Hope Out of Tragedy

Bradley Mattes   |   January 18, 2024

Many well-meaning pro-lifers and Christians believe that we must make an exception to abortion in the event of a pregnancy resulting from rape. Their line of thinking goes something like this.

A woman shouldn’t have to endure sexual assault and then be forced to carry the rapist’s baby for nine, months, go through labor and delivery and see her rapist every time she looks into the face of the child.

Those who ascribe to these beliefs, I believe, have the woman’s best interests at heart, but they are misplaced. Abortion after rape is not in the best interests of the mother and certainly not of the baby.

Why impose capital punishment on the innocent baby? The sexual assailant is the guilty party and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. After a sexual assault we must support the woman to our fullest ability while offering love and support to her unborn child. We can and must love them both.

As for seeing the face of her rapist every time she looks at her child, many women have defiantly told me, “This is my baby NOT his! I don’t see my rapist, only my beautiful child who I cherish.”

Each January 22nd I host a half-hour radio special to commemorate Sanctity of Life Sunday and the anniversary of Roe v Wade. This year’s program is called Hope Out of Tragedy: A Christian Response to Pregnancy by Rape.

My guests include Mark Roepke, whose mother was just 14 years old when she was raped at a July 4th party. She courageously rejected abortion, and instead placed Mark into a loving home through adoption. She chose hope out of tragedy. Today, Mark is a strong defender of life and a powerful voice for rejecting the exception of abortion in the event of pregnancy by rape. Mark spoke publicly at a DC rally and delivered a message so impactful it went viral with millions of people sharing his story. Mark is fond of saying, “The circumstances of my conception do not determine my worth as a human being.” He is spot on!

My other guest, Ayala Isenberg, has a tragic story. She suffered at the hand of a sexual predator for years and became pregnant through rape when only 15 years old. In spite of the circumstances of this conception, Ayala felt love for her baby and fought to keep her. Sadly, she miscarried her daughter. But out of the ashes of Ayala’s life has grown a powerful and eloquent advocate against abortion with a significant presence on social media where she vigorously defends the sanctity of life. She is an example of hope out of tragedy.

You can learn more on our website and access a free downloadable list of 10 Reasons Why Abortion After Rape is Not Compassionate. It will equip you to be a force for life when others believe abortion is an acceptable exception for rape. You’ll recognize some of the text used in this blog.

I’m off to Washington, DC to participate in the March for Life. The theme this year is “With Every Woman, For Every Child.” And the word “every” includes children conceived in rape. This year I’ll be marching for both Mark and Ayala, as well as every baby vulnerable to abortion.

Defending all life,

Brad Mattes,

President, Life Issues Institute

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