By Pam Siegfried

Special to The Stiletto Blog

As a convenience store clerk who works the graveyard shift I have been robbed seven times. Because I am willing to walk home from work alone, I have been sexually assaulted twice. Sexual assault covers two crimes – an aggravated assault (in my case, stabbing) and/or a sexual act that can be anything from groping to forced intercourse. Somehow it’s easier to say you were sexually assaulted rather than raped.

The first time was in December 1972; I was 19 years old. As I was walking home from work, I felt someone put his hand on my shoulder. I shook him off and he hit me several times across my back. When I felt a sensation of someone dumping a pitcher of warm water down the backs of my legs I realized I had been stabbed.

The second rape occurred in a city park on August 15, 1973 – my first wedding anniversary. I heard the sound of running footsteps, and then a man slammed into my back. When I turned around, I realized it was not my husband surprising me and I recall thinking, “Here I go again.”

My husband, Mike, and I were trying to start a family and after the rapist let me go, I went to the same clinic I had visited a couple of times for pregnancy tests.   This time, the test came back positive. One of the staff members felt obligated to point out the possibility that I might have conceived by my rapist rather than by my husband and recommended an abortion to “clean out your dirty uterus and start over” as he put it. 

But I knew that the odds favored my husband being the father, because the rapist was unable to complete the sex act. Technically, it’s rape after the first penetration even if the man doesn’t ejaculate. After no more than half a minute, the rapist – Elijah Coleman; I found out his name at the trial – required oral then anal sex. Normally I don’t add that part because it makes people uncomfortable. Me, not so much anymore. I bounce back quick – I am fortunate that way – but it will come back around on me sometimes.

Even though I was “pro-choice” at the time – my husband has always been pro-life – I decided I would rather chance carrying Coleman’s child than killing a baby my husband I wanted so much to have. However, I did have a worst case scenario planned out in case the baby was not my husband’s. Coleman is black, so I knew I would have to tell my parents about being raped. And if it turned out that I could not love this baby – could not separate it from the rape – I would give it to someone else to raise. I realized the deficit would be mine, not the child’s.

When my daughter, Janet, was born it was obvious she was not black, that she was my husband’s and mine and we loved her on sight. But when she was in her early 20s, Janet called me in tears wanting to know, “Did you like me before I was born?” I told her I still remember every detail about the first time I heard her heartbeat – I could see the room, feel the cold gel and the ultrasound wand, hear the white noise. And then … the sound of her tiny heart beating, and the doctor’s voice telling, me, “There’s your baby.”  I told her that I would forget my own name before I forgot any of that because no matter who her father might have been, at that moment I knew who her mother was.

Why judge a child by her father? A child conceived of rape is as innocent as a women who gets raped, and Janet is worthy simply because she is Janet. She is the eldest of six children my husband and I have had together, and because I did not take the abortion I was offered after my rape I have six grandchildren instead of four.

In the short story, “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas,” science fiction writer Ursula K. LeGuin, explores the question of whether a utopian society can exist if just one person becomes a scapegoat to guarantee another’s happiness. That’s just what abortion is – scapegoating an innocent child. For me, it’s out of the question. Even after rape. Some things are non-negotiable.

About Pam Siegfried:  A regular reader of The Stiletto Blog, Pam Siegfried lives in AK and describes herself as a pro-life, pro-gay pagan/atheist and feminist who loves sci-fi/fantasy. NARAL and other “women’s rights” groups have targeted Gov. Sarah Palin for her steadfast beliefs on abortion, and Pam agreed to share her story because the MSM invariably interviews women who have had abortions after rape, but not women like her. They don’t exist to the MSM, which makes it easy for anti-abortion absolutists to be portrayed as weird extremists. They are not. They are mothers and grandmothers, just like Pam.

Since she would be “outing” her entire family by posting this article under her own name, Pam asked her husband to have a look at it. Mike supported her decision to write about the circumstances of Janet’s conception, and added this in an e-mail to The Stiletto:

Pam doesn’t know how often I thought about the possibility that Janet was not “mine.”  All the time. But that never made it a question in my mind about whether I would love the child.  Any child of Pam’s is mine, and always would be. That’s what it means when you get married.

Judging by Sarah and Todd Palin and by Pam and Mike Siegfried, AK seems to breed resilient, unwavering and extraordinary people – not the backwards backwoods bumpkins portrayed by the MSM.

Note: The Stiletto Blog, about politics and other stuff, was chosen an Official Honoree in the Political Blogs category by the judges of the 12th Annual Webby Awards (the Oscars of the online universe) along with CNN Political Ticker, Swampland (Time magazine) and The Caucus (The New York Times).

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