This story comes close to home for me.
Someone I know occasionally cares for a wonderful little girl, the same age as my eldest child, whose mother was raped. And every time I hear anti-life advocates nonchalantly declare abortion to be the natural response for any woman who learns her rape has resulted in pregnancy, I seethe.
These same people, who would be insulted and enraged should anyone describe the child of an unwed mother as “a bastard” will blandly recommend a death sentence on a child whose only fault was being related to a Bad Man.
It’s easy for people to make that statement, because for them, it’s always in the hypothetical. It’s a what-if problem they need to solve. “You wouldn’t want to make the mom suffer, now would you?”
How far would they take this line of reasoning? Would they look at a toddler in the eye, and tell her she shouldn’t have been born? Tell a ten year old boy that he should have been sucked into a sink? Would they have the stones to look Miss Pennsylvania 2014 in the eye, and tell her that her life is meaningless? That abortion would have been preferable?
You see, Valerie Gatto’s dad was a Bad Man. Valerie was conceived in rape. Does that make her less of a person? No, emphatically, no.
In a day and age where we strangely hail as “heroes” people who make their preferences in bed partners public knowledge, how’s this for an example of courage: Valerie stood up and told the world her story. Did she have to? No. But she thought others might benefit from it.
Here’s a clip from her interview:
Hard work, sacrifice and a positive attitude enabled Valerie to graduate magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh, pursue acting opportunities and, most recently, snag the crown in the Miss Pennsylvania pageant without missing a beat in her philanthropic pursuits. And as far as she’s concerned, she’s only just begun.
Question: What in-spired (sic) you to share the story of your mother’s sexual assault?
Answer: I knew, at a young age, it wasn’t something that should be shared with my peers in elementary school. But I knew it was a topic that needed to have light shed on it. And I live my life not thinking of it as something negative, but looking at how to turn a negative into a positive. … A lot of people could benefit from this type of story — not just young women about how to protect themselves and how to prevent the crimes. It’s a story that could inspire a lot of people and, if I stay a strong person, I can inspire many other people. So, I don’t mind being an advocate for something like this. There’s not that many role models for young women out there today that are actually positive and uplifting, and that’s why I got into pageantry.