“My wife had an abortion after she was raped,” a husband outlined during a ministry conversation. “She often outlines that the abortion was a worse experience physically than the rape. Is that normal?”
Women who have experienced sexual abuse are often post-abortive. No matter what the reason for aborting, the physical, spiritual and emotional encounter of walking into an abortion clinic and allowing a child to be removed from your womb is rarely an easy experience. When sexual abuse has occurred, abortion can ignite further devastation to these wounded hearts.
This caller was not searching for post-abortion help for his wife. This couple was actually considering aborting their third child. Like many others, this spouse had little understanding of abortion’s impact on a mother’s heart. His heart was full of love for his children but the concept that an abortion would further wound his wife’s tender heart was enough for him to reject the idea.
When abortion was made legal in the late 60’s in several states, sexual abuse rates were not as high as in recent days. If a pre-teen came up pregnant, society would search and prosecute the man who had abused her. The pregnancy often revealed and ended the sexual abuse.
After the legalization of abortion, sexual abusers received a rare gift that allowed them to dispose of the evidence of their rape. These pedophiles understand that the DNA of a child born from rape can lead to long prison sentences. Abortion removes that DNA from existence, allowing them the horrifying freedom to continue their abusive ways.
Over the years I’ve heard the testimonies of hundreds of women who shared memories of early sexual abuse. Many recall their abuser taking them to a “clinic” but had no idea what happened to them there. They often outline they did not realize they were even pregnant. A sudden realization that they likely aborted children is an additional horror in processing their sexual abuse pain.
Whether they have been sexually abused or not, many women walking through an abortion procedure live out the passage of Scripture found in Isaiah 53:7 – He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.
Sexual trafficking ministries have long understood the connection between abortion and sexual abuse. For those caught in the web of sexual slavery, abortion is a well-used financial tool for traffickers. Those that escape that sexual imprisonment often report multiple forced abortion experiences.
Internationally, the connection between sexual abuse and abortion is even more obvious. I once addressed a conference for women who were running Central Asian sexual trafficking ministries. The previous year the event leaders had conducted a survey, asking if attendees had experienced abortion. Results from that study outlined the audience had a 100% post-abortion rate.
It was an honor to spend a week with many of these leaders, helping them find God’s healing for their abortion pain. Ramah then provided the entire group with post-abortion resources and tools to take back to their nations to help the women they serve process their abortion pain.
Sadly, even in pro-life circles, abortion after rape is often encouraged by those who are helping the sexually abused woman. During a time when these women need understanding and support, many feel pressured to abort by those who are attempting to protect them.
Bringing a child into the world under such circumstances often seems incomprehensible and wrong. Few understand that the abortion procedure itself can ignite and intensify sexual abuse agony. Thankfully, many adult children, conceived after a rape, are actively sharing their testimony. They are standing up to the mindset that aborting them would have been a “good” idea.
Most rape kits offered to sexually assaulted women include the “morning after pill.” This medication is designed to ensure pregnancy never occurs. Even taking this pill can cause further trauma as women have no idea if they lost a child. Many will grieve despite never knowing if a child was conceived.
Abortion is never a healing experience. After sexual abuse, it can ensure an even deeper wounding. If someone you know has experienced sexual abuse, there is a good chance abortion was part of that trauma. It isn’t wrong to ask them if abortion was part of their exploitation.
Thankfully, God can bring healing in any situation, even sexual abuse and abortion pain. Ramah International is here to help! Romans 5:5 outlines God’s ability to heal the hearts of His people – Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.