A Rape Survivor Adds Her Voice to the Abortion Discussion

Occasionally, being interrupted can be a good thing and this is one of those times. We’re almost halfway through a nine part series called “Chauvinism, Rape, & the Separation of Church and State: Answering Questions About Abortion,” but this post isn’t technically in the series. It addresses the same issue, the rape exception in particular, but it’s unique because it wasn’t written by me.

Back in October, Tiny Fey gave a speech to the Center for Reproductive Rights where she said, “if I have to listen to one more gray-faced man with a $2 haircut explain to me what rape is, I’m going to lose my mind.” She was referencing the tactless way Todd Akin attempted to articulate a weakness with the rape exception argument, but she spoke of a deeper undercurrent that drives this issue.

I’ve had the idea expressed directly to me, that I should remain silent about abortion because I’m a male. While I fundamentally disagree with that idea on multiple levels, there’s no replacing the strength and beauty of a woman speaking out against abortion. Which leads me to this powerful message.

Cassi is a woman. You’re about to read her response to Tina Fey, and as you’ll read, Cassi is also a rape survivor. Not only that, she also leads a ministry to people with disabilities which I think is awesome. You can learn more about her from her blog, Treasure the Rain. I’ve added a link to what you’re about to read at the end of the article I wrote about the rape exception, but you can read the entirety of her powerful words here. Now.

Response to Tina Fey {In That I Am Not A Gray-Faced Man With A $2 Haircut}

This post isn’t likely to gain me any friends. But it’s one of those that has been bouncing around in my head (and on my heart) for quite some time. I sit down in hopes of writing something else–anything else–but I just can’t get around this thing.So I apologize in advance.I know this is going to offend some of you.  Feelings will be hurt; tempers may flare.

And I’m sorry for that.

I am not sorry for writing it though.

Truth be told–I will be feeling the same hurt and anger as I type these words.

Here goes….

“If I have to listen to one more gray-faced man with a two-dollar haircut explain to me what rape is, I’m gonna lose my mind!” –Tina Fey

Rape is inexcusable.  It’s disgusting.  Under no circumstances are there any exceptions to that fact.

Rape hurts the victim and the victim’s family.  Likely for the rest of her life she will experience the effects of being brutalized in this most horrific way.

Rape is a crime that should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.  Every time.

Without exception.

But who should be punished for this horrific crime?  The rapist.

End of story.

Rape shatters hearts–crushes spirits.  Rape makes it extremely difficult to experience real intimacy for a long, long time…if ever.  Rape steals innocence, leaving anxiety in its wake.

Please know that I hear you on these things.

So does my husband and everyone else who has chosen to love me.

I have a hard time remembering without crying.  A hard time writing these words without wanting to throw up.  But can I just tell you that through that absolute most traumatic experience I have ever had….God had a plan!  Rape was not His plan but from the beginning of time He knew how He would use it.

That is what I believe Richard Mourdock was saying.

Here’s the thing, my rape did not result in a pregnancy.  But it did set forth a chain of events in which I found myself giving birth to a precious baby boy at the age of 15. And while I was not violently assaulted by my son’s father, I was taken advantage of, emotionally/psychological abused and manipulated, lied to, stolen from, threatened….for years.  The time I spent with him is in close competition with the time I spent with my rapist (wow.  hardest two words I’ve ever put together).

Obviously my son is a reminder of the time I spent with his abusive father.  But that is NOT who he is.  He does not deserve to be punished in any way for the pain I suffered as a result of the actions of his father.  He is one of my greatest joys.  A life created so intentionally, with a PURPOSE, a perfect blessing.

We have to stop telling girls who have just experienced the horror of rape that ending their babies lives will make the hurt go away.  It absolutely will not.

As I write this, tears flow, but not for my own painful memories.  My heart hurts for the girl out there RIGHT NOW carrying a child in her belly, no one loving her enough to tell her the truth.

And then be there for her no matter her choice.

I am not writing this to bring shame to any woman who has chosen abortion.  I am not claiming to know anything about the road that led her to that point. I don’t. But what I do know is that from great pain can come great blessing. There are options.  Options that don’t require ending a life.

If you truly do not think that abortion ends a life, this post is not for you.  I believe there is overwhelming evidence in support of that….but I am not sharing today in hopes of convincing anyone.  

I’m speaking to those who believe abortion is wrong, except in cases such as rape. I cannot wrap my mind around exceptions in this case. If it’s not murder, it’s not murder…and should be allowed no matter the circumstance.

Likewise, if abortion is taking the life of another human being and not an acceptable option when a baby would simply be an “inconvenience”…it’s not an acceptable option no matter the circumstance.

Rape does not justify murder.

And I feel like I can say that because I am not a “gray-faced man with a $2 haircut”.

-Cassi

(Note:  I chose to use female pronouns for this post; however I am well aware that men can also be victims of rape.  My intention was not to ignore that fact.)

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3 comments

  1. Ryan, I finally have gotten caught up in reading all your blogs on this, as you say, “intense” subject. Being in the professional sector which deals directly with some of the issues you addressed has made me think long and hard about the overall consideration of abortion. You are correct in that the act of rape is by far a very traumatic experience for any person, whether female or male. Your points of addressing the issue, and which is greatly expressed with Cassi’s post, that having an abortion never makes the victim’s pain go away is completely true from my professional prospective.

    I do not claim to be any kind of expert in the subject area, but I have, in my career, had to deal with the issue of rape several times. I have often thought, “What will she do if she’s pregnant?” I have not addressed the question with the individual, but the thought has silently crossed my mind.

    In the issue of adoption, I myself, have seen this miracle of God’s divine intervention. My own family has been touched by this as my older brother’s son was adopted. I remember when the process was taking place and my brother and sister-in-law were filled with excitement and some worry at the same time fearing the young lady may not want to give up her child. Even though her situation, as I understand it, was do to an unwanted pregnancy at that time, God was able to intervene and make a positive result from a ill advised decision in premarital sex. (Going back to your point of passing judgment on others as compared to being judgmental)

    It is on this point I greatly appreciated your point about other options in the realm of, let’s say, “unprepared” pregnancies. Even though, through the technology of modern medicine allowed the chance for my sister-in-law to have a child later, there is no misunderstanding of the joy my nephew brought to my family with his birth and adoption. I consider the decision the young mother made that day was, and forever will be, one of confidence and maturity on her part. She may have considered, I’m sure, the “alternative” and yet, chose life. My nephew has not always made the best decisions, as none of us do, but I have seen him grow into a productive young man that has earned his degree and will, with no doubt in my mind, add to the positive existence of the world. I also had the sheer pleasure of God directing me to lead him to a personal decision to follow Christ and for that I will always consider my part in his life as special.

  2. Ryan – I am blessed that you felt my post was worth sharing. I apologize for not responding/commenting sooner….this was a tough thing for me to write about and I (unexpectedly) found myself needing to step back for a bit. I’ve read through your previous posts on the topic and want to express my gratitude for your courage in speaking up for those who can’t always speak for themselves!

  3. Ryan – I am blessed that you felt my post was worth sharing. I apologize for not responding/commenting sooner…this was a tough thing for me to write about and I (unexpectedly) found myself needing to step back for a bit. I’ve read through your previous posts on the topic and want to express my gratitude for your courage in speaking up for those who can’t always speak for themselves!

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