Imagine going to school with a plump swollen belly, not as a teacher, parent or worker, but as a student. All eyes will be on you, as schoolmates scurry out of your way, whispering, pointing. They call you cheap. Loose. Someone who slept around too much.
For rape victims who are impregnated, the initial trauma is only just the beginning.
“Many insensitive questions are raised on the girl’s character. Once the girl is raped, the society rapes her.” – New Delhi Rape Victim
In a society where the virginity of unmarried women is of high social value, rape victims already feel a distorted perception of themselves, a low self-worth, a tremendous feeling of shame, and a multitude of other feelings. The social stigma associated with rape, resulting in some victims becoming isolated by the society, increases the hurt afflicted on the victims. This is known as secondary victimization, where, like what the rape victim said, the girl is raped again by society.
From a rape victim’s perspective, how can she find the courage to raise the product of the most heinous crime imposed on a woman’s dignity? For nine months, she will be forced to carry this living reminder of the rape in her womb, haunting her, a visible imperfection to the society, inviting criticism, isolation and shaming.
Of course, many argue that the fetus conceived from a rape is still a life, and having an abortion would be killing this living being. Why is this innocent child paying the price for his father’s sexual offence?
However, would the child’s life be any better if he or she were born? Growing up without a father, with a mother who might regard the child with disgust at the memory of the rape, a child conceived without love. Even if the rape victim loves her child, will she have the capacity to care for another living being, when she is still schooling, still growing up, still unable to care for herself? She might be financially and emotionally incapable of supporting the child. Furthermore, the child could be socially stigmatised as he grows up, resulting in bullying and discrimination. For both the rape victim and the child, wouldn’t it be kinder if the child was not born at all?
Therefore, from the perspective of a rape victim, abortion should be allowed as it minimises the hurt caused to the rape victim and the baby.
Done by Chua Ying Pin (7)