Rebecca Kiessling

Women who cried wolf — the illegitimate rape claim behind Roe v Wade

Rebecca Kiessling
By Rebecca Kiessling

Note: Rebecca Kiessling, who was herself conceived in rape, is the co-founder of Hope After Rape Conception which advocates on behalf of rape survivors and their children.

This past week, Congressman Akin was publicly chastised for his comments on abortion in the case of rape, employing the controversial term “legitimate rape.” There was outcry from the liberal left, and from moderate Republicans – an indignation that a candidate for U.S. Senate would dare imply that a woman’s claim of rape might not be legitimate, making him out to be a misogynist. Though I’ve previously written that the comment was a faux pas and unnecessarily uttered, I’d like to address the underlying implications of such a statement, which was very similar to Ron Paul’s phraseology about an “honest rape” when he too was asked about abortion in the case of rape. Are legislators really to blame for implying that there are false claims of rape? Is there a history of illegitimate rape claims, particularly as it relates to this issue of pregnancy and rape? Do some women fabricate these claims? If so, who is to blame for any tendency in our society to question the veracity of rape victims’ accounts? Skeptical lawmakers, judges, juries, media, and the public, or the women who have cried wolf?

When I was in law school, I was a victim of domestic violence. A boyfriend from law school beat me up, breaking my jaw, knocking my teeth loose, chipping them, and crushing all of the bone in my upper jaw, which eventually resulted in the loss of my front tooth after much effort and surgeries to try to save it. I became a family law attorney because of what was done to me. As a young attorney, I was idealistic and naïve – absolutely indignant that any judge or Friend of the Court referee would dare question the claims of a victim of domestic violence. After all, she finally had the courage to leave the abusive situation after having been threatened, abused and terrorized. How on Earth could a judge or Friend of the Court referee doubt her account and refuse to grant, or dismiss, a Personal Protection Order? I thought that these people must be uncaring women-haters, showing deference only to men. Maybe they were even abusers themselves!

Then I gained experience. I had clients who I discovered were lying about their claims of domestic violence. I had clients who specifically asked me, “Well, what if I say I was abused?” — wanting to know how that could affect custody, or getting her husband removed from the home so she wouldn’t have to live with him during their divorce. Finally, the reality struck me – these judges are skeptical because there are women who cry wolf. That’s when I began seeing the judges in a new light, and my resentment grew toward the women who lied. I saw the reality that my clients who really were abused had a difficult time with the court system because of these other women who were ruining it for the real victims.

After learning my front tooth would have to be pulled, an expert in cosmetic dentistry offered to restore my smile for free, as part of the Give Back A Smile Program for victims of domestic violence, through the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. The bridge and eight teeth with porcelain veneers would have likely cost me around $20,000 to have done by this expert in advanced cosmetic dentistry. Hence, the program had to ensure that there wasn’t fraud. I had to have a certification from a domestic violence counselor that I’d spent time with her, that she believed my claim was legitimate, and that I’d been out of the relationship for at least one year. Was this because these people who wanted to help restore my smile were really misogynist wife-beaters themselves who heartlessly mistrusted a victim’s story? No, of course not! This is the result of women who have cried wolf – and I got scrutinized.

In my conversations with many people this past week, I repeatedly got asked the question from those who were honest in their reactions to the latest news frenzy: “Well, aren’t there women who lie about rape? What about the Duke LaCrosse team rape scandal?” Margaret DiCanio, author of the book, The Encyclopedia of Violence: Origins, Attitudes, Consequences (1993), states that “while researchers and prosecutors do not agree on the exact percentage of false allegations, they generally agree on a range of 2% to 8%.” Aren’t the ones who make the false rape claims prejudicing our society and hurting the 92 – 98% of rape victims who actually have legitimate rape claims, and doesn’t some of the blame rest on them? I believe so.

But what about the claims of pregnancy by rape? Do women lie about that? When I first learned that I was conceived in rape, I was 18, and I was devastated. My family and friends did not know how to relate to me. I was not given any kind of foundation in my life for dealing with this difficult truth, and they had no foundation themselves for offering real assistance. So they took the easiest strategy, which was to tell me that it’s probably not true, “because a lot of women lie about becoming pregnant by rape.”

When I finally met my birthmother several months later, she shared the horrible details of the rape, having been abducted at knifepoint by a serial rapist and brutally raped. She basically walked me through the entire evening of the rape, including the aftermath. There was no question her account was true. Once again, I had to try to cope with the reality of it, and I still had some family members who suggested that it may have been fabricated. I got very upset with them. I intuitively knew how unfair it was for them to question the veracity of her account, just because they didn’t want to deal with the painful truth and because of their discomfort with the fact that my rape-conception could not be reconciled with their world-view and pro-choice values. But once they realized my birthmother’s account was true, their abortion stance was instantly changed.

But why would family and friends suggest such a thing – that there are women who lie about becoming pregnant through rape? Are there any well-known documented cases where this happened, as in the Duke LaCrosse team false rape claim case?

The answer to that question lies in the very foundation for the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case which legalized abortion in the U.S. – the false rape claim by Norma McCorvey — Jane Roe in Roe v Wade. This is her testimony on January 21, 1998, before the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Federalism, and Property Rights of the Senate Judiciary Committee:

“My name is Norma McCorvey. I’m sorry to admit that I’m the Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade. The affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court didn’t happen the way I said it did, pure and simple. I lied! Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffey needed an extreme case to make their client look pitiable. Rape seemed to be the ticket. What made rape even worse? A gang rape! It all started out as a little lie, but my little lie grew and became more horrible with each telling.”

The largest illegitimate rape claim ever perpetrated in the history of our nation was the foundation for the filing of Roe v Wade, which led to abortion on demand in our country! So the next time you hear anyone complaining about Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” remark, I want you to remember that abortion rights activists are the women who cried wolf. They are the ones who are squarely responsible for the skepticism we see today regarding women who claim to be pregnant by rape, and they’ve set an example for other women to lie about it too. For those on the left who criticize Akin, I can assuredly call you out as hypocrites.

And for those who make the rape exception, some blame rests on you as well. After all, once you make a rape exception, you now have to set a standard in order to determine whether a claim of rape is legitimate so that the government will not be defrauded when a woman wants to receive Medicaid funding to abort her child - as in the Hyde Amendment exceptions. Rape exceptions put the government in this position – whether they require a police report, social service agency report, or a doctor’s certification that he’s satisfied that the woman’s claim of rape is legitimate.

I’m a co-founder and board member of a newly-formed 501(c)(3), Hope After Rape Conception, whose mission is to assist rape survivor mothers and their children. We seek to ensure that they are protected by law from the rapist having any parental rights, with model legislation posted on the site, and we also plan to post model guidelines for States so that rape survivor mothers will not be cut off from receiving state aid. This occurs all too often because federal and state laws require that a mother cooperate with the local child support enforcement division of the prosecutor’s office by naming the father. Some rape victims are unable to do so, and others are apprehensive about naming him because it could open the door for him to know about her child, and to be able to exercise parental rights. So part of our board members’ plans are to craft model guidelines ...  which means that we’ll have the difficult task of recommending standards for states to set to determine whether a claim of rape is legitimate. Ah – there’s that word again!

As if that task is not sticky enough for a board composed of two rape survivor mothers, two members who were conceived in rape, and a grandmother of a child conceived when her minor daughter was raped, our future plans also include offering scholarships to rape survivor mothers and their children, as well as financial assistance to those who have been cut off from state aid. What this means is that we will be in the awkward position of having to ascertain ourselves whether a rape claim is legitimate. Juda Myers – someone who was also conceived in rape, runs a new organization called, “Choices 4 Life” — which has presented “honor awards” to rape survivor mothers and which seeks to raise funds to provide financial aid to these women. She recently shared with me that she has experienced fraud where women – dare I say – had illegitimate rape claims. So this is not foolhardy or myth, but a reality in this world that there are indeed women who lie about having become pregnant by rape.

It does take a lot of courage for survivors of rape and survivors of domestic violence to come forward with their stories and to seek protection and justice, and I’m very protective of my own birthmother in this regard. Last year, I had friends alert me to a chat room where someone was making the accusation that my birthmother’s story was false, and/or that my claim of having been conceived in rape was false. It’s frustrating and insulting that such accusations are made. It affects me, and it hurts other women as well. But when we discuss this issue, let us not forget, and let us remind others, who it is that fabricated the greatest illegitimate claim of rape which has ever been perpetrated in the U.S., and perhaps around the world. These abortion rights activists are the women who cried wolf.

This article first appeared on Rebecca Kiessling’s blog and is reprinted with permission.

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A Planned Parenthood facility in Denver, Colorado
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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Colorado judge tosses suit alleging Planned Parenthood used state funds to pay for abortions

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By Dustin Siggins

Alliance Defending Freedom "will likely appeal" a Monday court decision dismissing their suit alleging Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains illegally used state funds to pay for abortions, an ADF lawyer told LifeSiteNews.

The ADF lawsuit claims that $1.4 million went from state government agencies to a Planned Parenthood abortion affiliate through Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.

Denver County District Court Judge Andrew McCallin dismissed the case on the basis that ADF could not prove the funds paid for abortions. But ADF maintains that funding an abortion facility is indirectly paying for abortions, which violates state law.

ADF senior counsel Michael Norton -- whose wife, former Colorado Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton, filed the lawsuit – told LifeSiteNews that "no one is above the law, including Colorado politicians who are violating our state’s constitution by continuing to fund Planned Parenthood’s abortion business with state taxpayer dollars."

"The State of Colorado even acknowledges that about $1.4 million of state taxpayer dollars flowed from Colorado government agencies through Planned Parenthood to its abortion affiliate. The Denver court seems to have agreed with that fact and yet granted motions to dismiss based on a technicality," said Norton.

According to Colorado law, "no public funds shall be used by the State of Colorado, its agencies or political subdivisions to pay or otherwise reimburse, either directly or indirectly, any person, agency or facility for the performance of any induced abortion." There is a stipulation that allows for "the General Assembly, by specific bill, [to] authorize and appropriate funds to be used for those medical services necessary to prevent the death of either a pregnant woman or her unborn child under circumstances where every reasonable effort is made to preserve the life of each."

According to court documents, the Colorado law was affirmed by state voters in 1984, with an appeal attempt rejected two years later. In 2001, an outside legal firm hired by Jane Norton -- who was lieutenant governor at the time -- found that Planned Parenthood was "subsidizing rent" and otherwise providing financial assistance to Planned Parenthood Services Corporation, an abortion affiliate. After the report came out, and Planned Parenthood refused to disassociate itself from the abortion affiliate, the state government stopped funding Planned Parenthood.

Since 2009, however, that has changed, which is why the lawsuit is filed against Planned Parenthood, and multiple government officials, including Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

According to ADF legal counsel Natalie Decker, the fact that Planned Parenthood sent funds to the abortion affiliate should have convinced McCallin of the merits of the case. "The State of Colorado and the Denver court acknowledged that about $1.4 million of state taxpayer dollars, in addition to millions of 'federal' tax dollars, flowed from Colorado government agencies through Planned Parenthood to its abortion affiliate," said Decker.

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"Without even having the facts of the case developed, the Denver court seems to have granted motions to dismiss filed by the State of Colorado and Planned Parenthood on grounds the term 'indirectly' could not mean what Ms. Norton and Governor Owens said it meant in 2002 when they defunded Planned Parenthood."

"That, of course, is the plain meaning of Colo. Const., Art. V, § 50 which was implemented by the citizens of Colorado, and the reason for Ms. Norton’s lawsuit."

Decker told LifeSiteNews that "Colorado law is very clear," and that the state law "prohibits Colorado tax dollars from being used to directly or indirectly pay for induced abortions."

She says her client "has been denied the opportunity to fully develop the facts of the case and demonstrate exactly what the Colorado tax dollars have been used for." Similarly, says Decker, it is not known "exactly what those funds were used for. At this time, there is simply no way to conclude that tax dollars have not been used to directly pay for abortions or abortion inducing drugs and devices."

"What we do know is that millions of Colorado tax dollars have flowed through Planned Parenthood to its abortion affiliate, which leads to the inescapable conclusion that those tax dollars are being used to indirectly pay for abortions."

A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains did not return multiple requests for comment about the lawsuit.

The dismissal comes as Planned Parenthood fights an investigation by the state's Republican attorney general over a video by Live Action, as well as a lawsuit by a mother whose 13-year old daughter had an abortion in 2012 that she alleges was covered up by Planned Parenthood. The girl, who was being abused by her stepfather, was abused for months after the abortion.

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Steve Weatherbe

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Fledgling high-tech pro-life group marks 2,000 babies saved: 2-3 saved per day

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Online for Life, the Dallas-based pro-life marketing agency, saved its two-thousandth unborn baby earlier this year and is well on its way to saving its three thousandth by 2015.

“We are getting better all the time at what we do,” says founder Brian Fisher. “It used to be one baby saved every four to six weeks and now its two or three a day.”

But the most significant save? “It was the very first one,” he says, recalling the phone call from a crisis centre a month after OFL’s 2012 startup.  “And for me personally it was just a massive turning point … because [of] all the work and the money and testing and the volunteers and everything that led up to that moment. All the frustration of that was washed away in an instant because a child had been rescued that was about to be killed.”

Though increasing market savvy has led Online for Life to expand offline, the core of the non-profit, donor-financed operation remains SEO -- search engine optimization -- targeting young women who have just discovered they are pregnant and gone onto the Web to find the nearest abortion clinic.

Instead, they find the nearest crisis pregnancy center at the top of their results page. Since OFL went online it has linked with a network of 41 such centers, including two of its own it started this year, in a positive feedback loop that reinforces effective messaging first at the level of the Web, then at the first telephone call between the clinic and the pregnant woman, and finally at the first face-to-face meeting.

“Testing is crucial,” says Fisher. “We test everything we do.” Early on, Online for Life insisted the clinics it served have an ultrasound machine, because the prevailing wisdom in the prolife movement was that “once they saw their baby on ultrasound, they would drop the idea of having an abortion.” While the organization still insists on the ultrasound, its own testing and feedback from the CPCs indicates that three quarters of the women they see already have children. “They’ve already seen their own children on ultrasound and are still planning to abort.” So ultrasound images have lost their punch.

OFL has had to move offline to reach a significant minority who have neither computers, tablets, or cell phones.  Traditional electronic media spots as well as bus ads and billboards carry the message to them.

As well, says Fisher, “unwanted pregnancy used to be a high-school age problem; now that’s gone down in numbers and the average age of women seeking abortion has gone up to 24.” By that age, he says, they are “thoroughly conditioned by the abortion culture. Even before they got pregnant, they have already decided they would have an abortion if they did get pregnant.”

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What they need—and fast, in the first two minutes of the first phone call—is sympathy, support, and a complete absence of judgement. Online for Life is always gathering information from its network on what responses are most effective—and this can vary city to city. The organization offers training to clinic volunteers and staff that stresses a thorough knowledge of the services on tap. “Any major city has all sorts of services—housing, education, health—available,” says Fisher.

The problem that OFL was designed to address was the crisis pregnancy centers’ market penetration. Three percent of women with unwanted pregnancies were reaching out to the CPCs, and seven per cent of those who did reach out were having their babies. “So about 2.1 children were being saved for every 1,000 unwanted pregnancies,” says Fisher. “That’s not nearly enough.”

So Fisher and two fellow volunteers dreamed of applying online marketing techniques to the problem in 2009. Three years later Fisher was ready to leave his executive position at an online marketing agency to go full-time with the life-saving agency. Now they have 63 employees, most of them devoted to optimizing the penetration in each of the markets served by their participating crisis centers.

The results speak for themselves. Where OFL has applied its techniques, especially with its own clinics, as many as 15-18 percent of the targeted population of women seeking abortions get directed to nearby crisis pregnancy centers. “It depends on the centres’ budgets and on how many volunteers they have to be on the phones through the day and night,” he says. “But we are going to push it higher. We hope to save our 2,500th child by the end of the year.”

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Shock: UK mom abandons disabled daughter, keeps healthy son after twin surrogacy

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By Pete Baklinski

A UK woman who is the biological mother of twins born from a surrogate mom, has allegedly abandoned one of the children because she was born with a severe muscular condition, while taking the girl's healthy sibling home with her.

The surrogate mother, also from the UK — referred to as "Jenny" to protect her identity — revealed to The Sun the phone conversation that took place between herself and the biological mother over the fate of the disabled girl.

“I remember her saying to me, “She’d be a f****** dribbling cabbage! Who would want to adopt her? No one would want to adopt a disabled child,’” she said.

Jenny, who has children of her own, said she decided to become a surrogate to “help a mother who couldn’t have children.” She agreed to have two embryos implanted in her womb and to give birth for £12,000 ($20,000 USD).

With just six weeks to the due date, doctors told Jenny she needed an emergency caesarean to save the babies. It was not until a few weeks after the premature births that the twin girl was diagnosed with congenital myotonic dystrophy.

When Jenny phoned the biological mother to tell her of the girl’s condition, the mother rejected the girl.

Jenny has decided along with her partner to raise the girl. They have called her Amy.

“I was stunned when I heard her reject Amy,” Jenny said. “She had basically told me that she didn’t want a disabled child.”

Jenny said she felt “very angry” towards the girl’s biological parents. "I hate them for what they did.”

The twins are now legally separated. A Children and Family Court has awarded the healthy boy to the biological mother and the disabled girl to her surrogate.

The story comes about two weeks after an Australian couple allegedly abandoned their surrogate son in Thailand after he was born with Down syndrome, while taking the healthy twin girl back with them to Australia.

Rickard Newman, director of Family Life, Pro-Life & Child and Youth Protection in the Diocese of Lake Charles, called the Australian story a “tragedy” that “results from a marketplace that buys and sells children.”

“Third-party reproduction is a prism for violations against humanity. IVF and the sperm trade launched a wicked industry that now includes abortion, eugenics, human trafficking, and deliberate family fragmentation,” he said. 

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