Conceived in rape: Should it be a death sentence at North Carolina State?
by Maggie Egger
I’d been dealing with protesters and administrators all morning — not sure which is worse, sometimes — but things had quieted down a bit. I was finally ready to engage a few students, so I went over to our free speech board. It is a low-stress place they can write whatever they want without fear of confrontation, but we can often use their comments as springboards for dialogue.
I saw a young woman writing on the board, so I casually walked over to see what she was writing and to possibly start a conversation. What I saw next moved me. She was writing furiously fast, right in the middle of the board. I discreetly looked over her shoulder to read her comments, expecting to see some justification for abortion, a rant about women’s rights, or whatever. Instead, I discovered this:
People say they shouldn’t have to give birth to conceptions of rape. As a probable conception of rape writing this, I feel discriminated against, as if my life is worth less than everyone else’s. You don’t have to raise a child of rape, ADOPTION IS AN OPTION! You would not believe how thankful my parents are that I was not aborted, but given to them, a couple who were not able to conceive.
As soon as she finished writing, before I had a chance to speak with her, she walked away. Honestly though, I don’t know what else she could have said that she hadn’t already.
Not long after that, I was standing near the poll table when a young man came up to answer “Yes” to our poll question “Should abortion remain legal?” I asked him why he thought that.
His main argument was that it’s a woman’s choice to make, and therefore it has to be legal, regardless of her justifications. We started discussing some of those justifications and soon another young man joined our conversation. He said he was pro-life, except in the case of rape.
I said to him, “You have to be careful when you start making exceptions to who has a right to life. There are people on this campus, your fellow students, who were conceived in rape and you have effectively just told them ‘I wouldn’t care if your mothers had killed you before you were born,’ simply because of circumstances outside of their control. Have you thought about that?”
I walked them over to the free speech board and showed them what the woman had written earlier. I could see the wheels turning, turning. The “pro-life” student started to look a little guilty. The pro-choice student said, “Yeah, maybe some of the reasons women get abortions aren’t that valid after all.”
I have always said that abortion can be justified only when necessary to save the mother’s life. However, I have still found the case of rape to be one of the hardest questions to answer satisfactorily. People get so focused on the woman being the victim and easing her pain, they just can’t see the other victim who needs their compassion and love. They can’t imagine “forcing” the woman to do anything else she doesn’t wholeheartedly agree to (i.e. carrying a pregnancy to term).
That day at NC State helped me realize what the problem is, for some. They want to help the victim, but they don’t realize that they are actively creating more victims, in two ways. First, they are condoning a woman’s choice to destroy her unborn child based on how the child was conceived. Second, they are victimizing those born people conceived in rape whose mothers chose not to kill them, by saying their lives are less valuable.
Sadly, most college students in America have a personal experience with rape, whether it was themselves or their classmates. They can relate to those victims. But how many of them have a personal experience with someone who is a “conception of rape”? They can’t relate, because they don’t see the face of the second victim. GAP brings those faces out into the open.
Maggie Egger is a CBR Project Director and FAB contributor. She served as site manager for CBR’s Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) at North Carolina State University in April 2014.
This entry was posted on Thursday, September 11th, 2014 at 4:30 pm and is filed under Campus Debate (GAP). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.