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Doug VanderMeulen, Published September 08 2012

Letter: Death penalty for baby, but spare rapist?

Recently, there has been much discussion about a woman’s right to an abortion after being raped.

Rape is always evil. Rape ranks among the most grievous violations of a person. Rape is devastating to a person’s physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological life, and its lifelong repercussions cannot be overstated. However, does the seriousness of rape justify a woman getting an abortion? In following the logic of the argument, let’s consider the question from a more generalized situation.

Generally, if someone commits an unspeakable evil against you, are you justified to go and kill a third party unrelated to the crime? No, certainly not. As a rule, our legal system, while supporting self-defense, does not support the killing of a third party who had nothing to do with the original crime.

Agreeing with this makes it difficult to justify aborting a baby because of the rape factor. The baby, being the third party, did nothing against its mother; the rapist did. Since it is generally wrong to kill the so-called innocent third party, why is it OK to kill the baby?

We all agree that it is evil for a mother to kill her baby living outside the womb. Why is it justifiable for a mother to kill her baby inside the womb? Does physical location really make that much of a difference?

Another question: Why is the death penalty for an unborn baby conceived in a rape considered reasonable when the death penalty for the rapist isn’t? Do you think it’s odd that in North Dakota, our legislators and judges permit a mother to kill her baby but they spare her rapist?

Who deserves the death penalty, the baby or the rapist?

Do you really think the best therapy for a woman traumatized by rape is to let her kill her baby?


Pastor VanderMeulen is with Community Baptist Church, Fargo.