Tuesday, October 31, 2017 • Rachel Hoang

Every day, countless of women are subjected to horrible abuse and rendered victims of domestic violence. And in many cases, a woman might find herself experiencing an unplanned pregnancy with her abuser.

Every day, countless of women are subjected to horrible abuse and rendered victims of domestic violence. And in many cases, a woman might find herself experiencing an unplanned pregnancy with her abuser. In this particular situation, horror, trepidation and the feeling as though you are at an impasse take prevalence. If she were to go through with having this child, others inform her that the abuser would have a stronger hold over her -- whether financially or mentally. During these times where a woman is at one of her most fragile states, the abortion industry endeavors to make her believe that the only "solution" here is to abort the unborn child.

Many claim and believe that if a victim of domestic violence were to go through with her unplanned pregnancy that would give her abuser a stronger hold over her. On the contrary, it seems to me that if she were to abort her child, she would not really be decreasing her abuser's hold over her. Rather she would be augmenting it, as her abuser has now pressured her enough to take the life of her baby. He has now been successful in building himself up to be this formidable, overbearing presence in her life. Should she find herself in this situation, she is not at an impasse. Despite what others may tell her, she has other options that are available to her.

If a woman were to express that she was in an abusive relationship Your Options places her safety as top priority and would strive to find her a place to stay, whether that be at a maternity home, shelter or another place designated to aid women who are in this exact situation. Contrary to popular pro-choice beliefs, we do not and cannot "force" women to have a child they do not want; however, we do find it both helpful and ethical to present the other options available to women who are considering having an abortion. Should a woman approach us and claim that she needs to advance in this procedure, the staff would inquire the reasons pertaining to why she believes that is her only option and then proceed from there. If her reason is connected to financial dependency on her abuser or that she simply has no financial, physical or mental support to care for a child, LYO would inform her about adoption. With unplanned pregnancies, often come unexpected costs to account for, as well as additional stress on the woman to take into consideration. Thankfully, many adoption agencies not only help in the process of adoption, but also offer financial and emotional support for the mother during her pregnancy that can cover pregnancy-related costs and provide resources to help her move to another housing option.

As October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, we should strive to be aware of the struggles women face regarding this issue. The fact that these women are told that abortion is their only way out of this situation is an absurdity. Those who tell this false information to women are taking away her other options and thus, are inadvertently sundering the woman from her own right to choose for herself. It's sad to see that people can turn an issue as serious and real as domestic violence into a heated debate between pro-life and pro-choice. The bigger issue here is that many victims of domestic violence deem themselves as worthless and completely deserving of the abuse. Furthermore, a myriad of women believe that there is no way out of that abusive relationship and thus, feel coerced to stay. Instead of attacking those who have differing views, dedicating the time and heart to help these women in this situation by truly offering them all of their options should take priority. One of the worst feelings in the world is to feel as though you have no options. Therefore, be compelled to present to her all the options available, find the proper resources to help her get out of that abusive situation and ensure that she is truly in good hands afterwards.

To the women who might be currently in this situation, abortion may seem like a faster option, but it is not your only option. Do not be afraid to speak out, to use your voice and to ask for help. Those at organizations like Your Options will be there for you. Additionally, if you are a part of a church and family of believers in Christ, do not be afraid to voice your worries and fears. Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). Abortion seems like the simpler choice, as it appears to be quicker and consisting of less steps. However, in many of the obstacles and trials that life throws our way, baby steps in the right direction are often what help us come out stronger. Remember that you have other options available to you, that you are not at an impasse, and you are not alone.


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