Thursday, May 13, 2010

How abortion is like rape

From David C. Reardon, Ph.D. (Victims and Victors, p. 15):
[M]any women report that their abortions felt like a degrading form of "medical rape." This association between abortion and rape is not hard to understand.

Abortion involves a painful intrusion into a woman's sexual organs by a masked stranger who is invading her body. Once she is on the operating table, she loses control over her body. If she protests and asks the abortionist to stop, chances are she will be either ignored or told: "It's too late to change your mind. This is what you wanted. We have to finish now." And while she lies there tense and helpless, the life hidden within her is literally sucked out of her womb. In both sexual and medical rape, a woman is violated and robbed. In the case of sexual rape she is robbed of her purity. In the case of medical rape via abortion, she is robbed of her maternity.

For many women this experiential association between abortion and sexual assault is very strong. It is especially strong for women who have a prior history of sexual assault, whether or not the aborted child was conceived during an act of assault. This is just one reason why women with a history of sexual assault are likely to experience greater distress during and after an abortion than are other women.

[R]esearch shows that after any abortion, it is common for women to experience guilt, depression, feelings of being "dirty," resentment of men, and lowered self-esteem. These feelings are identical to what women typically feel after rape.