Pat describes what happened after she was raped.
“I was in shock. I felt sickened and humiliated by what had happened. Dazed, I walked home to shower over and over. I told no one what had happened to me. Since I had voluntarily gone to the party and taken a drink, I felt the rape was my fault. I had decided to keep my ugly secret to myself, but eventually I could no longer hide my pain.
One of my friends suggested I go to Planned Parenthood for a pregnancy test and counseling. It was so impersonal and humiliating. When they confirmed my pregnancy, I began to sob uncontrollably and told them I had been raped. The counselors asked me how I would raise a baby alone and what I would do if the baby had handicaps that might result from the drug the rapist had given me.
I felt totally alone and helpless, and then the counselors became very sympathetic and offered to make arrangements to take care of this problem for me. An abortion would allow me to go on with my life. I wouldn’t have to tell anyone, I could marry my boyfriend, and things would be normal again.
Fear and pain caused me to cry during the procedure. It was nearly as humiliating as the rape itself; the doctor never even looked at me, and the nurses were courteous, but distant and coldly professional.
After the abortion, I cried for days. I suffered from horrible nightmares. When something triggered the flashbacks, it was as if I was back on the table going through the abortion again.
I couldn’t bear the sight of pregnant women or babies. I would feel overcome with grief and pain and dreamed about dead babies. Unable to maintain a job or function, I called my parents and moved back home…
In my experience, abortion only compounded the trauma and pain I was already experiencing. I was an innocent victim of the horrible crime, but in choosing to abort, to kill, the innocent child growing within me, I lowered myself to the level of the rapist. I too committed a crime against a defenseless baby who had done nothing wrong.
A criminal may have fathered the child but I was the mother, and I killed a part of myself when I had the abortion. I would definitely discourage a woman from having an abortion. While it may seem to be the quickest and easiest solution to a painful, humiliating “problem,” it is a Band-Aid approach with horrible ramifications of its own.
For me, the effects of abortion are much more far-reaching than the effects of the rape in my life.”
David C Reardon and Julie Makimaa, eds. Give Us Love, Not Abortions: The Voices of Sexual Assault Victims and Their Children (1992) 23 – 27Share on Facebook