No woman wants to be sexually assaulted, and the potential outcomes – pregnancy and birth – can be dangerously traumatic for rape and sexual assault victims. As a consequence, women who have been raped tend to avoid antenatal health checks for fear of being reminded of their experiences on the most traumatic day of their life.
The question that arises is: Is abortion after rape okay? We take a look at a few myths and misconceptions surrounding this delicate topic of abortion after rape.
How can a woman love such a child?
There is some expectation in the form of societal pressure, in some instances, that the rape victim will abort after conceiving. This pressure may make the expectant mother wonder if feeling love for her child is abnormal.
Choosing your baby in this instance may cast some judgement from family, friends and your community. Some may go as far as being suspicious of your account, questioning whether it was truly a rape if you choose to keep your baby.
It’s also possible that some women will see their child in a negative light, rather than seeing the child as the ray of sunshine in her darkness. And will justify their reason to abort because they believe they wouldn’t be able to love that child fully.
You’re carrying bad DNA
This is a popular theory, which is totally wrong. The “bad traits” that may include hate, rape or violence are all learned behaviors. Studies of serial rapists indicate disturbing commonalities in the nurture vs nature debate.
The studies suggest traits such as criminal activity from a young age, a peer group with a hostile attitude towards women, and alcohol problems. In all this, it’s clear that there’s something that activates such behavior, such as neglect or abuse. Even then, a predisposition cannot be classified as a pre-determination.
In South Africa, abortion is legal. However, making the decision to terminate a pregnancy is a challenging process – even more so for rape victims – which leaves a number of women unsure about which route to take. These mixed feelings and emotional challenges must not be neglected or trivialized as they may increase a woman’s stress levels both before and after the decision
What can I think about to help me decide?
- Life goals
- Personal beliefs
At the end of the day, it’s your body and your choice. You’re the only person who can decide whether to have an abortion. The decision is 100% yours. You can contact Pregnancy by Choice for Counselling for continuation or Counselling for termination to help you through the process of making a decision.