Responding to supporter of abortion in cases of rape


#1

So I've been having an argument with a friend about the immorality of having abortions in cases of rape. He keeps saying things like "it's wrong to make a woman carry something inside of her that she hates, sees as being evil" or that "reminds her of the most horrible thing that's happened to her in her life." I say "maybe then she needs therapy, not to kill someone. The baby didn't rape her, so blaming it is kind of messed-up. What if someone thought their arm was evil? Should we support them cutting it off or refer them for treatment? No matter what though, you cannot use two wrongs to make a right.

Then there's the line "a woman with a rape pregnancy will purposely harm the baby by drinking and using drugs". This to me smacks of eugenics, as we're starting to say "so and so is better off not being born, for their own sake." Also, people who suffer as kids grow-up and do good things. Maybe even cure cancer. I also say that not every woman who is raped thinks these things at all, and regardless could put the kid up for adoption.

Of course, his opinions are coloured too much by anecdotal evidence from personal acquaintances.

Any suggestions on how to further my argument? Please refrain from religious/theological positions, as they won't work. One needn't use religion to argue the immorality of abortion.


#2

I'd encourage you to look at my argument here.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=705006

In essence what you have to do is force your friend to put what they are saying in terms that actually describe what they are really saying. Is your friend in agreement that life begins at conception? If so then when your friend says that abortion should be allowed in cases of rape, they are saying that in some cases the life of the child is worth less than the life of the mother. Believing life begins at conception and that abortion should be allowed in cases of rape are two incompatible statements unless they don't believe all men have been created equal. The right to privacy ends when it endangers someone elses right to life. If they try to argue that these kinds of ethical situations cannot be intruded upon by the law, simply bring up the example of the separation of conjoined twins.

If someone came and murdered my whole family that would also be a very tragic act that would have a devastating effect on me. The law would still prosecute me, probably with some amount of compassion, if I went and in turn murdered the man who murdered my family though. If the law is going to prosecute me for murdering someone who was guilty, as way of coping with the horrendous harm they caused my family, why is it controversial to argue that the law should in some way come into play when an innocent life is killed in order to cope with a tragic act? We can have great empathy for the horrendously harmed woman who was driven to commit such an act, while at the same time condemning the killing as wrong and having a compassionate justice system that will take all circumstances into account. We could also take steps to further build on the programs already in existence, to completely take care of rape victims especially those who end up pregnant so that there are zero financial or support issues.


#3

Frankly, the "abortion for rape" arguments disgust me. They reek of a true anti-woman mindset.

For one, it seems to say "Oh, so you were raped, and you got pregnant! An abortion will make all your problems disappear!"

That's a load of cows' udders. Abortion doesn't unrape a woman. All it does is make it convinent for everyone else to have to avoid the subject, no swollen belly, no rape.

The other thing it does is place that woman in a really nasty situation, what if she's pro-life, what if she detests abortion, suddenly she's pregnant from rape and listening to comments like "How could you want that thing inside you?" "why would you want to carry your rapist's baby?" People might not beleive her. I know a pro-life woman this happened too, instead of having an abortion, she put baby up for adoption, and when she told the cops she wasn't having an abortion, they just shut the case - because no jury is going to convict a rapist on the say of a woman who's still carrying his baby! That woman now carries a lot of guilt that a rapist walked free, but she wouldn't kill the child he forced on her. If this society wasn't so heck bent on the "abortion for rape" excuse, those cops might have put more effort into nailing that nasty fellow.

Its also not just the rapist's baby, its HER baby to.

For the pro-abortion movement to use something as hideous as rape to further their cause, well, its just repulsive! We're talking about a very rare occurance, 98% of abortions are for "social reasons", and yes, there could be some women who were raped ticking "social reasons" on the forms but we can't base arguments on "could be" statistics. That leaves only 2% for life of mother, foetal defect, and rape.

I know two people who've been pregnant from rape who kept their babies. One was a ten year old girl I went to school with who was raped by her uncle and brother, and even at 10 was horrified at the mention of aborting that baby - who's now 21 or so and doing well in law school. The other, that pro-life woman, is still hurting from the rape, not keeping the pregnancy and adopting that child out [who'll now be about 10 or so]. And all the women I've known who've had abortions didn't have one because of rape... and I'm including all the women I've met through my job - but people whove been raped and pregnant could be keeping it to themselves if they aborted.

What a woman in that situation needs is love, support and kindness. The pro-abortion movement has made the claim that those who suffer from "post abortion stress syndrome" must have had mental health issues before the abortion, well, what do they think rape is going to cause the woman to suffer? Roses and happy faces? Seems that aborting a rape pregnancy will only make that woman more emotionally unstable.

As for the human being being aborted, the circumstance of teh conception, no matter how horrific does not change the humanity of the unborn, and their life has no less value then any other unborn. We should embrace all women in all unplanned pregnancies, they need love, support, compassion, mercy and understanding, they don't need to splay their privates in the face of a masked man to have the life sucked out of them.

Your friend has fallen into the usual trap that catches a lot of well meaning pro-lifers. They don't want to look like unfeeling jerks - which the question is designed to do, so put it back on them.


#4

[quote="vera_dicere, post:3, topic:296182"]
As for the human being being aborted, the circumstance of teh conception, no matter how horrific does not change the humanity of the unborn, and their life has no less value then any other unborn. We should embrace all women in all unplanned pregnancies, they need love, support, compassion, mercy and understanding, they don't need to splay their privates in the face of a masked man to have the life sucked out of them.

Your friend has fallen into the usual trap that catches a lot of well meaning pro-lifers. They don't want to look like unfeeling jerks - which the question is designed to do, so put it back on them.

[/quote]

I know you have no idea how language like this looks to people who do not feel as you do, but it would help your cause if you made some effort to find out.


#5

A good respond would be prayer offered for those, who have raped.

Scripture: Luke 6:27-38
"But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. 30 Give to every one who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again. 31 And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them. 32 "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. 37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”


#6

[quote="SgtSchultz, post:1, topic:296182"]
So I've been having an argument with a friend about the immorality of having abortions in cases of rape. He keeps saying things like "it's wrong to make a woman carry something inside of her that she hates, sees as being evil" or that "reminds her of the most horrible thing that's happened to her in her life." I say "maybe then she needs therapy, not to kill someone. The baby didn't rape her, so blaming it is kind of messed-up. What if someone thought their arm was evil? Should we support them cutting it off or refer them for treatment? No matter what though, you cannot use two wrongs to make a right.

Then there's the line "a woman with a rape pregnancy will purposely harm the baby by drinking and using drugs". This to me smacks of eugenics, as we're starting to say "so and so is better off not being born, for their own sake." Also, people who suffer as kids grow-up and do good things. Maybe even cure cancer. I also say that not every woman who is raped thinks these things at all, and regardless could put the kid up for adoption.

Of course, his opinions are coloured too much by anecdotal evidence from personal acquaintances.

Any suggestions on how to further my argument? Please refrain from religious/theological positions, as they won't work. One needn't use religion to argue the immorality of abortion.

[/quote]

I don't mind you thinking that it is immoral for, say, a 12-year-old raped girl to have an abortion, but I do mind you saying it should be illegal. Is this what you say?


#7

Hokomai, why do you think there are so many stars in the universe? Isn’t it awesome? Why do you think there are so many children in the world? Isn’t it awesome?


#8

[quote="andreashofer, post:7, topic:296182"]
Hokomai, why do you think there are so many stars in the universe? Isn't it awesome? Why do you think there are so many children in the world? Isn't it awesome?

[/quote]

Does there have to be a reason?


#9

Just this morning a old friend posted on another site Maureen Dowd's NYT article about abortion as if she agreed with the position Dowd's expressed. As I read these comments on this thread I am reminded about how many of my old Catholic friends are no longer Catholic and actually have turned pro-choice over the years, I will never win an argument about abortion with them. I have come to the conclusion that we need to be spending more time in prayer as God can and will settle this but it will be on His schedule. I am praying now, God bless each of you.


#10

Rebecca Kiessling, Conceived in Rape.

rebeccakiessling.com/index.html

"Have you ever considered how really insulting it is to say to someone, “I think your mother should have been able to abort you.”? It’s like saying, “If I had my way, you’d be dead right now.” And that is the reality with which I live every time someone says they are pro-choice or pro-life “except in cases of rape” because I absolutely would have been aborted if it had been legal in Michigan when I was an unborn child, and I can tell you that it hurts. But I know that most people don’t put a face to this issue – for them abortion is just a concept – with a quick cliche, they sweep it under the rug and forget about it. I do hope that, as a child conceived in rape, I can help to put a face, a voice, and a story to this issue. "


#11

You might not had plan on having a baby, the baby might have come from a sin like rape. But God still made that child, a flower sprouting out of evil and turn it into a blessing. Like Jesus was killed, a sin, but came out as being part of the plan to save us. Teach the child that his father is God, for He is the one eho created him, not the human man.


#12

If you allow abortion only in cases of rape, how easy would it be for normal people who werent raped but who regret getting pregnant, to simply claim that they were raped so that they can get an abortion?

For a woman who was truly raped, getting an abortion is only going to add to her mental distress over the situation. The sad reality is that rape is a traumatic event in and of itself, like others have said, getting an abortiom isnt going to make that go away.


#13

Believing in abortion only in cases of rape and incest is in my opinion, idiotic.

Look, abortion is either murder or it isn't. If it isn't, then why limit people's access to it at all? If it is, then nothing, not even the emotional trauma of a rape, can justify it.

To believe in abortion only in cases of rape is to say,"Sure, abortion is murdering a child, but sometimes, murdering a child is o.k, like when someone is really upset." It sounds ridiculous because it is.

Abortion is either ALWAYS o.k., or it's NEVER o.k.


#14

Why is it outrageous to think that should be illegal, but its not outrageous when the government prosecutes a man who murders the guy that raped, tortured, and then burned his family alive while he was forced to watch? Both are horrible situations to have happen to a person, but neither is justification for killing a guilty man let alone an innocent human being.


#15

[quote="Lost_and_Found, post:10, topic:296182"]
Rebecca Kiessling, Conceived in Rape.

rebeccakiessling.com/index.html

"Have you ever considered how really insulting it is to say to someone, "I think your mother should have been able to abort you."? It's like saying, "If I had my way, you'd be dead right now." And that is the reality with which I live every time someone says they are pro-choice or pro-life "except in cases of rape" because I absolutely would have been aborted if it had been legal in Michigan when I was an unborn child, and I can tell you that it hurts. But I know that most people don't put a face to this issue -- for them abortion is just a concept -- with a quick cliche, they sweep it under the rug and forget about it. I do hope that, as a child conceived in rape, I can help to put a face, a voice, and a story to this issue. "

[/quote]

This is no more insulting than saying 'I wish your mother had been free to chose the life of a nun. If I had my way you would never have been conceived'. Or 'I wish you great-grandmother had never left Ireland, meaning your grandfather would never have met your grandmother, and you would never have existed".

The proposition you make is as offensive to those who genuinely believe that abortion should not be lawful as it would be to say to someone who is the descendant of an ancestor born as a result of rape: I am glad your great-grandmother was raped.

I simply do not understand why anti-abortionists find it necessary to dress up their moral case, which has considerable force, with extreme language. Such statements convince no one but the convinced, and stop people listening to your ideas.


#16

I am not outraged. I was asking what you thought.


#17

[quote="LaSainte, post:13, topic:296182"]
Believing in abortion only in cases of rape and incest is in my opinion, idiotic.

Look, abortion is either murder or it isn't. If it isn't, then why limit people's access to it at all? If it is, then nothing, not even the emotional trauma of a rape, can justify it.

To believe in abortion only in cases of rape is to say,"Sure, abortion is murdering a child, but sometimes, murdering a child is o.k, like when someone is really upset." It sounds ridiculous because it is.

Abortion is either ALWAYS o.k., or it's NEVER o.k.

[/quote]

It really does help if the views of people who come to different conclusions than you are not characterised in this way.


#18

[quote="Hokomai, post:16, topic:296182"]
I am not outraged. I was asking what you thought.

[/quote]

The reason many people wish to leave a rape exception for abortion is because of empathy and feeling they don't have the right to say what the truth is because of the horrendous situation. Logically, anyone who recognizes that life begins at conception knows it is murder to abort a baby even if the baby is there because of a rape. Having a rape exception is a notion entirely based in emotion that is not practiced anywhere else in our justice system for even more horrendous circumstances.

And I would agree, instead of saying its idiotic it should be described as emotionally charged and illogical.


#19

[quote="Nate13, post:18, topic:296182"]
The reason many people wish to leave a rape exception for abortion is because of empathy and feeling they don't have the right to say what the truth is because of the horrendous situation. Logically, anyone who recognizes that life begins at conception knows it is murder to abort a baby even if the baby is there because of a rape. Having a rape exception is a notion entirely based in emotion that is not practiced anywhere else in our justice system for even more horrendous circumstances.

And I would agree, instead of saying its idiotic it should be described as emotionally charged and illogical.

[/quote]

Let's look at the logic you are using.

First, your premise "life begins at conception'. No, it does not. Both sperm and egg are alive prior to conception. You mean, I think, that individual lives begin at conception. I agree with this, but not that 'life' begins at conception, as it plainly does not.

You then miss out a number of steps before getting to your "murder" conclusion. These steps are:

Because an individual life has begun, a person exists.

The person who exists has the same right to continue life as a born human.

Before birth, people have the right to occupy the body of a woman who does not want them to occupy it.

Action to remove the person from the body of the woman is murder.

Each of the logical steps can be disagreed with on a number of grounds. You need to understand the strength of your opposition's argument if you are to win people to your case. Simply saying "illogical!" "Murder!" will not convince anyone. I should point our too, that under your logic the removal of a fallopian tube containing a fetus because of the threat to the life of the mother is murder. The Church says it is acceptable on the principle of the double effect.


#20

Why should abortion be illegal only in certain cases? People who believe this are already admitting that there is something intrinsically wrong with abortion in the first place. They are already admitting that abortion is the killing of an innocent human child. Does a rape or incest somehow cause the fetus to CEASE to be a child? No. Does a rape or incest somehow cause the fetus to CEASE to be innocent? No. So what these people are saying is that in some emotionally traumatic cases, it is perfectly justifiable to kill an innocent human child if it is deemed that doing so will spare someone from trauma.

Does this not seem bizarre and illogical?

On a more practical note, how on Earth would you enforce this law? What is to stop everyone who wants an abortion from saying they were raped? Nothing.

The entire position is untenable to say the least.


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