The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines trauma as an injury, emotional upset, and/or a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury. The definition of trauma describes what women experience from both rape and abortion, so it is disheartening why so many women think one trauma could heal another. It seems they may forget what happened. What many women don’t realize is the heartache and mental/emotional issues that come after having an abortion.
A common reason some push for the right to abortion is due to rape but in reality 99.7% of abortions in America are not due to sexual assault. One study found hat 8 out of 10 Americans support first trimester abortion due to rape. It is easy to have an opinion about something especially if you’ve never experienced it. Yet, what one may find surprising is what actual victims of rape who have become pregnant have to say about it.
In 1979, the only major study of pregnant rape victims conducted found that 75-85% of women did not abort their babies. The study found that the victims felt abortion wouldn’t just be another act of violence on their body and their baby’s body. Some of the women also felt the baby could hold some kind of meaning or purpose to their life. Finally some victims stated they felt going through their pregnancy was a way of getting past their rape. In a smaller study conducted by the Elliot Institute in 2000, 80% of the women who did abort their babies stated it was the wrong choice and it only worsened their trauma. And every woman who chose to continue their pregnancy and give birth to their babies believed the made the right decision.
As horrible as rape is in every situation, it is not the baby’s fault they were conceived. By putting your body and your baby’s body through another traumatic experience after rape only results in negative effects. As much as someone may try, the tragedy of being raped is challenging to overcome. One trauma does not heal another. Finding support after rape is highly recommended. If you or someone you know if trying to heal after a traumatic situation like this please call our helpline.