"You're a Rapist Lover!"

The stigma is real.

BY LAURA KLASSEN

Working in the pro-life movement, you build up a pretty thick skin when it comes to insults. We’ve been called lots of things: ‘women-haters’, ‘pro-birthers’, ‘religious bigots’, ‘old white men’, and a whole slew of quite creative profanities…but ‘rapist lover’ is a new one for us, and honestly it was a bit shocking.

A few weeks ago, Rebecca and I had a booth at the Rebel Live conference in Toronto. We’re not a political organization, but we were very grateful for the invitation – an opportunity to reach a different (most-likely supportive?) crowd.  It was a great day for us: we had many conversations with people, opening their eyes to Canada’s lack of abortion legislation, and spreading the word that CHOICE42 exists to aid Canadian women facing unplanned pregnancy, and to help those dealing with post-abortion problems.

Laura and Rebecca at the conference.

Laura and Rebecca at the conference.

We had a screen on our table playing three of our videos on a loop and one of those videos was ‘Louise’s Story.’ Louise is an amazing young woman we met less than a year ago. Louise was brave enough to share her story with the entire world: she was raped and she became pregnant. Louise’s reasons for choosing life are simple: she recognized that the baby growing within her was a human being…and that baby was innocent.

A very small elderly lady was watching our video and she was getting noticeably upset. She came forward and said, “If my daughter was raped and she got pregnant, she’d be aborting that rapist baby! We wouldn’t raise no rapist’s baby! You’re a rapist lover!” She stormed off before we could get a word in. (Judging from her intense response to the video, I am wondering if she may have had an experience with that very situation.)

Just to set the record straight, no I am not a 'rapist lover'. Rape is a horrific act of violence against a woman and the rapist should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. That said, abortion does not 'un-rape' a woman, rather it only adds more violence to an already violent act. I have seen the harsh effects abortion has on women both mentally and physically. It may also shock you to know that I have heard from quite a few women now who chose abortion after rape who have said that in their mind, the abortion was worse than the rape. Why? Because unlike the rape, the abortion was their choice and they feel responsible for the loss of their child's life. And that is a heavy guilt to live with.

And then there's the child. Are you responsible for the manner of your conception? Neither is a child conceived in rape. A woman cannot legally kill her rapist, so why can she kill the innocent child? That baby is not guilty of his/her father's crime.

So back to the upset lady at the conference. What struck me from this interaction, and from the response to ‘Louise’s Story’ in general, is that the stigma is real. I had heard that this was true from pro-life allies such as Rebecca Kiessling, but not having experienced this myself, I hadn’t realized how harsh our society’s stance is: there is a HUGE stigma against women who choose life for their babies conceived in rape, and against people who were conceived in rape.

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German born sociologist and historian Gerhard Falk wrote:

"All societies will always stigmatize some conditions and some behaviors because doing so provides for group solidarity by delineating "outsiders" from "insiders".

 

The comments on our social media alone confirm that our society views women like Louise as ‘outsiders’, and that ideology extends to their rape-conceived children.  Being called a ‘rapist lover’ to my face at a conference is one thing. Living each and every day as a young single mother who chose life for her baby conceived in rape in a society that stigmatizes her, is another. It’s unfair and awful and a weight no young woman deserves.

In reality, women who are raped and choose life for their children should be hailed as heroes. We, as a society should be helping and supporting them in every way we can, rather than shaming and bullying them.

Hero Cassie chose life for her daughter conceived in a brutal rape. Read her story here.

Hero Cassie chose life for her daughter conceived in a brutal rape. Read her story here.

So let’s work on this. Louise, Cassie, Nyllia, Gail, Karin, and so many others deserve a life of support and dignity... and so do their children.

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