abortion (was complaining against spam OT)

Vandergraaf, Chuck (vandergraaft@aecl.ca)
Sun, 26 Jul 1998 21:56:33 -0400


A few comments about the issue that you've raised. We would probably all
agree that abortion is wrong and should be avoided. Rape presents a very
difficult situation. One can argue that raising a child that was conceived
as a results of a rape presents a host of difficulties (in your words "would
you be willing to raise the baby as your own flesh and blood") and aborting
it results in the other problems that you cite (emotional and psychological

I think that a decision would have to factor in the extent of support that
the mother can expect. A single mother who has been raped is not in the
same category as a happily married woman who can rely on family support and
the support of a faith community. Would not an option be that the baby be
"adopted" by that faith community in more ways than the usual intent? What
if the faith community took an active role in helping to raise the child,
help the mother (or the legal parents) financially and provide moral

Therefore, I think that, even though abortions should be avoided, a decision
should depend on the circumstances. For example, what should we have
advised the Serbian/Croatian woman who were raped by Croatian/Serbian
"soldiers" during the recent Balkan crisis? I honestly don't know, but
maybe we, in North America, are not asked to give advice to these
unfortunate victims of aggression (who have since then seem to have lost
their place in the media's limelight but still require our prayers!)

The question you've posed is a difficult one and one's answer will depend on
the circumstances. I can very piously state my opposition to abortion under
any circumstance, but if, God forbid!, my daughter was raped, I'm not so
sure I would have the same view at that time. Only through God's grace will
we be able to weather these storms.

As a bit of an aside, there seems to have been a sharpening of positions on
the sanctity of the unborn. Some 15 years or so ago, a good friend of ours
suspected that she was pregnant, but subsequently spontaneously aborted.
She already had four children and thought she was beyond her child bearing
years so the pregnancy came as a bit of a surprise. She went through a
grieving process, I'm sure, but there was never any discussion about a
funeral. This raises the question which I didn't have the heart to ask her,
"is it common to have funerals for spontaneously aborted fetuses?" If not,
why not, and what does that say about our views on the status of a fetus?

Finally, Mike, you have directed the question about abortion after rape to a
mainly male listing. You should direct the question also to a group of

Chuck Vandergraaf
Pinawa, MB