Abortion will not help victims of Boko Haram’s violent rapes PDF Print E-mail

Boko-Haram-720x320Orignal post on A Christian Manifesto, June 11, 2015

Few things have wrenched my heart like the plight of the young women and girls abducted from their Nigerian school by Boko Haram and violently and repeatedly raped and impregnated by terrorists. I have not written about it because the horror these girls have experienced leaves me wordless, stunned, grieving. But, now many of those girls have returned, pregnant, and are once again facing victimization by those who would use them to further the cause of abortion rights.

Nigeria is one of the world's countries where family and children are still treasured and pregnancy is a cause for joy. These abductions and rapes were clearly an act of war meant to strike at the heart of the people—their ethnicity, social structure with family at its heart, and to take their precious young women and 'spoil' them, break the hearts of their family and steal the treasure of their virginity from their future husbands.

Some would 'offer' abortion as a solution or remedy to the atrocity of repeated rapes that left these women devastated and pregnant. Yet, abortion is no solution or remedy. To offer abortion to girls raised in a country that values children as treasure is to steal the remnants of dignity and sense of self that is left to girls suffering emotional and psychological trauma and victimize them once again. To encourage them to abort the babies that God has created—for surely in the midst of horror it is only God who brings life—will not heal or restore. Out of a devastating experience God has given her a child—someone she can love. Abortion is no gift, but will further traumatize her, put her long term health at greater risk, and deny her the ability to love the child. The good that God in his love and grace has brought out of evil is replaced through the act by rejection and hatred. Abortion adds atrocity to atrocity by killing a tiny human being who is completely innocent. The final degradation of the woman will not be accomplished from without but from within as the loathing she feels for those who violated her is turned against herself for acting against her natural instinct to protect and nurture the life in her womb.

I am particularly disturbed by "Christian leaders"* who propose that the church should fund abortions for the victims of Boko Haram. Such a suggestion reflects nothing of Christ or Christianity. Jesus came to bring life and bring it abundantly. Everything in nature teaches us that God brings life from death. The gospel teaching of Jesus is never to return evil for evil done to us. Jesus taught us to turn the other cheek and give the cloak to the stealer of our coat. We dishonor his name when we put the name of Christ on a violent, vengeful, act against innocent life. Who are we helping? Not the woman whose dreams of becoming a wife and mother in a family centered society have been torn asunder. She will find redemption through Christ only in forgiving as she has been forgiven by Christ. In raising that boy to be a man that treats women respectfully, handles disagreements peaceably, and rejects the violence of his biological father the mother will find a victory over her enemy that yields peace in the war of her own heart. In loving that girl conceived in violence to be a woman of dignity and grace, able to love and nurture children the victim will show the watching world the face of Christ and demonstrate his world-changing grace.

The Church should respond to the crisis of these dear girls so loved by our Savior with the best emotional and medical support we can give to them and the children they carry. Every effort should be made to provide a secure, safe, and stable environment for her and her child. Education, employment, housing, pre-natal care—these are ways the Church can reflect Christ and turn what Satan meant for evil into a blessing. The Church, acting as the loving arms of Christ, can bring far-reaching blessing to those broken and hurting girls that will also bless their villages, their nation, and, like the Abrahamic Covenant, bring blessing to all the nations of the world.

The Biblical story of Joseph is instructive. He too was abducted and sold into slavery. Obviously being male the story is not a perfect parallel, but can you not imagine the emotional turmoil of a young boy sold by his own brothers and taken far away from his home. Thrown into prison on bogus charges because of the betrayal of a deceitful woman, can you imagine the anguish he felt as he experienced the crushing of all his childhood dreams for who he was and who he would become. Yet God did not leave him alone, but strengthened him, gave him incredible success and put him in a position of power.

Can you imagine that God wants to do something similar for these young women? God intends to take the horror of their experience and show Himself to be present. God intends to strengthen them as women of dignity and love and beauty. God intends for their children to be strong, filled with integrity, dignity, and honor. God intends to give both mother and child good success and raise them to positions beyond the imaginations of their childhood dreams. Will we, the Christian family, lend our support to what God is doing—bringing life and love from death and hate—or will we pay for abortions that perpetuate the violence, the hate, the destruction of human life and dignity? If you choose the latter—you will drag the name of Christ into another act of war.

Epilogue: Moments after I completed this article, Dr. Gideon Umukara, from Nigeria walked into the PPL Booth at the PCA General Assembly. Dr. Umukara told me that the Nigerian society's view of the children born of rapes committed by Boko Haram is that these children also will be Boko Haram. For that reason he views adoption as perhaps the best answer. Dr. Umukara has space for an orphanage in Ondo State, Nigeria and is looking for U.S. churches to partner with him to get it up and running. You may contact Dr. Umukoro by This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Related articles: Obama to Nigerian Christians: Change laws on abortion and homosexuality if you want protection

Religious leaders urge U.S. to fund abortions for rape victims in conflicts abroad

*The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) is among the organizations currently lobbying President Obama to provide abortions for victims of rape in foreign conflicts has long had an agenda promoting global "abortion rights" (they would call it "reproductive health"). RCRC is an interfaith organization that includes mainline Christian denominations such as The Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church and others.



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