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Tuesday, November 11, 2014
I recently spoke at the University of Waterloo, in Ontario, Canada, for a Students for Life event. The leadership team explained to me that they'd arranged for a police officer and campus security to be present because at their last event, protesters disrupted their speaker. The disturbances included witches trying to cast spells on the pro-life guest, Canadian Member of Parliament Stephen Woodworth.
Shortly before my event, I noticed some abortion advocates entering the room with signs. Since I've seen YouTube videos of some of my pro-life colleagues being interrupted during their speeches on college campuses, just to be safe, I asked the police officer to stay inside the room during my speech, and I clarified with him that the protesters would be escorted out if they tried to interrupt at all. Good. Beyond that, I truly owe the abortion activists a debt of gratitude, because they provide me with an endless supply of great material!
For anyone who's ever heard my speech, you know that much of it includes all of the horrible things which abortion supporters say to me -- things like, "You must take after your rapist father," and "Okay, so what you're saying is that if abortion had been legal, you wouldn't be here today. Well, if your birthmother hadn't been raped, you wouldn't be here today either, so doesn't that make youpro-rape?" People really say that to me!
I explain to them that there's a huge moral difference because I did exist, and my life would have been ended because I would have been killed through a brutal abortion. I may not look the same as I did when I was 4 years old, or 4 days old yet unborn in my mother's womb, but that was still undeniably me, and I would have been killed.
The typical response is then: "But that wouldn't have been you." Well, who would it have been?! "That just wouldn't have been you yet." So I ask the crowd of students: How many of you have ultrasound photos in your baby album? (Most do.) And what do your parents say to you? "I don't really know what that is. It's some kind of glob of tissue -- I don't even know what it's doing in there!" (Laughter ensues.) No, of course not! Parents say, "That was -- " and the students finish the sentence -- "you." They understand that. They get it. That was me. They comprehend the connection. But somehow, when it comes to the issue of abortion, all of a sudden, some "don't know what that is," or, "that wouldn't have been you." It's complete intellectual dishonesty.
Another cherished line they'll say is, "I have no problem looking you in the eyes and saying to you that I think that your mother should have been able to abort you, and I fully understand that it would mean that you'd be dead right now. Yeah, I have no problem doing that." Of course, this is out of their "care for women" that they would say such a thing to a woman like me! Can you feel the love? Cuz I'm not feelin' it!
That's the thing -- they always talk about how much they "care about women," so I challenge them: "I'm a woman! Now tell me, what good is my right to anything as a woman if I don't have my right to life?" They can never answer that question, because all other rights are worthless if you don't have your right to life.
When I speak on college campuses, the Students for Life leadership often tell me how the Feminists For Life poster of me, "Did I Deserve the Death Penalty?" gets taken down or defaced. Under that question, they often write in large letters, "YES!!!" -- that I did deserve the death penalty. I understand that they'd prefer it if children like me hadn't survived to put faces, voices and stories to this issue. But their utter inhumanity actually serves the cause of life because it awakens the average student in the middle who wasn't really sure how they felt about this issue. They in fact lose people because of their lack of reason and their cruelty.
Last week's protesters were no exception. First of all, they held their signs during my speech -- as they sat in the back rows so that I couldn't even read their signs. If you really want the speaker to see your signs, you might want to try sitting in the front row.
Then, about half-way through my speech, they all began to raise up plastic coat hangers -- yes,plastic. Because nothing is more terrifying than a plastic coat hanger -- especially the teal one which a guy kept waving as he was trying to stare me down. It was as if he thought he was threatening me with it, like I deserved to have been killed by his teal-colored plastic coat hanger. Yeah, that happened. One has to wonder whether he has some sort of Mommie Dearest complex.
Then, during Q & A, he called us all hypocrites for not being vegans. I explained that many of my pro-life colleagues actually are vegans, but then I asked him how he felt about puppy abortions. As is typical, his response was disbelief that it occurs, but when many of us assured him that it in fact does, I asked again, and his response was that he doesn't know how he feels about puppy abortions -- the same reply I get every time. You see, it cuts them to the core to hear about violence against animals and they just can't condone it.
Another abortion activist who says that she helps deliver babies and also helps assist in abortions, asked me if I'd ever been to a termination, because if I've never been to a termination, then she says I shouldn't have the right to stand up there and speak.
I told the crowd that many may be shocked to hear -- especially given my story -- that I actually terminated three of my pregnancies prematurely. All three of my daughters are doing quite well now. My doctor broke my water (using something that actually resembled a wire coat hanger,) and induced labor with all three, so they are alive and well, despite my having prematurely terminated those pregnancies. Then I asked her, "But that's not what you're talking about, is it? When you say 'termination,' you're not talking about ones resulting in live babies, right? Just the dead ones, or do you include the termination of pregnancies with live babies too? -- because I've participated in those."
She looked a bit confused, but the room was full of laughter. I explained to her that the words you use are significant, so say exactly what you mean. I asked her whether she's talking about being present at an abortion, and if so, then define abortion. What is an abortion? She wouldn't answer that one, of course. They never want to talk about what an abortion really is.
So some pro-life supporters hear about protesters, they see the photos with the cruel and unusual posters, and they wonder how so many of us endure it. First of all, the protesters are actually helping our cause with their asinine antics. Secondly, I'm secure in my identity as a child of God and firm in His calling on my life, that nothing could deter me. I'm energized when I'm "in the zone," fulfilling this purpose, and knowing that lives are saved along the way because someone remembered my story. And lastly, I'm extremely grateful for them sitting through my speech, because these protesters are lost. I shared stories with them of pro-life activists who were once abortion rights advocates, and I offered them all hope that it's never too late to change your mind!
BIO: Rebecca Kiessling is an international pro-life speaker, attorney, President of Save The 1 -- www.savethe1.com, and co-founder of Hope After Rape Conception -- www.hopeafterrapeconception.org