Pregnancy and Rape
by Lloyd DuPlantis, PD
Louisiana Director, PFLI Board member, former PFLI President

Pregnancy and Rape – How God heals.

My wife and I have been involved in the ministry of teaching Natural Family planning for over thirty years now.  Of all the various ministries that God has led us into during the adventure that our marriage has been, NFP has been one of the most joyful and fulfilling. 

As we go through the signs and details which the couple must note to avoid or achieve a pregnancy, we always spend some time on exceptions and possible challenges.  One of these is stress.  We talk about how the stress of planning the marriage can delay ovulation.  Stress of studying for exams or raising children can all delay or cause a woman to not ovulate at all.  Stress always seems to have a delaying or - in a sense -  a negative effect on ovulation.

With this knowledge in hand and knowing that a woman is only fertile a relatively few days of the month, I have often pondered how a woman can get pregnant after such a traumatic and terrorizing event such as rape.  A number of events must all come together to allow her to conceive.  First and foremost, she has to be raped during her fertile period.    Secondly, if trauma and stress can delay or prevent conception altogether, it seems as though the body would work in a powerful and dynamic way to prevent conception during such a horrific circumstance as this.  But not so.  Although rape itself is relatively rare (30 rapes per 100,000 women in the US each year),  the number of pregnancies claimed to occur are still statistically impressive.    According to Wikipedia, rape conception happens between 25,000 and 32,000 times each year in the US. In a three year longitudinal study of 4,000 American women, physician Melisa Holmes estimated from data from her study that forced sexual intercourse causes over 32,000 pregnancies in the United States each year.   That study revealed that among women aged 12–45, pregnancy occurred in 5% of victims of rape.  

Whether the statistics are correct or not, the point is that a higher than expected rate of pregnancy occurs during a horrific event which one would think should almost never result in pregnancy.  Why?

I propose that it is a gift and grace from God.  That somehow Almighty God in his benevolent care and love for us, allows a large number of women who have been traumatized by rape to conceive in order to help them heal.  Rape is a onetime horrible event that leaves a nasty scar.  A baby is an eternal gift which will remind the woman of God’s love throughout her life and the life of the child.  What a wonderful God we have that will alter the course of nature to help and heal us!

To recommend abortion or insist upon abortion in this case is to further traumatize the women. 

“For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9) 

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