by Colin Mason and Steven W. Mosher
There is no tragedy that the abortion movement does not seek to turn to its own advantage.
Consider the case of a young girl in Quintana Roo, Mexico, who was raped by her supposed stepfather and impregnated at the tender age of 10. After the girl's mother belatedly notified the authorities, she is now, at nearly 18 weeks of pregnancy, receiving proper medical care. The offending rapist has since been arrested.
We should all decry the horrific sexual abuse that led to this pregnancy. But the abortion movement, led by radical feminists, wants to go further. They claim that the girl should be given an abortion, even though the Mexican state in which she lives, Quintana Roo, forbids all abortions after 90 days gestation. The underlying problem here, they insist, is that Mexican girls are not properly informed of their “right” to an abortion in case of rape before 90 days gestation, and that they are not allowed to receive one after that point. According to them, Mexico's abortion laws must be relaxed.
According to CNN, which in its story on this child rape only interviewed abortion advocates (See CNN s coverage of the story):
“This girl is much more than an isolated case," said Adriana Ortiz-Ortega, a researcher at Mexico's National Autonomous University who has written two books on abortion in Mexico, "and there is much more influence now from conservative groups that are trying to prevent the legalization of abortion.”…
Child protective services officials in Quintana Roo said in a statement last week that the girl and the fetus were in good health.
But Quintana Roo state legislator Maria Hadad said the girl's doctors aren't telling the whole story. She said continuing the pregnancy could cause severe mental and physical health problems for the girl. "It's not just a high-risk pregnancy. It's a pregnancy that puts the girl at risk," Hadad told Mexican broadcaster Channel 10 in Chetumal, Mexico.
This girl has surely been horrifically damaged by what has been done to her, but will subjecting her to an abortion—as Maria Hadad advocates—somehow begin to “repair” this damage? Obviously not, as any person who is truly concerned about the welfare of the girl would conclude. It would only add tragedy to tragedy. And why would Hadad attack the girl's doctors, going so far as to suggest that they may be involved in a cover up? The reason is that Hadad and others like her are not the least bit concerned about the girl as a person. The victim is only a political tool, whose pain can be commoditized to advocate the legalization of abortion on demand. That there is another tiny person involved does not even enter into their calculations.
The political gamesmanship around this case distracts the public from the underlying problem: the family breakdown and pedophilia that allowed a young girl to not only be raped, but also impregnated by her supposed “step-father.”
According to Christine De Vollmer, president of the Latin American Alliance for the Family, a girl this young was unlikely to become pregnant from a single instance of rape. It is common, De Vollmer said, for “everybody to live in the same little house and sleep in the same bed. And of course all kinds of things happen there, unfortunately including to children. As the bodies of these little girls are stimulated, they begin to ovulate and become pregnant at some point.” As far as the so-called “stepfather” is concerned, this is often just a man who lives in the home with the mother and her children, “without any serious commitment.”
According to De Vollmer, the legalization of abortion will only serve to further enable child rape, since “the visible consequences (of rape) will be taken away. It would be more objective, engaging, and caring to prevent or correct these very common and dangerous situations of promiscuity to young girls before it's too late. How can politicians rend their garments over these pregnancies and at the same time turn a blind eye to the sexual abuse that goes on daily in broken homes? If nothing is done to stop the abuse, it can only end in pregnancy.”
Carlos Polo, head of PRI's Latin American office, noted to CNA that the abortion lobbyists are using such tragedies to advance abortion on demand. These activists are “absolute vultures,” who seize upon such cases for their propaganda value, arguing that only way to save the lives of women and girls in such circumstances is to “legalize so-called ‘therapeutic abortion.’” Polo said to PRI that “they care nothing about the girl herself, and abandon her as soon as they are done using her.”
The proper approach to such tragedies involves a consistent ethic of life. The crime of abortion cannot cancel out the crime of rape, as the radical feminists in effect argue. The rape can never be undone, nor can the girl ever return to her prior innocent state.
Yet the innocent human life inside her womb—however sad the circumstance under which it was conceived—can be preserved and protected, as well as the girl herself.
Only a consistent ethic of life will insist on the right of prepubescent girls not to be sexually abused; at the same time it will trumpet the right of a tiny unborn human to live.
Any other position betrays them both.
Colin Mason is the Director of Media Production at Population Research Institute.
Steven W. Mosher is the President of the Population Research Institute.