It’s a topic very few discuss, either from lack of awareness or general discomfort. But for women and children who were conceived in rape, their situation is very real. They live with the knowledge that their conception was a violent act. How does one process that? Further, if assaulted and faced with pregnancy, to whom does one turn?
That question is best answered by singer/songwriter and author Juda Myers who, herself, was conceived in rape. First, she formed a private Yahoo support group for birth/adoptive mothers and children of rape conception. The outpouring spurred her to form the nonprofit, , out of a need that had not yet been addressed (or fully embraced) by society or the faith community. In other words, Myers brought the subject out of darkness and into the light. She says, “Mothers and children of rape conception have nothing to be ashamed of.”
“We are on the record of valuing life, no exceptions,” says Myers. “Even pro-life advocates often make exceptions in cases of rape or incest. But I ask them to consider the value that their fellow human beings bring to the world – people such as myself who are here only because our mothers refused to abort, even under extraordinary pressure.” Myers was adopted, and after meeting her birth mother in 2005 learned of the ordeal that led to her adoption. Eight men had raped her mother; as a result, her grandmother pushed for an abortion. It was a matter of conscience. Against the odds, Myers was brought into the world to pursue her special mission. Her eyes had been opened to the death wish placed upon children such as herself. Only through her security in God did she come to terms with the plight of her mother, herself and others in similar circumstances.
Myers’ mother described what had happened. A rush of tears came flowing out and Myers’ mother touched her daughter and said, “Honey stop your crying. I’ve forgiven those men and look what God has done. He has brought you back to me.” She had prayed 48 years to be reunited with her daughter. God had not forsaken either of them.
Rape conception is not an unusual situation, although it is generally a silent subject and seemingly shameful fate. Myers is determined to support the decision to carry to term and seeks to educate family and friends who otherwise might pressure or abandon mothers who are faced with such a situation. She feels it is past time to halt the almost “standard” compulsion to terminate pregnancies in such cases. She feels women who choose life should be celebrated. “Certainly, women pregnant from rape have not had the respect and compassion they’ve needed,” says Myers, who now devotes her life to doing something about it. “Many are told they couldn’t have been raped if they want their baby.” Since 2003 she’s shared her testimony internationally. Hearts and minds were changed even at Harvard and the United Nations with women of rape conception whispering their secret at each event.
In a first of its kind celebration, CHOICES4LIFE hosted the Honor for Life Awards Gala in Humble, Texas, in 2011. This unprecedented event’s goal was to restore honor and dignity to women and children of rape conception. “Honoring women who fought against society to save their rape-conceived babies is paramount. True heroes have no regrets of giving birth to their babies. The rape is regrettable but the babies are not,” says Myers. For some of the mothers it was the very first time ever sharing their stories publicly.
CHOICES4LIFE, since its inception in 2011, has helped literally hundreds of moms and babies after rape conception by providing assistance with housing, food, medical, physical and emotional needs. They are currently helping over 200 moms with babies. Some are in the hospital clinging to life after being rescued from traffickers. Many babies born prematurely to mothers who were heavily drugged by traffickers need brain and heart surgeries. Young moms who are clinging to the life of their baby with hope for their future would rather die than lose their baby. Some have actually spoken of suicide if their baby were to die. That is not what society would have you believe. To the statement “that baby will only remind you of the rapist” mothers answer “this baby is the only reason I want to live.”
Even suggesting adoption before asking the mother what she wants is hurtful. “So many moms have been told to abort or place for adoption, in other words get rid of it because you couldn’t possibly want that child. The hurt from those words goes deep. Imagine telling this to any other mother who loves her child. The mother of rape conception is no different.”
Myers says, “There are only a few who have fallen for the lies that the baby is worse than the rapist and abort. I’ve spoken to 17 who aborted. Of those 17, 14 were suicidal. Three tried and failed. The other three had only aborted within two months of us talking. Every mother I spoke with who had an anniversary said there was unbearable regret and pain. It is not better to abort.”
Once a mother realizes that baby is HER baby, everything changes. Myers says, “One mother said her first thought was abortion but then she immediately thought ‘no way…this is MY child.’ Another woman told me ‘A man stole my body and now society is trying to steal my baby.’” Many girls are afraid to speak up for their child and fall victim to family pressuring them to abort.
CHOICES4LIFE works solely with females pregnant after rape and their knowledge goes beyond textbooks. Those helping have personal experience and truly know the value of all human life.
Myers would like everyone to reflect and consider supporting the value of human life regardless of the circumstances surrounding a conception. “There is such a great need but sadly people are reluctant to help. These girls and their babies are the most vulnerable because of the stigma that remains worldwide. Many who say they are pro–life still choose to allow innocent babies conceived in rape to be punished for the crime of the rapist. We are longing to remove the stigma and give life to every baby regardless of conception.”