To “Anonymous”

The other day I received a comment from an anonymous person on a post I wrote back in February, which you can read here (be sure to read the comment as well).  It was rather mean and vindictive, and my first reaction was just to delete it.  I’ve decided to address it instead because, quite simply, the more I thought about it, the more the comment made me sick.  If I’m brave enough to put my views out there into the blogosphere, then I should be able to defend them when they are attacked.   

To “Anonymous”:

I don’t know who you are, or whether I know you personally or not.  Apparently you didn’t have the guts to write a comment like that publicly.  I’m going to take the higher ground and address your comment…publicly.

I don’t know where you got the idea that I support rapists’ rights.  In the post you commented on, I only mentioned rape twice, and very briefly.  I think that rape is a terrible, despicable thing that no woman should ever have to go through.  Unfortunately, there are some very evil people in this world who should be locked up forever.  Sadly, many times our government doesn’t realize this until its too late, after many women have already become their victims.

I fully agree that no woman is deserving of such an unspeakable crime, nor should she have to bear any further “punishment” for something that was not her fault.  That being said, I know without a doubt that, should I ever be in the situation of finding myself pregnant due to rape, I would keep the baby and either put it up for adoption or raise it myself.  I would never, ever choose an abortion.
The crux of the matter goes beyond merely thinking that “two wrongs don’t make a right”.  Instead, it is found in the fact that a life, no matter the circumstances of its conception, is still a life.  A baby is still a baby.

You referred to a woman carrying a baby conceived through rape as a woman forced to “contaminate their family gene pool with the genetically damaged spawn of the criminal”.  Frankly, this made me sick to my stomach.  Why on earth is a baby conceived through rape “genetically damaged” or “contaminating” to a gene pool?  Yes, the father is a monster who should be locked up for the rest of his life, but how does that make the baby a monster as well? 

If we are solely the product of our genetics, then what hope does that give any of us?  Where does nurture come in (versus just nature)?  I certainly am not my parents, and would resent anyone who tried to state what the course of my life will be based on their lives.  Furthermore, why bother to parent, discipline, or teach, if our children are destined to be exactly what their DNA is coded to be?
Yes, genetics plays a role.  It determines what we’ll look like, what our talents will be, and if we’ll find school easy or hard.  It certainly gives us a tendency towards certain things (eg., a quick temper, shyness, poor public speaking skills), but how we are raised and the choices we make in our life play a much bigger role.
I have two sisters that were adopted and who, quite frankly, could tell you story-after-story about the kind of scum-bags their biological parents were…and I’m talking despicable stuff.  Does that make them somehow inferior to those who had “good” parents?  Does that mean that they themselves are “despicable”?  Perhaps, because their parents were such awful people, they should be “done away” with too, just like the “genetically damaged spawn” you speak of.  I highly doubt you would think this, though.  Why?  Because they are people who are living and breathing, who have the right to their life.  Yet, so does the tiny baby in my womb.       

If it is not genetics that makes a baby conceived in rape “genetically damaged”, then I can only conclude that you are speaking of the way in which they were conceived.  If our conception is what defines us, then we’re all in big trouble.  Most of us probably don’t even know the circumstances of our conception…do we need to go ask our parents in order to verify our validity as a life, as one who is not “genetically damaged”?  If our lives, and our rights, are defined by our conception, then does that make the child conceived out of a one night stand any less worthy than the child conceived out of an act of love in solid, committed marriage? 

What about the babies conceived in rape who are kept?  Once they are born, are they any less worthy of love and respect than any other baby?  Do they not have them same right to life and the “pursuit of happiness”, or must they live their entire lives being told that they are “genetically damaged spawn” that their mother should have “ripped out” of herself…that they are merely the “damage” from rape? 

Rape isn’t fair.  It’s not fair to have to experience a violent sexual assault, nor is it fair to become pregnant through no choice of your own, and through such a terrible act notwithstanding.  Yet, it also isn’t fair to the baby to “rid yourself” of its tiny life.  It isn’t fair to let a baby, who relies on you alone for nurture and protection, to die unwanted, unloved, and uncared for…as the “genetically damaged spawn” of a rapist. 

A woman who makes the brave choice to save the life within her, despite the circumstances of its conception, does not walk an easy road.  She will bear pain and suffering that she shouldn’t have to.  She will have to make the choice to give the baby up for adoption or raise it herself.  She will, no doubt, experience criticism and pressure from those around her…perhaps even those she loves most.  Yes, the baby within her will be a constant reminder of the horrible act committed against her.  Yet, she will do so with the knowledge that she is doing what she must to safe the tiny and, yes, precious, life within her…giving it the chance that only she can give.  Nobody said it would be easy, but we are women and we are endowed with a strength that no man could ever possess.

“Anonymous”, I don’t know who you are or what your background is.  I don’t know what kind of pain you’ve experienced in your life, or if you’ve ever gotten to experience the miracle of carrying a child within your womb.  What I can tell you is that the tiny life that you may call an “embryo” or a “fetus” is a life.  I’ve seen it with my own eyes!  I’ve seen a baby the size of a lima bean kick and flail around…and I’ve heard his little heart clearly beating. 

I am no supporter of rapists rights.  As for rapists trying to claim paternity of a child, I believe that no rapist should be given any parental rights, and that he should instead be locked up for the rest of his life.  Yet, neither do I believe that that child is merely “genetically damaged spawn”.  Saving the life conceived out of such an evil act as rape is not letting the rapist “win”.  Instead, it is rising above what he has done and saving the helpless, innocent life within you.  (And, yes, I said innocent…a baby should not be punished for the crimes of his parents).  Making the bold choice to keep a baby conceived out of rape is taking what the rapist, and Satan, meant for evil, and turning it into miraculous good.

2 thoughts on “To “Anonymous”

  1. Wow. Really Caitlin….wow. I am in utter amazement of your amazing ability to articulate all this. GREAT points you bring up. I was also shocked at the comments left. I feel bad that people feel this way and my heart goes out to this person. Hopefully they have not actually had to go through these things. Thanks for sharing all this.

  2. My heart goes out to that commenter. It sounds like she might have had some bad experiences.
    I can't imagine how traumatic it must be to become pregnant as a victim of rape, but I would like to think that I would never consider abortion.

    Becoming pregnant myself has really brought the abortion laws back to me in a more real way. I can feel my baby kicking away and saw her rubbing her face at the scan this week, and yet she is still just considered a 'bundle of cells' which could be aborted if I chose. How can that be? Ugh.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing this post. You have a real gift – this is amazingly well written.

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