Fighting for Moms and Babies Conceived in Rape
By Juda Myers
People looked shocked when I tell them what I do. Seems like moms and babies of rape conception get lost in the world. While moms who are pregnant find help through pregnancy centers there was no organization that I knew of specifically tackling the issues of rape conception from the mom’s viewpoint. My own mother having been raped by eight men was my inspiration to help others like her. She never filed charges and didn’t even tell anyone until she learned she was pregnant. She was scared and like every other mom I’ve talked to, she didn’t think anyone would believe her. Sadly her own mother didn’t believe her and in 1957 long before abortion was legal my grandmother suggested I be destroyed. My mother refused, telling the doctor “You will not take care of it. it is my baby!” So thanks to a Catholic priest and a Methodist minister she was helped and I was placed for adoption. My mother even at 78 cried remembering that her mother never did believe her.
As I spoke around the country and even in South Africa I came to realize my mother was not an isolated case. Too many were telling me that they were abused by people instead of seen as a victim when they chose to carry their baby to term. Insults like “you must have wanted it” and “no one wants a rape baby” were constant. One fourteen year girl was even insulted by doctors and when her mom fired the doctor he retaliate. He spread the word that this girl was a “wild child” and wasn’t raped but simply trying to save her reputation! She was far into her pregnancy and no other doctor wanted to take her. She delivered prematurely and thankfully the doctor on duty was a compassionate one. He took very good care of her. But after she returned to school she was insulted and harassed. Her parents’ home was spray painted. The prejudice against a rape victim that chooses life is beyond understanding. Another young girl gave birth at thirteen by her stepfather and was ridiculed in stores where she shopped for baby food. Her principal even said “we don’t want her kind here” to her mother.
Babies are targeted for execution and the rapists go free. This is outrageous. And I had to do something about it. It never gets old seeing the relief in a girl’s eyes to know she isn’t alone and someone believes her. One young mom was overwhelmed to have a baby shower for her rape conceived son. Society doesn’t want to celebrate babies like me or that girl’s son. But we are no different from any other baby born and we grow and need love just like any other human. These precious moms will always hold a special place in my heart and seeing them rise above their trauma is the most amazing moment. When a girl/woman is able to stop the lies in her head she starts to live again.
How is it that a prostitute can choose life and she is applauded as she should but when a woman chooses life after rape she is attacked? Even amongst people saying they are prolife there are those who suggest abortion after rape. Why? The stigma and rhetoric is taken for granted and no one questions if the mother wants her baby. One pregnancy center sonographer kept saying the baby was too big for the date the girl gave. This young woman was on the verge of tears because she had been with no one and knew absolutely that she became pregnant on that specific date she was raped. I stood up for her. Babies aren’t all the same size and this baby was born with a larger than normal head. But why try to argue with a rape victim as if she weren’t raped? Women don’t want to say they are raped. Oh sure there are those very few that may say that but the majority of women who are raped would rather just not say it because they know they’ll be attacked. One young woman told me “I’d rather be thought of as a whore than to NOT be believed I was raped.” My heart breaks and pushes me harder to end the prejudice.
My goal is to turn the tide of opinion about children placed in a mother’s womb after rape. A victim must not be victimized again by society. Society owes every woman who chooses life after rape respect for the hero she is. The rapist is the criminal not the woman or the baby. I want to give every woman pregnant by rape the opportunity to heal and move on in her life without having to fight society all along the way. That’s why I work full time without pay to give them hope and to change society. I may not convince everyone but it is thrilling to hear even men ask for forgiveness for thinking abortion was necessary in case of rape. I love hearing people thinking out loud saying “I never really thought about it. I was wrong going along with the exceptions.” People assume mothers won’t want their baby but as truth permeates society lives will be transformed. Please tell others what you’ve learned if you are reading this as a person who is/was not pregnant after rape.
Martin Luther King Jr. said he had a dream. Well so do I. My dream is that all life born and unborn will be valued, not for what they can do for society or how they were conceived but simply for being human. I dream of a world where victims are comforted and criminals- instead of babies- are stopped.
If you feel compelled to stop the injustice against mothers and children of rape conception please join with me in the fight. Become a partner. Your donations and your time are greatly needed. Contact us now.