It’s widely held that when dealing with abortion, rape and incest are special
cases. Most people will say abortion is the closest thing to a solution in such
cases. Even those who disagree — who point out that an innocent child shouldn’t
perish for the sins of his father — often share the popular assumption that
abortion would be something of a relief to the woman who’s been victimized. In
short, the notion is that the interests of the woman and her child are in
conflict: What’s good for one is bad for the other.
But is that true? Some Harvard students thought otherwise, and they decided
to put forth their dissenting view in a very public way.
It’s a shame, if not a surprise, that the issue HRL tried to raise largely
got lost in the process. Their point, after all, was that abortion is not only
morally wrong, but it also harms the women it’s allegedly going to help. It’s a
devil’s bargain: It promises relief from a seemingly unbearable burden in return
for sin, but it ends up bringing burdens that are truly unbearable.
And that’s true even in cases of rape — a point testified to by researchers
who’ve spent time talking with the women who’ve experienced it.
“The welfare of a mother and her child are never at odds, even in sexual
assault cases,” says Dr. David Reardon, a full-time researcher into the impact
of abortion on women, in a valuable article, “Rape,
Incest and Abortion: Searching Beyond the Myths.” “Both the mother and child
are helped by preserving life, not by perpetuating violence.”
Read the rest here.