Abortion Or Quit: Raped Peace Corps Volunteer Forced To Choose


Rape Leaves Clark Pregnant

Clark said the nightmare continued when she learned she was pregnant a little over a month later. When she reported this to two Peace Corps officials, she said they told her she either had to have an abortion or leave the organization.

"They gave me a pen and paper and told me to write down the pros and cons and give them an answer," said Clark, adding that she was given under an hour to make the decision. "I felt like I was a problem they didn't want to deal with."

Clark, whose family told her she was not welcome back home if she was pregnant, said she felt she had to throw a "whole set of ideals" she was raised with out the window.

"I would not have been able to endure -- to cope [if I continued the pregnancy]," she said.

Clark decided to have the abortion and said the Peace Corps flew her to Honolulu for the procedure, but would not pay for the abortion. Instead she said her closest friend's parents funded the procedure. A Peace Corps spokesperson confirmed that the organization is not permitted to pay for abortions.

Clark returned to her village in Nepal in February 1985. The employee who raped her was still working in Nepal. When she asked to be moved away from him, she said she was forced to confront him about the alleged rape in front of another person as a condition of being relocated.

"I fled the room -- it was so overwhelming," she said. "I had to get out of that room."

Clark was ultimately relocated. But word had spread that she had had "sex" with the Peace Corps employee, and she says men began to harass her.

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She said a government official tried to drag her back to his home "to have fun like you had with your Peace Corps friend," but she escaped.

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