I’ve had some interesting feedback to my post on Precious, mostly from people who have not yet seen the movie. Many had not seriously considered the problem of incest, while others had been impacted by it personally or through someone they love.
First or all I need to say this loud and clear: my post was not intended to be a comprehensive statement about the needs of incest victims! On that question, the first priority would be taking on the legal issues of prosecuting the perpetrator and treating the crime for what it is. A discussion of the many unforeseen implications would surely follow, including taking serious care to anticipate all that would flow out of removing a breadwinner from an abusive situation. Let me reassure you of this, I am against incest and I am in favor of protecting victims of incest by whatever legal means is available to us.
My post didn’t deal with the problem of how to protect Precious from future abuse and it was not my intent to gloss that over. It is not a topic the movie had to address; the prepetrator meets with justice by other means. But the movie drops us into the problem of the abuse and the pregnancy and we have to decide–what would you do if you encountered a girl in this situation right now? That’s the question before us.
I want our answer to be: love her and her child. Our hearts should hate the idea of a family member expoiting another sexually, and we should always be able to set that aside to offer the love that mother and child deserve. Abortion proponents understand that the woman needs support, but they’re willing to provide an answer that punishes the child by taking his or her life. Parenting may or may not be the answer for a woman after incest; adoption remains the compassionate alternative in those cases. The pregnancy help movement has been quietly serving this need in the decades since we wrongly decided that women’s rights are at odds with the lives and the needs of children. It is no less loving to give birth and decide to parent than to give birth and release to others in the adoption process.
Some commented about the pain these decisions involve. Well, yes, it’s painful to be victimized and have to make difficult choices. But the reality is that once a child has been conceived there is no way to undo that fact. The only choice at that point is whether to love and give life or to destroy what God has made. Destroying a child as a remedy to the pain of incest is a flawed strategy. We have told ourselves we need it, because we couldn’t imagine a woman would want to have and keep that child.
Precious shows us how.