By Catherine Salgado
Aug 6th 2023
(Picture of a baby miscarried at 12 weeks old)
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” – Jeremiah 1:5
Over two-thirds of Americans support restrictions on abortion, according to a January 2023 poll, but only eight percent of Americans believe in not allowing abortion for any reason. The statistics seem contradictory; most Americans understand that abortion ends a human life, and yet believe in “exceptions”? What exceptions can there be for murder? There are two common arguments made for exceptions with abortion, including by many who call themselves pro-life; firstly, exceptions for rape and incest, and secondly, abortion to save the mother’s life. Both exceptions are based on false premises. There are years of data and testimonials to support the argument that raped or abused women who get abortions are worse off than if they did not kill their babies, and thousands of doctors have testified to the fact that abortion is never medically necessary to save a woman’s life.
Americans are pro-life, but they have not been given all the facts. In this article I want to present some evidence that I think all Americans should know before they determine if they support abortion “exceptions.” We should be providing resources to help mothers continue their pregnancies through difficulties and trauma, not advising them to kill their babies as a “solution.”
To me, the abortion exceptions argument for rape and incest makes no sense. Either abortion kills a baby or it does not kill a baby. The baby does not cease to be a human being with a unique soul because one (or more) of his parents is a sinner or a criminal. Otherwise, we end by making the pro-aborts’ (unscientific and un-Christian) argument for them! There is certainly no indication in the Bible that compromise with evil is permissible based on purely material considerations, and abortion is evil, because it kills a baby. “Thou shalt not kill,” God commands in the Bible (Ex. 20:13).
I recently noted on PJ Media the false compassion of urging abortion as a “solution,” since women who get abortions are at far greater risk of suicide, depression, mental trauma, substance abuse, and self-harm. Even CBS News covered a British study in 2011 showing abortion put women at greater risk of “psychological disorders” and substance abuse. More recently, in 2019, a U.S. study confirmed the link between depression and abortion, even for women with unwanted pregnancies. That means even women who don’t want to have the babies are worse off killing the babies than keeping them. Violence impacts both the victim and the perpetrator or accomplice, and the violence of abortion is no different.
Another key point is that abortion adds extra trauma to rape victims. It’s not a solution. “Doctors, researchers, counselors and victims of sexual abuse want society to stop assuming that aborting an unborn baby fixes the trauma of rape,” LifeNews reported in September 2022. “Research and victims’ own testimonies provide heartbreaking evidence that their abortions – the violent destruction of their unborn babies’ lives – only added to their trauma.” Rape does not make the baby less a baby, and abortion does not help the mother.
It is false compassion to offer abortion as a solution to victims of rape. Live Action offered evidence on the same point in 2019. Below is one rape victim’s testimony:
“Physically, the abortion hurt almost to the point [where] I was seeing little white spots on the ceiling and the operating room was beginning to softly spin… I wanted to scream out, “No!!! Stop!!! You’re hurting me, and you’re killing my baby!!! Please stop!!! … Fourteen years later, and I still don’t know if it was a little boy or girl baby I aborted. I’ve often suspected “it” (my baby) was a girl …. I ache to hold my baby. And ache that I cannot.”
Another rape victim mourned:
“The abortion itself was like a living hell. I thought my guts were being pulled out. It was degrading and I was terrified. When it was over, something made me ask the doctor, “Was it a boy or a girl?” He answered, “I can’t tell. It’s in pieces.” The counseling consisted of throwing some birth control pills at me. It’s so hard to put into words how the abortion affected me… I slept with anyone and everyone. I engaged in unprotected sex and each month when I wasn’t pregnant, I would go into a deep depression... I dropped out of college. I tried suicide… When that failed, I then tried to make relationships work with men, any man. I was driven with a need to have a child.”
Live Action quoted yet another assault victim:
“I had found my way to a secret life of drugs, alcohol and just about anything else I could do to numb the pain I felt inside my heart… My heart hurts deeply with the wounds that came from my assault. But the pain of knowing that I will never meet my child hurts more deeply. While I continue to wonder how I could have coped with having a baby from rape, I know that killing him did nothing to heal my pain.”
In fact, as I noted above, women who gets abortions are at a higher risk of suicide, depression, and substance abuse. That includes women who end “unwanted” pregnancies. Human Life International even claimed that abortion is “often used as a tool by abusers to protect themselves. Even abortion providers are often complicit in sexual exploitation and actively aid in covering up rape, trafficking, and sexual abuse.” Human Life International added:
“According to the surveys we have, however, nearly 80% of rape victims who had an abortion later regretted their decision. By contrast, more than 80% of women who did not abort after rape were happy that they had continued the pregnancy.”
There’s even evidence that women who get abortions are 85% more likely to have miscarriages later. Abortion does lasting damage to the mother as well as the later baby/babies she might have. And here’s evidence for my other essential point, that abortion is never necessary to save a mother’s life. LifeNews reported in 2019, “Medical leaders representing more than 30,000 doctors said intentionally killing a late-term unborn baby in an abortion is never necessary to save a mother’s life.”
Also in 2019, more than a thousand OB-GYNs and maternal healthcare experts announced in the Dublin Declaration, “As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynecology, we affirm that direct abortion – the purposeful destruction of the unborn child — is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman.” There are some medical conditions which require procedures that may, as a side effect, end an unborn baby’s life; but this is fundamentally different from direct abortion, which in and of itself never saves a woman’s life.
If we really want to assist pregnant women such as rape victims and those who are sick or injured, we should be investing in charities that help mothers carry their babies to term instead of turning to abortion. For instance, crisis pregnancy centers, which can provide everything from pregnancy tests to ultrasounds to baby products to adoption and counseling services to maternity housing, outnumber abortion clinics in America. Live Action reported in 2022 that pregnancy resource centers had saved over 800,000 lives just between 2016 and 2020.
Choosing life is the truly compassionate choice, every single time. There are no “exceptions” that make abortion morally legitimate, but there are women and babies who need help. It’s time to change the narrative on abortion to reflect not only Biblical values, but also science, data, and hard facts.