Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rape and unwanted pregnancies

Sometimes I think I really SHOULD take a break from reading the news. Specifically, anything that has to do with politics.

I say that because I think maybe the whole debate over "rape rarely resulting in a pregnancy" has affected me too much. When all that fuss happened and it was in the news, I just shrugged it off like I do most of the stupid ideas politicians throw around. But it turned into a BIG issue and soon everyone everywhere was talking about it. It got to the point where I didn’t so much fume over the idiocy of it all (because, YES, a pregnancy CAN result from a rape! Rape is STILL sex!), I got angry over how men thought they had the power to decide what a woman could and could not do with her body (since all of this had to do with the issue of birth control and abortions).

Well, I really think that was getting to me. Especially after what I read in a book yesterday.

In a book I am currently reading, a woman shared a story of how a man came to her house and told her she was pregnant. He also told her the baby would be a boy. The woman did not know if she was pregnant but, after this, she went to the doctor and he confirmed she was less than a month pregnant. This made me wonder if the woman had been trying to get pregnant – maybe she would have known? But what if she hadn’t been trying? What if she and her husband had not been having intercourse and she was not expecting to get pregnant? What if she had been impregnated without being aware of this?

Well, as a writer, I always wonder such things. “What if, what if.”

Then last night, I had a strange dream. I dreamed about a bunch of women who HAD been impregnated without their consent. Somehow or another, they had been impregnated, and all of them were about to give birth. But something was wrong; the babies weren’t right. The pregnancies had put them at a serious health risk and had made their bodies EXTREMELY sensitive to the touch.

And somehow I knew these babies had been created for the sole purpose of genetic testing. Whoever was in charge of all of this were going to use the babies for research and testing, and that some of them might not live. These people were not there, but the women’s families were with them and supporting them as they cried out in pain before delivery.

That dream was really creepy. But it was scary, too. These women had unwillingly become pregnant. And it made me think of how some women are forced to become pregnant when they don’t want to be pregnant – like through a rape, for example.

I know that some women would choose to abort the pregnancy that resulted from a rape, but not a lot of women would do this. Some of them CAN’T do this. I know I would not do this, but only because I’m pro-life. They say that a child should not be blamed for a rape. It’s not the baby’s fault if it is the result of a rape, and should not be punished by having its life ended. Of course, putting the baby up for adoption is a very good alternative, especially with so many women out there who CAN’T have children but want a baby so desperately.

The dream made me think about that, especially with that issue going on in the news. What happens when a woman is impregnated against her will? Is it better to keep the baby or give it up?

I thought about that a lot today, especially asking myself what I would do. It really is a personal decision. And because I come from a family with siblings from a different father, I would not be against keeping the baby. Some people might think this is a bad idea, because what if the kid grows up to be a rapist like Daddy? Are we able to break that cycle?

As far as I know, I don’t know anyone who is the product of a rape. I know of a fictional someone, though: Olivia Benson of Law & Order:SVU. Then I think about that and how maybe a child who is the result of a rape may actually grow up to be a good person. Maybe we CAN stop the cycle. Stop the damage.

Or, here’s an idea: Get to the root of the problem and make it easier for a woman to avoid becoming pregnant because of a rape. Make it possible for women to ensure that such a thing will not happen to them. I like that idea even better.

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