Analysis Abortion

Raped? Human Life Alliance Says Birthing Your Attacker’s Child is the Only Way to Heal

Robin Marty

The Human Life Alliance college ad campaign tells victims of rape and incest that carrying their attacker's/abuser's baby will "help them heal."

Few women have suffered like people who are victimized by sexual predators.  Be it stranger rape, acquaintance rape, date rape or incest, the person who has been sexually assaulted must deal not only with the physical effects of the attack, but the long-term emotional effects, as well. 

And for those girls and women who have not only been victimized but also impregnated by their attackers, the trauma of the attack goes well beyond its initial occurrence.

The Human Life Alliance dedicates a section of its ICARE advertising supplement into shaming women who are impregnated by their attackers into giving birth

“As traumatic as rape is,” the supplement advises, “abortion does not un-rape the mother.  In fact, studies show that most women who become pregnant through rape don’t want an abortion.” 

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The section then quotes a 1979 article that states that 85 percent of women who become pregnant via rape do not chose abortion, a statistic quoted widely in anti-abortion literature and websites.  However, the actual study was conducted on a mere 37 pregnant women who sought counseling from the study’s author.

Of those 37 women, 4 did not finish the study, 28 decided to continue the pregnancy and 5 decided to abort, resulting in the “85 percent of all women” statistic.  Although widely used in suggesting women who are raped should carry the child, it is by no means a scientific study.

The supplement goes even further to shame the victims of incest.  Joan Kemp, a rape crisis center counselor, said, “‘I am familiar with no case of incest-related abortion that did not make matters worse.'”

No case.  Not one.  Ever. 

The section then continues:

Studies also show that incest victims rarely ever voluntarily agree to abortion. Instead of viewing the pregnancy as unwanted, the incest victim is more likely to see the pregnancy as a way out of the incestuous relationship because the birth of her child will expose the sexual activity.

Yes, according to the Human Life Alliance, victims of incest (usually minors) should have babies if impregnated as a way to stop their own abuse.

Although the attribution is sloppy, the “studies” cited above appear to be based on a book written by David Reardon, a man who is known as the “Moses” of the post abortion movement.  Based on the 200 women interviewed for his book, Reardon was able to ascertain that:

“Abortion only adds to and accentuates the traumatic feelings associated with sexual assault,” and that “Pregnancy resulting from sexual assault is actually a contraindication for abortion.” 


According to Human Life Alliance, all of the “research” and “studies” in their rape and incest section (one self-selected 33 woman study from 1979, one book by a “post-abortion Moses” and one study done by the bastion of reliability, The Family Research Council) prove that “both the mother and child are helped by preserving life, not by perpetuating violence.”  Their emphasis on mother, and of course, “child” attempts to strong arm females in need of honest support and healing into a place with no choices but the one HLA approves of: coerced birth.

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