FRC’s Religious Freedom Expert would Force Raped Woman to Give Birth to Rapist’s Child

The Family Research Council bragged earlier this week that Jeanne Monahan, the head of its Center for Human Dignity, would be testifying today before Congress on how mandatory contraceptive coverage is an affront to Americans’ religious freedom.

However, FRC and allies like the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, have an odd of understanding of freedom. It’s really just the freedom for everyone to live according to their religion, and only a very narrow interpretation at that. Monahan, who holds a master’s degree in theology of marriage and family from the Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, is no exception.
 
In a blog post from January entitled “A Pro-Life Hero: Minka Disbrow,” Monahan wrote the following (emphasis mine): 
In 1928, as a young and innocent teenager, Minka Disbrow lived in South Dakota and worked on a dairy farm. One day while enjoying a picnic, Minka and a friend were jumped by three men and raped. Innocent to the degree that she didn’t comprehend how babies were created, months later the 17-year-old Minka was confused and surprised to find her body changing and growing. Her parents soon found an adoption agency. […]
 
In a similar story, Ryan Bomberger, of the Radiance Foundation was conceived in an act rape. Like Minka, Ryan’s mother chose to carry her child to term. Ryan now dedicates his life to promoting and protecting the dignity of every person. For a recent lecture by Ryan on the hope and joy of adoption click here.
 
All can agree that rape is a horrific act of violence that no one should ever undergo. But abortion after a rape robs an innocent victim of a very beautiful life.
While it’s incredible that Monahan would suggest that Minka Disbrow “chose to carry her child to term,” given the description she provided, the bigger issue is that she would force a woman to give birth to her rapist’s child.
 
In a column from last November, Monahan spoke out against providing the full range of medical care to female victims of human trafficking. Her overriding concern was that women who had become pregnant after being raped might choose abortion (emphasis mine):
Evidence exists that shows women who seek an abortion after rape add to their suffering: they now struggle with the coupled pain of the rape and the abortion; the abortion can become what some have termed “a second rape.”
 
Additionally, a recent peer-reviewed meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Psychiatry revealed that women who choose abortion have a significant increase in mental health problems including depression, anxiety and suicidal behaviors. A situation where a woman is trafficked and becomes pregnant is extremely difficult, but such women deserve loving and honest care and attention, and abortion is not part of that.
Monahan’s writing makes it plainly clear that she is far less concerned about helping women and defending human dignity than she is with forcing all of us – women in particular – to live by the narrow religious views of herself and her employer. That’s what they really mean when they talk about religious freedom.
 
UPDATE: Here's a recent video of Monahan, who is testifying now, on her views on reproductive rights:
 

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