Abortion campaigners have long exploited the public’s horror of rape and sympathy for its victims to construct a ‘virtuous’ reason for terminating a pregnancy.
But the anguish of Yazidi women who had babies after being kidnapped, enslaved and raped by Isis fighters, is the campaigners’ worst nightmare.
They are among 6,400 women and children from this closed community (whose religion combines aspects of several monotheistic religions: Zoroastrianism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism) who were enslaved by Isis when it overran northern Iraq in 2014. When they were freed after the liberation of Mosul they were forced to leave behind in Iraqi orphanages the children they conceived through rapes because the Yazidi community will not accept children of ‘mixed blood’.
Having had no choice in the matter of conception, now these women are being forcibly deprived of their children. One Yazidi woman said that she hated her attacker and all the Isis fighters. ‘The last thing I wanted was getting pregnant by a Daesh fighter,’ she said. However, once her daughter was born, ‘I loved her immediately. Every mother loves her child.’ Another ran away from home to try to find her little boy, but she was brought back to her family, and her father threatened to kill her if she did not forget her son.
No mother, including those who have had an abortion, can ever forget her child, but the Yazidi orphans confound the abortion campaigners’ argument that abortion does not take a life – let alone a life that matters.
The argument for abortion following rape has become the gateway for abortion on demand. Worse, the ‘abortion for rape’ rhetoric has given the impression that providing abortion is some sort of ‘cure’ for rape, when the only satisfactory response is to care for the innocent victims – both mother and child – and mete out justice to the perpetrator.
Abortion acts as the perfect cover for rapists, but despite this, abortion campaigners have demanded that publicly funded abortion be made available to migrant women as a human right. Migrant women are even more vulnerable to sexual exploitation and rape, but the first priority should be to protect them, not give them the ‘right’ to cover up rape; ironically, President Trump has been castigated for being hard on illegal immigration but also for refusing to surrender to demands to provide abortions for under-age migrants.
The testimonies of these Yazidi women should be listened to before the self-appointed champions of women’s rights are allowed to drown out their message.