My Daughter Was Pregnant After Rape, Now I’m Happily Raising Her Baby. Please Don’t Abort Them

Opinion   |   Michele Snook   |   Dec 20, 2017   |   6:53PM   |   Washington, DC

I saw the recent news that Governor Tom Wolf vetoed the 20 week abortion ban here in Pennsylvania, highlighting the fact that the ban had no rape exception — even though he knows darn well would have vetoed the bill anyway. This makes me so angry that politicians think that innocent children like my grandchild are not worth saving. These children are our future! One of these children killed in the womb could have discovered a cure for cancer, become president or hundreds of other amazing things.

I am a mother of a child who was raped and impregnated when she was just a child herself at the age of 11, and I have been raising that child conceived in rape as my own for the last 13 years. To be exact, she turned 13 the day the Governor released his statement on his veto.. And this is her birthday gift from our Governor?!

Like most young pregnant rape victims, my daughter’s pregnancy wasn’t discovered until
later in the pregnancy. Not that my daughter would have considered abortion, but this 20 week abortion ban would have protected the life of my granddaughter — especially if the rapist had tried to coerce my daughter into aborting. You see, my granddaughter’s DNA was the evidence used to put this child molester in prison. But with abortion, the rapist would have been protected. Gov. Wolf’s veto will protect rapists. The baby actually helped my daughter heal because her life gave my daughter someone else to fight for. But Gov. Wolf doesn’t understand that.

I can honestly say abortion is wrong, knowing what I know today. Would I have wanted my granddaughter aborted? No! With her special needs, it’s extremely hard parenting her some days, but her life still has value and she is worthy of life.

So that being said . . . ,

Dear Governor Wolf:

You say that this bill was criminalizing a woman’s “right to health care.” What about the rights of the unborn child? What about my granddaughter’s life that you criminalize? The bill did not deny a woman the right to prenatal care. It didn’t even prevent women from obtaining an abortion — it just said there was a cut off date. The bill was trying to protect unborn babies from dying the most heinous of deaths.

To Mayor Kenney:

You claim second trimester abortions are safe. But sir, that is a bold-faced lie. They’re never safe for the baby. And, the further along a woman is, the more dangerous it is. There’s a greater chance of becoming infertile, needing an emergency hysterectomy due to the uterus being punctured, or even her worst-case scenario of death. You also claim it is victimizing the victim to expect her to carry “a rapist’s baby.” But is not that child made up of 50% of her DNA, making that child the rape victim’s baby? Last time I checked, we humans are made up of 46 chromosomes and 23 come from each parent.

Instead of trying to stop a bill that protects life, why don’t you get a bill passed that truly helps rape victims who have been impregnated by taking the rights away from rapists, without requiring the obstacle of a getting a rape conviction? And if she’s lucky enough to get a rape conviction, why not make termination of his parental rights automatic? Then people like myself and my daughter who was raped and impregnated at 11 years of age would not be in the situation we’re in today.

She made the difficult decision that an adult — let alone a child — should not have to make to have her daughter in her life as her sister, and I have been raising this child as my own for the last 13 years. But I am only her legal guardian because if my daughter were to give up her rights, he could get custody in Pennsylvania. So I cannot legally make my granddaughter my own, because Pennsylvania law protects the rapist, not the victim or her innocent child. This is traumatizing my daughter far more than carrying a child for 9 months and loving that child. So Gov. Wolf and those who support his veto — you are all wrong in your assumptions.

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While these politicians jockey to look good in public opinion, my family lives in constant fear that when the man who raped my daughter is released from prison, he could be given visitation or even custody some day.

To the Executive Director of New Voice for Reproduction Justice:

Instead of promoting abortion as a means of controlling reproduction, how about spending your time educating and promoting respect for women instead? How about working to punish rapists and protect these mothers from the rapist?

And lastly, to Dr. Erica Goldblatt Hyatt:

You say women can somehow have freedom through the vetoing of this bill and can just trust the science. Well to that I say, if you really are trusting the science, then you would know that science has proven over and over that life starts at conception and the unborn child as young as 12 weeks can feel pain. So you are torturing an innocent baby when you rip them apart, while alive, when you perform a “D and E” procedure. You use the pregnant rape victim as an excuse to keep even late-term abortion legal for any reason.

To those who have been raped, I can’t tell you how sorry I am that it happened to you, but trust me, killing an innocent baby is not going to make the pain go away or make you forget it any faster. But I can tell you that the minute you hold that child, you will feel love, because I know I did when my daughter’s baby was born.

At first, I didn’t want to see her because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to love her, and all babies deserve to be loved by their families. But when I held her, that fear disappeared and all I saw was my daughter in her. Even with all of these issues, I would not give her up for anything. She is as much my child as my other two are and I know my daughter loves her as much as she does her brother.

Life and death decisions should not be based on fear and prejudice, and neither should public policy. Shame on you Governor Wolf.

LifeNews Note: Michele Snook is a mother of two, grandmother to one, and a pro-life blogger for Save The 1. File photo.