Today’s article is by pro-life atheist author Sarah Terzo. Read more by Sarah on her Substack. Photo Credit Danie Franco on Unsplash.
In a 2021 book by Janet Morana, a rape victim describes the trauma she endured after her partial-birth abortion.
Christina from Alberta, Canada, was a substance abuser who was raped at seventeen. She hid her pregnancy for months until her mother found out. According to Christina, her mother “promptly made it clear to me that I would not be ‘keeping it.”
Because Christina was so far along, her abortion took three days to complete. The abortion facility told her nothing about the procedure.
It was a partial-birth abortion. This type of abortion became illegal in the US in 2007 after the Supreme Court case Gonzales v. Carhart upheld a ban against it. I will discuss partial-birth abortions in a minute, but for now, I want to talk about Christina’s experience.
“During the abortion, I experienced pain like I’ve never felt before and I could feel my little baby crying out for help. She did not want to die. I began to scream and cry, but to no avail. The nurse…told me to be quiet.”
Christina passed out and woke up in the recovery room. She says:
“Immediately after the abortion, I felt dead inside. I awoke weeping, bleeding profusely, and in the fetal position in a room filled with other women who were all doing the same thing.”
The Aftermath of the Abortion
After the abortion, Christina began abusing drugs she’d never touched before. The abortion didn’t heal her from the rape. Rather, it gave her an extra trauma to deal with, as she wrestled with guilt.
“I did quite a bit of damage to myself. As time went on, I felt angry, depressed, and hopeless. I began to obsess about my terrible deed, and I felt I would surely go to hell for what I had done.”
People often tout abortion as the ‘solution’ for pregnancies caused by rape. Even many people who consider themselves pro-life support abortion after rape.
However, Christina’s experience isn’t unique.
A Book of Testimonies from Women Who Conceived after Rape
David C Reardon, Julie Makimaa, and Amy Sobie conducted a study and interviewed women who became pregnant after rape and either aborted or chose life. Their book is called Victims and Victors: Speaking out about Their Pregnancies, Abortions, and Children Resulting from Sexual Assault
This book contains the testimonies of dozens of women. It is available for $3.99 on Kindle (see link above). With the Kindle app, you can read it on any smart phone or tablet, or even on your PC.
It should be required reading for everyone who considers themselves pro-life and anyone who cares about the health and well-being of pregnant people. If you support abortion in cases of rape, it may not change your mind, but it is guaranteed to make you think. It’s important to be aware of these women’s experiences.
Many times, we ignore the actual voices of people who become pregnant through rape in the abortion debate, as abortion supporters use their existence to push for unrestricted abortion.
Statistics from the Study Cast Light on Abortions after Rape
I summarized Reardon at al.’s study in an article in Live Action News. The results of the study show that the common belief that abortion helps rape victims is untrue, at least in many cases.
In the study, 88% of the women who aborted regretted their abortions. Only one woman expressed positive feelings about her abortion. The other women who didn’t express regret were ambivalent. They felt they made the right choice but acknowledged that the abortion was traumatic.
In her testimony, one woman expressed many of their feelings by saying, “It bothers me a lot, but maybe it was for the best.”
Ninety-three percent of those who aborted said they would not recommend abortion to another raped person. Also, 43% of women who aborted said they felt pressured to ‘choose’ abortion by those around them, often their families, or by abortion workers.
In startling contrast, not a single woman who had her baby wished she’d had an abortion instead. The only woman who expressed regret was one who felt she should have made a different decision about adoption – but even she was glad she carried to term. Eighty percent of those who gave birth expressed happiness about their children or their situation.
Only four of the women said that abortion “might” be a good solution for a pregnancy caused by rape, meaning that 94% felt it wasn’t.
Information on Partial-Birth Abortion
Partial-birth abortion, according to the late abortionist Martin Haskell, who developed the procedure, was created because D&E abortions are difficult to commit on late-term babies.
D&E abortions, sometimes called dismemberment abortions, are done by inserting forceps and pulling the baby out piece by piece. This is the most common second trimester abortion procedure performed today in the United States.
You can see a former abortionist describing D&E abortions below.
(Content warning: The link below has a picture of an aborted baby.)
Haskell said that “[M]ost surgeons find dismemberment [i.e., D&E] at twenty weeks and beyond to be difficult due to the toughness of fetal tissues at this stage of development.”
In other words, the child’s body is hard to tear apart.
Abortionists committed partial birth abortions by delivering the baby except for the head, then piercing the skull with a pair of scissors and sucking out the baby’s brains. The abortionist collapses the child’s skull, and the abortion is complete.
Testimony from a Witness
Brenda Shafer worked for Dr. Haskell and witnessed three partial birth abortions. She describes what she saw.
The first child she saw aborted was twenty-six and a half weeks along. For perspective, I was born at twenty-eight weeks in 1975 and, at the time, was given a 50% chance of survival (I beat the odds, and a child born today at this gestation has a much higher chance.)
“On the ultrasound screen, I could see the heart beating. I asked Dr. Haskell, and he told me that ‘Yes, that is the heartbeat.’ As Dr. Haskell watched the baby on the ultrasound screen, he went in with forceps and grabbed the baby’s legs and brought them into the birth canal. Then he delivered the body and arms, all the way up to the neck.”
“At this point, only the baby’s head was still inside. The baby’s body was moving. His little fingers were clasping together. He was kicking his feet. All the while his little head was still stuck inside. Then Dr. Haskell took a pair of scissors and inserted them into the back of the baby’s head. Then he stuck a high-powered suction tube into the hole and sucked the baby’s brains out…”
“Next, Dr. Haskell delivered the baby’s head, cut the umbilical cord, and delivered the placenta. He threw the baby in a pan, along with the placenta and the instruments he’d used. I saw the baby move in the pan. I asked another nurse, and she said it was just ‘reflexes.’”
“The woman wanted to see her baby, so they cleaned up the baby and put it in a blanket and handed it to her.”
“She cried the whole time, and she kept saying, ‘I’m sorry, please forgive me.’ I was crying too. I couldn’t take it. In all my professional years I’d never experienced anything like this.”
“The child described above was completely healthy. The second aborted baby also wasn’t disabled or sick. The third baby had Down Syndrome.”
“[T]hat baby with Down Syndrome had the most perfect angelic face I have ever seen. I never realized how perfect these babies are at this point.”
“When you hear the word ‘fetus,’ I think a lot of people think as I did of just a blob of cells, or a mass of something. It was very revealing to me. I don’t think about abortion the same way anymore. I still have nightmares about what I saw.”
The Words of a Late-Term Abortionist
Third trimester abortionist LeRoy Carhart, who recently died, gave a speech in January 2001 to a friendly crowd (the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice) where he attempted to put things in perspective. He said:
“We’re not asking for the right to suck the brains out of every child that walks down the street. We need to continue to offer safe abortions to women who need them to be done.”
This was the type of abortion Christina’s baby endured. Did her child deserve this fate because she was conceived through rape? Did she deserve to die this way because her father was a rapist?
Christina’s abortion didn’t help her, and it certainly didn’t help her baby. Abortion, even after rape, still kills an innocent child. Killing an innocent child is wrong and should not be legal.
It’s not the innocent baby who should be punished. The rapist is the criminal, not the child.
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