When Amber Dubois hears people say they oppose abortion except in cases of rape, what she really hears is “I am pro-life except in the case of Amber.”
As a teenager, Dubois learned how she had been conceived in rape, and, despite the difficult circumstances, her mother chose life for her. In a letter to the editor published Monday at NOLA, the Abbeville, Louisiana woman urged lawmakers to protect unborn babies like herself.
“It is personal. The label of a ‘rapist’s baby’ is insulting to me, my mother, my spouse,” Dubois wrote.
Her mother was young, alone and “not religious” when she was sexually assaulted and became pregnant, Dubois wrote. Many women in her circumstances would have considered abortion, but she did not.
“Instead, to this day, she tells me I am the best decision she ever made,” Dubois said. “She told me she knew I was a human life, and that the gift of a beautiful life would outweigh the nightmare of being violated.”
Dubois, a teacher, urged state lawmakers and Gov. John Bel Edwards to reject pressure to amend the Louisiana abortion ban to allow unborn babies conceived in rape to be aborted. The law prohibits all elective abortions; exceptions are allowed if the mother’s life is at risk.
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“It grieves me that so many of our state’s citizens and leaders, including Gov. John Bel Edwards, so strongly feel that I should be sentenced to death without a trial or a jury because of my biological father. What if we were all labeled, tried and judged for the worst crimes of our parents?” she asked.
Dubois said state leaders should be focused on punishing the real villain: the rapist, and offering better support to his victims: the mother and her unborn baby.
“Being the offspring of a traumatic event does not make me a defective person, and I do not deserve to be defined as such,” she said.
Her plea echoes those of many others, including pro-life leaders Rebecca Kiessling and Ryan Bomberger who also were conceived in rape. Through their lives and their stories, they help society to recognize that every child’s life is valuable, no matter what the circumstances of their conception.