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Talking Points: Why Oppose Abortion in Cases of Rape?

1. Because all unborn human life deserves equal protection: All unborn human life

deserves equal protection, regardless of whether it was conceived in rape or in consensual sex. To allow for a rape exception would be to devalue a human life based solely on the circumstances of its conception, a factor over which it has no control. In brief, the circumstances of a persons conception neither determines that persons value nor determines the type of person he will become.
2. Because abortion-even in cases of rape-hurts the woman: Supporters of a rape

exception argue that abortion allows a rape victim to move on from the attack. This is not the case. As Father Frank Pavone notes in a column on the website Priests for Life: I know of women who have been raped and then had abortions, and are in counseling not for the rape but for the abortion! In rape, the trauma is Someone hurt me. In abortion, the trauma is I hurt and killed someone else: my child. That brings even more grief. -Father Frank Pavone, Persuading People that Rape Does not Justify Abortion The Elliot Institutes David Reardon makes a similar statement: [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. What is most significant is that these feelings are identical to what women typically feel after rape. Abortion, then, only adds to and accentuates the traumatic feelings associated with sexual assault. Rather than easing the psychological burdens of the sexual assault victim, abortion adds to them. -David Reardon, Rape, Incest and Abortion: Searching Beyond the Myths
3. Because the termination of a pregnancy resulting from rape punishes an innocent

person more harshly than the actual offender: In the case of Coker v. Georgia (1977), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the imposition of the death penalty for the crime of rape violated the 8th Amendments Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause. The Court, applying the proportionality requirement it articulated in prior 8th Amendment case law, held that the death penalty is a disproportionate punishment for the rapist who, as such and as opposed to the murderer, does not unjustifiably take human life. In 2008, the Court extended this reasoning to apply to child rapists in the case of Kennedy v. Louisiana.

Because of the Courts rulings, rapists are exempt-wrongly, in my opinion-from the death penalty. And, in some cases in my home state of Florida, not only do rapists get to live, they are also able to go free. Support for a rape exception would amount to a double injustice. Not only would it punish the unborn child more harshly than the law authorizes us to punish the actual rapist, it would also punish the unborn child for a crime he neither committed nor had any role in committing.