By Hilary White

ABERDEEN, North Dakota, August 3, 2006 ( –The DakotaÂVoice yesterday told the story ofÂSouth Dakotan mother Megan Barnett of Aberdeen whoseÂdaughter was conceived when she was raped at 19. Megan, a believing Catholic, says that after the attack she was offered “emergency contraception,” an abortifacient drug, by emergency room attendants. She refused the drugÂsaying that it would be wrong to kill her child even at the embryonic stage.

“When I felt the baby, it really became real for me,” she told the Voice.

“I hadn’t given it [abortion] much thought before this happened,” Megan said. “I grew up in a small community and didn’t know anyone who had an abortion or anything like that, and I just didn’t think about it much. But my religion classes taught me that it was the wrong decision.”

Megan thanked her family for supporting her and telling her she had nothing to be ashamed of. Her daughter Maria is now two years old.

Megan conveyed a message to women who find they are pregnant following a rape: “The most important thing would be to not think about all the facts and legal rights, but think about how the child is no different than a child not conceived in rape.”

The Voice reported on the issue in order to highlight what is considered the most common objection to the South Dakota abortion ban—that is, it doesn’t include an exception for rape victims.Â

The extreme rape exception is most frequently used by abortion lobbyists to tug at the compassion of voters and politicians. TheÂstartling statistics, however,Âhave long been pointed out by pro-life advocates as evidence enoughÂthat this tactic is largelyÂa political ruse.

As an example, the Louisiana Department of Health statisticsÂshow that the justification for 99.12% of abortions in that state were “mother’s mental health.” Those women who had been raped or suffered incest made up only .04% of abortion cases, and yet the exception for incest or rape has been used successfully to legalize abortion without restrictions.

In most cases emotion and the fear of appearing anti-woman to feminist lobbyists have led those who are generally against abortion to express support for these extreme “exceptions”. Last February, a spokesman for the Bush administration said the US president was not opposed to abortion for cases of pregnancy due to rape.

Asked at a press conference, “Does the President believe that rape and incest victims should be denied the right to an abortion?” a Bush spokesman responded saying, “The President has made very clear that he is pro-life with three exceptions.” Those exceptions are widely assumed to be rape, incest and the life of the mother.

Read coverage in the Dakota Voice:

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