I have been silent on this issue because I know that my personal history makes it hard for me to be objective. I have also been silent because I don’t like to offend people. But I believe that if I share my somewhat unusual perspective on the abortion issue, it may make a difference in someone’s decision. So for this reason, I have decided to break my silence.
People keep talking about the word “choice.” They’re talking about a woman’s “right to choose.” Especially in the case of rape. How terrible is it to force a woman impregnated by rape, to carry that baby full term, and force her to give birth? Doesn’t this make her a victim all over again?
I have been raped. I was fifteen. I was drugged, raped, and nearly murdered in the process. Literally, I almost died. Two nurses found me without a pulse. My lips were blue. That’s how close I came to dying from the drug that was used to knock me out so that I could be raped.
I did not become impregnated by the rapist. However, I have carried three babies to full term and given birth to them. So I know exactly what a big deal having a baby is. It is a really huge, very big deal.
Would I have wanted to be forced to give birth to a baby, if I had been impregnated by the evil rapist? That’s an excellent question. Here is my answer. (NOTE: Please don’t do like one person did and stop reading at this point, and believe that I am “pro choice,” particularly in the case of rape. This is incorrect. If you want to know why, keep reading.)
I know from a recent online poll that my views are in the minority, apparently even among professing Christians. I know that by sharing my views here, I may lose some followers.
I have just one word to say about that: Goodbye.
Let me tell you about my personal experience with a woman’s choice to control her life and her body. What I am about to tell you is 100% true, so help me God.
When I was twelve years old, my dad, a former church pastor, was arrested for nearly murdering my mom. His arrest is a matter of public record. What isn’t in the public record is what happened inside my childhood home, both before and after my dad’s arrest.
With no money coming in because my dad was locked up, our only car was taken. We soon ran out of money. We ran out of food. The beautiful mid-century modern, split level home that my parents had built when I was six, went into foreclosure. We ended up on welfare and food commodities, the precursor to food stamps.
Christmas came that year and we had nothing. My mother decided to drop the attempted murder charge and go back to my dad, for financial survival. But then she discovered that he was having an affair with the woman who eventually became his second wife.
My desperate, depressed, and deeply traumatized mother decided that the solution to everything was to gas herself and the five of us kids to death.
It was her choice, you see. Our mother’s decision was all about quality of life. Her decision was about poverty. Her decision involved some serious health issues, too, with one of my brothers being severely handicapped. Her decision also involved extreme trauma. No, she was not raped by our father, but she was almost murdered by him. In fact, my dad came so close to killing my mother the night before his arrest, that I actually believed, for several heart stopping moments, that my mother was dead.
I was twelve years old when these things happened. My four siblings were all age five and under, the youngest not yet two years old. (I was an only child until the year I turned seven.) At the time, I was the only child in school.
My mother was overwhelmed as a newly single mom with five kids, four of whom were preschoolers. Her life was ruined. It was her body that had brought us into the world, therefore she reasoned that it was her decision to make. This was my mother’s “choice.”
My mom tried several times to gas us all to death. If the cook stove had been gas instead of electric, I have no doubt that my family and I would have died when I was twelve years old. But the only thing she had to work with was a gas furnace.
I don’t remember how many times it happened. Several times, that’s all I can say for sure. I had terrible insomnia, for several years after the night that I had witnessed my dad almost murder my mom. So I would lie in bed awake for hours after our mother sent us all to bed. I would lie there and listen to my little sisters and brothers snoring. And in the winter time, I listened to the sound of the central heat cycling on and off, on and off.
But on the nights when our mother tried to kill us, although I did not know until later that this is what she was doing, the furnace would suddenly stop coming on. It was around Christmas time and the house got very cold. I kept waiting for the heat to come on, but it didn’t. Meanwhile, the house kept getting colder. So I finally got out of bed, intending to turn the thermostat up. I went out into the hall and discovered that the thermostat was already up as high as it could go, all the way past ninety degrees. Then I walked down the hall to the utility room, where I could see by the pitch black darkness that the pilot light had gone out. At that point, I would go and wake up my mother, tell her the furnace wasn’t working, and she would get out of bed and relight the pilot. On the way back to our bedrooms, every time this happened, I would see my mom push the thermostat back down to its normal setting.
This kept happening, night after night. Not every night, but quite a few nights. I thought the furnace was faulty. And I thought that one of my little siblings must be pushing the thermostat up as high as it could go, because they were cold. I wasn’t sure how any of them could reach that high, or how they could even get out of bed and do that without me seeing or hearing them. But still, it was the only thing that made any sense.
One day I came home from school, walked in the house, and there was my mom sitting at the dining room table, smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer. She told me to come and sit down at the table beside her, because she wanted to talk.
“I need to tell somebody this, because I can’t live with it all by myself anymore. But if I tell another adult, they will probably tell the police and I will go to prison for life — and you five kids will go to five foster homes and never see each other again. So you can’t tell anybody what I am about to tell you.”
I didn’t tell anyone, for years. I should have, but I didn’t. I was twelve. I was in shock. And I loved my family literally more than I loved my own life. The thought of my mom in prison and never seeing my sisters and brothers again was unbearable.
My mother told me that all those nights when the pilot light on the furnace went out, that she was putting it out on purpose. She also said that she was the one who kept turning the thermostat up as high as it would go, after blowing out the pilot light.
“I brought all you kids into the world,” she said. “So I have the right to take you out of it. Life is so hard, I believe I would be doing you a favor by killing you. And being gassed to death in your sleep is surely the easiest, most painless way to die.”
This was my mother’s CHOICE, you understand? For all of her very “rational” reasons. 1) Life is hard. 2) Being gassed in your sleep is the best way to go. 3) My body brought you into the world, so I have the right to take you out of the world. 4) I would be doing you all a great big favor by putting you out of your miserable life.
“My Choice. My Right. My Decision.”
The furnace had a safety on it that turned off the gas when the pilot light went out. When my mother realized this, she said, she took some kind of tool to it, hoping to disable the shut off valve.
“I thought this last time that I finally got it. I was sure that I had broken the safety shut off valve. But, it still didn’t work. So now I am trying to find a cliff high enough, that’s close enough to the road to drive us off of… ”
Do you know what it does to a kid to hear these words from her mother? That she has the right to kill her children, because she brought us into the world?
OH, but that’s DIFFERENT, you say. Killing a child so many years after it is born is MURDER. But, when you can’t yet see the child, because the fetus is hidden inside the womb — that’s Abortion, not Murder. That’s simply a woman’s right to choose, especially in the case of RAPE.
Really? Rape makes all the difference? Okay. Suppose, when I was drugged and raped at the age of fifteen, that I hadn’t regained consciousness when my heart stopped and my lips turned blue. Suppose, too, that I was impregnated by the rapist. And suppose that in my unconscious state, I was put on life support, and I carried that baby full term, and then gave birth.
Now, suppose that after the baby was born, I eventually came out of my coma. Maybe it happened that same day, after I gave birth. Maybe it happened a week later, or six months later, or maybe five whole years later. Hey, it’s been known to happen with comas.
But whenever it happens, suppose that when I finally wake up from the coma, I say: “This child that I gave birth to is a result of RAPE. I Don’t Want This Child.”
And then, I stab it death. Or I gas it to death. Or I shoot it in the head. Or whatever. It’s my child, it’s my choice. My body was violated. The kid wouldn’t even be here if I hadn’t been raped. So — Off With Its Head.
Is that okay, Mr. and Mrs. “It’s All About Choice?”
Does rape really make all the difference? Didn’t you learn this in kindergarten: Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right?
For the Christians that are calling for “choice,” what does the Bible have to say about the “fetus?” Here are just two of many verses:
Jeremiah 1:4-5 New English Translation (NET Bible)
4 The Lord said to me,
5 “Before I formed you in your mother’s womb I chose you.
Before you were born I set you apart.
I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.”
Psalm 139:13-16 New English Translation (NET Bible)
13 Certainly you made my mind and heart;
you wove me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give you thanks because your deeds are awesome and amazing.
You knew me thoroughly;
15 my bones were not hidden from you,
when I was made in secret
and sewed together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw me when I was inside the womb.
All the days ordained for me
were recorded in your scroll
before one of them came into existence.
….One last thing: every time I hear, or read, about how a woman should have The Right to Choose, whether rape is involved or not, I hear my mother say: “I brought you kids into the world, so I have the right to take you out.”
I really wish everybody would stop saying that, because it’s a huge trauma trigger for people like me. And I am especially perplexed when it’s coming from self-professed Christians, talking about the importance of a woman’s “rights.” I don’t see a lot of that kind of thing in the Bible. Instead, I see: “take up your cross, deny yourself, and follow Me.”
PS: If you have had an abortion, I absolutely believe that the sacrifice Jesus the Messiah made on the cross can cover that sin, too. We just have to believe in Christ as our Savior, and His mercy does the rest.
This post was inspired by: Abortion and Rape by Mitch Teemley. I highly recommend that you read it. Here is the link:
Abortion and Rape
Update 20 May 2019:
There’s more to my reasons for being pro life. See part two, here: https://ablogabouthealingfromptsd.wordpress.com/2019/05/20/the-know-it-alls-guide-to-knowing-it-all-or-the-presumed-happiness-of-clams/