The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

Even Assault Victims Don’t Want Abortions

Posted by thelamp on September 19, 2006

When does human life deserve legal protection from the state? That question was almost resolved in South Dakota when the state legislature adopted a law banning all abortions except those necessary to save a mother’s life.

Gov. Mike Rounds signed the legislation into law in March, but it was suspended less than two weeks before it was to become effective. The extended debate, which by most accounts has become downright contentious, is the result of unrelenting abortion advocates. They refused to accept the new law and gathered enough petitions to force a popular referendum on it. The ban’s future will be decided in the Nov. 7 election.

This backhanded maneuver is a call to action for all South Dakotans who supported the bold, moral direction their state legislative delegation was prepared to take. Those who love and treasure life are refusing to let this victory for values voters be lost without a fight.

They’ve got some pretty powerful ammunition. Even the victims of rape and incest say they don’t want abortions. That’s according to the Women Pregnant by Sexual Assault. The group has petitioned Congress and state legislatures asking for public hearings at which women who’ve become pregnant through sexual assault can share their stories and address the real concerns they have faced.

The group is concerned about the widespread misconception that sexual assault victims generally want or benefit from abortions. Members of Women Pregnant by Sexual Assault point to a statewide survey in South Dakota that recently found the proposed abortion ban would receive overwhelming support at the polls as long as it provided an exception for rape and incest cases. Without the exception, the ban is favored by only 39 percent, with 47 percent opposing it and 14 percent undecided.

If abortion does nothing to help women pregnant through sexual assault, and in many cases is actually detrimental to them, voters should be aware of this information before heading to the polls. The South Dakota poll results reflect voters’ desire to spare women the hardships typically associated with giving birth to a child conceived as the result of sexual assault.

There is little evidence to substantiate this perception. Only two published studies have actually tracked the choices and experiences of women who have become pregnant after rape or incest. They reach opposite conclusions. However, both studies found that approximately 70 percent of pregnant rape victims chose to give birth rather than have abortions, even though abortion was readily available.

Members of Women Pregnant by Sexual Assault are courageous to come forward. Perhaps if more people knew how victims felt about abortion, even in their dire circumstances, there would be less resistance to bans like the one at stake in South Dakota.

CMC members are encouraged to support Women Pregnant by Sexual Assault’s call for public hearings. A copy of the petition can be found in the booklet, “The Hard Cases: New Facts, New Answers,” which can be downloaded for free at


One Response to “Even Assault Victims Don’t Want Abortions”

  1. Cierra Jackson said

    I feel that women should not have an abortion because your killing a innocent human being. Your killing your own child and by getting and abortion you can die yourself so dont put your self at risk. just have the baby and put it up for adoption and no one will get hurt from that procedure so think about yourself and your kid dont kill what God has created because that guilt will live with you forever and ever until you die yourself and you would probably wonder what it was like to have a child

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