Friday, August 15, 2008

I know I made the right decision...

'Elizabeth' was sixteen when she was dragged into the back of a van by three men and gang raped. Some time later, when the police investigation had petered out, she realised she was pregnant. Everyone except her mother felt strongly that she should have an abortion and reacted with horror when she expressed her wish to carry the child to term. However, in her own words:
'Everyone, save for mum, thought I should have an abortion. 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.

One of the most shocking aspects to Elizabeth's story was the hostility she had to bear from members of her own community, particularly members of her church. Many of them appear not to have realised she had been raped and dismissed her as a 'silly teenager', condemning her when they should have been offering support. Even those who knew the terrible ordeal she had suffered appear to have been horrified that she refused an abortion rather than saluting her courage.

The abortion lobby is very good at using the suffering of rape victims to further their own agenda, whilst young women like Elizabeth who challenge assumptions about the 'hard cases' are simply ignored. Her final words on the subject are particularly moving. When asked what she will tell her daughter if she asks about her father, she says:

'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.'