纽约时报文摘 | 被强奸而怀孕,我选择了堕胎

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My 12-year-old daughter recently asked me what I think about abortion. She walked into the kitchen, poked around the refrigerator, then spun around and blurted it out: “I can’t decide what I think about abortion. I want to know what you think.”
我12岁的女儿最近问我对堕胎有什么看法。她走进厨房,在冰箱里翻了一通,然后转过身,脱口而出:“我不知道该怎么看堕胎这事。我想知道你是怎么想的。”

My daughter is an avid consumer of the news. Unlike myself at her age, she’s genuinely interested in political news — news about climate change, racial and gender justice, and the next election. As her question hung in the air between us, I knew immediately that she had read the news that our home state, Ohio, had just banned nearly all abortions with no exceptions for rape or incest. Kentucky had already done so, in a law that’s since been blocked by a federal judge. Alabama would soon follow. Several other states were lining up in the queue, eager to strip women of the right to choose.
我女儿是狂热的新闻消费者。和我在这个年纪的时候不一样,她最感兴趣的是政治新闻——关于气候变化、种族和性别公正以及下一次选举。她提出这个问题的时候,我顿时明白,她肯定是读到了我们的家乡俄亥俄州刚刚禁止了几乎所有的堕胎,强奸和乱伦导致的怀孕也不例外。肯塔基州已经在这么做了,他们所依据的法律此后被一位联邦法官阻止。阿拉巴马州很快也会效仿。其他几个州也在排着队,急于剥夺妇女的选择权。

I took a deep breath. Her question took me by surprise, and yet I had been waiting for it since the day she was born. I always knew the time would come when I would have to tell my daughters the truth: I was raped. And I had an abortion. One day, you may face these challenges too.
我深吸了一口气。她的问题让我吃惊,但是从她出生的那天起,我就一直在等待。我一直知道,总有一天我会把真相告诉女儿:我被强奸过。我堕过胎。有一天,你可能也会面临这些挑战。

By age 45, nearly one in four women in the United States will have had an abortion, despite a steep decline in abortion rates since 2008 that experts say is due largely to increased availability of contraceptives. The likelihood of rape is also high. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women will be raped in their lifetime. This estimate strikes me as absurdly low, given what I know about my close female friends and family members.
年满45岁时,美国近四分之一的女性将会有堕胎经历,尽管自2008年以来堕胎率急剧下降,专家说主要是由于避孕药具更容易获取了。强奸的可能性也很高。根据国家性暴力资料中心(National Sexual Violence Resource Center)的数据,五分之一的女性一生中会有遭受强奸的经历。以我对亲密的女性朋友和家庭成员的了解,我觉得这个估计低到荒谬的地步。

纽约时报文摘 | 被强奸而怀孕,我选择了堕胎
1992年,超过30万名示威者在国会大厦游行以支持堕胎权。

I did not call my mother after I was raped, but I called her immediately after I learned that I had gotten pregnant as a result. It was my first semester of law school and I was terrified that everything I had hoped for my future was suddenly unraveling before my eyes. At the time, my father was unemployed. My mother was working a minimum-wage job. Miraculously, I was at Stanford Law School with a chance to pursue my dream of being a civil rights lawyer. But now everything was falling apart. I was devastated, emotionally wrecked, not only because I had been raped but because I was pregnant with my rapist’s child. I wondered aloud whether I should just quit law school and give birth to the baby that had been forced inside me.
被强奸后,我没跟母亲说,但是等我知道自己因此怀孕后,我立刻给她打了电话。那是我在法学院的第一学期,我害怕对未来的所有希望突然在眼前破灭。当时父亲失业了。母亲做的是一份最低工资的工作。我却奇迹般地在斯坦福法学院,有机会去追逐我的民权律师之梦。但现在一切都完了。我悲痛欲绝,完全崩溃了,不仅是因为遭到强奸,还因为我怀了强奸犯的孩子。我对自己说,我是不是应该从法学院退学,生下被迫植入我身体的那个孩子。

My mother listened quietly. She then told me that she, too, had been raped at about my age. She was raped by her boss when she was 20 years old. It was her first sexual experience. As she choked back tears, she said she never wanted her own daughter to experience the same fate. I begged her to tell me what to do — should I have this baby? — but she gently refused. “This is your choice, Michelle. Thank God you have a choice.”
妈妈静静地听着。然后她告诉我,在我这个年纪,她也被强奸过。她20岁时被上司强奸了。那是她的第一次性经历。她强忍着泪水说,她真不希望女儿也经历同样的命运。我求她告诉我该怎么做——我该生下这个孩子吗?——但她婉言拒绝了。“这是你的选择,米歇尔。感谢上帝,你有选择。”

I found it difficult to face what had occurred. Like countless women, I found a way to blame myself: Why did I drunk-dial him at midnight? Why did I say he could come to my dorm room at that hour? Why didn’t I scream? He wasn’t a big man; he was rather skinny — muscular, but lean. Couldn’t I have fought him off? I did say no, over and over, and tried to stop him. But his hand slipped over my mouth to silence me and his forearm pressed down across my shoulders to pin me to the mattress.
我很难面对发生的一切。和无数女人一样,我找理由责备自己:我为什么要半夜喝多了给他打电话?我为什么说他可以在那个时候来我的宿舍?我为什么没有尖叫?他块头不大,很瘦——肌肉发达,但很瘦。难道我就不能把他赶走吗?我一遍又一遍地拒绝,想阻止他。但他的手滑过我的嘴,让我没法出声,他的胳膊压住我的肩膀,让我在床垫上动弹不得。

I didn’t call the police — not after he left my dorm room and not after I discovered I was pregnant. I never once imagined that calling the police could help my situation. It could only make things worse. I envisioned prosecutors, courtrooms and interrogations. I was trying to survive my first year of law school, worried I might fail out, wondering how I would make it through my first round of exams. The last thing I wanted was to become a court case myself. Nor did I want a baby. I had no extended family to fall back on; no one who could loan me money to help raise a child; no place to go except to my parents’ rented home — a place that felt temporary, at best, given their financial insecurity and recent eviction. I did not want to give a baby away and I did not want to raise my rapist’s child.
我没有报警——在他离开我的宿舍之后没有,发现自己怀孕之后也没有。我根本不觉得报警会对我的处境有帮助,这只会让事情变得更糟。我设想过检察官、法庭和审讯。我正努力度过法学院的第一年,担心不及格,不知该怎么通过第一轮考试。我最不想见到的就是让自己也成为法庭上的案例。我也不想要孩子。我没有可以依靠的大家庭;没人能借钱给我养孩子;除了父母租住的房子,我没有别的地方可去——由于他们的经济状况不稳定,而且最近又被逐出住处,我觉得那个地方至多也只是暂时的。我不想把孩子送走,也不想抚养强奸犯的孩子。

At the time, I felt terribly alone but my circumstances were far from unusual. Black women have the highest rates of abortion in the country, undoubtedly due to the severe wealth gap between black and white families — a gap that holds even among the poor. The white household living near the poverty line typically has about $18,000 in wealth — primarily due to intergenerational wealth transfers — while black households in similar economic straits typically have a median wealth near zero. Although women of all colors who are poor are far more likely than those who have greater resources to choose to end their pregnancies, the situation for black women is especially dire. Although our families often want to help, as mine certainly did, that frequently proves to be a practical impossibility. A 2014 report found that for every dollar of wealth owned by the typical white family, the median black family owns just 5 cents. Even if I wanted to give birth to my rapist’s baby — which I did not — I, like so many others, could not turn to my family for help.
当时,我感到非常孤独,但我的情况并不罕见。黑人女性的堕胎率是全国最高的,这无疑是由于黑人和白人家庭之间的严重贫富差距所造成,这种差距甚至在穷人中也存在。生活在贫困线附近的白人家庭通常拥有约1.8万美元的财富——主要是由于代际财富转移——处于类似经济困境的黑人家庭的财富中位值通常接近于零。尽管在所有肤色之中,都是贫困女性比拥有更多资源的女性更有可能选择终止妊娠,但黑人女性的情况尤其可怕。我们的家人时常会想帮我们一把,我的家人自然也是想的,但往往根本不可能付诸实施。2014年的一份报告发现,典型白人家庭拥有的财富相当于中等黑人家庭拥有财富的20倍。虽然我没有生下这个强奸犯的孩子,但就算我想生,我也和其他许多人一样,无法向家人寻求帮助。

During my second year in law school, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case, Rust v. Sullivan, that many worried might overturn the constitutional right to abortion established by Roe v. Wade. I recall some male law students arguing that abortion bans wouldn’t be so bad, so long as there were exceptions made in cases of rape. I wondered how a “rape exception” to an abortion ban could possibly help women, like me, who did not want to report a rape to the police and who could not possibly prove that a rape occurred if the man denied it. Criminal cases take months, even years, to be resolved. Would abortions be allowed based on mere allegations of rape without any proof? If not, what would a woman have to prove in a matter of days or weeks to get an abortion in the first trimester? How could she overcome the inevitable denial? What man would admit to rape knowing that he’d face a likely prison sentence?
在我上法学院的第二年,最高法院同意审理鲁斯特诉沙利文案(Rust v. Sullivan),许多人担心这个案件可能会推翻罗诉韦德案(Roe v. Wade)确立的宪法赋予的堕胎权。我记得一些法律系的男学生说,只要有强奸导致怀孕的例外,堕胎禁令就不那么糟糕。我想知道,堕胎禁令的“强奸例外”怎么才能帮助像我这样的女性,她们不想向警方报案,如果男性否认强奸,她们也无法证明强奸发生了。刑事案件需要几个月,甚至几年时间才能解决。在没有任何证据的情况下,仅凭强奸指控就允许堕胎吗?如果不能,那么在孕期前三个月里,女性需要在几天或几周内证明什么才能堕胎呢?她怎样才能战胜男方不可避免的否认呢?知道自己可能面临牢狱之灾,哪个男人会承认强奸呢?

My own situation proved to be highly unusual in one respect. The man who raped me admitted what he had done and apologized. I doubt if he would’ve done the same if I’d been legally required to report the rape to obtain an abortion. I know many women who’ve been raped; not one has called the cops.
我自己的情况在一个方面也是极不寻常的。强奸我的人承认了他所做的事,并向我道歉。我怀疑,如果法律要求我报告强奸才能获得堕胎权,他是否也还这么做。我认识很多遭到强奸的女性;没有人报警。

My rapist called the day after he violated me and left an awkward message on my answering machine saying he was sorry about “what happened.” He did not use the word “rape.” He asked me to call him back. I did not. More messages were left in the days that followed; each time he sounded more distraught, more apologetic, more despondent.
强奸我的人在侵犯我的第二天打电话给我,在我的答录机上留下了一条尴尬的信息,说他对“发生的事情”感到抱歉。他没有使用“强奸”这个词。他让我给他回电话。我没有。在接下来的日子里,他留了更多的信息;每一次听上去都显得更心烦、更抱歉、更加沮丧。

On the day I learned I was pregnant, I finally decided to call. I wanted to punish him with the news. Look what you’ve done to me. I wanted him to know that his actions had consequences and this was something we’d both have to live with for the rest of our lives, no matter what I decided. When he answered the phone, he sounded relieved that I had finally called. I interrupted his efforts to apologize yet again to deliver my news. After a long silence, he asked quietly, “Are you sure it’s mine?” I nearly threw the phone against the wall but instead steadied myself and told him coldly that yes, you did this.
在我得知自己怀孕的那天,我终于决定打电话。我想用这个消息惩罚他。看看你对我做了什么。我想让他知道,他的行为是有后果的,无论我做了什么决定,我们在余生里都不得不承受它。当他接电话时,听上去松了一口气,因为我终于打了电话。我打断了他再次道歉的努力,把我的消息告诉他。沉默许久,他平静地问道:“你确定是我的吗?”我差点把电话扔到墙上,但我镇定下来,冷冷地对他说,是的,是你干的。

“Oh, no,” he sighed. A long pause. “Are you going to keep it? It’s your choice, totally up to you.”
“哦,不,”他叹息道。长长的停顿。“你要把它留下吗?这是你的选择,完全取决于你。”

“I know it’s my choice,” I replied.
“我知道这是我的选择,”我答道。

An even longer pause followed. The silence stretched between us and I refused to be the one to break it. Then he said slowly: “I know you don’t believe me, but I am sorry. I didn’t give you a choice. I will never forgive myself for what I did.”
之后是更长的停顿。沉默在我们之间蔓延着,我拒绝先去打破它。然后他缓缓说道:“我知道你不相信我,但我很抱歉。我没给你选择。我永远都不会原谅自己所做的事。”

I know many women yearn for an apology like that. Eve Ensler, the renowned feminist playwright, just published a powerful book, “The Apology,” that lays out in wrenching detail what she wished her father had said to her after years of brutal violence and sexual abuse. What I experienced in my dorm room was far less horrific but I still couldn’t accept his apology. I didn’t even think I wanted one. I told myself that I wanted nothing from him. I refused his offer to pay for the abortion. I refused to allow him to drive me to the clinic or to care for me upon my release. I refused to allow him to believe that there was anything he could do to make up for what he had done.
我知道很多女性渴望得到这样的道歉。著名女性主义剧作家伊芙·恩斯勒(Eve Ensler)刚刚出版力作《道歉》(The Apology),以令人揪心的细节描绘了经过多年的残酷暴力与性侵之后,她希望父亲对她所说的。我在宿舍的经历远没那么恐怖,但我依然无法接受他的道歉。我甚至从不觉得自己想要这个道歉。我告诉自己,我不想要他的任何东西。我拒绝了他主动提出承担堕胎费用的请求。我拒绝让他载我去诊所或在出院后照顾我。我拒绝让他相信他可以做些什么去弥补他的所作所为。

And yet, years later, I realized that I was free. I no longer felt fear, anger or resentment toward the man who raped me. Without even realizing it, I had forgiven him. It’s difficult to imagine that I would feel the same if he had shown me no care or concern, or if I had been forced to endure a fresh wave of trauma in our court system, or if I had been forced to give birth to a child that I did not choose.
但多年后,我意识到我自由了。我不再对强暴过我的男人感到恐惧、愤怒或怨恨。我甚至在没意识到的情况下,已经原谅了他。很难想象,假如他当时从未对我表现出关怀或担心,或者我曾被迫在我们的法庭系统中经受新一轮创痛,又或者我被迫生下我没有选择生下的孩子,我是否还会有同样的感受。

My daughter listened to my story with wide, frightened eyes. She did not want to hear that something like this had happened to me or that it could happen to her. Eventually she asked whether I thought my rapist’s apology was truly sincere. Her skepticism was well founded. After all, many abusive partners apologize over and over again for the harm they’ve done even as they continue to do it. I would never tell my daughter or any woman to accept an apology or to forgive a man who abuses her. Nor would I tell any woman whether she should or should not terminate a pregnancy. Those are not my choices to make.
女儿惊恐地睁大眼睛听我讲完了故事。她本不想听到这样的事情曾发生在我身上,或者可能会发生在她身上。最后,她问我是否觉得强暴者的道歉是真心实意。她的怀疑无可厚非。毕竟许多施暴的伴侣会为他们所造成的伤害一遍又一遍地道歉,尽管他们还会继续施暴。我绝不会告诉女儿或任何女性去接受虐待她的男性的道歉,或去原谅他。我也不会告诉任何女性她应该或者不该结束妊娠。这些不是我要去做的选择。

What I did say to my daughter, as she sat perched on our kitchen stool, is that I am filled with gratitude for the women who came before us — women who fought for the right to choose, who dared to imagine that we had the right to control our bodies and who said loudly and proudly that we should not be forced to bear children against our will. Roe v. Wade is rooted in a basic understanding that women’s lives matter and that we have rights, needs and interests that don’t vanish when we become pregnant. Pregnancy and childbirth can be extremely difficult — emotionally and physically painful — and bringing a child into the world is an enormous responsibility. Deciding whether or not to give birth may be the most important decision a woman will ever make, potentially changing the course of her life forever — or ending it. Black women, in particular, have high mortality rates during pregnancy. In some areas of Mississippi, black and Latina women are more likely than women in some of the poorest countries in the world to experience a pregnancy-related death. Forcing any woman to see a pregnancy to term may be risking her life as well as her physical and emotional health.
对着蹲坐在厨房凳子上的女儿,我选择说出对女性先辈的感激之情——那些曾为拥有选择权而抗争过的女性,那些敢于想象我们有权控制自己的身体的女性,以及那些曾自豪地大声说我们不应被迫违背自己意愿生孩子的女性。罗诉韦德案根植于这样一个基本认识,即女性的生命很重要,我们所拥有的权利、需要和利益不随怀孕而消失。妊娠和分娩可能因为会造成身心上的痛苦而极其艰难,把一个孩子带到这个世界也是一项巨大的责任。决定是否生育可能将会是女性所要作出的最重要的决定,可能会永远改变——或终止——她的生命历程。黑人女性在妊娠期间的死亡率尤其高。在密西西比部分地区,黑人和拉丁裔女性经历妊娠相关死亡的几率高于世界上一些最贫穷的国家。迫使任何女性妊娠足月可能会危及她们的性命,损害她们的身心健康。

I said to my daughter, as a young woman, you will be faced with many difficult choices in your life and I cannot protect you from all that may come your way. You will have to decide for yourself what you think about abortion and everything else. I will always respect the careful decisions you make. But since you asked me, I will tell you: If we want to continue to have the rights and freedoms that were won in the generations that came before us, if we want gender and racial equality, and if we want the right to control our own bodies and destinies, we are going to have to stand up, speak out and fight for our right to choose.
我告诉女儿,作为年轻女性,你将在生活中面临许多艰难的选择,我无法在它们一一到来时都保护好你。你必须得自己决定怎么看待堕胎及其他所有事情。我会永远尊重你审慎做出的决定。但既然你问了我,我会告诉你:如果你想继续拥有我们之前的一代代人所赢得的权利与自由,如果我们想要性别与种族平等,如果我们想要控制自己身体与命运的权利,我们就不得不站出来,勇敢发声,为我们的选择权而战。

本文作者 Michelle Alexander于2018年成为时报专栏作家。她是民权律师和倡议者、法律学者和《新吉姆·克劳法:色盲时代的大规模监禁》(The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)的作者。

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