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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Wendy Davis facing trouble in Democratic stronghold over radical abortion stance

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By Dustin Siggins

State Senator Wendy Davis' outspoken support for late-term abortion made her a national figure, but it may have so turned off Hispanic voters that it could cost her, and her party, the votes of a Democratic-stronghold.

According to The Texas Tribune, Davis has a tremendous advantage in the Rio Grande Valley, a strongly Hispanic part of the state. Hidalgo County has not elected a Republican to a countywide post in "the modern era," the paper noted.

But her Republican challenger, Attorney General Greg Abbott, is looking to change that, targeting the area and the Hispanic vote with a new ad campaign.

According to U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-TX, pro-life Democrats will find it more difficult to vote for Davis because of her abortion position. And the region, which is very Catholic, tends to send pro-life Democrats to the polls.

Even as Davis faces risks among Hispanic Catholics, Abbott is making a major push to the minority population, which is expected to become a plurality of the state's population by 2020. Abbott has launched ads in Spanish, and spoken about how his wife will be the first Hispanic First Lady of Texas. He has also brought volunteers in for a ground campaign in the Rio Grande Valley, reminiscent of the 1998 George W. Bush gubernatorial campaign.

Bush was considered a popular Republican among Hispanics, winning 44 percent of the Hispanic vote in his 2004 president re-election campaign. While Abbott has a 12 to 13-point advantage in many polls over Davis, and an enormous financial advantage, his efforts are seen as looking to the GOP's future in Texas.

Davis, meanwhile, has struggled with all voting blocs. She is losing to opponent Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott by 12 to 13 points -- including women, according to an April 2014 poll. Democrats have largely written off the race, especially with control of the U.S. Senate taking up enormous media and financial resources.

Since her filibuster, Davis has attempted to walk a tightrope on her abortion position in order to win more moderate voters. She has called herself "pro-life" because of her support for certain education policies, and indicated that she supports limitations on abortions done after the first trimester. However, she has also recently published a book describing how she aborted a child in 1997 to prevent the child from "suffering."

That claim has drawn enormous media coverage for Davis, who was in New York for a book signing, was on the Rachel Maddow show, and generally had her abortion claims widely covered in innumerable national media outlets.

The book has also brought new life to abortion's importance in the gubernatorial race. In the Davis-Abbott debate last week, the first between the candidates, Davis indicated she supported no restrictions on abortion. She was asked "What do you see as fair regulations on abortion?"
Davis responded that she has "always believed that women should be able to make this most personal and difficult of decisions themselves, guided by their faith and their family and with their doctor."
"I stood on the Senate floor for 13 hours to ensure that this most private of decisions could be made by women," Davis said, before attacking Abbott for, among other things, allegedly opposing abortion in cases of "brutal rape" and incest.

At no point did Davis indicate support for any "regulations on abortion."

In his response, Abbott said that he is "pro-life" and Catholic. He said that "all life is sacred," and said that "Texas is ensuring that we protect more life and do a better job of protecting the health care of women by providing that women still have five months to make a very difficult decision, but after that time the state has an interest in protecting innocent life."

When asked by Houston-area TV station KHOU whether he would sign a bill that would ban abortions for reasons of rape and incest, however, Abbott did not answer the question. Instead, he described his support for the lives of the unborn and women, and his support for HB2.

HB2 is the legislation that Davis filibustered last year.

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Abbott faces his own difficulties -- he favors border enforcement and has made comments about corruption in the Rio Grande Valley. University of Texas-Pan American political scientist Jerry Polinard told the Tribune that he expects Davis to pull at least 55 percent of Democratic voters in Hidalgo, Texas – simply because "this is the bluest part of a red state." 

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Paul Huff, 66, and Tom Wojtowick, 73, were “married” in Seattle in May 2013. Wojtowick was an organist at the parish, while Paul sang in the choir. Video screenshot
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Bishop stands by priest who removed ‘married’ homosexual couple from parish ministry

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By Lisa Bourne
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'This is not animus against someone who happens to be a homosexual; this issue is the same-sex marriage,' said Bishop Warfel.

A Montana bishop is standing by one of his priests after the priest told a homosexual couple in his parish that they cannot receive Communion or participate in Church ministry due to the fact that they have contracted a civil “marriage.”

Paul Huff, 66, and Tom Wojtowick, 73, have reportedly been together for more than 30 years and were “married” in Seattle in May 2013, according to the Associated Press.

The men told the local ABC-FOX affiliate that Father Samuel Spiering approached them shortly after beginning his assignment as administrator of St. Leo the Great and asked if the rumor he’d heard of them being “married” was true. When they affirmed it was, he asked if he could meet with them the following day.

Father Spiering informed them the next day that they have broken Cannon Law, and that they would not be able to receive communion or continue in ministry.

Canon 915 holds that those persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.

Both men sang in the choir and Wojtowick was an organist.

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The men agreed to write a restoration statement that, in part, would uphold the concept of marriage being between a man and a woman, during an August 25 conference call with Father Spiering, Bishop Warfel and other diocesan officials. They said they did not intend to challenge the Church’s concept of marriage with their union, rather they just wanted civil protection.

However, the statement also included a timeline for the two men to cease living together and divorce, which they would not agree to.

In an interview with the Billings Gazette last week Bishop Warfel said he knows Wojtowick and Huff “to be good people.”

“This is not animus against someone who happens to be a homosexual; this issue is the same-sex marriage,” Bishop Warfel said. “A lot of people put those two together, and obviously there’s a connection, but it’s not the same thing.”

After meeting with parishioners on Sunday, the bishop said that he would like to “effect healing” at the parish, but pointed out that he also has to uphold Catholic teaching.

The bishop also confirmed for ABC-FOX-Montana on Saturday that Huff and Wojtowick could not receive Communion.

While Bishop Warfel acknowledged growing support for homosexual “marriage” when speaking with the Billings Gazette, he said the fact remains that it stands in conflict with Catholic teachings.

“As a Catholic bishop I have a responsibility to uphold our teaching of marriage between one man and one woman,” said Bishop Warfel. “And I think there’s very solid scriptural teaching on it and our sacred tradition is very strong on it.”

Those teachings leave him little choice, he continued.

“Either I uphold what Catholic teachings are or, by ignoring it or permitting it, I’m saying I disagree with what I’m ordained to uphold,” the bishop said.

“Everyone is welcome to the journey of conversion,” said Bishop Warfel. “But there are certain convictions, beliefs or behaviors that are in direct contradiction to what we believe and teach, and this would be one of them.”

Father Spiering has declined to speak publicly and there has not been an official diocesan statement on the issue since the meeting at the parish on Saturday.
 

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New archbishops in Chicago and Madrid: Ratzingerians out, ‘inclusiveness’ in

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By Hilary White
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Chicago's Archbishop-elect, Blase Cupich

Pope Francis announced Saturday that he is appointing as archbishop of Chicago a prelate best known in pro-life circles as the man who ordered his priests in 2011 not to participate in local 40 Days for Life prayer vigils. The media and Church watchers describe him as “progressive,” “inclusive,” and “left-of-center.”

The appointment of Bishop Blase Cupich, current head of the Spokane diocese in Washington, to America’s third most prominent see – an appointment which Vatican watchers predicted would signal the pope’s priorities for the direction of the U.S. Church – has been widely praised by liberal Catholics and opponents of Church teaching but met with concern by many Catholic activists.

The archbishop-elect gave a sense of his approach to the U.S. “culture war” in an interview Sunday with Chicago’s CBS affiliate, in which he suggested he would be open to giving Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians and a person wearing a button in favour of same-sex “marriage.”

“As long as they’re in church, are willing to hear the word of God, be open to Christ’s call of conversion for each one of us, then I think that that’s sufficient for me,” he said. “We cannot politicize the Communion rail and I just don’t think that that works in the long run.”

Cupich will replace the ailing Cardinal Francis George, known in the US as a “Ratzingerian” for his strong defense of Catholic orthodoxy, particularly on issues of sexual morality, but who is suffering from cancer and is overdue for retirement at age 77. The archbishop of Chicago is also normally granted the “red hat” and made a cardinal, which would make Cupich eligible to vote in upcoming papal conclaves. Cupich is scheduled to be installed in Chicago November 18.

The Chicago appointment mirrors that of another outside the US in recent weeks. Rome announced August 28 that Carlos Osoro Sierra, 69, will be installed as the new archbishop of Madrid, Spain’s capital city and largest archdiocese. But the story in Madrid has less to do with the new appointee and more to do with the would-be appointee who was demoted.

Until just before the appointment, most Vatican watchers expected the prominent post to be given to 68-year-old Vatican Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, dubbed the “little Ratzinger” for his orthodoxy in line with Pope Benedict XVI.  When LifeSiteNews interviewed Cardinal Cañizares in 2009 at the time of his appointment as prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, he noted that denying communion to pro-abortion politicians was a charitable act.

Leaving his Vatican post, he was considered a natural for the Madrid spot. But instead it went to the archbishop of Valencia, and Cañizares is to fill that vacancy instead.

The former archbishop of Valencia is known for his strong “liberal” leanings and he will be replacing Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, 78, who, like Cañizares, is also known for following the lead of the retired Pope Benedict XVI.

El Pais wrote of the new appointee that Catholics of the Madrid archdiocese, accustomed to the “hieratic” Varela, will be seeing “an entirely different model.”

“Shortly after the announcement of his appointment, the most repeated words to define his figure were ‘dialogue’ and ‘moderation.’”

“During the 12 years he has been the head of the Catholic Church [in Madrid], Rouco Varela has too often mixed faith and politics, with an overdose of intransigence. Defending the (exclusively traditional) family and attacking laws that recognize the right of women to abortion are the main workhorses.”

Catholic News Agency’s Vatican-watcher, Andrea Gagliarducci, wrote that the appointment marks a “new course for Spain’s bishops.” He is described in the Spanish press as “affable,” “friendly,” and “extremely gregarious.” 

As for Cupich, David Gibson of Religion News Service described him as “a prelate closely identified with the Catholic Church’s progressive wing.”

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Vatican watcher Rocco Palmo, author of the “Whispers in the Loggia” blog, wrote that the appointment is “the most shocking major move the American hierarchy has seen in the last decade and a half.” Another Vatican veteran, John Allen Jr., wrote for the US Catholic online magazine Crux that Cupich so closely mirrors Pope Francis’ theology and style that he could be called the “American Pope Francis in Chicago.”

On his blog, Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Florida, known for his icy relations with the pro-life movement, shared his excitement over the “new breeze” brought by Cupich’s appointment. The bishop noted that Cupich “admires deeply the ecclesiology and vision” of leftist prelates such as former San Francisco Archbishop John Quinn and former Galveston-Houston Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza.

The news of Cupich’s appointment was met with praise in the mainstream press. According to The New York Times Francis has “set the tone” for US appointments by “replacing a combative conservative with a prelate whose pastoral approach to upholding church doctrine is more in keeping with the pope’s inclusive tone.”

It has also been praised by dissident Catholic groups such as the homosexual activist group New Ways Ministries. Last year, the group issued a roundup of evaluations of the various leading members of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops who were set to elect a new president. New Ways praised Cupich for his intervention in the 2012 debate leading up to a referendum on “gay marriage” in Washington State. Cupich’s only intervention was a pastoral letter in which he asked voters to uphold traditional marriage, but also called for a “more civil and honest conversation about Catholic positions on equality.”

“I also want to be very clear that in stating our position, the Catholic Church has no tolerance for the misuse of this moment to incite hostility toward homosexual persons or promote an agenda that is hateful and disrespectful of their human dignity,” Cupich wrote.

Cupich stood out from his fellow US bishops in his response to the abortion-funding Obamacare. Though he joined his other bishops in condemning the Obama administration’s mandate that Catholic employers cover abortifacients and contraceptives, he encouraged Catholic Charities in his diocese to act as an Obamacare navigator and help people sign up for coverage that could fund the destruction of unborn life.

He also condemned the line of other US bishops when they threatened to shut down Catholic social services. “These kind of scare tactics and worse-case scenario predictions are uncalled for,” Cupich wrote in a letter to diocesan employees. “I am confident we can find a way to move forward.”

Today the anti-Catholic organization Call to Action issued a press release saying they are “relieved” at the appointment. “At a time when numerous U.S. Bishops are choosing to fight ideological battles, Pope Francis’ selection of Cupich demonstrates a desire for a humbler, more pastoral church.”  

Call to Action, like New Ways Ministries, works to overturn Catholic doctrine, particularly on sexual matters, from within the Church, and has received the censure of the US bishops for their activities. They wrote, “The choice of Cupich shows promise for a church which can be closer to the people. Catholics in Chicago and beyond yearn for a faith rooted in the Gospel call of love and justice over rigid orthodoxy.”

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