Apologetics Corner —What About Rape?

Oregon Right to Life

When you engage in pro-life advocacy, this is a common question — and one of the hardest to answer. “Trotting Out A Toddler” is a helpful strategy with four steps that you can use to answer when asked, “What about rape?” 

Step #1: Affirm the concern. 

It’s not enough to say, “Rape is bad.” Dwell on why rape is criminal, immoral behavior. Pro-life advocates are often perceived as not caring about victims of sexual assault. Taking time to demonstrate your compassion and empathy makes you a more compelling voice for life. 

Step #2: Brace them for the story.

“Do you mind if I tell a story to explain what I mean?”

Step #3: Create a parallel situation. 

“Tragically, a woman is raped and becomes pregnant. She has a strong support system and decides to keep her baby. She has a job, a house and an adorable baby boy. But when he turns two, he begins to resemble his father — her rapist. She cannot even look at her child without remembering the worst day of her life. This triggers her trauma so much that she can hardly function. 

Would it be acceptable to kill the toddler to alleviate her trauma?”

You’ll likely be in agreement that it is not okay for her to kill the toddler.

Step #4: Describe the logic.

“If it’s wrong to kill a toddler to help this woman, it must also be wrong to kill an unborn fetus to help her. Rape is horrible, and we help and support victims of rape, but killing a human is not an option. 

If, like me, you believe that a fetus and a toddler have the same moral status, abortion cannot be a solution to rape.”

The apologetics strategies in this article are from the Equal Rights Institute. Interested in learning more? Email makyra@ortl.org to get free access to the Equipped for Life course.

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