Today is my birthday. I'm not at all ashamed to tell my age because it's very relevant. I was born July 22, 1969 — exactly 10 months before the hearing date in Texas in Roe v. Wade, and exactly 3-1/2 years to the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion throughout the U.S.
I was conceived when my birthmother was abducted at knifepoint by a serial rapist. She went to two illegal “back-alley” abortionists, and I was almost aborted. That was my life-changing, near-death experience.
When we met, when I was 19, even though she was very happy to meet me, my birthmom was pro-choice and told me she absolutely would have aborted me if it had been legal. She said this should have been her right.
Six years later, she completely changed her mind on the issue, and now we are both thankful that we were both spared the horror of abortion.
Many people will say to me, “I'm so glad your mother chose life.” But she didn't. She chose abortion.
Pro-life legislators, activists and voters chose life for me, and they are my heroes! I owe my birth to the law being there to protect me. I was lucky — I was protected. Legality matters.
In the mid-1960's, there were efforts to legalize abortion in cases of rape all over the country. Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe from Roe v. Wade) even lied, claiming she was gang-raped, in order to try to obtain an abortion in Texas.
But I'm from Michigan, where there has never been a rape-exception in any laws. This is why I have a birthday to celebrate!
I'm so blessed to have people say many profound things to me as a travel around the world sharing my story. I get to hear things which many people don't get to hear in everyday life — things like, “I'm so glad you were born!” I'm so very grateful for those words, but I believe that everyone deserves to hear them like I do.
Whenever someone shares their personal story with me, or whenever I see it's someone's birthday on Facebook, or when someone tells me it's their birthday, I make a point of telling them, “Happy birthday — I'm so glad you were born!”
I'm amazed at how moved they are — many responding with “Wow, thanks so much! No one has ever said that to me before.”
We need to be saying these words to one another. There are many who are hurting from our abortion culture who have bought the lie that their lives don't really matter. So please, take the time to tell others that you are so glad they were born.
Two years ago, on my birthday, my birthmother called to wish me happy birthday and to tell me that my biological grandmother had died earlier in the day. I was born on her wedding anniversary, and she died on my birthday. We had both been to visit her a few weeks before. I got her to smile and to laugh by singing, “You Are My Sunshine.”
Please understand that God gave me the gift of voice for speaking only! So, you can understand why anyone would laugh.
My birthmother and I had a long heart-to-heart. I told her that I had just arrived the night before to visit my in-laws in Massachusetts, but that I would fly home to be with her.
At the end of our conversation, we were about to hang up when she stopped me: “Rebecca, Rebecca!” Then her voice broke, “I just want to say, I'm so glad I had you!” That was the best birthday gift ever!
This morning, I wrote this poem to share on Facebook, and I'd like to share it here as well:
Today I was born!
I could have been torn
from my mom's womb,
her body my tomb.
But I have a birth
because others saw my worth.
See, I was protected
instead of dissected.
Today, I can celebrate
instead of having hate
for her rapist and
the abortion man.
So when you say,
please be aware
of why I am here,
and that others are yet neglected
when they should be protected.
Rebecca Kiessling is an international pro-life speaker, blogger, attorney, as well as wife and mother. She's the founder and president of Save The 1, co-founder of Hope After Rape Conception, and co-founder of Embryo Defense.