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Tuesday, September 30, 2014
We have a friend, Kayse, here in Michigan who has a beautiful little 2 year old girl named Lila.
Kayse sent us an update the other day (Saturday September 27th) because Lila has been sick for the last couple of weeks. Most people have read about the viruses making their way around the country and get a little nervous about their children getting one of these viruses that have put so many children in the hospital. Well, we pay close attention to these updates that we receive because Lila has Trisomy 18 (Edwards Syndrome) which is the same chromosome abnormality that our 5 ½ years old daughter Faith has. These respiratory viruses can be particularly difficult for our children.
Lila has been hospitalized twice this month for a total of about 11 days for a bronchiole infection and lack of oxygenation. Wednesday evening she was discharged from the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit) on a small amount of oxygen. Doctors told Kayse to continue with care at home and to return if she gets a fever of any kind or if she gets worse at all. Well her oxygen saturation started dropping into the high 70's which is very low since our bodies need to operate in the mid 90s. Kayse upped her oxygen and gave her a breathing treatment. Then Lila developed a low grade temperature so they called the after-hours pediatrician number, and the doctor asked them to go to the hospital. When they arrived, the resident and attending doctors in ER wanted to have her admitted. The ER doctors had the PICU resident and attending physicians come down to look at Lila. In the meantime, the nurse had not come into the room yet, and the respiratory therapist gave Lila a breathing treatment and stated that her lungs sounded coarse which means she had mucous in her lungs.
The PICU doctors arrived and claimed that Lila had a left ear infection and wanted to send her on her way. Knowing that the respiratory therapist said her lungs sounded coarse, Kayse did not accept this and explained her fears about how many of our trisomy children pass away from respiratory problems, and she did not want that to be Lila. At that point, the doctor from the PICU looked Kayse in the eye and asked if she knew anything about trisomy 18 children and their life expectancies, and how Lila is past her life expectancy. Obviously, Kayse was very upset and angry. She understands more about Trisomy 18 than this doctor because she has been living it day in and day out for the last 2 years. Not only is this an insulting question to Kayse about her understanding, but worse, it is an attack on the value of Lila’s very life.
Kayse explained that until this illness Lila has been a very healthy and happy child. She has more than proven herself, time and time again…like she should even have to prove herself to earn treatment? Is this doctor the arbiter of whose life is worthy of treatment? Should Lila now have treatment withheld so she will simply die and go away? Why should Lila not be offered the same level of care as any other child? Why shouldn't she be given steroids to help her feel better faster? Why shouldn't they run tests? How is it OK to stick her in a room for 4 hours and never offer her Tylenol for her fever and discomfort? How is it ok that her nurse never even came in to assess her? How is Lila’s life worth less than the other children in the hospital?
As I read Kayse’s update and what this doctor said, I could not help, but think about my own illnesses during my childhood. I had pneumonia 4 or 5 times between ages 1-7. My parents were visiting this weekend for my 14 year old son’s birthday so I asked them if anyone ever suggested that I was past my life expectancy or did they simply treat my multiple illnesses? They made it clear that no doctor ever even suggested such an idea and they simply treated me as a child who needed help. I had pneumonia more times as a child than my 5 ½ year old Trisomy 18 daughter Faith has had it. So why was my life worth saving? Is it because I have the ability to write this story? Lila and my daughter Faith are lovely little girls who have tremendous value because they were created in the image of God.
Lila is now resting at home with her parents. Please pray for Lila that she will recover quickly and for her family that they will be able to rest and have peace.
LifeNews Note: Brad Smith and his wife Jesi are Save The 1 (www.savethe1.com) pro-life speakers from Rochester Hills, Michigan. Learn more about Brad and Jesi at www.keepingourfaith.com.
Friday, September 26, 2014
Recently my brother went to a used book sale and bought an older book for me written by Dr. R.C. Sproul Sr. entitled “Now That’s a Good Question!” because I am a fan of Sproul’s normally well-crafted and thoughtful defense of the Christian faith. I started flipping through and read Sproul’s answer to the question, “Is a woman acting in sin when she aborts a pregnancy that is the result of rape?” I found his answer to this question and an earlier one posed about babies with abnormalities so filled with needless obscurity and a troubling position shift on life that I literally started to argue with him out loud.
Dr. Sproul wrote in his answer to the question whether it is a sin to abort a baby that was conceived in rape, that Christians should never be involved with these “therapeutic abortions,” but continues on taking away all credibility of his previous statement by writing, “I certainly don’t think that it is clearly against the law of God to have a therapeutic abortion in the case of rape or incest.”
Seriously?! What is lawful to do good or evil, to save a life or to kill it? We do not put the rapist to death for perpetrating their brutal crimes or sterilize parents who have had children with abnormalities. Why then would we put the baby to death for being a victim or for handicaps that are no fault of their own? It is quite clear that the law of God condemns putting the innocent to death. Jesus warned us not to even offend one of his little ones for we would be better off to have a millstone wrapped around our necks and be cast into the sea.
Furthermore, to call an abortion of any baby “therapeutic” is ludicrous. There is nothing medically or psychologically therapeutic or curative about death – neither for the baby nor the mother. Abortion does not cure a child with abnormalities - it simply wipes them from the face of the earth. An abortion does not take away the pain of a woman’s rape, but increases her misery with sorrow over the death of her child. A baby, normally considered a mother’s treasure, becomes trash for a garbage dump, and this is considered therapeutic?
Dr. Sproul also warns his readers not to get “…sidetracked by that ‘special case’ issue.” Every child is a “special case” issue and every abortion is a personal extinction because it’s the loss of a child made in the image of God. The death of a child conceived in rape or a child with abnormalities is no less horrific than mass genocide. Was the baby conceived in rape not known by God or a heritage from Him? In that babe’s mouth was praise not perfected? Did He not form and knit them together in the womb with great purpose like any other child? We are not to despise any of God’s little ones.
Unlike Sproul, I cannot “understand those who would want to say that it be permissible” to allow abortion due to rape or incest. I am involved in a group called Save The 1 (www.savethe1.com) and I have many “special case” friends. As a friend of mine who was conceived in rape so aptly put it, “I am my mother’s daughter, not a rapist’s baby.” The defense of her life and others like her is not a sidetrack to the pro-life movement, but the very heart of it.
Let’s not be gutless and pretend compassion for a woman is based in the idea that the law of God is unclear. We are most compassionate to the women that experience horrific brutality or women with abnormal babies when we come along side of them and show them that our God specializes in bringing beauty out of ashes, purpose in sorrow, and strength to their darkest hour. We would do well to speak and warn as Susan B. Anthony once did, saying that abortion will only, “burden a woman’s conscience in this life and her soul in death.”
Why would I take so much time to address Dr.Sproul’s answer? Because my daughter with multiple handicaps is one of those special cases society singles out for destruction. Ambiguity from Christian theologians becomes a foothold for those who oppose life to stand upon. Hesitant and weak words from pastors fail to warn women of the great attack on themselves and their children. Finally, the church choosing not to respond to the ‘special case’ has been our awful and silent response. Dr. R.C. Sproul – make it clear that every abortion is “bloody murder.”
Monday, September 22, 2014
I am a mom of a three year old little girl and had no plans to get pregnant again because I have a severe spinal injury -- a fused pelvis full of metal and can barely walk. I am in constant pain. My pain was so severe I was on dilaudid pills.
I got hurt while on active duty in the U.S. army, during training. My condition is a result of multiple injuries. First I broke my leg -- a complete compound fracture, but I was lied to and was told it was only a sprain. So I then attempted to jump out of a 5 ton vehicle with 100 lbs of gear on my body.
The drop off was 5.5 ft high -- I was standing when I jumped. My ligaments across my sacrum could not handle the stress because the leg had not healed at that point, so my pelvis gave out on impact, resulting in bi-lateral tears across the SI joint. I then kept going, even though it was painful -- just like I did with the leg, because my dream was to be an airborne soldier. While practicing to fall from an 8 ft tall platform, the same thing happened to my other side and my pubic bone. I now have half of a pubic bone, and the only thing holding my pelvis together is my metal hardware, most of which is loose. So there is a lot of pain from that. I have several more surgeries to undergo because the first two were not done properly.
It's been extremely painful. My life as a person has completely changed since I got out of the military and that in itself has been a journey. I've been all across the USA to get treatment for my condition.
That aside, when I became pregnant, I had only been dating the father for a month and a half. The first time we were intimate, our choice of birth control failed. I didn't think twice about it, because it took 10 months for me to conceive my 3 year old daughter. So when our “protection” malfunctioned, I brushed it off. I had no clue that at that moment, I had become pregnant.
A few weeks later, when I wasn’t even late yet, I took a pregnancy test and it came back positive. I had convinced myself at first to get an abortion. I talked myself into it thinking it was justifiable because of my injuries and how hard it would be on me. And the list of how easy it would be on me was long if I just got an abortion. I was sold on aborting as my solution, despite having some Christian background. When I called my boyfriend to tell him I was pregnant, he just wanted to support whatever decision I made.
After first visiting an Ob/gyn, I went to one appointment at Planned Parenthood, without telling anyone I was going. At the first appointment, I was 10 weeks along. They performed an ultrasound and I saw the baby -- I saw that at just 10 weeks, she looked human. I had already detoxed off my pain medication and was still having severe morning sickness. My boyfriend and I were on a break from our relationship. So I made the follow up appointment for a couple days later to have the "procedure done."
The day before, I was still convinced it was the thing to do. On my way to the abortion clinic, I started to throw up, per the norm of my morning sickness. I pulled the car over -- I was alone and I couldn't stop puking. Since I was late for the appointment, I rescheduled for the following day. The same thing happened; however, instead of feeling nothing, I looked at the ultrasound photo from three days prior, saw the little human, and just started to cry.
I realized I had made so many “me” and “I” statements. I am poor, living on V.A. disability. I found a bunch of reasons to not have this baby. But as I sat there, I realized I made a choice to have sex -- the baby did not ask to be here. At that moment, I realized, “Who am I to pick which of my kids lives and which one dies?” It wasn't as simple as a “procedure,” and that was the thing -- I was going to kill a baby. The baby has a heartbeat, a face, fingers and toes.
That day, I turned around went back home and prayed. I had a “come to Jesus meeting,” as I like to say. I felt bad that I even considered killing my child, and I asked for forgiveness. I told the baby’s father I couldn't do it, and he said he was glad I didn't – that he thanks God I did not! We haven’t been a couple long, but we decided no matter what happens with us, we will be there for our daughter. I had even considered adoption if I felt I couldn't care for her myself.
This pregnancy wasn’t easy -- in fact, my baby girl was diagnosed in utero with a rare heart condition -- a right-sided aorta with a vascular ring, and also bladder issues. I had trouble walking and had to use a wheelchair and walker. My nausea almost had me hospitalized and lasted 24 weeks. I ended up with placenta previa, as well as placenta abrupta at 20 weeks, which healed itself. I had to see a neonatal specialist, as well as a regular doctor. I needed to have a c-section two weeks early because of my pain. I have a pubic plate and bilateral SI joint fusion, so I could not push a baby out. A pelvis specialist was on call while I was in the operating room during delivery because of my hardware and nerve damage.
I am sharing my story because if I can complete a pregnancy being in pain, having disabilities and not being super-rich, anyone can. I am so glad I continued my pregnancy! There is no way I would have been able to forgive myself if I had gone through with the abortion. Now I have my beautiful daughter -- Alexia Grace, born August 27th. I know I am a good mom, and every child deserves a chance at life!
Labels: diagnosed in utero, Lauren Lee, neonatal specialist, painful pregnancy, pro-life blogger, rare heart condition, right-sided aorta with a vascular ring | 0 comments
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
by Rebecca Kiessling
On July 2, 2014, Missouri Gov. Nixon vetoed a bill which would extend the 24 hour waiting period to obtain an abortion to 72 hours, which would be the third such law in the nation, after Utah and South Dakota. The bill is up for an override vote in the Missouri legislature this week. Gov. Nixon issued a statement saying the bill "is a disrespectful measure that would unnecessarily prolong the suffering of rape and incest victims and jeopardize the health and wellbeing of women. . . . This glaring omission is wholly insensitive to women who find themselves in horrific circumstances, and demonstrates a callous disregard for their wellbeing. It victimizes these women by prolonging their grief and their nightmare. . . . For her, mandating a longer delay is punitive, not contemplative. . . . No woman should be further victimized by a government that forces her to endure even longer the horror that is the crime of rape. . . . Underlying this bill . . . is a paternalistic presumption that rape and incest victims are somehow unable to grasp the horror that has befallen them, and that the government must force them to take more time to come to grips with their plight. That misplaced paternalism defies logic. It is patently unreasonable to presuppose that rape and incest victims would need to take more time to think about the reality, and the horror, of their heartbreaking situation." And then he goes on to state that he would veto the bill even if it had a rape and incest exception.
For those of us who were conceived in rape, are mothers from rape, birthmothers from rape, or post-abortive from rape, his statements are extremely disconcerting. It presumes that a child "prolongs the suffering" of rape survivors and that the child is actually jeopardizing her health and wellbeing, when this simply is not the case. According to Dr. David C. Reardon of The Elliott Insitute and co-editor of Victims and Victors
Speaking Out About Their Pregnancies, Abortions and Children Resulting From Sexual Assault, "the welfare of a mother and her child are never at odds, even in sexual assault cases. As the stories of many women confirm, both the mother and the child are helped by preserving life, not by perpetuating violence. Sadly, however, the testimonies of women who have actually been pregnant through sexual assault are routinely left out of this public debate. Many people, including sexual assault victims who have never been pregnant, may be forming opinions based on their own prejudices and fears rather than the real life experiences of those people who have been in this difficult situation and reality." His book features the stories of 192 women who became pregnant by rape.
As a member of a large international support group of hundreds who were conceived in rape and women who became pregnant by rape, and as the founder and President of Save The 1 -- an organization of people who represent "the hard cases," I regularly hear the same sentiments from actual women who became pregnant by rape. As painful as I knew it would be to share Gov. Nixon's outrageous remarks with these women, I sent his statement to dozens this morning, and below I share their reactions. As you'll see, these women all advocate for the 72 hour waiting period, and either deeply regret aborting their child after the rape, or deeply love the child they now have as a result of the rape. Here are their compelling voices in response to Governor Nixon's veto:
Angela Grogg from Missouri: "Our grandson's life saved our 14 year old daughter's life. Noah gave her something to fight for and a reason not to give up. Noah's life is as worthy as any other child. The manner of conception should not mean a death sentence. He is just as much of a victim as his mother." But Angela's own abortion still brings her pain: "Had there been a 72 hr wait for abortion 20 years ago when I had mine, I know my son would be here today. I would not mourn his life each day for the past 20 years."
"I have to say, that as a survivor of a rapist father, being forced to have an abortion was NOT better than having the baby. My father performed an abortion on me with a coat hanger the first time he made me pregnant, and my twins were forever taken from me and denied life. He did that to cover his crimes. He continued to violently abuse me and I had my first son when I was 12 years old. I love my son, who is now 47." -- Ginny Auldridge
"Any traumatic experience can bring you to your knees, but rape is something different, it adds on layers of confusion to an already horrifying situation. 72 hours of well informed material and counseling would have given me time to process and make a more sound decision instead of being forced into a decision I would later regret. Rape and incest are scary enough -- we must STOP compounding the pain and provide adequate compassionate care." -- A.M.
"In 1986 I had 2 abortions within a 6 month time span. The first abortion was the result of rape. If there had been a 72 hour mandatory waiting period in place at the time of my decision, I would have had time to clearly understand all options and risks involved with abortion and would have chosen life for myself and my children." -- Sherry Neuenschwander
"The life-death decision to kill a baby conceived in rape is extremely heart-wrenching, with all the emotions of surviving our own death and in turn contemplating killing another. The father (the rapist) harmed me, but I harmed the baby. My baby didn’t do anything wrong. We need extra time to think clearly through the maze of emotions of panic and shock, to consider all options logically. Wanting different laws for children conceived in rape is hateful, discriminatory and coldhearted from where I stand. You think three days is long? Here in liberal The Netherlands we have a 5 day waiting period." -- Irene van der Wende, Silent No More Netherlands
"I was raped in the state of Missouri and when my rapist discovered I was pregnant, he took me to a park and punched me in the stomach, hoping it would cause a miscarriage. When that did not work, he came into my work and physically pinned me to a table and told me I had to set up an abortion. The only reason I would have stepped foot into an abortion clinic during that pregnancy would have been because of pressure and coercion. Thankfully, I was able to leave the state and get away from my rapist. Going into a clinic and having them end my child's life, when I was being coerced, would have stolen the joy I have been blessed with by this child." -- R.B.
"A 72 hour waiting period would enable women to get a second opinion. An abortionist is hardly an unbiased expert." -- Maria, birthmother from rape
"I went into the clinic with the intent to have an abortion. They sent me home with a sonogram picture of my baby and an appointment in two more days. I am forever grateful to them for sending me home with that picture because, not only did it change my mind, but it changed my life in a way that I never could've imagined . . . forever." -- Caroline
"My name is Eva Marie Godoy. After I was raped and I learned I was pregnant, I chose to keep my child. A woman should not be forced into an abortion. The child is innocent, and the rapist should not have any rights as sex was forced."
"After I got pregnant from being raped, I had three different appointments to have an abortion. I just couldn't do it. I now have a beautiful daughter who will turn 21 in December." -- Tiffany from Missouri
"I gave birth to a baby who was conceived in incestuous rape. Many like me will tell you that baby was the best thing that ever happened to them. That child helps you to get past the rape, to move on in life, to have compassion for others in troubling situations in life. Killing my unborn child would not have made the rape go away, it would only mean I was raped and I am now the mother of a dead child . . . dead by my own hand. That would put me in a worse emotional situation, not a better one. It is time to stop the 'compassion' we visit on women who conceive in rape by telling them they are weak and cannot move on in life unless they kill their child. It is time to stop seeing children conceived in rape as the least deserving of life and start seeing them as people with value! These women are strong and resilient and can cope with distress in their life. Their children are of worth and are a gift to mankind. My daughter was the single bright light in a terrible situation. She rescued me from despair. She gave me hope for a future. Stop saying she should have been killed -- it is demoralizing and demeaning to her and to me." -- Jacquelyn
"I never considered abortion, but did consider adoption. I'm so glad I kept my beautiful boy!! He is so glad I kept him and didn't abort him!!!" -- Karyn Liechty
"Pregnant by rape at age 14, the Planned Parenthood clinic and the liberal state I lived in rolled out the red carpet for me to get an abortion, to hide the shame from my parents, to sweep “it” under the rug. If it weren’t for the high school nurse who forced me to wait, and the adoption counselor that empowered me with options, “it” wouldn’t be alive today -- my gorgeous birth-daughter, a 16 year old senior and straight-A student pursuing medical school." -- Crystal A. Blount
"When I found out I was pregnant after being raped, I instantly called Planned Parenthood. I was two hours away from the nearest clinic with no car and no one I could even think of asking to help me. If I had found a way to get there or lived closer I would have had an abortion. Now that my son is here, I am so thankful I did not have immediate access to an abortion! I would have deeply regretted that decision. I placed my son in an open adoption with an amazing family. This whole experience was not easy and it will always be a part of my life. Abortion would not have changed that. My pregnancy was never the crisis, it was that I had been raped." -- Lisa
"The rapist tried to force me into an abortion against my will. A longer waiting period would help to prevent women from being again forced into something against their conscience, especially in domestic violence/ abuse cases. Keeping my baby was what healed me by giving me my power back. She is the most stunningly beautiful girl, and yes she looks just like him, and she is gorgeous! By raising her to be a good person, I conquered the evil done to me with good." -- Danni Mayah
"A 72-hour waiting period would've allowed me the opportunity to get the help, advice, and healing I truly needed if I were to have ever considered abortion. I would've been able to think through my decision, rather than to act on a whim. My son is so precious to me, and with or without him, I would've had to heal from the same wounds from the abuser. My son was part of my healing. To have had him aborted, would've doubled my pain and problems." -- Robyn McLean
"I was sold into sex slavery on my fourteenth birthday. I got pregnant by a small time organized crime boss who kept me as a house pet. He said if I didn’t have an abortion, he would kill me. Saving my baby saved my life. The 72 hour period is just the window a girl like me might need to be able to get away." ~Darlene Pawlik
"I believe that choosing life, whether through adoption or motherhood, is always the right decision. This time-window is crucial to helping all women realize the pain does not trump the precious gift of life." -- Doreen,
mother from date-rape
"I'm so glad I had you." -- my birthmom Joann, on my 44th birthday, after two "back-alley" abortion attempts after having been abducted and raped at knifepoint by a serial rapist. I'm so glad we were both protected by the law that saved my life!
And here's a short video montage of women who became pregnant by rape and openly discuss having initially contemplated abortion. Did they not deserve time to make their decision?
As you can see, the voices of these survivors of rape have been completely ignored by Gov. Nixon. He is clearly the one with the misplaced paternalism. And a child is not a "punishment," as he said, but the death penalty for the child certainly is! According to the U.S. Supreme Court, rapists and even child molesters do not deserve the death penalty -- the Court said it would be "cruel and unusual punishment" for rapists and child molesters. But their innocent children deserve it? Our justice system does not punish innocent people for someone else's crime -- that's extreme and it's un-American.
Here's the voice of a young man who was raised by his mother after she was date-raped: "The Governor fails to recognize that the situation, tough as it may be, does not ever justify murder. If the child is human, the termination of the life is wholly against the justice paradigm; the child has done nothing wrong. The only undeniable facet of personhood is genetic makeup, and this is established upon conception. The denial of life for any reason is a subjective and arbitrary valuation that ultimately denies rights instead of affording them." -- Nicholas C. D'Angelo
Dr. Reardon's research backs up what these women have expressed: "In our survey of women who became pregnant as a result of rape or incest, many women who underwent abortions indicated that they felt pressured or were strongly directed by family members or health care workers to have abortions. The abortion came about not because of the woman’s desire to abort but as a response to the suggestions or demands of others. In many cases, resources such as health workers, counselors and others who are normally there to help women after sexual assault pushed for abortion. Family pressure, withholding of support and resources that the woman needed to continue the pregnancy, manipulative an inadequate counseling and other problems all played a role into pushing women into abortions, even though abortion was often not what the woman really wanted.
"Further, in almost every case involving incest, it was the girl’s parents or the perpetrator who made the decision and arrangements for the abortion, not the girl herself. (See Accomplices in Incest for an example.) None of these women reported having any input into the decision. Each was simply expected to comply with the choice of others. In several cases, the abortion was carried out over the objections of the girl, who clearly told others that wanted to continue the pregnancy. In a few cases, victim was not even clearly aware that she was pregnant or that the abortion was being carried out."
So Gov. Nixon was completely wrong in singling out pregnancy by rape and thereby demeaning the lives of every child who has been conceived as a result of sexual assault. We urge the Missouri House and Senate to override the Governor's veto this week. See you there!
Thursday, September 4, 2014
"I'm so glad I had you!" These were the words my birthmother spoke to me last year on my birthday -- nearly 25 years after we met, 25 years after telling me it should have been her choice to abort me, 44 years after I was born, 44-1/2 years after she sought to abort me at two illegal "back-alley" abortions, and 44 years, 9 months after she was abducted and raped at knifepoint by my biological father.
It was a bittersweet day because she called not only to wish me a Happy Birthday, but also to tell me that my grandma had died early that morning. I was born on Grandma Nina's wedding anniversary, and she died on my birthday. My birthmother and I spoke at length on the phone, and it was at the end of the conversation, as we were about to hang up, that she quickly called out my name a couple of times because she had just one more thing she urgently wanted to say to me on this day -- "I'm so glad I had you!"
She couldn't say to me that she was so glad she chose to have me, because that just wasn't the case. Years earlier she had made it quite clear that she would have aborted me had it been legal, and that it should have been her choice. In fact, she tried to abort me twice! She stuck to her guns on being pro-choice for 6 years -- until my niece had an unplanned pregnancy with my birthmother's first great-grandchild, and suddenly everything changed for her. She realized how much more important life is, and she made a point of telling me.
My birthmom has been interviewed several times over the years regarding our story -- by Glamour Magazine and by the syndicated television program "Extra," in which I got to hear her tell the reporter that she's glad she couldn't abort me, adding: "And now I have this wonderful daughter and the sun just shines in her." It was such a blessing to hear her say that! She's come to hear me speak at numerous pro-life fundraising banquets and I've had the opportunity to overhear her saying really nice things to other people and how glad she is that she couldn't abort me. But on my birthday last year, I had the extra-special blessing of being able to hear her say it directly to me, and it was the best birthday gift I ever received -- well, besides the gift of being born and actually having a birthday to celebrate!
So many people think that a child like me must be the worst thing that's ever happened to her -- not the rape, but becoming pregnant by rape, and that I must be a "horrible reminder of the rape." But I'm not. On the day her mother died, I represented hope and healing in her life. At least she has a child to whom she is able to speak these words. I think of the millions of women for whom changing their minds about abortion is a painful realization that they will never have this opportunity, and I grieve for them. I grieve with them. And then I think of those who were planned and wanted and never get to hear something so profound from their own mothers. Even worse are the rare mothers with such wretched hearts that they would actually say to their own child, "I wish you'd been aborted." Instinctively, we all know how horrible it is for a mother to say such a thing. Who on Earth would commend such a hard heart?
People often ask me how difficult it must be for me to be sharing my painful story regularly and whether I wish I didn't know the truth of my conception and near-death experience at the hands of abortionists. I tell them, "Not at all!" It's my story, and God is using it for His purposes. Most of the time, I am speaking to people who are either very sympathetic, or whose hearts are easy to change -- pro-life people who make the rape exception. I regularly get to hear people not only say that my story changed their mind forever on this issue, but I also have the added blessing of people saying things to me that others don't ever get to hear in everyday life -- things like, "I'm so glad you were born!" I feel spoiled that I get to hear this and others don't, so I make a point of telling people when I wish them Happy Birthday, "I'm so glad you were born!" I can't tell you how many people were deeply moved, telling me "Thanx -- no one has ever said that to me before."
We need to tell one another because that's what a birthday is -- it's celebrating the fact that you were born! You are one of a kind -- irreplaceable, designed by God for a purpose and intended to be a blessing, no matter the circumstances. If you are a mom or a dad, don't hesitate to tell your children how glad you are that you had them -- not of your own choosing or planning, but give them the gift of knowing that there is a greater purpose to their lives, well beyond your personal intentions, and watch them soar!
BIO: Rebecca Kiessling is an international pro-life speaker, attorney, wife, mother of 5, founder and President of Save The 1 --www.savethe1.com, co-founder of Hope After Rape Conception -- www.hopeafterrapeconception.org, and author of the Heritage House '76 pamphlet "Conceived in Rape: A Story of Hope." Visit her website at www.rebeccakiessling.com