Does Pregnancy Caused by Rape Justify an Abortion?

November 4, 2012

Rape is a horrible atrocity that wicked people commit against their fellow human beings. When a woman who is raped becomes pregnant, is her suffering the brutal injustice of rape justification for her to have an abortion?

Many people believe that an unwanted pregnancy caused by rape is a legitimate ground for an abortion. They reason that the woman has already suffered horribly and that her carrying the child would only add to her suffering. What’s more, they argue that her seeing the child would be a perpetual painful reminder of the rape.

Others justify having an abortion in such cases because of the financial burdens having the child would inflict on the woman or because of her inability or unwillingness to accept the weighty responsibility of raising such a child. Ultimately, many assert that the woman’s body is hers, and she is free to do whatever she wants to do with it.

These arguments for aborting a baby conceived through rape focus on various aspects of the mother’s life after the rape. Do they, however, truly justify her having an abortion?

As a Christian who believes the Bible, I believe that the only way to answer this question properly is to allow everything in Scripture that pertains to it to bear on the position taken. Many have previously capably addressed this question from various scriptural perspectives.

This post approaches answering the question from the perspective of the Scripture’s emphasis on God as the sovereign One who alone enables any woman in any setting to conceive a child. Many passages highlight this truth in ways that directly bear on the question at hand.

God Alone Enables Women to Conceive

Human conception is not merely the automatic result of physical relations between a man and a woman. Scripture records the cases of many couples who were unable to conceive children, including the following:

Abraham and Sarah (Gen. 16:1-2; cf. 18:12-14; 21:2)

Isaac and Rebekah (Gen. 25:21)

Jacob and Rachel (Gen. 29:31; 30:1-2; 22-24)

Manoah and his wife (Judg. 13:2-3)

Elkanah and Hannah (1 Sam. 1:5, 19; 2:21)

A Shunammite man and his wife (2 Kings 4:14; 16-17)

Zacharias and Elisabeth (Luke 1:7, 24-25)

In each case, only supernatural intervention by God allowed these couples finally to have the blessing that they longed for but did not have for so many years.

These passages clearly imply that God alone enables any woman to conceive. Moreover, in various ways, many other Scriptures confirm the validity of this inference (Gen. 20:17-18; 29:32-33; 30:17; Exod. 23:26; Deut. 7:14; Ps. 113:9; 139:13-16; Is. 7:14; Matt. 1:20; Luke 1:36-37; Heb. 11:11).

Pregnancy Caused by Rape

Because God alone enables conception, women who become pregnant through rape thus become pregnant in the will of God.[1] God knows all about the horrible circumstances in which they became pregnant. For His sovereign purposes, He has allowed them to become pregnant in that way.

Viewed scripturally, when a pregnancy occurs as a result of rape, the woman can be confident that God allowed it to be so. Because God, who knows everything about her present circumstances (and also everything about what her future circumstances will be) has enabled her to conceive, she can be confident that God has willed for to be pregnant in this way at this time.

As difficult as it may be for her to accept this truth, she should by faith trust God and not abort the child that God has allowed her to conceive. If she truly is unable to care for the child, giving the child to be adopted after it is born is a way for both her and her baby to go on with their lives in the will of God.

Conclusion

For many reasons, including the truth that God alone enables any woman to conceive, a pregnancy caused by rape does not justify a mother’s having an abortion.


[1] Scripture records two instances of woman who were raped without any mention that they became pregnant: Dinah (Gen. 34); Tamar (2 Sam. 13). Although we cannot be dogmatic, the lack of mention suggests that we are to conclude that they did not become pregnant.

Rajesh

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3 responses to Does Pregnancy Caused by Rape Justify an Abortion?

  1. Kojo Agbenohevi November 4, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Thank you for that! that was very well written and proved by Scripture. One of the most faithful and Godly member of my current church is the result of a rape. This Gentleman is now study to become a pastor and he is just a blessing to be around! he is a precious soul and a great example of what God does, taking a horrible suitation and using it for his glory!