March 18, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Yesterday, crosshairs were placed over the lives of innocent children like me who were conceived in rape or given a fatal fetal impairment diagnosis — Chile’s Cámara de Diputados (House) approved a bill to legalize abortion in these cases. The Senate will be voting on this deadly bill, and if approved, it will go to the President for signature. In 1989, Chile had successfully abolished abortion, but now, with an aggressively pro-abortion President, Michelle Bachelet, Chile is now facing the unthinkable – a culture of death which preys upon innocent children in the womb.
As someone who was conceived in rape, I take this assault on my people group quite personally. Some may say, “It’s nothing against you personally,” or, “It’s not about YOU Rebecca.” Well, easy for you to say because this does affect me personally, along with the hundreds from my global organization, Save The 1 – Salvar El 1 in Spanish, who were also conceived in rape. It also affects the hundreds of mothers who became pregnant by rape – most of whom are raising their beloved children – or the birthmothers who chose adoption after being raped, as well as the post-abortive women who deeply regret their abortion after rape.
I was born just 4 years before abortion was declared legal by the United States Supreme Court. In my home state of Michigan, abortion was outlawed, even in cases of rape. My birthmother actually went to two illegal abortions and I was nearly aborted, but she backed out because of the fact that it was illegal, and because she was afraid for her own safety. When we met when I was 19 years old, she shared with me how she had been abducted at knifepoint by a serial rapist, and even though she was very happy to meet me, she told me that she would have aborted me if it had been legal. I literally owe my birth to the law being there to protect me!
I feel like my life was spared from a burning building, and as I have the opportunity to go back and save others, I’m going to do it! The most selfish thing to do would be to sit back and say, “Oh well, at least my life was spared.” And others didn’t? I can’t do that, can you? I’m alive because of the others who were willing to protect me because they recognized that every life matters and that mine was a life worth saving.
I did not deserve the death penalty for the crimes of my biological father. It is absolutely barbaric to punish an innocent child for someone else’s crime. What kind of system of justice does that? And besides, there is so little justice for rape victims. Every time a child conceived in rape is aborted, you cover up the crime, destroy the evidence and enable rapists, child molesters and sex traffickers to continue exploiting women.
President Bachelet – I say to you: Punish rapists, not babies! For all of your rhetoric of allegedly caring for rape victims, where do you stand on punishing the rapist? Does he deserve the death penalty? You speak of how you care about women, well, I’m a woman! Now tell me, what good are any of my rights as a woman if I don’t have my right to life? You cannot answer that question because all other rights are worthless if you don’t have your right to life.
I co-founded Hope After Rape Conception, using my expertise as a family law attorney to create model legislation and to testify before legislative bodies to pass laws which protect rape survivor mothers from the rapist having parental rights. We’ve been getting our model legislation – The Rape Survivor Child Custody Act – passed all over the United States, and even in Congress, using the “clear and convincing evidence” to terminate the parental rights of rapists. I suggest to anyone who actually cares about pregnant rape victims – focus your efforts on something positive for rape victims and their children instead of seeking to punish the innocent child, leaving the rape victim yet vulnerable to the rapist.
Women who are post-abortive after rape overwhelmingly express that it was far more difficult to overcome the abortion than it was the rape. The abortion is just more violence in her womb after already having been traumatized. After the abortion, she’s no longer dealing just with what was done to her, but now she has to suffer with what she knows she did to her own child.
Studies here in the United States have shown that a rape victim is four times more likely to die within the next year after the rape. They have a higher murder rate because the abortion often helps perpetuate an abusive relationship. They also have a higher suicide rate, drug overdose, depression, domestic violence and on and on. Dr. David Reardon from the Elliott Institute wrote a book called Victims and Victors which cites much of this research. So if you really care about a pregnant rape victim, you should want to protect her from the rapist, and from the abortion – and NOT the baby! The baby is not the scary enemy, and I resent being characterized as such. A baby is not the worst thing that could ever happen to a rape victim – an abortion is.
Just know that anytime you target a people group for destruction as President Bachelet is doing in Chile, you are sending a message to every child born – and to every mother raising that child – that the child is worth less than everyone else in your society. If you heard that some other nation passed an abortion ban, “except in cases of Hispanic babies,” what message would that send to every person in Latin America about the value of your lives? Would not such a measure be met with absolute outrage? President Michelle Bachelet has placed crosshairs over the lives of every innocent child conceived in rape or given a diagnosis of “fatal fetal abnormality” – many of which in fact end up not being fatal. President Bachelet, take them off – put down your weapons and stop targeting my people group! Don’t create an open hunting season on people like me. My life matters every bit as much as yours.
Today, my birthmother and I are thankful we were both spared the horror of abortion. She says that I’m a blessing to her. I honor her and I bring her healing. On my birthday 2-1/2 years ago, my birthmom called to wish me happy birthday and to tell me my grandmother died. I was born on my grandma’s anniversary, and she died on my birthday. My birthmom and I had a long heart-to-heart conversation. At the end of our phone call, we were about to hang up and she stopped me and through her tears told me – “Rebecca, Rebecca! I just want to say, I’m so glad I had you.” That was the best birthday gift ever!!! Don’t destroy the hope and beauty that a child brings and the future holds.
Rebecca Kiessling is an international pro-life speaker, writer and attorney, as well as a wife and mother of 5 – two adopted and three biological children, as well as another adopted child born with special needs who died in her arms at 33 days old. She’s the founder and President of Save The 1, co-founder of Hope After Rape Conception, co-founder of Embryo Defense, and on the Executive Committee of Personhood Alliance.