Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rape exception "necessary"?

"One study found that 50% of women who became pregnant by rape underwent abortions, 5.9% placed their infants for adoptions, and 32.3% of raped women kept their infants. Another study, conducted in a separate year, found markedly different results, concluding that 26% of women pregnant through rape underwent abortions. Of the 73% of women who carried their pregnancies to term, 36% placed their infants for adoption, and 64% raised the children they conceived through rape."

"These societal constructions have created a “prototype” of the pregnant raped woman and of the prototypical rape pregnancy experience by which all raped women are judged. […] Proponents of abortion rights used the image of the raped woman to challenge the public opinion that all women who sought abortions were making a choice “against motherhood.” They did this by depicting raped women as having no choice or personal agency in seeking their abortions. Instead, raped women were depicted as “unfortunates who, through no fault of their own, were forced into an abortion” […] by describing the unborn child in terms that suggest the child is a mere extension of the rapist (that is, by labeling the unborn child as the “rapist’s baby”) with the unborn child continuing the rapist’s violence against the woman, this time from within the raped woman’s own womb. By vilifying the rape-conceived child, these proponents depict abortion as a raped woman’s self-defense tool[.]
Perhaps surprisingly, the only study to ever analyze the effects of pregnancy upon raped women found that raped women are, above all, victims of rape, not pregnancy. […] “it appears that the pregnant victim’s problems stem more from the trauma of rape rather than from the pregnancy itself.” Only 19.2% of raped women stated that they needed to confront feelings of “resentment of the pregnancy” or “hostility towards [the] child.”

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