Abortion and Rape

I found this story in my newsfeed and was intrigued by the implications: What if pregnancy is not insult added to injury in the case of rape, but a “gift” (to be kept or lovingly given to someone else). The Bible doesn’t label all things good–far from it–but it does say that God can “work all things together for good” (Romans 8:28), even in the midst of evil. Can of worms? Needed discussion? Or both? Your thoughts? This story is condensed. (To read the full version, click here).

“This Baby Is Gift from God” Declares a 14-year-old Girl Raped in Her Parents’ Basement


P.J grew up in a military family and with very protective parents who weren’t typically the kind to let their kids hang out with just anybody. However, on one occasion the teen’s friends invited P.J to hang out with a boy from the military who was home for Christmas leave and her parents were comfortable with that.

P.J.’s friends got together in her parents’ basement, and P.J. was then raped right in front of several over people who all remained silent about what actually happened.

The truth about what had happened in the family’s basement came out five months later after P.J. found out that she was pregnant. P.J.s parents were horrified and felt a sense of guilt and shame about the whole situation, and P.J.s mom, Angela, admittedly considered taking their daughter to get an abortion:

“I really thought I would take her to terminate the pregnancy,” Angela explains. “I was pro-life but with exceptions. I didn’t want to do that, but I was always told it was the thing to do in the case of forcible rape. My husband, however, said he couldn’t have anything to do with the death of a child. That it was still a human life. Everywhere we went, friends and religious people were very adamant that we should terminate.”

Angela struggled continuously with what happened and was completely and utterly at a loss of how to best care for her daughter. Many close friends and family members were encouraging her to help P.J. terminate the pregnancy, but her husband, Doug, was encouraging the opposite. Angela was reminded of her own experience with abortion.

“In college, I got pregnant and I went to a health clinic. I was 24 weeks, and I had an abortion. My mother forced me to because she didn’t want to be embarrassed by my poor choices. We never spoke about it again. I have never gotten over it.”

Not wanting to repeat past mistakes and [force] P.J. to suffer with [the] regret that she was forced to experience every day of her life, Angela came to the realization that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen. A friend called Angela and referred her to Trisha, who runs a Birthright [counseling center]. She begged her to take P.J. there before they made any decisions:

“Trisha was the first person to say it was going to be okay. She was the first person who actually encouraged us to keep [the baby]. As a woman, even if you’re pro-life, you’re told there’s nothing worse you can do to a rape victim [than tell her to keep her baby]. I’ve been told by everyone, especially the media, that abortion is what you do. Trish gave us Rebecca Kiessling’s pamphlet. We prayed about it and it was the best thing we had ever done. After we left Birthright, P.J. cried—not because she was upset—but she said she felt relieved and like we were in a safe place. She said she knew Miss Trisha had her best interest at heart. When we heard [the baby’s] heartbeat, it was over for me. This child will be a gift from God. P.J. spent a lot of quiet time reflecting. She had a wisdom I didn’t have. Her strength and wisdom is what got us through.”

It wasn’t P.J.’s choice to be attacked, but it was her choice to keep the baby. P.J.’s family decided to throw a baby shower and then she prepared for James to make his grand entrance into the world. While the circumstance was horrid, the life of this beautiful baby was well worth celebrating!

“The minute we laid eyes on this child, we didn’t once equate him to the rapist. He’s just as much a victim. He has healed our family in ways we can’t explain. He is the most amazing gift from God. I don’t even know how to put it in words.”

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, For Pastors and Teachers, Quips and Quotes, Religion/Faith, Story Power and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to Abortion and Rape

  1. Choice is the key word. Each circumstance is different. Everyone should be free to follow their hearts and their doctor’s advise. Choice. No one can or should be forced to be a Christian. Christianity is founded on choice.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Mitch, thank you for posting this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. landl30 says:

    A very thoughtful piece. Thanks for posting it.
    Len Freeman

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Like Rita above, I agree that the key is choice. PJ was able to make a choice to carry her child to term. Angela speaks of being forced to have an abortion — no choice — also wrong, yet with Biblical precedent in Torah law. The Bible itself speaks of mandatory abortion in the case of adultery (Numbers 5). Much like I wear clothes of two different cloths and eat bacon, I do not believe we should force abortion on anyone. Likewise, we cannot forbid it. It is between a woman and God with the help of her loved ones and doctors to make these decisions for herself and her body. Many of us, including Christians like myself who know the Bible, do not believe that a fetus is a child in the same way that a baby who is born and has breathed in Gods ruah (Spirit/breath) is a child. Therefore it is not murder. If you believe that it is, fine, don’t have an abortion and feel free to tell people what you think if it eases your conscience. But it’s your opinion, not found in the Bible, and not a fact to be encapsulated in civil law. Glory be if a woman can find a gift in something as horrible as rape, but that should not be the cruel expectation of the onlooker, but the amazing and unforced grace of God. Once you force it, it is not a gift!

    Liked by 4 people

    • As a Christian who knows the Bible I completely disagree with your opinion.

      Luke 1:41-44 King James Version (KJV)

      41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

      Christians that *believe* the Bible know that a “fetus” is a child.

      Made in the image of God.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Re-Farmer says:

      “The Bible itself speaks of mandatory abortion in the case of adultery (Numbers 5). ”

      I just read through Numbers 5, comparing different translations, and I have no clue how you got “mandatory abortion” out of that. It’s about a jealous husband wanting to test his wife for adultery, when she hasn’t been caught in the act. Meaning, there is no actual proof she committed adultery, which would have to mean no pregnancy at all. The test involves a curse causing infertility after drinking the concoction of bitter water – if she were guilty. If she were innocent, it was supposed to have no affect on her, and she would be able to have children.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t want to debate on Mitch’s page. That is impolite. He asked what we thought and I wrote what I thought. I applaud your reading Numbers and your interpretation of bitter waters. It indeed deals with controlling a woman’s body through infertility. The infertility comes from stripping the womb, thus aborting any fetus that might have resulted from infidelity – or as you say not aborting if she was innocent or did not conceive. The fact is it didn’t matter to these men if there was a fetus, she was forced to drink the bitter water. There’s no mention of whether a man needed to be sure any pregnancy wasn’t his own, just if he suspected her of cheating. It’s harsh. So was Angela’s mother’s choice for her daughter to have any abortion. Thank goodness she didn’t force that on to her own child. Again, I don’t plan to debate here, you’re welcome to disagree. There is much room for differences in interpretation, which is why I don’t plan to make anyone’s choices for them around such difficult issues. It must really hurt to know that others disagree about something you probably care deeply about, like the life of a child, but do try to understand that those of us who disagree are not coming from a place of “let’s kill babies for the fun of it.” If anyone has more on this, please post in your own reply to what you think of Mitch’s post so his feed is not hijacked. I really don’t mind if you disagree and we’re not going to change anybody’s mind here.

        Like

      • Re-Farmer says:

        You say “I don’t want to debate on Mitch’s page. That is impolite” and yet, you respond at length. So it’s “I get to respond, but you get to shut up”, then? Of course, you are also telling another commenter what can or can’t be done on Mitch’s blog. Nice try.

        I still don’t see how you get “mandatory abortion” out of Numbers 5. This is about a man who believes his wife is cheating on him, without evidence. There is NOTHING about a known pregnancy there. There is NOTHING about aborting in there, either. It brings up the possibility of causing a miscarriage. The inability to carry to term was a type of infertility, and I don’t think there was any greater shame or grief for a woman at the time than being unable to bear children.

        The details are interesting. Like everything else in the Bible, it needs context to be understood. Why would a jealous husband be required to take his wife to a priest? Why would she be subjected to this “test”? This actually is saving her life. Women weren’t held in high regard, and it would have been acceptable at the time for him to simply kill her, or divorce her and throw her out, which would be pretty much a death sentence, too.

        So what is this test? Barley flour – with no incense (specifically frankincense, which can be toxic if ingested) or oil added – is brought as a grain offering. The priest then mixes water that’s been blessed, and dust from the tabernacle floor. the curse is written on a scroll, then the curse is washed into the water. This is the “bitter water.” If she is guilty of adultery, the curse (not the water) will make her “abdomen (sometimes translated as womb) swell and your thigh fall away” (some translations say her genitals will shrivel, instead of “thigh fall away). After she drinks the water, some of the grain offering “and offer it up in smoke”, then she drinks the water again.

        Water with a bit of dirt wouldn’t normally cause those symptoms. It might be gross to drink, but it wouldn’t cause that reaction, nor would it cause infertility. Now, water wasn’t safe to drink back then, so bacterial organisms might cause a reaction and make her feel sick, but specifically for her “womb to swell and thigh fall away”, resulting in infertility? Nope.

        So this test is basically made to “fail”. The husband would come away believing his wife didn’t cheat on her and have to deal with his jealousy, and the woman’s honour and safety would remain intact.

        Which brings me back to, how did you get mandatory abortion out of this?

        Liked by 1 person

      • mitchteemley says:

        Hi Mary. I’ve stayed out of the various conversations here because I felt this was the place for others to express their thoughts. But you ask (above) for others to weigh in on this particular discussion. I’ve studied the Numbers 5 passage and must say it’s clearly not about abortion. It’s one of those Mosaic provisions for settling an accusation when there are no witnesses. Essentially, it says that God himself will cause an accused woman who is guilty of otherwise unprovable adultery to become infertile, the ultimate curse for a married woman in the ancient world. The hypothetical woman in question is not described as pregnant, nor does a “shriveled thigh” mean an aborted baby (fetus). The NIV uses the phrase “her womb will miscarry,” but this is a loose paraphrase used in no other major translation. However, even if it were accurate, it would mean that God alone would (in the future) cause her to miscarry–this is neither an abortion to be performed by humans, nor a prescription for one. Blessings on you both. Logging out now. ~Mitch

        Liked by 5 people

    • This opinion of Christianity makes me unabashedly sad for you. Your interpretation of the Bible makes me extremely sad for you

      Like

  5. Robin LeeAnn says:

    Crazy story… But I think it all comes down to choice. If the mother wants to have an abortion, that’s her choice. If not, that’s also her choice. But we can’t force people to do what they don’t want to do.

    Liked by 4 people

    • mitchteemley says:

      Actually we can. If a fetus is a human being, then it has a legal right to life.

      Liked by 9 people

    • Re-Farmer says:

      We force people to do things they don’t want to do – or to not do things they do want to do – all the time. That’s what all our laws and regulations – even cultural and social traditions – do. That’s why we can’t go around killing people, taking things we want that aren’t ours, drink and drive, etc. When it comes to abortion, the choices were made before a woman becomes pregnant. Once a new human life has come into existence, that life deserves all the protections we normally provide; even more so, due to the unique helplessness of a developing child.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. My daily devo for today is about terrible things happening to you but Paul’s, “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you” (I Thess. 5:18). He wrote this to a church suffering terribly for their faith and some of them had even been killed for their faith. Did God will for her to be raped? No, but God willed for her to have that child. God often turns bad into good. He is always tricking Satan who thinks he has won. Satan influences bad things to happen to good people so he can break them, they will blame God, and he will get them back. My final suggestion in my devo was, “Give thanks and keep Satan frustrated and puzzled.” In a similar devo two days earlier I ended it with, “Smile anyway. The world will wonder why.”

    Liked by 3 people

  7. What an amazing story of God’s love conquering over a devastating experience to bring life and healing to an entire family.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I’m amazed at how these very tragic cases that divest the empathy to the mother and away from a baby being cut to pieces that actually make up about 2% of cases are all you ever hear about.

    Why not look at the other 98% of cases where it’s usually just an oncovenience and since the mother gut there via orgasm and not the trauma of rape which allows the baby to be heard.

    Also, why doesn’t anyone actually talk about the abortion in abortion discussions? The actual ABORTION. Go watch a few videos, the baby feels pain, has arms and legs and puts up a small while being cut up or hoovered out.

    The discussion is subverted by a liberal biased media who for reasons not known are the sane as Planned Parenthood in not just being pro-choice but actively pro-violent termination.

    so to put it to what’s important, those 98% and that barbaric procedure….are you ok with that?

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Lynn Abbott says:

    Wow. Just wow. What a powerful demonstration of absolute trust in God and his sovereignty… PJ is an amazing young woman.

    Liked by 6 people

  10. FYI, I was atheist and anti abortion. My reasons, I saw a video of an abortion that left me understanding why this conversation is never tabled in the media. When I researched and found that this was what happened in most cases I didn’t even look back. What I saw was a living breathing human fight while being cut up alive. This was more gory and shocking that any movie you can find and something I hope 98% of people haven’t seen at this point.

    I would hate to believe that any number of people could view what I saw and not be taken by the small but frantic attempts to stop the pain while something it didn’t know or understood with it’s innocent empty mind took place.

    This is going to be a stain on human history. Believe me, the actual truth isn’t known. When it we will as humans he ashamed and horrified that we have again allowed a giant bloody atrocity by simply relabelling somethinf that’s human not Hunan.

    (Slavery and the holocaust both pointed to a human and said it wasn’t human to allow what came to pass)

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Will CNN run this?

    Strong girl right there.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. rashellbud says:

    Glad you posted this. I know two women who are the result of violent rapes. Both have said that they are grateful for their mother’s love and courage. One woman is not a Christian and has experiences much pain in her life, but repeatedly expressed that her mother’s love for her made her feel special in this world. I applaud the bravery and selflessness of such mothers. Wow!

    Liked by 8 people

    • Re-Farmer says:

      When my sister started doing a genealogy of my mother’s side of the family, she discovered a whole branch of cousins back in the “old country” we knew nothing about. Our common ancestor was raped by Russian soldiers during WWII. This was not uncommon – my own grandmother was gang raped in front of my very young mother and her sister – and the women who became pregnant from these attacks, as well as their children, were often shunned. There are now dozens of people in my family who would not be alive today there had been an abortion, instead.

      Abortion doesn’t just kill one life. It kills future generations, as well.

      Liked by 4 people

  13. Maybe not so well known but preacher, James Robison was the result of rape whose mother chose life. I also had a neighbor who with her husband loved and raised her son who was the product of a previous to marriage rape. Love and blessings often bloom from the ashes of tragedy.

    Liked by 7 people

  14. numrhood says:

    romans 33:53
    by his stripes
    call unto thee

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Thank you. Mitch, for having the courage to put this story out there so that another voice can be heard among the din of millions trying to make themselves heard, pro and con. When we hear the voices of those actually impacted by this moral dilemma, we have a clearer picture of how real people have responded to what we might think to be an impossible choice.

    Liked by 6 people

  16. Certainly a true life inspirational piece! Thank you for posting it!

    Liked by 4 people

  17. Choice is absolutely the keyword here.

    Personally I would never want to want an abortion – but then I’ve never been attacked or raped or forcibly impregnated. If I were – or my daughter, or any of my friends – then I would like there to be options available without feeling ashamed or as though I’m the one who has committed a crime.

    Saying ‘having an abortion is murder’ places unnecessary guilt on a woman who is already suffering.

    I’m not saying people who say that are wrong about it (although, in my opinion, the issue is far too complicated for a black and white yes/ no answer: if one person’s life is entirely dependent on another’s can they really be said to have/ deserve full human rights? because if they do, then they have full human responsibilities too, meaning they should have asked permission to live in the woman’s body for nine months, and make use of her nutrition and so on and so on, until we end up in an entirely ridiculous and un-legislatible scenario. But that’s by the by) – just that the finger is usually pointing at the woman: if murder IS what’s happening, then society needs to lay the blame where it belongs, on the real culprit – the man who made a decision to commit the crime of rape. I cannot think of a better application for the phrase ‘felony murder’ than cases like these . And if a rapist is charged with rape AND with felony murder and receives the appropriate sentence for both crimes – well, then maybe there’ll be less rapes occurring in the first place…

    My personal view? Abortion is not ideal – I would much rather it was never needed. BUT – we don’t live in an ideal world and for some women, in some cases, it is all that stands between them and their mental and physical health – even their life. I definitely don’t think a woman’s whole life plan should be changed for something she didn’t want and did nothing to bring about…

    Sorry, went on a bit – it’s something I’m quite passionate about… :/

    Liked by 4 people

  18. Relax... says:

    In a roomful of people who, like Obama did, call an ill-timed conceived person “a mistake a female shouldn’t be saddled with,” I want to ask one question: “If abortion was a choice that could be made retroactively, would you still be here?” There are much harder trials in life than a temporarily unwanted baby. Every child is a gift into this world. I’m proud of this 14 year old. What flak and hurt she had to take!

    Liked by 5 people

  19. Thank you for this! I am Pro-life and I have been raped. I did not have a pregnancy from that rape. I admire this strong woman for continuing her pregnancy. I have friends and family that had abortions and the consequences have carried with them in devastating ways. I always stood by them without judgment. I have also stood by them while years and years later they are still overcoming their decision.

    Liked by 5 people

  20. This wonderful post, and these comments, inspired me to finally come out of the closet and share my views about abortion:
    https://ablogabouthealingfromptsd.wordpress.com/2019/05/18/my-views-on-abortion/

    Liked by 4 people

  21. A similar kind of dilemma lingers in the mind of an unwed as well the one subjected to an inhuman crime. But the Casualty is the Child. The child is a gift and can remain so depending on ones courage. But most of them succumb as we all are mostly governed by views of our surroundings. It is a fact that those who have opposed the forced views and followed ones heart has risen above others. Like someone who had mentioned that his niece grew up to be a good writer.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. This is the answer, Mitch, to the Question on Bad things happening. Sometimes we need to work out the factors. Am I in hopes that you agree?

    Liked by 2 people

  23. John S says:

    Thanks so much my friend this was powerful.  Mitch not sure I ever asked you but It would be a hoot and a honor to interview you on my podcast.  I always wanted to have talk radio show and maybe this is living out that dream.  Mitch my podcast have never gone big time but I have been having a hoot doing them.  Today I have a director guy , who went to our High School a few years behind us who name is Peter Cannon.  Peter remembers you in the drama department.  Peter is one of my volunteer Chaplain Assistants and his a great help for me at the jail. He also got me started with podcast and found a professional voice person to introduce the show. Sometimes my podcast would just be me doing something but my real joy is interviewing folks I doing Kingdom ministry and you my friend are doing that in so many ways.   My podcast normally run around 20 minutes and for now I do one a week.  I can even do a interview over the phone. Once I do the interview I get it to Peter and he does the editing and puts it together with the professional voice person. If you want to check out some of my podcast go to chaplainchat.podomatic.com.   We can talk about it and I would be very jazzed just to talk with you.  Friday has always been my best day to do podcast stuff because the jail gives me a monitor to get away, or as Mork would say “Humor Humor” but in his case it was.   The jail will also be giving me the monitor for a month in June.  I better check the range because in June Gail and I want to visit the kids for a week in June. Here is one I did with my sister Jo when she was visiting us.  I would rather do this in person but like I said they also work over the phone. Mitch get back with me, maybe send a phone number if you interested.  Family Roles with guest host Jo Ann Sayers

    | | | | | |

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    | | | | Family Roles with guest host Jo Ann Sayers

    Chaplain John is joined by his sister, Jo Ann Sayers, who discusses the roles different members of the family pl… |

    |

    |

    Liked by 2 people

  24. gregoryjoel says:

    Thank you for posting this Mitch. I often amaze my friends and acquaintances by my pro-life beliefs. It is often assumed that if one leans to the left politically they must be pro-choice. Jesus taught the sanctity of life for all of God’s children. That carries over into how we help and love others after birth as well. Unfortunately, the pro-life movement regularly fails to address the child’s life after birth – it’s the old “we’re there for until you’re born” thing.

    I wish I had answers. I know that God’s gifts rarely come nicely giftwrapped. I know from experience and observation that God turns even the most reprehensible things into blessings. Thank you for sharing this story with us.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Pj is strong girl with supportive family. It’s good that she followed her heart, thank you for sharing this 🌸🙏🏻😇

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Aside from all those little ‘cute’ comments, you are not a MISTAKE nor Dad’s ‘little squirt.” You are far, far more than that and worth it all to God who made you. So much so that God sent His only begotten Son to be sacrificed for us all. The gift both in this world and in the next is: LIFE ~ That’s how important God thinks we are.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. One of my most respected friends was the product of rape & incest. He always takes the point of view that there is no other crime on the books where the child is punished for the crime of a parent.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Whew! What a discussion… All said, you and I are in full agreement. You may recall where I work and what I do… Our Clinic is in the business of saving lives… the baby’s and the mom’s. ‘Nuff said. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  29. nancyehead says:

    Girls who carry their babies to term after conceiving through rape do better than those who abort. Abortion after rape is a trauma on top of a trauma.
    Eighty percent of such mothers choose life. There has to be a reason for that.
    Abortion is harmful no matter why.
    Thanks for taking up the cause for the littlest victims who often get punished for someone else’s crime.

    Liked by 3 people

  30. stolzyblog says:

    Interesting, heartwarming, and provocative on several levels. I have direct personal connection with a not too dissimilar situation — and know that the resulting child is wonderful. Two things stood out for me, trying to remain for the moment as independent of the so-called pro-life/pro-choice debate. First was that individual, and mostly independent human conscience was involved in the outcome, for the most part. I applaud this. While the mother displayed a bit of confusion, her thinking affected by past biography, the father came down strongly for one position without regard for the daughter’s conscience in the matter. (Though she ended up choosing a course in agreement with his rigidity.) In my view, a spiritual and authentically Christian path through life must depend upon one’s individual conscience, without external pressure. This point, which I consider crucial, is very often entirely dismissed by many ‘keepers’ (in reality, receivers of interpreted dogma) of religiously influenced ethics.

    The second point was the unpersuasive remark ” the realization that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen. ” This is pure dogmatic interpretation, and has exactly a 50% chance of being considered ‘right’ after applying one’s authentic conscience. One could as easily argue that God therefore also intends the numerous abortions which happen daily.

    I agree that lives are gifts, but to arrive at an authentic Christian stance one must entirely remove oneself from any realm of fear concerning correct compliance with one church elder’s or another’s view about the matter. I am sure that mystery will cloud the picture as to the difference between a fetus and a breathing baby for a long time to come if people are honest with themselves. The position of the pregnant person is unique, and as in all matters, individual conscience must be respected. In fact: it is ONLY via acts of individually inspired conscience that moral and ethical and spiritual progress can ever be hoped to advance in life. And this is regardless of any religious dogma imposed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • mitchteemley says:

      Eloquently stated, my friend. However, I don’t think the statement “something that God intended to happen” is intended to mean “whatever happens is God’s will.” That would imply that God is an amoral being who is just as pleased with evil as with good. Rather, I think, it’s saying that life is always a gift from God.

      Also, for the record, the argument against abortion isn’t patently religious. I was still pro-choice when I first converted to Christianity. It was my atheist girlfriend who reasoned with me that unborn babies were (medically and scientifically) human beings, and therefore had a legal right to life.

      Like

  31. edwardtaylor says:

    I wrote an essay on my own site with respect to this. It might be useful to read it https://ethershakes.com/2019/05/26/the-ethics-of-abortion/

    Liked by 1 person

  32. ‘I’m against abortion, except like in cases of rape.’ That’s like saying, ‘yes, a fetus is a human being, unless his dad is an a##hole.’

    – Doug Stanhope

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Chris says:

    “Angela came to the realization that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

    You have to be freaking kidding. “Something that God intended to happen.”

    Proof there IS NO GOD. What a cackling joke.

    Terminate, girl! TERMINATE!!!

    Like

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