From Victimhood to Motherhood, I Chose Joy

By Paula K. Peyton - Posted at Save the 1:

During my pregnancy, I read stories of other women who had become pregnant by rape, sometimes twice daily. Those stories were a source of hope and made me feel like I wasn't alone and reaffirmed that it was normal to love my child. I'm writing my story now in the hope that other woman will know that they are not alone, but I also feel that I owe it to my son to advocate for babies like him.

Six years ago, through some friends who worked there, I took a volunteer position with Planned Parenthood as an outreach HIV tester and counselor, so I was out in the community and really never spent time at the clinic, except for the certification training. Being in the abortion clinic made me uncomfortable to know that in another room down the hallway there is a baby dying. I took the position because I wanted to help people know their status with HIV.

At that point in time, I described myself as “personally pro-life, but politically pro-choice.” I never would have encouraged someone to have an abortion, but I realize now that my silence on the issue of life had a real-life impact. One day, when speaking to a rape victim who came to me for an HIV test and thought she might be pregnant, I was silent. Years later, I knew I had been complicit in whatever occurred later when she followed up with clinic staff. I used to think of her occasionally. I knew what it was like to be raped because I had become a victim at the age of 16. But I didn’t know what it was like -- as I used to think -- to “carry a rapist around inside of you.”


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