Rape is often used as an argument for abortion. Many will say they are opposed to abortion except in cases of rape or incest. Rebecca Wasser Kiessling put a face to the issue at the International Pro-Life Conference, “Creating a Culture of Life”, held in Toronto in October. She was conceived in rape.
Rebecca is a young mother, formerly a family law attorney and now a pro-life speaker. She sits on the advisory board of Michigan Nurses for Life and Crossroads Pregnancy Centre. From an early age, Rebecca knew that she had been adopted as a baby. Her parents had said she was chosen and Rebecca felt special believing she was brought by the stork. At eleven years of age, she wanted to be a lawyer as a result of conversations with her father about the law. At the age of ten, after seeing the musical Annie, a story about a young orphan, Rebecca began to romanticize her birth mother, writing poems about her.
Wanting to know more about her biological mother, Rebecca petitioned for non-identifying information following her eighteenth birthday. The information received provided her with the eye colour, hair colour, height, weight, ethnicity, level of education and religious background of the woman. When it came to her father, the details provided were meagre: Caucasian and of large build. It occurred to Rebecca that the description sounded much like a police report. She questioned if her mother had been raped and asked the caseworker who confirmed her suspicions.
While walking to the grocery store one evening, her mother, a single parent of two children, was brutally raped by a serial rapist. She remembers feeling so ugly after hearing the revelation. Surely, she thought her birth mother must have hated her and had she considered abortion? Rebecca would think; “Who is ever going to love me? Who is ever going to want to marry me, because I’ve got these bad genes…” She could hear the echoes of the voices of people stating abortion was acceptable “especially in cases of rape” or they were opposed to abortion “except in cases of rape”. She says; “I then thought about the issue of abortion and realized that I fit into that category of prime target for abortion. There were people all over the world standing in judgement against me – they were so quick to dismiss my life because of how I was conceived”.
Rebecca had previously not given much thought to the issue of abortion. There were a few instances where the subject had been discussed in her life and she did consider it a “bad thing”. She now felt she had to justify her very existence. Rebecca believed a “nice” man would not be interested in her and had been asked by some of her dates not to mention that she was adopted, as if somehow it made her a second class human being. Classmates in university would hiss at her when she would defend life and argue against abortion. She settled in relationships and ended up abused by one boyfriend, a fellow law student.
Rebecca eventually found her birth mother as a judge allowed the case worker to contact her. She had been expecting Rebecca’s call and sent a letter to her daughter after their telephone conversation. Her birth mother is married with a family of her own. Her mother had arranged for an abortion twice although it was illegal at the time but the night of the second rendez-vous, the biggest snow storm of the century in Detroit prevented her from keeping the appointment.
Today her mother will tell you that Rebecca is a blessing to her. Rebecca says that when people make exceptions for abortion in cases of rape and incest “…what that translates into is you being able to stand before me, look me in the eye and say: I think your mother should have been able to abort you.”
She was able to witness for life in her law practice representing women who were being coerced to abort, a case of incest, a case of rape involving a handicapped woman and one woman who was being sued by her boyfriend for not aborting. He wanted to avoid paying child support. Although she was introduced to Christianity at the age of fifteen, she did not have a strong foundation. But in this journey, the Lord called her back and she now states: “One of the greatest things that I have learned is that the rapist is not my Creator as some people would have me believe, I am not a product of rape but a child of God.”
See Rebecca Kiessling’s web-site at: www.rebeccakiessling.com Photo reproduced from website.
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