Two pro-life leaders in Alabama spoke up for a 12-year-old rape victim and her unborn child this week after a court deemed the girl mature enough to have an abortion.
Lorie Mullins, executive director of COPE Pregnancy Center and a post-abortion counselor, and lawyer Win Johnson said the girl and her unborn baby deserve better than abortion. WSFA News 12 reports the pro-life leaders held a news conference after the court’s decision last week.
“She has been victimized her entire life,” Mullins said, AL.com reports. “And now she’s being put in the position of being the perpetrator of this newest violence, because that’s what’s going to happen. Whether she grasps it now, there’s a point in her life where she is going to understand what she has done and how it is going to impact. The depression, the substance abuse that happens so often, the problems with future relationships.”
The 12-year-old girl, whose name is not being publicized, became pregnant as a result of sexual abuse by a family member, according to The Daily Dot. The young victim said her mother also began physically abusing her when she found out her daughter was pregnant.
The young girl now is in the custody of the Alabama Department of Human Resources. Her caseworker said the girl repeatedly asked for an abortion.
Like most states, Alabama requires that a parent consent or be notified before their minor daughter has an abortion. However, states allow minors to wave the requirement in cases of abuse, and that is what the girl’s case worker did earlier this summer.
Last week, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals ruled that the young girl is mature enough to make the decision on her own. The girl told the court that she was afraid and did not want a baby.
But Mullens said it is difficult to believe that any 12-year-old girl is mature enough to understand that an abortion is a permanent, life-ending decision. The procedure would kill her unborn baby and potentially injure her physically or emotionally for the rest of her life.
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“I don’t know what the perfect answer is, but I know this is not it,” she said. “If I could actually speak to this child, the only thing I could say to her is you’ve been robbed of your childhood. Don’t rob yourself of your future.”
Mullens said she has counseled many post-abortive women who learned too late the devastating effects of their decision.
“The courts, the law has decided that she’s not old enough, wise enough and mature enough to make her own decision about whether or not she wants to drink, to buy a pack of cigarettes to drive a car,” Mullens continued. “But they have now put this decision, this responsibility, in her hands. This is a 12-year-old child who now has the responsibility of life and death and no matter how you feel about abortion, that’s what it is, it’s a decision about life or death.”
Johnson, a former legal director for the Administrative Office of Courts under Chief Justice Roy Moore, also questioned if the girl understands exactly what an abortion is and does.
Here’s more from the report:
He said it’s stunning that courts would issue an opinion saying that a 12-year-old “was mature enough — and I’m going to put this in its starkest terms — to decide to murder her own child in her womb.”
“Now, nobody has said that to her, I bet you, in any of her counseling,” Johnson said. “Nobody has explained that to her in its starkest, rawest form, like that. But what if it was, what if she really thought through it, even as a 12-year-old and said, ‘Gosh, I don’t want that on my conscience.’ ”
Johnson said the district attorney could have appealed the waiver decision to the Alabama Supreme Court but said that the deadline to do so has passed.
There’s no question that the girl’s parents should not be involved in making decisions for her, but the court also has failed to protect the girl and her unborn baby from an abortion.
There is no easy answer to such a tragic situation, but the young girl’s baby’s life would be spared if she chose adoption or parenting instead. Neither are easy options, but they at least would give the baby life and keep the young girl from the pain and regret of abortion.
An Elliot Institute study found that women who were victims of rape said the abortion felt like another “medical rape” and did not help them heal. In many cases, it only added to their pain and trauma.
Edith, a 12-year-old victim of incest impregnated by her stepfather, told the researchers 25 years after the abortion of her unborn child:
Throughout the years I have been depressed, suicidal, furious, outraged, lonely, and have felt a sense of loss . . . The abortion which was to “be in my best interest” just has not been. As far as I can tell, it only ‘saved their reputations,’ ‘solved their problems,’ and ‘allowed their lives to go merrily on.’ . . . My daughter, how I miss her so. I miss her regardless of the reason for her conception.”