Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Loving a Child in the ‘Hard Cases’

Nov 13, 2012

The pro-abortion crowd will often throw up the usual hard cases when it comes to their demand for abortion on demand. One hard case often raised is that of rape. They will argue that surely no woman would ever want to carry and give birth to the product of rape.

But the truth is, many do, and many have. Many women choose to keep their baby, and either raise him or her themselves, or give the baby away for adoption. And there are many such individuals who were the product of rape who are so very glad their mothers allowed them the choice of life.

There are even entire organisations which have now been set up by those pleading for the right to life for those conceived via rape. As but one example, consider rape-survivor Rebecca Kiessling. She has a website devoted to putting a human face on this issue.

As she says, “Have you ever considered how really insulting it is to say to someone, ‘I think your mother should have been able to abort you’? It’s like saying, ‘If I had my way, you’d be dead right now.’ And that is the reality with which I live every time someone says they are pro-choice or pro-life ‘except in cases of rape’ because I absolutely would have been aborted if it had been legal in Michigan when I was an unborn child, and I can tell you that it hurts.

“But I know that most people don’t put a face to this issue – for them abortion is just a concept – with a quick cliche, they sweep it under the rug and forget about it. I do hope that, as a child conceived in rape, I can help to put a face, a voice, and a story to this issue.” Her site is found here:

But here I wish to tell the story from the point of view of a mother. One very moving story appeared a few years ago which is well worth reporting on. The lengthy testimony of a teenager who was raped and left pregnant is worth reading in its entirety, but let me just offer some parts of this amazing story:

Little Phoebe “will never want to know the truth about the man who gave her life. She was conceived on a cold December evening when Elizabeth – then a 16-year-old virgin – was dragged into the back of the van and raped. All that Elizabeth will be able to tell Phoebe one day is that her father was a stranger in a hooded top who forced himself upon her. She has no idea of the man’s age, ethnic background, even height, such was the confusion of that evening. Indeed, he could be one of three possible individuals.

“One of the few things that Elizabeth is sure of is that she was raped three times that night, by three different men. That Phoebe exists at all almost defies belief. Practically everyone who knew exactly how Elizabeth had fallen pregnant – doctors, siblings, even her own father – urged her to have an abortion as soon as possible. The only person who pleaded with her to at least consider having the child was her mother, Sarah. Today, Elizabeth and Sarah are together to tell their remarkable story to the Mail….

“‘Everyone, save for mum, thought I should have an abortion,’ she says. ‘My dad even made an appointment at the clinic, and they showed me the little blob on the scan, I presume, to convince me that it was just a mass of cells and the whole thing would be over quickly. But I couldn’t go through with it. At school, my friends – most of whom didn’t even know about the rape – couldn’t understand why anyone my age would want to have a baby rather than an abortion. And the few I did tell about what had happened were even more horrified that I would want to go through with the birth. But I did. And I don’t regret it for a moment. Every time I look at Phoebe, I know I made the right decision. I never wanted to end my baby’s life just because of how she came to be’….

“News of the impending addition to the family caused a deep rift. The other Cameron children – Julian, 32, Nicholas, 29, and Alice, 13 – were horrified. One day, Sarah found a note Alice had typed on her computer. It read: ‘Dear God, please help me to love this new baby, because at the moment, I hate it.’

“As Elizabeth’s bump grew, though, people outside the home had to be told – and the inevitable tuts ensued. ‘People have been horrible,’ admits Sarah. ‘But that just made us more determined to fight for this innocent little child. She had not asked to be conceived, had she?’ On September 15, 2006, little Phoebe arrived weighing a healthy 8lb 4oz. Sarah stayed by Elizabeth’s side during the long labour and was the first to hold the little girl. Both new mum and grandmother admit they were relieved that their only feeling on setting eyes on her was one of adoration.

“As Sarah puts it: ‘She was so pretty, with thick dark hair and beautiful blue eyes. People may wonder how it is possible to love a child conceived in this way, but believe me, I love her even more because of it. All the hatred I felt towards those men disappeared when I saw the baby. I put Phoebe on Elizabeth’s breast and that was the most moving sight. In that moment, it wasn’t about her being attacked in some car park, it was simply about the precious moment a new mum holds her baby.’

“Elizabeth concurs. ‘I have never, ever blamed Phoebe for what happened. While it was terrifying, knowing that I was going to be a mum made me look forward and focus on something else. I suppose I have tried to look beyond what happened, to the life that was created’.”

The article concludes, “And Phoebe? What will Elizabeth tell the child when that difficult subject has to be broached. ‘If I have to, I will say that she was the good that came out of something bad. And I will tell her that, however she came to be, I have never ever regretted having her, and I would not be without her for the world’.”

This is quite an amazing story, and well worth reading in its entirety. Truly good can come out of evil, and this is a great example of it.–I-love-baby.html

[1105 words]

25 Responses to Loving a Child in the ‘Hard Cases’

  • These really are amazing stories!

    It’s great to hear the truth on these matters from the people most closely involved.

    Simon Fox

  • A truly amazing story. Every cloud has a silver lining. In this case the Cloud produced a Golden Lining. I am proud at the courage shown by this young Lady and her supportful Mother. A pity more would not show this same courage when their backs are to the Wall.
    Leigh Stebbins

  • What a powerful, honest prayer from Alice!


    John Angelico

  • I wonder: what percentage of women have an abortion because of rape or incest?

    I suspect that the overwhelming majority of abortions are done for convenience only. All this talk about rape and incest obscures the most glaring wickedness about the current abortion climate. I think a perfect response to this little trick is to say, “Let’s put aside the issue of rape and incest and focus on the other 95% of cases” (or whatever the number is).

    Nick Davies

  • Thanks Nick

    Actually all the other cases may come closer to 99 per cent.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • If you look at the money trail of the abortion industry you can see why the abortionist like doing abortions

    Neil Herbert

  • Beautiful.

    Louise Le Mottee

  • Yes, rape is a terrible crime against a female but abortion, the deliberate taking of an innocent life is surely a worse crime. Abortion also destroys a chain of descendants who could have flowed from that one life.

    Graham Lawn

  • You really are a bastard. Once again you cherry-pick one or two examples and condemn the rest.

    Your ‘article’ neglects the psychological impact of rape on the woman and the serious lack of psychological services available to assist women in this situation; most especially if they can’t afford it.

    What about the 12 year old girl who is raped by a family member and falls pregnant? What happens to her potential? How is she supposed to satisfy your idealistic picture.

    I do not give a carte blanche waive to abortion. I believe that more women and men need to make better decisions about contraception before sex.

    But, on the issue of rape your views are nothing less than misogynistic.

    Graham Douglas-Meyer

  • Thanks Graham

    Leaving aside all the love, tolerance and acceptance that exudes from comments such as this, let me simply focus on the use of logic and reason: I write an article in which I quote from two women. Doing so makes me a misogynist. Gotta love how your side “argues” and “thinks”.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Hello Graham,
    If you are really interested in the “psychological impacts” on women, please read this article. It is not cherry picking to speak of the stories of real women. Rape and incest are ugly activities that in a perfect world, would not exist. We need to be careful that our righteous anger over these atrocities, and wanting to see the effects of them mitigated, does not lead us to assume that by removing the resultant pregnancy, we can remove the pain of the initial violation.
    Please go to:
    One of the stories there is from the scenario you yourself described. A 12 year old incest survivor.
    “For example, Edith, a 12-year-old victim of incest impregnated by her stepfather, writes twenty-five years after the abortion of her child:

    Throughout the years I have been depressed, suicidal, furious, outraged, lonely, and have felt a sense of loss . . . The abortion which was to “be in my best interest” just has not been. As far as I can tell, it only ‘saved their reputations,’ ‘solved their problems,’ and ‘allowed their lives to go merrily on.’ . . . My daughter, how I miss her so. I miss her regardless of the reason for her conception.”

    Please read her story. It is not cherry picked. There are many more like it. Stories we wish had never begun, but that can find meaning and joy, (and from my reading, the meaning and joy is usually found in continuing the pregnancy, even if that seems illogical to us….)
    Kate Cann

  • Graham,

    The psychological damage done to a women who is raped is a violent crime against her, that is true. That damage will not be undone by having an abortion. The fact is, if she fell pregnant THAT cannot be undone psychologically either . She can never be un-pregnant. She will always know that she fell pregnant because of rape. If she aborts that child, then she now has THAT on her conscience too. She will always have to live with what she has done in response to the rape.

    Why should a child have to suffer because of a rape? I know of a woman who was gang raped by five men, fell pregnant and kept her child. she was just sixteen at the time. She saw that out of that horrible ordeal she was given the best gift in the world. She NEVER regretted having her baby girl. As the girl grew into a teen and had some more mature understanding, she was told about how she was conceived. She did have some issues, but she was loved, counseled and she was very glad that she existed and that she can live a life with a loving mum who always wanted her. They both grew incredibly close, which was obvious to everyone who knew them.

    Once pregnant you will never not know that you were once pregnant even if you have had an abortion. I just think that society should be more accepting and grown up and learn how to make a bad situation into one that we can say that “you are a survivor and so is your child”.

    Vee Snape

  • Graham, why do pro abortionists ignore the well proven facts of the negative psychological impacts abortion has on women? Depression (suicidal) cancer, post abortion syndrome and other serious issues…if this debate is really pro women on your side where is the acknowledgement and care for the victims going through this? Bill, this article and cases like these two women need to be spread around to give other women (especially ones in situations where they are being pressured to have an abortion) the courage to know they have the power within them to make decisions they can live with. Choosing life instead of death for the child so they can heal from the wrong done to them and find full love and fulfilment from the love child will give them and even if they choose to adopt it out, the child will always love and be grateful that the mother allowed gave them their right to live.
    Stephanie Ross

  • Wouldn’t it make sense to go murder the rapist for the crime rather than the innocent baby in the womb? Oh that’s right… because you’re all gutless psychopaths who intrude on a womb which is biologically and ethically the BABY’S domain (That’s why women have wombs), rip an innocent child out of that womb limb by limb while they writhe in agony. You pro-murderers are predators. Haven’t got the guts to do anything noble or for the good of the mother or baby and then do the most cowardly thing of all- to murder a baby who cannot defend its self and depends on his mother to protect him from people like you. What kind of sick person supports this barbaric and demonic act?! People who support abortion are the bastards. Evil bastards. They shouldn’t be allowed around ANY children if they believe in infanticide. I can’t believe in the 21st century when we have the technology to clear see that a baby is a separate human being from it’s mother, that we actually march for the right to take away someone elses human rights. Murdering the baby and taking away it’s life DOES NOT erase that rape. I repeat: the woman will remember that rape for the rest of her life. Abortion does not subtract from that memory. Use your heads. Someone with a heart would see the baby as a blessing that came from a bad situation. INCLUDING if it was the result of incest rape. Mentally sound people do not support the murder of ANY baby for ANY reason. Where’s your compassion! Absolutely hideous.
    Jenna Priest

  • Graham, studies have shown that surgical abortions are more likely to trigger painful memories of the rape than giving birth to the baby. Do you know that surgical abortion has actually been referred to as mechanical rape? Do you know why? Both violate women, and both destroy lives.
    Chanade Brandon

  • I’ll give you an example of a 12 year old rape victim Graham Douglas-Meyer. She was taken to her GP by her step-father, who was the father of her unborn child. He did all the talking and obtained a referral for an abortion. The mother was not notified of the pregnancy or the abortion. The step-father took the 12 year old to have the abortion. The abortion clinic also failed to notify the authorities that a 12 year old was pregnant. (In WA a few years ago, it was reported there were 44 girls under 16 who had abortions, but no charges had been laid for carnal knowledge. Potentially sending these girls back to an unsafe environment and in the hands of their perpetrators). After this 12 years old’s abortion, her step-father was then able to sexually abuse her for another 7 years. Abortion was a great tool to conceal his crime and to enable him to keep continuing his crime. It took all sorts of effort to finally get a conviction of this man and even put the victim in potentially dangerous conditions to obtain a confession. As for the now 20 something year old victim, it is has now come to light that she may not be able to have children at all, due to the damage from her abortion. She has also been obsessed with pregnancy, faking pregnancies, pretending to miscarry and faking a stillbirth. I have no doubt she has mental issues because of her long term sexual abuse, but I am suspicious that the abortion has had some effect on her mentally, because of her fantasy around pregnancy. Now how many bastards do you see in this scenario? Please give your “credit” where credit is due…..

    Jeannette Clioni

  • Hello Graham,
    Your mention of contraception is a bit out of place on this one. Rapists don’t really think about that. They know that women can just have an abortion. It’s their problem. They are misogynists, not men like Bill defending women and their unborn babies. People like yourself rightly want to protect women when such a crime is committed against them, but the research and the real life stories just don’t support what you project onto women as being the solution. It’s time for all of us to learn the facts and stop thinking that committing one crime to solve another is the quick solution.
    Anna von Marburg

  • I have such admiration for women who choose to keep their little ones conceived through rape. For them I’m sure that this precious little life is the consolation they are desperately in need of, after experiencing such trauma. Abortion would only add to the trauma, not lessen it. A beautiful baby can bring such healing and love into their lives.
    Rose Klein

  • Mysogynistic? Oh for goodness sake! As a woman I can tell you that whole line is getting very tiresome (thanks Julia!)… If people were informed about the risks of abortion to women (as referred to by Kate and others) and consider that the main targets of abortion internationally (via sex selection) are baby girls, “mysogynistic” couldn’t be further from the truth!
    Sonja Couroupis

  • Graham, two moral wrongs do not a moral right make.
    Leigh Stebbins

  • It must be the hardest thing in the world to carry within you a reminder of the most horrific thing that ever happened to you, for 9 whole months. It would be the most emotionally draining experience, beyond anything any man could possibly imagine.

    The only thing I could imagine that would be worse was if the innocent victim in all this had to pay the price for it as well. Imagine being raped and then having to do community service because of it, or even being sentenced to 5 years prison as punishment. Could you imagine the public outrage? Or imagine being conceived by rape and then receiving the death penalty for it…

    Rick Armitage

  • Nicholas Davies:

    See the following article and table form the Guttmacher Institute in the USA, which is linked to Planned Parenthood. Less than 1.5% of abortions happen because of rape and/or incest.

    Jereth Kok

  • I could be mistaken but I’d have thought the psychological impact on the pre-born baby conceived through rape would be much more devastating to the said child if it were murdered in the rape victims womb than the psychological impact on the rape victim keeping the baby. But this is why pro-lifers find such arguments from pro-baby-killers unmoving. As soon as you realise that the pre-born baby is a human being then any arguments in favour of abortion become puerile evil filth!!

    Joel van der Horst

  • Furthermore, if I had a two year old girl standing next to me who’d been conceived through rape, would any abortionist be okay with calling for her to be aborted because she was conceived through rape?? No, I thought not. And that’s why pro-lifers find such arguments useless as I said!!

    Joel van der Horst

  • Why don’t we listen to the women? It sound nice and compassionate to not force a woman to carry her rapists baby to term but those who say this, for the most part, have not been raped.

    A large percentage of women who have become pregnant due to rape choose to keep their babies. They report healing though growing to love their baby, as the women in the article reported.

    The smaller percentage who do abort often report that it is like being raped again. They often regret their decision and wish they had carried the baby to term. They often report the abortion makes thing worse not better.

    Kylie Anderson

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