Answering the rape question at the University of South Florida

Maggie Egger

Maggie Egger

CBR Project Director Maggie Egger shares a story from her recent GAP excursion to the University of South Florida

What about rape?

She was staring intently at the pictures when I approached her and asked what she thought of abortion.  She said “I’ve never really thought about it.  I don’t really have an opinion.”

I’d heard that so many times already that I already had my next question prepared.  “Well, can you maybe think of a hypothetical situation where you would think it was okay?”

She thought for a moment and then said, “In the case of rape, I think it would be up to the woman what she want’s to do.  I guess that would be the only time I would say it would be okay if that’s what she decided.”

I then gave her this hypothetical rape situation:  A married woman has consensual sex with her husband on Monday and then is violently raped on Tuesday.  She discovers she’s pregnant.  After discussing it all with her husband, they decide to continue with the pregnancy because there’s a possibility that the baby is her husband’s.  She gives birth, and then has a paternity test done.  They find out that the father is actually the rapist’s and not her husband’s.

I asked “Would it then be okay for her to kill the month-old infant?”

She replied, “Of course not!”

Then I countered, “So, what is the difference between the month-old infant and the 6-week embryo that makes it okay to kill one and not the other?”

That lead us to a discussion of fetal development and when life begins, as well as the harmful effects that abortion has on women, especially women who have already suffered the trauma of rape.

The conversation was slowing down a bit and she went back to looking at the pictures in front of her.  So I just came out and asked her again, “So what do you think about abortion?”

She paused for a minute, looked at the pictures again, looked at me and said, “Ya know, I guess there is no good reason to do that.”


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