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Published On: Thu, Apr 16th, 2015

Data hasn’t changed: abortions due to rape and incest is 1% or less

photo Danielle Catrett White

photo Danielle Catrett White

The abortion debate never seems to avoid the challenging questions of whether an opponent of abortion would allow the procedure in the case of rape or incest.

Dating back to the late-1980s, the statistics on the occurrence of rape and incest leading to an abortion is 1% or less. Even with those victims, most claim abortion was a mistake and was more traumatizing than the sexual assault.

“…in a 1987 survey by the Alan Guttmacher Institute in which abortion patients were asked why they were having an abortion, only 1 percent of the 1,900 women questioned named rape or incest. And 95 percent of those who mentioned rape or incest named other reasons as well for deciding to abort, the institute said,” reported the NY Times in 1989.

Operation Rescue, a pro-life group, used data from  www.census.gov, www.guttmacher.org, www.foxnews.com and discovered the number has never changed.

Here’s the findings:

“Women who have never been married account for one-third of abortions in America.

• Less than 1% of all abortions take place because of rape and/or incest.

Women give an average of 3.7 reasons why they are seeking an abortion including the following:

• 21% Inadequate finances
• 21% Not ready for responsibility
• 16% Woman’s life would be changed too much
• 12% Problems with relationships, unmarried
• 11% Too young and/or immature
• 8% Children are grown; she has all she wants
• 3% Baby has possible health problems
• <1% Pregnancy caused by rape/incest
• 4% Other

Back to the Times article: “In a separate 1979 analysis, when federally financed abortions were available in cases of rape or incest or where the pregnancy threatened the woman’s life or physical health, the institute said that a total of 3,675 women had abortions paid for by Federal money. But the institute said that it knew which category qualified only 2,444 of the women, and of these, 72 were eligible because of rape or incest.”

Roe v Wade pro life poster generation abortionJust under 3% in 1979, arguably the time when a woman would need to cite rape/incest to get an abortion paid for…just 3%.

The Elliot Institute, a non-profit that runs the website afterabortion.org, has asked women and, in fact, supports the women in their quest to be heard by Congress, the Democratic and Republican National Committees, and the media.

Thirty-eight women signed an open letter, hoping that one day they would be heard by policymakers about what they have experienced and what they need.

The letter states in part:

Our experiences are varied. Many of us carried our pregnancies to term. Some of us raised or are raising our children, while others placed our children in adoptive homes. Others of us had abortions. In many cases, we felt pressured to abort by family members, social workers, and doctors who insisted that abortion was the “best” solution. For many the abortion caused physical and emotional trauma equal to or exceeding the trauma of the sexual assault that our abortions were supposed to “cure.”

We are the only ones who can bear witness to our real experiences and our real needs. How long will you refuse to listen to us?

In the Elliot Institute’s fact sheet, The Hard Cases: New Facts. New Answers, some of the women make powerful and moving points.

“Why do even pro-lifers talk about exceptions for rape and incest as if that is a way to have ‘compassion’ for the mother? If you really want to be compassionate … give this mother the opportunity to choose life.” — Denise, Incest Victim, Victim of a Forced Abortion

“I feel personally assaulted and insulted every time I hear that abortion should be legal because of rape and incest … We’ve not been asked to tell our side of the story.” — Kathleen DeZeeuw, Rape Survivor, Mother

The Elliot Institute surveyed 192 women who conceived during a rape or incest (164 women were raped and 28 were victims of incest). Of those victims, 69 percent carried the baby to term and either raised the child or made an adoption plan, 29 percent had an abortion, and 1.5 percent had a miscarriage.

They found that nearly 80 percent of the women who aborted said that abortion was the wrong solution; 43 percent of these women said they felt pressure to abort from family members or health workers. In that same survey, 80 percent of the women who carried their babies to term were happy with their decision, and not one of the women who gave birth to a baby conceived during a sexual assault regretted it.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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