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October 28, 2016 (EndtheKilling) — Over the past few years, my colleagues and I have heard hundreds of stories of sexual assault from high school and university students. It was for that reason, primarily, that I began my research on rape culture, and discovered the contributions of violent pornography to the sorts of things that are now playing out in the lives of teenagers across the continent. And because of these stories, answering the often-tearful question: “Shouldn’t abortion be legal in the case of rape?” is by far the most emotionally fraught. Even many pro-lifers, as anti-abortion as they may be, feel emotionally inclined to make exceptions for sexual assault, even though they recognize that this simply answers violence with violence.

Because suggesting that a child conceived through sexual assault is considered anathema on the pro-abortion “side,” I was stunned to read a story in the National Post this week titled “Girl who was sexually assaulted for two years and gave birth shares her story to empower other victims.” Her story is simultaneously heartbreaking and inspiring. An excerpt:

The abuse [that began at age 11] continued for more than two years. The man forced her to have sexual intercourse multiple times. Then she became pregnant. She was just 14.

He told her if she told anyone it would tear the family apart and they would never forgive her. He threatened to kill himself.

So the girl kept the secret as a baby grew inside her.

The girl was slender and small. She couldn’t hide the pregnancy for long. When her parents questioned her she said she had slept with a boy from school.

It was only after she gave birth in hospital that she felt she could tell her mom what really happened.

“I saw her wanting to cry, I saw her eyes shut with tears, I said, ‘Mom, I was raped,’” she said. “Then she was on the phone with the cops, CAS came and that’s when I thought, it’s finally over, I can tell them everything.”

The girl’s mother said learning the source of her daughter’s pregnancy nearly broke her. She recalled crying as she racked her brain, trying to understand how it could have happened.

“My heart was ripped out. My baby was having a baby. It was like, this cannot be true,” she said. “I wanted to go over there and hurt him, but in reality my kids are more important than going to hurt somebody.”

The girl said she considered getting an abortion, but couldn’t bring herself to kill something so small.

“I wouldn’t hurt an animal and I wouldn’t hurt a baby and without that baby I would probably be dead,” she said.

The girl cries herself to sleep each night and when she does finally drift off it is to memories of the man and what he did.

“It’s like a nightmare you never get out of,” she said.

During the pregnancy and since, the girl said she’s considered taking her own life, but her family has helped her stay strong.

She shares a message to anyone who has been hurt by someone close to them. It’s a message she hopes they’ll take to heart.

“No matter how close you are to that person, no matter what they tell you, you have to tell somebody because you can’t let that eat you,” the girl said. “If you let it sit there and build up you’re not going to be the same person.”

Back at her Windsor home after her abuser had been sentenced, the girl said she is hoping she can start living a more normal life. Her mother fears for her future and questions whether she’ll ever be able to have a romantic relationship.

She mourns the loss of her daughter’s youth.

“She says, ‘Mom, it’s a hard job to be a mom,’ but I tell her it’s not a tough job, you just have to live with being a mom at your age,” she said. “You’re not a teenager, you’re an adult now.”

As they talk about what happened in court, the baby wakes up. He pushes his long, blond hair off of his face and opens one big blue eye.

The girl’s mother coos about her little angel, the grandson she never expected so soon.

“He’s beautiful, he makes everybody smile and you could be having a rough day and you come home and he’s just there to make him laugh,” she explained.

“For all three of my kids, and I count her son as one of my own, I just look at them and say, ‘Nobody is going to hurt you, you’re home, you’re safe.’”

The girl is still hurting, still not sure what her future holds, but when she looks at her little boy she sees something good — something to live for.

“I hope for a lot of things for my son,” she said. “One day, when he’s old enough and asks, ‘Mommy, why don’t I have a dad?’ I’ll tell him, ‘I kept you for a reason, you saved me and you’re a big part of my life.’”

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If only our media reported on more stories like this—on hope and life found in despair and loss. 

Reprinted with permission from CCBR.