I was raped. I’m pregnant. Now what?

You were raped.  A horrible injustice was done to you that you bear no responsibility for. Although it is done, and cannot be undone, you have survived a violent assault….you have survived it!  And right now you are taking steps to get information and help to move forward and to the right thing.

Having an abortion is an attempt to deny the rape.  But denial is never an effective or successful therapy for any hurt or injustice.  Denial is never a remedy for healing.  Denial absolutely never works.  Eventually, the truth must be faced.  Only truth, however difficult the truth is, will let you feel normal again, because only truth brings healing and peace.  You have the strength to follow your heart and protect your unborn.  YOU are the one who is in control now, and you can do it!  Just look at you!  You have survived a violent assault….you have SURVIVED it!  And right now you are taking steps to get help and to do the right thing for yourself for your unborn child.  How courageous you are!  You may not feel very strong right now, but you ARE strong!  You may feel alone right now….but you are not alone!  There are loving, compassionate people who want to help you.  You deserve help!

An abortion has psychological factors that are very significant.  When you are the one who has been deeply hurt (as in rape), love, compassion, and time will heal the wound.  This healing will come because you are innocent of any guilt.  However, when you are the one who deliberately hurts another person (as in ending a life through an abortion), that pain is more serious and more difficult to heal.    This type of emotional pain doesn’t go away easily.

Abortion, the death of the life growing within you, will not undo the rape.  It will not undo the memory of the rape.  It will not take away the hatred you feel for your rapist.

This new life can’t be blamed for the violent act of her father.  Furthermore, this life is also a part of YOU! …. half of her 46 chromosomes come from you.  YOU are the mother of this new life.  You are an innocent, unique, and precious human being.  This embryo is depending on you, her mother, to realize that she too is also an innocent, unique, and precious human being, just like her mother. But that doesn’t mean that your future will be awful.  It does mean that your strength of character is definitely being challenged right now. The decision you make about your unborn will determine whether you grow stronger from your situation, or whether you will suffer life-long pain and regret from your decision.

Rape is a horrible assault on a woman — it is so horrible, that at first it seems easy to transfer the horror of the assault to the new life within you.  It is true that this life is part of a vile rapist.  But, if you really think about it….how can this innocent life be responsible for anything bad, offensive, or hateful?  No one is guilty for the offenses of his or her parent.

You have the strength to follow your heart.  You are in control now.  This life has your DNA, your genes, your characteristics.  You ARE a survivor who is moving forward with courage.  You may not feel strong or courageous right now, but you are!  This strength and courage gives you the power to take back the control over your life.

Fact Sheet:

Better outcomes among women who don’t abort.

  • 70% had their babies, and none regretted their decision.
  • 78% of those who aborted had regrets and said that abortion was the wrong solution.1

A survey of women who’ve had a sexual assault pregnancy revealed that many only aborted because they felt pressured, and that abortion only increased their grief and trauma.1

Assault cases have higher risk of complications.

The more difficult the circumstances prompting abortion, the more likely a woman will suffer severe post-abortion problems.2

Sexual assault is a known risk factor for post-abortion problems.2

Other risks of abortion include:

  • 31% suffer health complications
  • 65% suffer symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Higher death rates from all causes
  • Suicide rates are 6 times higher3

“Victims and Victors”

Victims and Victors: Speaking Out About Their Pregnancies, Abortions, and Children Resulting From Sexual Assault includes research and testimonies from women who had sexual assault pregnancies. Order from Acorn Books: 1-888-412-2676.

“Forced Abortion in America”

  • Assault victims often report that someone else made the abortion decision for them. The pressure to abort can escalate to violence or even murder.4
  • Teens have been taken to clinics for forced abortions and returned to their rapists.1
  • 64% of women surveyed after abortion report feeling pressured into unwanted abortions.5
  • For research, headlines and stories of coercion and abortion-related violence, download “Forced Abortion in America,” and other resources and fact sheets at www.theunchoice.com/resources.htm.
  • 1. Victims and Victors (Springfield, IL: Acorn Books, 2000) 19-22. 2. Reardon, “Abortion Decisions and the Duty to Screen,” J. Contemporary Health Law and Policy 20(1):109,

    Winter 2003. 3. See the “Research and Key Facts” booklet at www.theunchoice.com/resources.htm. 4. See the special report “Forced Abortions in America,” at

    www.theunchoice.com/resources. 5. VM Rue et. al., “Induced abortion and traumatic stress: A preliminary comparison of American and Russian women,” Medical Science

    Monitor 10(10): SR5-16, 2004.

    Sexual Assault, edited by David C. Reardon, Julie Makimaa and Amy Sobie (Acorn Books, 2000) p. 124-126.Victims and Victors (Springfield, Acorn Books, 2000) 19-20.

    You Tube testimony to Committee including research outcomes of pregnant post-rape women who aborted vs those who gave birth:

    Rebecca Kiessling shares her story and urges Senators to support HB 1450 before a North Dakota Judiciary committee:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRiD6MMFDDo

    • You have survived.
    • You are in control.
    • You are strong.
    • You can protect the life growing within you.
    • You are not alone.

    There are caring, compassionate people who want to offer the help you deserve.

    Related Questions:

    • Are abortion clinics safe?
    • Are abortions painful?
    • Are there studies comparing abortion vs birth options following a post-rape pregnancy?
    • How are abortions done?
    • What is post-abortion syndrome?
    • What risks are there if I choose to have an abortion?