rape as the means by which a woman had gotten pregnant as a reason for her to be able to obtain the abortion (which was the case in the Roe v. Wade debates back in the late 1960s and early 1970s), and what usually happens is that the students click of their logical and biblical frame of reference and turn on only their emotional one. The concern becomes that which is only for the woman or girl who is now pregnant without her consent, and we do feel sympathy for her, but does this overrule the right of the person conceived to his or her life? Not at all!

    Another thing that needs to be brought up in this particular case is that women tend to think that abortion is the answer and will make all their problems and troubles go away in an instant, but this is not the case at all. There will still be the post-abortion trauma, which is addressed elsewhere in this blog, and the emotional regret she could sustain for the killing of the child she carried. Further, there is the high risk for infertility which comes with certain abortion procedures. So that when she is ready to have her own child, she will be unable to cue to the past abortion. We mislead women who have been raped by telling them all their problems will go away if the get the abortion.

    Seeking Truth,

    Doc. H.

    • dochlyv says:

      Corections on last two sentences of above post – “So that when she is ready to have her own child, she will be unable to *due* to the past abortion. We mislead women who have been raped by telling them all their problems will go away if *they* get the abortion.

  3. andersontwo says:

    There are a couple of points that need to be addressed in this issue regarding the “severe cases” for abortion. It is true that the instances of rape and incest actually leading to pregnancy is less than five percent of all cases so the relevancy and occurrence of this “instance” taking place is a huge minority in the abortion debate. This statistic aside though, there is a greater issue at hand. The psychological side effects of performing an abortion are probably one of the greatest concerns and issues in the abortion issue. Clinics are quick to point out their success rate on performing abortions and how women have a right to have an abortion, how they have the right to choose, but there are a few things clinics and organizations like Planned Parenthood, fail to mention when performing abortions. For instance, Planned Parenthood does not offer counseling services for the women that have abortions, counseling that a majority of women actually need after such a traumatic event. This leads into the next important subject that has to do with abortion. There is no mention in the “screening” process before an abortion that mentions the psychological effects of the abortion. There is no expressing of the trauma that comes along with an abortion to the women to which the abortion is offered. Such precautions ought to be expressed. How does this all go back to abortions in relevance to rape and incest? I must also stand by the statement that two wrongs do not equal a right. Clique I know.

    Still, think about this though. As a psychologist I have to look at things from a mental point of view and from a psychological standpoint. It is no surprise that a woman goes into a state of crisis after something like rape or incest. It is only natural considering the traumatic event that took place. For those that do not know, a crisis is defined as an event that is too difficult for a person’s learned coping mechanisms to handle. So, abortion clinics present an abortion as a way to cope with the rape. Their justification is that the woman won’t have to be reminded of the rape or incest by looking at the baby every day. There are two problems that I find with this justification.

    The first goes back to the psychological view. Rape and incest are traumatic events. This we know. Abortion clinics cannot deny, as much as they would like, that abortion is a traumatic event as well. Psychologically, compounding two traumatic events on top of one another does not result in the betterment of the individual. In fact, it does just the opposite. Events like this could easily send the person into not only a feeling of worthlessness and being unloved, inhuman, and victimized; these coming from the rape and incest, to feeling guilty, unloving and the perpetrator of a similar crime they experienced. Overall, such emotions do not bode well on the human psych. Depression, anxiety, despair and unfortunately suicide can actually follow in a lot of these cases.

    The second problem with Planned Parenthood’s justification goes to a more spiritual answer. Children are a gift from God. This is found everywhere in Scripture. God cherishes more than anything else and they are a blessing. I would be hard pressed to find a mother that could say she “hates” her child. In fact I could find more cases of mothers that have had children from rape and incest that have used that child to cope and bond with and that the child actually gave them a reason to continue living. Don’t believe me? Look up the information for yourself. It’s out there. Abortion clinics don’t want you to see it.

    Ultimately everything goes back to the idea of “choice”. Are we pro-choice or are we pro-life? Pro-choice says the mother has the right to choose the baby, especially as a result of rape and incest. (I will not go into the appeal to pity fallacy this falls under) However, let’s us think about this in closing? Was it the woman’s choice to be raped? No? Such an event is viewed as an inhumane event. Someone should have been given the choice to have participated in such an event. Ironically, murder is also considered inhumane so, wouldn’t the same terms in regards to the woman being able to choose be given to the baby as well? Both are inhumane events and both should have the right to choose.

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