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Except in the Case of Rape?

The young woman was so excited.  After years of searching, waiting, pursuing leads, and being disappointed…finally, God had blessed her to find and meet her birth mother who was living in a nursing home. The mother was so excited and looking forward to meeting her precious daughter as well.

After visiting, sharing, and spending time, the young woman asked her newly-found mother the question she longed to ask.  She wanted to know the truth directly from her mom. She had been told a few years ago by a social worker in what seemed to be a very insensitive manner: “Your mother was raped!”

She didn’t want to hurt or cause her mom any pain, yet she really wanted to know the truth. “Do you mind telling me how was I conceived?”

Without hesitation, her mom told her what happened. “I was raped by eight men while walking home from seeing The Ten Commandments.”

The young woman burst into tears and buried her face in her mother’s lap while she knelt in front of her. She patted her new-found daughter on the shoulder and said graciously to her, “Honey stop your cryin.’ That was a long time ago, and I’ve forgiven those men. And look what God has done. He’s brought you back to me. God is faithful!” Praise God! What a giant woman of faith.

That was a brief retelling of a part of Juda Myers story in her book – Hostile Conception, Living with Purpose. It’s a story with many insights and truths for the body of Christ to learn from about the topic of life and the value of every human being.

It’s too common among those who say they stand for life and against abortion also say this: “I’m against abortion, except in the case of rape.” A few questions desperately need to be asked about this statement.  Some of those questions are, What does that statement really mean? Does it mean that babies conceived through rape don’t have the same right to live as babies conceived in other circumstances? Should babies conceived in such a violent manner be murdered for the crime of the father? Should a baby conceived through rape be considered somehow second class because of the tragic circumstance by which he or she was conceived? If someone says that they are pro-life except in the case of rape, does that not make that person pro-choice?

These are just a few tough questions that really need to be asked of persons who say they stand for life, yet make this tragic statement. It seems that when people make that statement, they are basically going against some of the very values that they say they stand for. For instance, the Word of God says, “You shall not murder.” It does not say, “You shall not murder except in the case of rape.” Yet to make the statement, “I’m against abortion except in the case of rape,” is like saying, “I’m against murder except when you want to murder a person who was conceived under this particular circumstance.”

The Word of God doesn’t change. It is an anchor that helps us in all circumstances know the will of God. The people of God must understand that we are called to stand for life. We are not called to stand for life “except in the case of…” We are called to stand for life – period.

Photo credit: Dave Bledsoe (Creative Commons) – Some rights reserved

Joseph Parker serves as the pastor of St. James A.M.E. Church in Leland, Mississippi, and the Director of Outreach and Intercession with the American Family Association. He has been in the ministry for almost 40 years and hosts the radio broadcast, “The Hour of Intercession,” on the Urban Family Communications Radio network.

The views expressed in opinion articles are solely those of the author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by Black Community News.

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