“I’m pro-life…except in cases of rape.”
That’s a sad refrain from many who call themselves “pro-life.”
They argue that a woman shouldn’t be forced to carry their rapist’s child.
But, as Lauran Bunting knows from her own tragic story, all children deserve the chance at life.
Lauran started dating an older boy in high school. Her parents didn’t fully approve of their relationship, but Lauran trusted her boyfriend implicitly.
He even respected her decision to wait to have sex until marriage, Lauran rationalized. What could go wrong?
But one day, Lauran found herself alone and helpless with the boy she had trusted.
“We were playing basketball,” she said. “We went in the garage for a quick drink, and that’s when he decided that he didn’t care.”
“He wanted to have sex, and I begged and pleaded with him, but he forced me into this closet and forced me to have sex with him.”
Already traumatized from the rape, Lauran soon discovered she was also pregnant.
When she told her parents about the pregnancy, and eventually the rape as well, her father urged her to abort the baby.
Lauran refused to abort her child, though, and her parents decided to support her decision. Their compassion and love kept Lauran strong throughout her pregnancy.
She considered giving her child up for adoption, but changed her mind when she came across Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
Lauran felt God’s reassurance in that verse — and His calling to raise her child on her own, even though she was only a teenager.
Lauran gave birth to a daughter, Isabella, less than two weeks after her high school graduation.
From the moment Isabella was born, Lauran knew she had made the right decision.
“I think any time you put another person’s life before your own, you feel empowered,” she said. “Though motherhood is a scary journey at times, the Lord has given me the strength to get through the hardest of times and continues to be with me through the good times.”
Lauran has done her best to raise Isabella to walk with God, and the sight of her daughter growing closer to Jesus has given her unimaginable joy.
“No one can explain just how much joy you will feel when you see your child walking in the way of the Lord,” she added.
Stories like Lauran’s refute the idea that abortion in the case of rape is a valid choice, and some ministries, such as an organization called Save the 1, are doing their best to help people understand that.
Save the 1’s mission is “to educate everyone on why all pre-born children should be protected by law and accepted by society, without exception.”
The ministry emphasizes the idea of “no exceptions,” even and especially in cases of rape. The organization argues that babies conceived in rape still have dignity and value.
Save the 1 agrees that rapists should be punished for their crimes—but these babies should not be punished for existing!
“Stop the exceptions [and] save the one,” the ministry says.
Save the 1 offers resources for pro-life advocates, including a blog, a group of pro-life speakers, podcasts, books, and important advocacy tips.
The ministry is also deeply involved in legislative efforts to protect babies conceived in rape.
Save the 1 highlights stories like Lauran’s, striving to “reveal the truth that there have been tens of thousands of mothers pregnant by rape and tens of thousands of rape-conceived children all around us, and that there is help, support and hope for all in those unfortunate cases.”
Many mothers like Lauran have the opportunity to guard and rejoice over a beautiful new life – they just need the encouragement and the resources to do it.
“My heart hurts for the woman who was raped. I feel her pain,” said Lauran. “I understand her tears and her fears. And I pray that she would see that her baby that is inside of her is no accident. They aren’t a mistake.”
“[Trying] to erase that memory by killing their baby isn’t the answer to what they’ve been through, but unfortunately, is only going to add more pain…at some point, they are going to feel that pain and realize that taking their baby’s life wasn’t the answer.”
Lauran and Save the 1 are doing their utmost to offer hope to mothers who were raped and encourage them to keep the valuable life inside of them.
“[I pray] that even one woman would read [my] story and see the beautiful miracle that is growing inside of her; that she would choose life for her child,” Lauran said.
Learn more about Save the 1’s work to support women like Lauran—and babies like Isabella—here.
And if you’re not 100% pro-life, find resources here and take the leap of faith to support all life!