Tag Archives: abortion

Will My Silence Save Babies?

Will my silence save babies? With the recent debate in the New Mexico HB 390 Late-term Abortion Ban a fellow conceived in rape woman I know, was asked to be silent. She was told that her silence would save 95% of the babies that are killed in late term abortions. These politicians must assume that a woman who is desperate enough to receive a late term abortion will not lie about being raped to receive a way out of her current situation. Will my silence about being conceived in rape and being worthy of life really save 95% or will the “wink, wink-just say you were raped” approach of the abortion backers make that number 90%, 80% or even 50%? We don’t really know do we? Except we do know Norma McCorvey admitted she lied about being raped and that was why she needed an abortion. Many feel this was “an important point in the fact pattern of the Roe v. Wade case.”

1450211_10202177058243874_328216821_nPictured here, I spoke out at a press conference in Lansing, MI December 2013 and the bill in question was passed without a rape exception. Once we who were conceived in rape spoke out, those asking for the exception immediately stopped insisting there should be an exception. Why? Because they couldn’t say our lives didn’t matter!

Save the 1, a pro-life speaker group of the “exceptions and hard cases” have been told by pro-life strategists not to keep silent but rather to speak out. If we speak out every time a pro-life bill has a rape exception, the pro-life community will finally understand that pro-life bills should not have exceptions put in them, in the first place. Even if the bill is killed initially, because in the long run the realization will come that the bills need to be presented without exceptions. I wish everyone would understand that we don’t need exceptions to pass pro-life bills, Michigan never has. When we as a pro-life community say, “Some life is not valuable,” we value none.

There are many parallel example we can look at, what if the South agreed to no more slavery except for the men over 6 foot tall. “Tall men would be too hard to control if not enslaved, don’t worry we’ll free 95% of the slaves who are under six feet.” Could you imagine if we, as an America people, found that acceptable? Some of our greatest basketball and football players, are very tall African-American men. Can you imagine living in a society where they were still kept as slaves in the South? Of course not, that is ludicrous! But at the time of the Civil War the thought of slavery being overturned was ludicrous to many people, however the abolitionist fought on. They educated the masses, they showed pictures of the brutality of slavery and eventually garnered enough support to overturn laws.

What about today? Should we educate the masses, show them pictures of those conceived in rape and shout from the roof tops their life matters? Unless we can pass a bill that has no exceptions in it, unless we can tell everyone every life matters, unless we can create a ban that does not allow any “wink, wink-lying” we will not have a real opportunity to overturn Roe v Wade. What the masses need to understand is, if a woman has the option of saying she had been raped, she will use that option in a desperate time. She will then live with the guilt of abortion for the rest of her life. The abortion will not end the memories of a rape it will only end a life, how can we live with that?

Can you look at my picture and say my life does not matter?

Rathke 482cP @200

How to Defend Life, in cases of Rape and Incest

When proposing pro-life laws how should you respond to the “rape” question?

Personalize the issue: rape-conceived people are real human beings. More than 32,000 people, conceived by rape, are born every year in the USA1. We cannot discriminate against this people group by diminishing their value. Talk about individuals who were rape-conceived, show their pictures, create compassion for them.

In a recent five-state study commissioned by Georgia Right to Life, Right to Life of Michigan and Personhood USA2, we can demonstrate that people’s opinion of this issue could be dramatically swayed within the one-hour on-line interactive survey. Only one percent still believe in exceptions when we invoke the story of a woman conceived in rape or a woman who became pregnant by rape.  The most compelling argument is to appeal to our sense of justice–we don’t punish innocent people for someone else’s crime.  The worst response is to diminish this issue by saying it is rare.

Doesn’t an abortion help the pregnant rape victim?

An abortion does not make the memories of the rape go away, it only ends a life and adds physical and emotional pain and distress.

A 2006 Study by Dr. David Fergusson found that women who had abortions are three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts than women who are pregnant but do not abort.3

Over forty peer reviewed studies have confirmed that abortion significantly increases risk for several mental health problems including: depression, anxiety, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts and behaviors.4                                                                       

Hasn’t the rape victim endured enough violence?

Supporting abortion for a woman who has conceived by rape is “confused compassion.” When a woman is raped and becomes pregnant, there are two victims: the woman and the child. Whenever a crime hurts two people, we care for them both. We don’t end the life of one hoping it will help the other. Pregnancy is temporary but the death of a child through abortion is permanent. We must offer the woman counseling, care, support and not add to her emotional and physical distress by encouraging abortion. Rape can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); so can abortion. 5

The Alan Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood’s research organization, estimates that as many as 91 percent of all women who have had abortions may suffer from physical and psychological “post-procedural trauma.” 6  We must offer these traumatized women support for their pregnancy, birth and parenting, promoting a culture of life and healing! 

“I would definitely discourage a woman from having an abortion. While it may seem to be the quickest and easiest solution to a painful, humiliating ‘problem,’ it is a band-aid approach with horrible ramifications of its own. For me, the effects of abortion are much more far-reaching than the effects of the rape in my life.” — Testimony from a rape victim who had an abortion after learning she had conceived.7

What about Incest, shouldn’t these children be aborted?

It is a fallacy that every child conceived by incest will be born with birth defects. Many people are born with birth defects everyday who were not conceived through incest—each one of their lives is valuable and deserves to be protected. Unfortunately, most incest victims are forced into abortions to cover up the crime of the perpetrator.

Joan Kemp, a rape crisis center counselor and a woman who has had an abortion, says, “In every case of abortion after incest with which I am familiar, the abortion was arranged by the perpetrator or his wife, with the purpose of concealing the incest. In one case, a young woman had seven abortions before she was fourteen, and the incest continued.” 8

1Holmes, Melisa M.; Resnick, Heidi S.; Kilpatrick, Dean G.; Best, Connie L. (1996). “Rape-related pregnancy: Estimates and descriptive characteristics from a national sample of women”. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 175 (2): 320–4; discussion 324–5.

2http://www.savethe1.com/?page_id=426#sthash.Hd0gmx46.dpuf

3Fergusson, Dr. David. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines 2006

4Shupping, Dr. Martha and Dr. Christopher Gaeck.Big Girls Do Cry: the Hidden Truth of Abortion. 2008

5 Anne C. Speckhard and Vincent M. Rue, “Postabortion Syndrome: An Emerging Public Health Concern,” Journal of Social Issues 48,  Issue 3 (1992): 96

6 Planned Parenthood’s internal report  (“Department of Education’s 3-year Plan and Long Range Goals, 1990-93”)  pp 29

7 Give Us Love, Not Abortions: The Voices of Sexual Assault Victims and Their Children, David C. Reardon and Julie Makimaa, ed. (1992), pp. 23-27

8 Joan Kemp, “Abortion: The Second Rape,” Sisterlife, Winter 1990, p. 5

Are you pro-life EXCEPT in the case of Mary Rathke?

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“I am not the rapist’s baby. I am a beautiful, happy-to-be-alive mother, minister and person who deserves equal protection.” ~ Mary Rathke, conceived by rape

The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) does not have exceptions, it does not exclude those who are albino or have vitiligo because they may appear “white” to some. Please do not leave me out of your pro-life bills. Be consistent. Be pro-life for ALL people including those conceived by rape or incest .

Mary Rathke is available for testimony. As part of “Save the 1,”she is connected with many others who are personally effected by and well-versed in this issue. We can connect you with people in your area to bring together a group of rape-conceived and mothers-from-rape, to speak at press conferences and hearings. Share our story!

Mary Rathke is a licensed minster and works with the homeless. She is a “Save the 1” board director and president of HELPeople, INC. She has spoken for various pro-life events, radio programs, press conferences—ie., International Pro-Life Leadership Conference–and is featured in a state-wide conceived-in-rape pro-life commercial campaign. She is endorsed by Dr. James Dobson as a pro-life speaker.

If you were conceived in rape, incest or conceived a child in rape or incest and would like to have your information shared with Save the 1, please fill out the form below;

 

Surprise Visit with my Mentally Ill Birth Mother

My mother was raped; many would say I am the rapist’s baby.  Those mothers who have been raped will quickly say their child is their baby, not the rapist’s.  In my case, I was never the rapist’s baby, nor my mother’s.

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Mothers whether you love them or hate them, they are always yours.  Deep down you know that when trouble comes, your mom will be there for you.  She may give lots of unwanted advice at times, but at least she is there to give it.  For women who are mentally ill like my birth mother, who is schizophrenic, correct motherly responses are almost impossible.  When I was born, Michigan still had state mental hospitals, and she had many visits there.  While she was finishing a stay in the mental hospital after I was born, a local couple cared for me.  When she got out, they tried to teach her how to care for me. Under her care, I would go all day not being fed or changed; when the crying would not end, her husband would call for help.

The local couple, Ursula and Zara Hunter, continued to step in to help when asked.  When I was five years old I was legally adopted by the couple. Before this, I was an orphan.  My biological father discarded me the moment I was conceived through his horrible act forced upon a mentally and physically defenseless woman. Though it’s possible that on her good days, my biological mother wanted me, she was not capable of caring for me.  Through no fault of her own, a mental illness robbed me of a relationship with her.

When people hear that I’m adopted, the first thing they ask is, “Do you know who your ‘real’ parents are?”  My response is always the same: “Yes, their names are Ursula and Zara Hunter.”  But I know what they are really asking.  After visiting my biological mother and her husband almost 15 years ago, I didn’t go back for a long time.  My mother seemed quiet and, at times, indifferent about the visit but answered the basic questions I asked.  After this visit, bizarre behavior surfaced.  I was told by her legal guardian at the time, not to visit again.  I continued to visit her husband when I could and sent pictures of my family.  He explained that if she got to the mail before he did, she would rip up the pictures explaining that she did not have a daughter or grandchildren.

When her husband died, she acknowledge me at the funeral.  Afterwards, I made more of an effort to write and would occasionally ask if I could stop by for a visit.  She did not respond to the requests.  However, a few weeks ago I received a response to my most recent attempt to connect.  Her written response to, “Can I stop by to visit?” was, “I don’t care what you do. Make your own decision. Sincerely, your Mother.”

What to do?  Stop and hope it’s a good day, or always wonder if she was having a bad?  Since we were going through the area that evening, I decided to stop.  I must admit it’s difficult to see how she lives, and her behavior.  The visit was short and my family stayed in the car.

My hope is to visit again but I know that it will never be a normal situation.  So does that mean I should have been aborted?  What if my traumatic conception and birth always cause her pain? Would having an abortion have made that pain go away?  I have heard so many women tell me that they regret the abortion they had after being raped-that the abortion made it worse not better.  What about the grandchildren she doesn’t want to see? Are they not real because their mother was conceived in rape? Of course not! Their lives matter as does mine.  Yes, the memories will last a lifetime, but the pregnancy only lasted nine months. But an abortion would not have ended the memories, only my life.  I may not have the fairy tale ending many who have been adopted dream about. The reality of that makes me even more grateful I was adopted and not aborted. I was never given away, I was given a family!

Mary Rathke learned of her conception at the age of 32 yrs, she is a licensed minister, Pro-Life Speaker and is on the board of Save the 1.

Edited by Shawn Spry