I was reading under someone else’s article. I get tagged in these things all the time and someone who was calling themselves pro-life was just saying, “It’s just compassion. It’s just compassion to say ‘except for in cases of rape’ because think about the woman. Why isn’t anyone thinking about the woman?” And so I responded, and I wanted to read that. He said “Think about it from the woman’s point of view,” and I said, “Okay, yes, let’s think about it from the woman’s point of view.
The day after she’s raped, she’s shocked to find out the sun still rises, because everything in her world has changed. She feels different, wrong, and inexplicably ashamed. She’s certain that strangers can look at her and know that she is damaged. She walks around thinking, “I’m a woman who has been raped,” and knows her life has now been split in half: before she became a statistic, after. In the silence, she hears things he said to her. Things she knows she’ll never repeat. When she closes her eyes she sees him looming over her. She can’t eat. The taste of her own blood lingers on her tongue, the dank earthiness of the ground as he held her head down.
She speaks with other survivors, with friends, with her lover who’s trying desperately to comfort her, but she’s terribly, terribly alone. When a faint second line blossoms on the pregnancy test, for a moment she feels as though the wind is knocked out of her. Instinctively, her hands drift to her flat belly as she tries to slow her breath. She knows what she should feel: resentment, anger maybe, but somehow for the first time since crossing over into the after she doesn’t feel so adrift. Somehow, for the first time since crossing over into the “after,” she feels a reason to go on, a ferocious need to safeguard this delicate new life.
She might not have been able to protect herself, but she can protect her baby. “It’s okay,” she whispers to nobody and everybody. “I’m going to take care of you,” but they take care of each other and in little arms and big eyes and the purest of all love she begins to heal.” So when people tell you to think about the woman, I would ask that you remember my story and the story of so many others because we are those women. So many people say, “Think about the woman,” and it’s a false compassion, because they’re using our story of the 1% to justify the slaughtering of the 99%. And it’s not true. The lies they tell you are not true, the lies that you can heal, that you can move on, then everything will be better if you just get rid of your baby. Healing is found in that complete innocent love. Healing is found in being able to save someone when you couldn’t save yourself.