Baghdad- For many years, fundamentalist Islamic jihadists have forced non-Muslim Iraqi and Syrian women to become sex-slaves. Society has shunned these women for having sex with non-Yazidi men even when force has been involved. These women are treated as outcasts until the leader of their community says the women can be welcomed back. However, according to their religion, it is unacceptable to condone the birth of a child if both parents are not Yazidis. Worse yet, in the case of a married woman who is raped and becomes pregnant, her husband can choose to divorce her.
Abortion, Adoption, or Raising a Child?
Due to the public shame and being ostracized, many women chose abortion which is illegal under Iraqi laq, but women are not prosecuted due to an “understanding” with local authorities. In this country, abortion, while illegal, is perceived as a solution, yet not all women want to undergo the procedure.
Now, despite the social shame, many Yazidi women have chosen to give their babies life despite being raped. Some women choose to raise them, and others choose to give their children to infertile Kurdish couples.
Nofel Hamadi Akub, the governor of Nineveh, claims there are at least 3,000 children of unknown parentage in his province alone.
Yet although abortion is illegal, some are using the pain the women are experiencing to promote abortion as has been done with Boko Haram and Zika virus cases. They wish to use this experience in changing laws in this area and offering a “choice” to women who have experienced rape.
However, women of this region have disproved a long-standing theory that it is impossible to resist abortion in the case of rape. They support the reality that many victims of rape that choose to abort claim that it was a mistake and did not bring them healing that they had anticipated.
However, organizations such as Planned Parenthood still cite that young women lack intellect, resources, and competence to raise their children properly. Yet these women, despite incredible obstacles and social pressures, choose to raise their children anyway. These women have the most to loose by doing so, yet they are doing it successfully despite the reasons cited above.
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