A pro-life group is working to end the stigma of rape conception by organizing a march this spring in one of the first states that legalized abortion. Choices4Life helps pregnant rape and incest victims with relocation assistance, rent, utility, and medical bills. The non-profit also provides housing in private homes for mothers in need. Choices4Life has reached out to victims of all races, as well as all religious and sexual orientations – ranging in ages from 10 to 42 years old.
It was 2003 when C4L founder Juda Myers learned from a social worker that she was conceived in rape. Juda, who had been adopted, discovered the brutal truth while looking for her birth mother. The shocking details about the gang rape her birth mother suffered set the stage for Myers’ mission to advocate on behalf of those conceived as a result of rape.
“The social worker’s attitude conveyed centuries of condemnation for the rape-conceived,” Myers, who contemplated suicide after learning the truth, told Live Action News. “I was falling into a deep black abyss that brought me to the brink of a breakdown.”
Myers said her commitment to God kept her from doing the unthinkable, and she recounted how a friend who knew nothing of the situation reminded her that God knew her before she was conceived.
In 2005, Myers met her birth mom, who was in her 70’s at the time:
I walked into the nursing home, stood at the desk and was about to ask for Ann when I heard my name called from behind me. I turned to see eyes of crystal blue not unlike my own. I knew it was her, holding a picture of me when I was only 3 months old at the time of my adoption.
Myers has told her story a number of times, pointing out that those who allow abortion exceptions in cases of rape are really saying that she, and others like her, should never have been born.
She says hearing other moms with similar stories to her mother’s experience made her realize that no one was helping moms like them. That revelation inspired Myers to found Choices4Life.
The mission of helping these mothers and speaking for what many describe as a so-called “small percentage of preborn children” has not been an easy one. Myers has been the target of abusive vitriol from abortion advocates when she posts the stories of young rape victims who choose to carry their babies to term. The so-called advocates of free choice seem to believe that young rape victims should abort every time.
But, the prejudice against the rape-conceived extends well beyond abortion advocates and even reaches inside the walls of religious institutions. In fact, abortion exceptions for cases of rape were sadly written into mainstream denominational resolutions before Justice Harry Blackmun wrote the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion on demand. Those pro-abortion resolutions helped lay the foundation for the tragic SCOTUS decision.
Since then, church leaders inside some of these denominations – like the Southern Baptists – have apologized for their positions and recanted the resolutions. But, the bias against the rape-conceived remains in many ways. In 2013, a bishop referred to children conceived in rape as a “demon seed.” His words shocked the pro-life community and prompted the mother of a child conceived in rape to write a powerful response which read, in part:
For too long, the rape conceived and their mothers have been targets of hate speech. The assumption is that no woman who was REALLY raped would want to carry such a baby to term. That is a lie. Using derogatory language to the woman about her child often coerces her into making a decision that puts her at risk mentally, emotionally, and physically. She may consent to an abortion in order to prove that she was actually raped or out of fear that her child will be the object of continued prejudice after birth.
According to another interview Myers gave, the judgment of some denominations does not stop rape conceived children from becoming Christians themselves:
…Myers explains that most people she has talked with who are children conceived in rape are Christians. “It was interesting to me that some people heard from the Lord exactly what I heard,” she says. “After asking the Lord in prayer if He really did create me I heard, ‘I have placed you in the camp of the enemy to glorify my name!’ What a privilege that is!”
Choices4Life works tirelessly to educate society that children conceived in rape are not the criminals and have done nothing wrong. “To condemn a human for the crime of another is not justice,” Myers often points out.
Rape was the reason (a lie in this case) that brought Roe to the Supreme Court in 1973. It is the “necessary evil” that continues to keep abortion legal today. Myers says it is time for the pro-life community to rally around the victims of rape and not give the perception that they are expendable simply because they may be few in numbers.
To chip away at the foundation of Roe, Choices4Life is organizing the Freedom March Life Wins event next May in Mississippi. According to the event website, the first abortion law was passed in Mississippi on May 8, 1966, and it was for cases of rape and incest. Ironically, this year, May 8th happens to fall on Mother’s Day 2016.
In addition to the march, Choices4Life is organizing what they call a “hero’s welcome” reception to “these amazing mothers who saved the life of their children conceived in rape.” The hope is that hearing testimonies from brave women who rejected abortion after rape will transform those who attend.
“In our day tolerance is shouted on every street corner. It’s time to end the stigma of rape conception and rally around these heroic mothers who fight for the life of their baby conceived in rape. Mothers and children are not guilty of any crime and don’t deserve to be treated as criminals,” Myers writes in the Freedom March Life Wins press release.
Myers has dedicated her work to her “hero” birth mother, whom she lost a few years ago. She is grateful God allowed them to find each other. She tells women as well as supporters of Choices4Life, “Be a hero. A hero is defined as saving a life.”
Get more information about Choices4Life here.
(Images from Choices4Life)