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Friday, May 15, 2015

My Birthmother Was Raped, But God Had a Plan For Both of Our Lives, by Sherry Hensley

Six years ago while on a trip home to visit my parents, I had the privilege to take a four-hour drive and meet a woman who I have come to know and admire her for her selfless love, her strength, and her act of courage in the middle of adversity -- my birthmother.

Growing up, I always knew I was an adopted child.  My parents did not keep it a secret and they loved me no matter if I was born into the family or adopted.  My parents told me growing up that when I reached the age of 18, if I wanted to search for my birthparents, they would help me do it.

For many years, I dealt with some medical issues and had a lot of questions which adoptees think about.  My adoption was “closed,” but in January of 2008, I decided to get my non-ID information.

The day finally came when the packet arrived in the mail.  I was nervous and excited all at the same time.  I waited until my husband got home from work to open it.  That evening in January of 2008, I opened the packet, and we read it together.  I was amazed as to what I was reading.  As I read about my birthmother having taught children who had cerebral palsy, I felt so proud of her!

The packet did not give very much information about my birthfather other than on one of the pages in big letters it said, “Alleged Father.” That is when I got the feeling that something bad had happened.  

After my husband and I finished reading the information, he told me he wanted for us to get to know my birthmother more, inspiring me to search for her.  I called my parents, and I told them that I was going to continue to search for my birthmother.

I wrote my birthmother an outreach statement without any names and emailed it to my caseworker.  Several days went by and the days felt more like years.  I continued to pray that God would work the situation out because I wanted to know who she was so I could thank her for choosing life.

The day finally came when I received a phone call from my caseworker.  She said she had talked with my birthmother, and that she wanted to have contact with me!  The caseworker told me that before she could give me all of the information, my birthmother wanted me to know the truth:  my birthmother was raped.

The day I heard that I was conceived in rape, I chose not to become angry or bitter about my beginnings, and I chose to love my birthfather.  Why did I choose to love my birthfather who is a rapist?  Because Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins, as well as the sins of my birthfather.  I chose to love him through the love of Jesus Christ.  That day, God also gave to me a heart filled with so much love and compassion for my birthmother for what she’d endured!

It was several weeks later after my birthmother was raped that she discovered she was pregnant.  When she told her mother that she was pregnant, her mother was not thrilled with the turn of events and gave my birthmother three weeks to get out of the house.  Her father had passed away in 1967 and so no one else was there to protect and defend her.  

She then went to live at a home for unwed mothers, and it was there that my birthmother started her healing process.  The question went through her mind: what am I to do with this baby?  My birthmother had to make a decision.  She had no job, no permanent place to live, was not married, and no support from family. My birthfather, of course, was out of the picture.  In fact, she didn’t even know my birthfather’s name.

 Her aunt though had an idea:  she could arrange for her to have an illegal abortion with a doctor in Michigan (this was before Roe V Wade.)

However, my birthmother  knew that there was life growing inside of her womb --Life
given by God and a gift from God.  My birthmother said her favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11:  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  She did not want to disrupt the plans which God had for the tiny life who was growing inside of her.  When she decided to place me for adoption, her one request to the social worker was that her baby be placed in a strong Christian home.

When I was born, my birthmother had some complications.  We both remained in the hospital for a week before she went home and I was released to my foster parent’s house.  God blessed my birthmother with one week to love, care for and hold her baby girl she’d named Rebecca Ann.  My birthmother and I were released from the hospital on the same day, and she said she then placed me into the hands of God.

When I got in contact with my birthmother, she told me, “I have always loved you, and you were the beginning of my healing process.”  She also said what a lot of people don’t realize – that the baby who is conceived out of rape becomes a strong healing force in the situation.  Why?  Because out of something horrific and traumatic comes a precious human being, and the Giver of Life brings healing to the one who suffered.

The day I received  the information from my caseworker that my birthmother wanted to meet me, a feeling of completeness came over me, as well as a great love which I have for my birthmother.

I sent my birthmother an email the night of Feb 5th.  In the morning, I checked my inbox and was excited to see that I had an email from her which included a picture of her and her family.  I have a half-brother and a step-sister.  We exchanged further emails, and I called her and we chatted for a bit.  It was a relief to know we were on the same page.  She said, “Okay we need to talk about when we can meet.”  My parents and my husband know me well, and that is the exact way that I would have said it!  So we worked it out, and we had the day set for May 21st & 22nd, 2008, as I was going to be home to spend some time with my parents for a vacation.

After almost 35 years, the day finally came that my mom, my dad, my husband and I
got to meet my birthmother and half-brother.  We met them at the hotel where we were staying, sat by the pool chatting, then went to a nice dinner. My birthmother had my half-brother pray over the food. Well, he prayed and he also thanked God for the reunion between his mom and her daughter.  I about cried because of the immense joy I felt at that moment.

After dinner, we went to her house, and I got to see pictures of her when she was younger, and I looked so much like her!  It was surreal.  Genetics are wild.

The next day was wonderful as well, spending the afternoon with her, touring her home town, looking at more photos.  She gave me a picture to keep, as well as a copy of the family lineage, which is so precious to have!  I felt so blessed to spend time with her like that.  I told her I felt I have met an older sister.  My birthmother is someone from whom I can learn, and someone who I call my Special Friend.  I couldn’t feel more blessed!

Yes, my biological great aunt wanted me to be aborted, but my birthmother chose life, and I was protected by law from an illegal abortion.  God was faithful to my birthmother’s prayer:  I was raised in a wonderful Christian home where faith was taught, and it was real.

God has been so very good to me, and He has blessed me beyond measure with amazing parents, a brother who also is adopted, a loving husband who I adore so very much, incredible friends and a tight-knit church family.  I was conceived in rape, but I am loved.

BIO:  Sherry Hensley is pro-life speaker from Maryland – conceived in rape, saved from an illegal abortion, and a blogger for Save The 1.  She’s married to a Minister and loves to share her faith and inspire others.  Her website is

Congress' Rape Exception Gave Pro-Abort Dems the Floor on the Rape Debate by Jim Sable

Since HR36, Congress’ Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, did not follow solid pro-life principles, (a discriminatory rape/incest exception was included), debate on the floor of the House of Representatives resulted in some unintended consequences.  Did anyone else notice this?  The Democratic Party representatives -- the radically pro-abortion House members who testified in opposition to HR36, went on and on, speaker after speaker, presenting their sympathetic case that abortion is compassionate and protective of women after rape conception.  We are armed with the truth of what it takes to support a woman through her trauma after rape while also protecting her baby, so wasn't their rant on rape painful to listen to? The pro-abort Democrats' opinion is that the rape exception, as revised for the current bill, is still too restrictive.  They would make the same objections to a bill without a rape and incest exception, but this time, there was no counter-argument. 

Our pro-life legislators had no rebuttal to this.  Why?  Because the bill has a rape exception, so how could they argue about wanting to protect children like me who were conceived in rape?  How could they argue for our humanity?  How could they argue the truth that rape victims are worse off after an abortion and survivors like my birthmother are better off after giving birth?
All that the pro-life side was left with was an abstract, logic-defying counter-argument suggesting that it is the rape exception in the bill which protects women’s health -- a similar argument to one which was used to promote the bill in the weeks preceding the vote.  Most of the pro-life legislators avoided discussing the exception entirely.  Understand that because of the added rape exception, it was impossible to discuss any cases of mothers from rape/incest or rape/incest-conceived individuals which tell positive, life-affirming stories of hope and redemption which would overwhelm the darkness contained in the testimony of the Democrats!
It certainly is not logical to attempt to defend the lives of the rape-conceived or to encourage mothers to choose life after conceiving through rape, while at the same time promoting a rape exception and guaranteeing the right to abortion after rape conception in our own “pro-life” sponsored law!  As you can see, when the bill is allowing abortion after a rape conception -- when our side is actually setting up the process by which an abortion after rape conception can be acquired -- the option of bringing life-affirming stories to legislative debate is eliminated and the opposition gets to dominate the debate on this topic. 
Were there no rape exception, truly pro-life Congressmen would be free and able to completely defeat the false claims that an abortion is the compassionate response to rape conception.  However “instructive” some on our side think the HR36 bill is, whatever opportunity we have to make a sympathetic case for the humanity of the unborn late-term baby, is wholly negated by the pro-abortion Democrats’ continuous talk of the tragedy of the raped and pregnant woman.  From their perspective, they had their own sympathy element to highlight.  With the rape exception in the bill, pro-life Congressmen could do nothing to counteract that. 
I hope this really is instructional – for the pro-life side.  Pro-Life Congressmen need to stick to principle and focus on punishing rapists, not babies.

BIO:  Jim Sable, conceived in rape, is a husband, father of 3, and  pro-life speaker and blogger for Save The 1.  He’s a Board Member of Save The 1 and Board Member of Hope After Rape Conception.  His story is featured in the DVDs “Except in Cases of Rape?  12 Stories of Survival,” and “Conceived in Rape and Other Exceptions.”
Wednesday, May 13, 2015

She Was "Sad and Skeptical About Rape Babies" by Rebecca Kiessling

Why should I have to prove my worth and my right to life?  When I first learned at the age of 18 that I was conceived in rape, I instantly felt targeted and devalued by our society because I’d heard what people said about pregnancy “in cases of rape.”  Right away, I felt I was in a position where I would have to justify my own existence – that I would have to prove myself to the world that I shouldn’t have been aborted and that I was worthy of living.

I’ve since found my own value, identity and purpose in Christ, being created by God, in His image, and for a purpose, so I no longer feel I need to prove my worth to others in order to feel worthy.  Instead, I share my worth out of gratitude for my own life being spared and in order that others may see the value of those who are still at risk – those who are in harm’s way as yet unborn and being targeted for abortion in the clinics, in legislation, and in people’s hearts and minds.
Whenever I speak, I share this aspect of my journey, but people are shocked to hear that I actually do get challenged to prove my value, to demonstrate my positive contribution to society and to justify my right not to have been aborted.  This recent e-mail is a case in point.  It was a tough inquiry to receive, but you’ll see my hopefully patient (and prayerful) responses below, and the ultimate outcome of the exchange:
I’m feeling sad and skeptical about rape babies.  I’d love to consider myself pro-life due to biblical reasons, but I just don’t really see what good can ever come out of a rape baby.  I still think that it sometimes furthers the victimization of a rape victim.  And it’s also because I’m very sad and disturbed by your blog.
I just think sometimes that it would be better if these babies never existed -- that every single one would naturally be miscarried by God’s will, so no one could bully them for their skeleton in their closet. Like I said, the subject manner disturbs me to the point where I vomit. I wish that every child was conceived in love and not violence because that's the way it should be.  And I'm sad to say that the only way I could fully believe all of you rape mothers and children is if you were to pray for the peace of God that transcends all my futile understanding and my volatile, overly-sensitive emotions. 
There is no story in the whole world that can fully change my mind. The only way I could ever is if I were to befriend a victim or become the Bride of a man whom was the product of abuse.  I'm so sorry to be brutally honest; it's just that my heart grieves to the point where I feel the struggle to overcome the sin of prejudice.  I'm so angry at God that he allows this to occur.
Dear __, I appreciate you going to our blog and taking the time to reach out to us.  Your concerns are the most common, but research shows that rape victims are four times more likely to die within the next year after the abortion vs. giving birth.  Dr. David Reardon's book Victims and Victors:  Speaking Out About Their Pregnancies, Abortions and Children Resulting From Sexual Assault explains this:  So it's a myth which gets perpetuated -- that a rape victim would be better off after an abortion, that her child would be a reminder of the rape, and that she would even see her child as a "rape baby," as you put it.

I understand a lot of what you're saying.  You would definitely feel differently if you knew someone personally.  I wished I wasn’t conceived in rape, but I do believe now that God definitely bring good out of evil, and uses tragic situations to bring healing.  He doesn't intend the evil of course, but his trademark is redeeming really awful situations.
-- Rebecca
Her reply (again, challenging for me to read, but I think she candidly articulates a lot of what most people really wonder or think):

What has God done in your life personally besides this blog that has made your tragic family life worth the pain?  Tell me what you have been doing: like marriage, dating, children, jobs, friendship, volunteer work; any of that.  I am curious to see how God has given your life joy and purpose.  I'm sorry if I have ever been difficult to handle.  I'm emotionally impulsive when I hear something sad.
First of all, my birthmother and her husband legally adopted me 3-1/2 years ago because my adoptive family was really screwed up (long story of abuse and abandonment.)  My own adoption by my birthmother was our fairy-tale ending.  She says I'm a blessing to her, I honor her and I bring her healing!  I love adoption -- my two oldest are adopted (very open adoption,) and we adopted a baby with special needs -- Cassie -- who died in our arms at 33 days old.  It was an honor to take care of her and was definitely one of the most important things I'd ever done in my life.  She died because of medical malpractice.

Married for nearly 17 years, we have 5 children now – two adopted sons and our three biological daughters.  Here's my son's story:  He wrote it last September at 12 years old.

Besides being the president and founder of Save The 1, I also co-founded Hope After Rape Conception.  I'm a family law attorney, though I closed my law practice to have my children and to home school until 2-1/2 years ago.

I make baby quilts which I donate to pregnancy resource centers and I give to moms in unplanned pregnancies.  My birthmother taught me to sew!  I also taught my children to quilt, as well as many of my friends and their children.  I've volunteered with orphan care, Sunday school, feeding the disadvantaged, free legal work, volunteer work for a maternity home, and helping in various ways with pregnancy resource centers.  I changed the hearts of Gov. Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich on this issue during their presidential campaigns!

A large part of what I do is helping others to understand their value, identity and worth because lots of people struggle with these issues -- not just those conceived in rape.  I hope this helps!  -- Rebecca

Her final response – from someone who said “there is no story in the world that can fully change my mind”: 

Dear Rebecca, thank you so much for your time to straighten out my emotional acting out -- I'm really glad you told me about your life.  I really think I'll be okay now.  I still wish that men wouldn't rape, but at least the world knows a lot more than they used to and I can say that I'm pro-life to my college professors without paranoia or anxiety. I even talked about helping people like you with my mom and dad.  They told me I'm too sensitive in personality to be involved directly in domestic politics; yet, I'm praying about being a free English tutor for troubled families as well as being an anti-pornography informant or activist.  After all, the porn industry has been statistically linked to the sexual violence pandemic.  I'm so glad that you are living life well and to the best of your ability; keep telling people that just because your birth father was an evil scumbag doesn't mean that you are. Thanks Rebecca, you have really touched and strengthened my heart. With much sincerity.

  BIO:  Rebecca Kiessling was conceived in rape and nearly aborted, but legally protected by law in Michigan pre-Roe v Wade.  She's an attorney, pro-life speaker and blogger, and President of Save The 1.  Her own website is


Pregnant by Rape, I Heard God Tell Me Her Blood Was Innocent by Crystal Blount

I am a birthmother from rape. I know what many people think about abortion in cases of rape, and I'm sharing my story to give an alternate point of view to consider.
I can understand how this issue might tug on your heart, and how it may seem really hard to consider it realistic to expect a woman to carry a pregnancy to term in the case of rape -- that it seems impossible to fathom.  I used to think I was the only one in the world it happened to.  I’m not alone though, and now I have many friends who’ve been through the same thing and we’ve all come out stronger.
I was that young girl.  As a 14 yr old freshman, virgin, church-going, smart, young girl, I was raped on my high school campus by an upper class guy I barely knew.  I met him in an upper level math class and he convinced me to join him in the music department one day, took me into a dark room, and raped me.  I told no one for almost three months until I could no longer deny I was pregnant.  I was my daddy's little girl and I was devastated I’d lost my virginity which I’d hoped to save for marriage. I couldn't bear the thought of disappointing my dad. 
Long story short, I had two abortion appointments -- one to cover up so I didn't have to tell my Daddy, and the second of which my Dad insisted upon because he felt ashamed of his failure to protect me, and the family name. I felt ashamed and very sad for disappointing him and afraid to destroy my family. 
Here's where it gets good:  on the way to the second appointment, I heard God tell me that her blood was innocent, and to take his hand.  I asked my Dad to stop the car and said I didn't know what I would do (keep the baby or adoption), but that I would accept the task of carrying the child until she was born -- to choose LIFE for her.  I felt overcome with a duty to protect this helpless life growing inside me.  I had seen her heartbeat.  I knew instantly in that car, that it wasn't her fault, no matter who fathered her; even if he had just been a deadbeat dad.  I knew then it was my duty and God would somehow give me the strength to bring her into the world. 
I did just that, and with the help of counselors, I chose open adoption for my daughter.  I picked her parents -- a couple married many years who tried for seven years to have a family.  She's an honors student now, and graduating high school in three weeks -- one entire year early at the age of 16.  She has been accepted to four colleges, and wants to become an ER trauma surgeon one day.
At 17, I graduated high school also.  I went on to spend two years at my dream school, Berklee College of Music in Boston, studying music business and voice.  I eventually moved to California, and completed my Bachelor's degree while working full time in the entertainment Industry.  Currently, I have worked for a major entertainment company for nearly five years, got my degree in Marketing, and got married in 2011. I earn an upper middle income, go to church, and have been recently been working on losing some weight (I've lost 30 lbs. so far) and writing my second book. Yes, I published my first book in 2011! (Prayers & Pillow Talk: A Rape Survivors Journey to Self-Worth.) I’m currently featured in a billboard campaign in California through Tulare-Kings Right to Life, with Save The 1 speakers in each ad, so good things are happening and I definitely feel blessed and a sense of purpose!
My immediately family is great and we became stronger after that trial. In fact, my parents have now been married 32 years, despite that really trying time for our family.  My dad has since apologized to me, and said he is so very grateful I chose to trust God instead of trying to please him, because he loves his grand-daughter so much!
My daughter knows she is a gift from God. I tell her every chance she gets. She looks just like ME, and when I see her smile, I see how good God is and how he took this bad experience and made it beautiful!
Although she doesn't know her biological father, and probably won’t ever know him, she has an adoptive Dad who loves her dearly and would die for her, a biological Grandpa (my dad) who is now crazy about her and so proud (he finally overcame his shame and we are stronger than ever too), and many uncles, aunts, and cousins on my side, and her adoptive side, who get to see just how wonderful and amazing God is and how He is able to do some really incredible and miraculous things when we give our problems to Him.  She is a really happy teen who is discovering herself more everyday – she loves dance, photography, and singing.
How did I heal?  Mainly, it’s been knowing that my situation was used by God. Sharing my story to help others helps me heal too, because shame can’t live when we refuse to be silent.  Over time, and with the help of my counselors, family, and support of friends, I was able to overcome a lot of struggles. With the help of counselors and prayer, I was able to forgive the man who raped me. Why?  Because, after all, he is human too.  Someone probably hurt him once if he thinks that behavior was okay. 
I know that is a crazy idea to most, because I had a huge burden to carry because of what he did, I endured a lot of grief, and I gave up my only child for adoption after carrying her for nine months.  It was surely hard.  I almost didn't make it and wanted to hurt myself many times because I felt ashamed.  For many years, I hated him, blamed him, felt the world owed me one, and I was mad at God. The world told me I was weak, crazy, dirty, and that my daughter didn't deserve to live.  But, now that I have peace with this journey of mine, it gave me an incredible testimony which I am blessed to see impacts people every day.  I hope my story is an encouragement to you.
So, when people ask why I'm pro-life, it's mainly for two reasons.  First of all, because I feel a passion to stand up for those tiny beating hearts who God felt we'd protect, provide for and be strong enough to bring them into this world because every life matters. Secondly, I’m pro-life for the women and girls who are so often left alone, abandoned, dirty, and feeling like they just can't do it. They have been told throughout life in our society that rape makes them dirty, and that pregnancy is unthinkable.  But the sins of the father, aren't the sins of the child -- not any more than my sins belong to you, or vice versa. If rapists aren't even given the death penalty (it's been deemed too harsh), why should unborn human babies be sentenced to death for the rapists’ crimes?
We each have our own lives to live -- each of us who have been given the chance at life that is. I want all unborn babies to have a chance at life, no matter what any of us has done -- no matter what mistakes I made, or whatever mistakes the man who raped me made. 
I want us all to have our own shot at being love, life, and an inspiration to this world. I want us to be willing to protect each other, and to be there for the girls who have been taken advantage of -- not make them feel dirty, ashamed, and then have to have their own flesh and blood literally sucked from them. 
It's my goal now to tell every girl she is precious, to tell every woman she is strong enough to make it through anything, and that there are people who want to help her get through it, despite what society says.  I want to tell them to choose life because there are people who will love that baby to the ends of the earth if she feels she can't be an adequate parent.  And that is totally okay. I was so blessed, and my daughter is amazing!  God loves when we bring our messes to him so He can turn them into a Message.
I hope if you run into a girl or woman one day who might be struggling with the decision to choose life for her baby (regardless of the circumstances), that you will think of me, and encourage her that she can and will succeed at anything.  Let her know that she isn't alone, that there are people who make it their mission to help, that she IS strong enough to handle anything in life which comes her way, and that she can do it in a way which gives life and is beautiful.  Even if getting pregnant wasn't her fault, and especially if it wasn't her fault, she shouldn't be punished by having to go through another trauma, and her baby isn't guilty either. 
BIO:  Crystal Blount is a pro-life speaker and blogger for Save The 1.  Her own website is
Sunday, May 10, 2015

Murder: Legal With Counseling!!! by Rowena Slusser

Murder: Legal with Counseling!!!
by Rowena Slusser 

BREAKING NEWS: The United Nations Bans The Killing of People By ISIS Members Except If Those People Are Christians. In Those Cases, The ISIS Member Must First Get Counseling From A Non-ISIS Organization To Give Them All Possible Options For Dealing With The Christians! If The Christian Is A Minor, The Parent Must First Be Notified Of The Minor Christians Demise.

That is a bit extreme, right?  No, not really. Today I woke up and checked my Facebook. To my horror, I found that Congress is pushing forward the HR36 Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act with a rape exception in it. The wording removes the reporting requirement, and adds that the woman needs to receive counseling, notifying her of all her options. It also says that if a minor is involved, that the appropriate legal agencies are to be notified. What this bill is saying is that aborting a child conceived in rape, a child that can feel pain, will remain legal under the ban as long as the woman gets counseling.

This rhetoric is no different than the fake headline I have above. Yet many Pro-Life groups are celebrating that this bill will go to a vote. As I engaged on social media, I actually had a person post the following in favor of exceptions,
“...Including the exceptions is a smart move, it gives the bill a more feasible chance of  either becoming law or hurting pro-abortion politicians who vote against it.
To explain away the use of exceptions by calling it a smart move, is inexcusable.  The lives of children conceived in rape or incest/rape should not be used as a pawn to give a law more of a chance to pass or to hurt pro-abortion politicians. This way of thinking is backwards and exploits lives of pre-born babies.

As I watch my Twitter account explode with excitement over this bill going to the floor for a vote, my heart aches. Hearts are calloused to the truth that children conceived in rape and/or incest/rape have value, are just as human, and wanted. We want to be loved. We want to be cherished and protected.

Instead of being loved and protected, we are at the mercy of the people in our moms life. Will they support her and help her choose life, or will they pressure and coerce her into having an abortion? And that is where the stigma begins. The stigma that a child conceived in rape receives starts long before that baby is ever born. It is labeled with shame, disgrace and dishonor. Before the child starts his/her life outside the womb, he/she has been given a bad reputation.

This child will be forced to carry the title of the rapists child or be labeled an abomination. When the child finds out how his or her conception happened, it will most likely feel immense shame. The child will likely hear people say that because of the horrible way the child was conceived, the moms life would have been easier if she would have opted for abortion. The child will see news articles quoting Pro-Lifers saying abortion is murder except for the case of rape or incest. Is this truly the message that we want to send?

Have we as Christian Pro-Lifers, lost sight of the fact that EVERY LIFE MATTERS? Please search your heart and open your eyes to see that children conceived in rape or incest/rape have value, deserve to be protected and fought for under this ban. Join others and me from organizations like Save The 1, in calling for an amendment to completely remove the rape exception from the 20-week Abortion Limit bill that is headed to theU.S. House floor on May 13, 2015.

BIO:  Rowena Slusser was conceived by incest/rape. She is a wife and homeschool mother of 2.  Shes available for speaking, and is a pro-life blogger for Save The 1.  She can be contacted at, and  also has a personal blog at

Thank You Mom For Loving Me, Even Though I Was Conceived Out of Rape by Nick D'Angelo

This Mother's Day, posts everywhere will read about “The best mom ever!” While I wholly support appreciation of parents, I’ve never been able to use such generic, sweeping language because it can feel contrived to me.

I cannot prove my mother is the best by any absolute measure.  However, you absolutely can’t measure the love I have for her and the love she has given me.  I was conceived when my mother was date-raped, and my understanding of this decision’s weight has steadily grown in the years since she told me.

nicholasdangelo2I simply want to say thank you.  Thank you for your courage and strength to carry me, give birth and then raise me at personal inconvenience. Thank you for showing me that the right decision, though not always popular or easy, will always be worthwhile for me and others. Thank you for never tolerating any failure to respect women. Thank you for taking your life’s difficulties and consistently working them for good, without complaining.  Thank you for teaching a love of others, not a love of money.  Thank you for proving to me that service of others is immensely more valuable than personal gain.

While I fail to uphold all these standards you’ve given me, I thank you for them. Though I may never be good at typical displays of affection, I can assure you of this:  I love you mom, and won’t ever stop . . . , after all, you showed me how.

BIO: Nicholas D'Angelo is a Save The 1 blogger and pro-life speaker from upstate NY, and serves on the board of directors of Save the 1.  He graduated Summa Cum Laude in May 2013 from the University at Buffalo with a B.S. in Business Administration with a triple concentration in: Supply Chain+Operations, Marketing, and Human Resources.

Friday, May 8, 2015

HR36 is Back Worse Than Before

Will the 20 Week Ban Save Babies?   ~by Darlene Pawlik

HR 36 Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is Back

The Republican leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives has announced that it will bring the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to the House floor for a vote on Wednesday, May 13, or Thursday, May 14.

You might recall that the bill had been scheduled for a vote on January 22 during the annual March for Life when hundreds of thousands of pro-life advocates would be in Washington DC to commemorate Roe v Wade, but it was pulled at the last minute.  The media's account was that the bill had a reporting requirement for rape that didn't meet with the approval of a couple of legislators. 

At first glance, there was huge support for this bill because most pro-life advocates did not know that the bill had exceptions for rape and incest, meaning that abortions would be banned after 20 weeks except if the child was conceived in rape or incest.  When a core group of pro-life advocates found out about the exceptions and that there would be no hearing to try and remove that language, a huge opposition to the bill began and the bill was pulled off the docket.

Those against the bill, including Savethe1 and Personhood Alliance objected to the huge push by National Right to Life, Susan B Anthony List and Priests for Life asking pro-life advocates to contact their congressman to support the bill, without mentioning that the bill had exceptions for rape and incest.

The basis of the bill is that preborn babies at 20 weeks gestation feel pain as they are being killed by abortion. Is there any reason to believe that the manner in which a child is conceived impacts their ability to feel pain? Rape conceived babies feel pain too. We are developmentally the same as babies conceive in love.

The US has long been respected as a just nation. Is it just to kill a child because his or her father is a criminal? According to our laws, in no other circumstance is a child held accountable for the crimes of their father. We have courts and trial lawyers to hold people accountable by due process of the law. What due process is afforded these babies?

Emails from major pro-life organizations have already been out today to raise money based on the premiss that HR36 will save babies from abortion. A few have mentioned, while they don't condone the rape and incest exceptions, they support the bill because it will save babies. But will it?

My understanding is that the the reporting requirement has been removed. So, there may be no fear of reprisal for women claiming to have conceived by rape and less likelihood of women reporting abusers or traffickers when they conceive by rape or incest. Abortion is a trafficker's best weapon. Abortion keeps women subservient and breaks their spirits, so that abusers can continue their abuse. Coerced abortion is very prevalent. My trafficker forced me to make an appointment for an abortion and threatened my life if I didn’t abort.

How can we think that if a woman is desperate enough to submit to abortion and have her baby killed at five months pregnant, that she wouldn't be desperate enough to lie?

And what about the logic, or shall I say illogic, of this kind of a stipulation in law. How illogical is it to say that a baby who can feel pain should be protected in some cases, but not others? We have a concept here in the United States called equal protection under the law. This concept usually governs the enactment of legislation by giving a hearing to bills to be discussed. This bill was scheduled to be brought to the floor for a vote without a hearing last time and it has been scheduled without a hearing again.

The announcement that it will be voted on next week doesn't even allow for much media or lobbying for the exceptions to be removed. Savethe1 President, Rebecca Kiessling, will be there in DC along with Personhood Alliance President, Dan Becker, to reach out to as many legislators as possible next week. Please help us get the word out about the flaws in this bill and help others understand that there is either a baby worth saving or there isn't.

Darlene Pawlik was conceived by rape and has also conceived a child as a result of sex trafficking. She has been a pro life advocate for over 23 years and currently serves as a speaker and VP of Savethe1 and NHRTL Educational Trust Chair, as well as, the NH delegate to Personhood Alliance. 
Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Conceived in Rape - Incest and Pregnant by Rape Twice by Rowena Slusser

I am sharing my story for every girl who lives in silence, and for every person to understand that all life has value and is worthy of protection.

I was conceived in father/daughter rape-incest.  My mother, Becca, was molested by her father throughout her children and was 15 when I was born.  She was offered an abortion by a doctor who had asked her if she had been a bad girl, to which she responded that she had not, because she really had no understanding of what he father had been doing to her.  This doctor completely failed to help her break free from the molestation.  In fact, Child Protective Services also failed to protect my mom, even though they were called by the school authorities, and while at school my mom told them what was happening.  Nevertheless, they ultimately sent her home to be abused for several more years.  Despite the pressure to abort, once my mom knew she was pregnant, she understood that a life was growing inside of her which she could not kill, and so, she refused the abortion and chose to bring me to birth.   

When I was born, she said she loved me like a baby doll, but did not know how to care for me.   As a result, her parents, Ruben and Rosa, raised me as their own until I was around 4 years old.  At that time, Becca told me that she was my mom.  Since I didnt believe her, I asked Ruben and Rosa if this was true, and they confirmed for me that it was indeed true -- they said that what Becca said was correct and that she really was my mom.  I remember feeling confused, and to help myself deal with the confusion, I would call Rosa mom or mamma, and Becca, I would call Becky or mother.  I remember feeling weird in public because Becca was my sister to the public.  Overall, I still saw Becca as my sister and friend, even though I knew she was my mom.

My earliest memory of abuse is as a baby.  My father, Ruben, started to physically and sexually abuse me from around 1 year of age until I was 10 years old.  In once instance, my grandmother Rosa even caught him and threatened to divorce him if he ever did it again, but I was too scared to tell her what was happening.  I knew what he was doing was bad, though I didnt know the name for it.  I knew that he was bothering me and I didnt like it.  He was a big man (350+ lbs) and he was violent, so I was terrified of him.  I felt so dirty, defiled and ashamed.  There are so many memories of the sexual abuse and a great deal of pain in recounting any of them.

My young mom did her best to protect me.  One of my memories of her protecting me was around the age 8 or 9.  My father was upset with me about not doing a chore right, so my mom (Becca) told me to hide under the sink and be real quiet.  I did, but felt guilty because I knew what he would do to her.  Sure enough, he gave her my beating.  I could hear it and see from a small hole.  Other times, she would ask me if he was “bothering me.  I know I would tell her both no and yes. She would ask me if I would want to go or stay if she ever left, and I would tell her that I definitely wanted her to go!  Finally, on November 16, 1988, she secretly took me out of school with the help of our oldest sister, Rachel.  My mom and I ran away with family friends to Plainview, TX, and it was about 7 years before I saw my father or my grandmother again.

Within a couple of months after moving, my mom told me the truth that my father had sexually abused her as well, and that I was a result of that abuse.  It didnt shock me because I had a feeling he had been doing the same things to her, but I definitely felt confused, gross, ashamed, and worthless, and wondered how my mother could really love me.

Plainview was supposed to be a new start, but unfortunately, we ended up in an abusive cycle again.  My mom met my step-father at church, and he was a charmer.  He swept my mom off her feet.  I dont remember exactly how I felt about him, but I do know that I wasnt happy that he was taking my mom away.  Shortly after my 11th birthday, he talked my mom into letting me spend the night with him and his girls, and she took his youngest son.  That night, my future step-father sexually abused me.  I tried to tell my mom, but the church we were going to gave her bad advice, and they blamed me.  After that, I felt alone and trapped as the abuse continued over the next five years.  

At age 13, I became pregnant by my step-father, though hadnt realized at the time that I was actually pregnant because I didnt understand what was going on with my body, and now that Ive experienced four miscarriages in my life, I realize that I was pregnant by him, ending sadly in miscarrying the baby.  He had told me that if I ever got pregnant, he would force me to have an abortion.

Until after my sixteenth birthday, I was trapped in a very destructive relationship with my step-father.  He was completely warped and told me strange things such as that he wanted to marry me and wanted me to raise my younger sisters and brother.  I prayed for a way out!  I thought that I would suffocate from the inside and out.  My way out was close, though I didnt know that at the time.

My family started going to a new church.  This church would be the path to freedom that God used to end the abuse.  One day, in June of 1994, my mom walked in on my step-father raping me.  The feeling of doom was so thick, I was smothered by it.  I was sure that my mom was going to send me away, but the next day, she went to our pastor and told him what happened.  This time, the pastor called the police.  Finally, my cage door was opened!  

He was charged and arrested, my step-father and mother got a divorce, the grand jury indicted him, but then the prosecutor cut a plea bargain, so he spent 10 years in prison.  Although some would call this justice, I remember feeling at the time very upset that I did not have my say in Court and I wanted my voice to be heard.  Finally after all of these years, I have the opportunity to be heard!

I have survived sexual assault and rape by my biological father, uncle, half-brother, step-father and other men.  Healing started to happen as I sought out counseling.  At the age of 19, I met my future husband.  He was the first man who treated me with respect and dignity.  We dated for two years before getting married in October of 1999, and hes been my biggest supporter.  

While my husband was away for training with the United States Navy, when I was 22 years old, I was raped by a stranger in a home invasion while I was sleeping.  I did everything right I went to the hospital where we reported it to the police, and I had a rape kit done.  I was offered the Morning After pill, but I declined because I knew the risks involved.  The perpetrator was never caught.  My husband came home within 48 hours of the rape, and we moved to a new location for obvious reasons. 

About a month later, I had a positive home pregnancy test.  I was scared and alone.  My husband was back at Naval Training again.   I went to a pregnancy clinic, not knowing the difference between a pro-life pregnancy resource and an abortion-friendly clinic which encourages and refers out for abortions.  At this clinic, I was strongly encouraged to have an abortion -- particularly because I was pregnant by rape.  I was completely shocked and appalled!  I told them I did not want an abortion, and I promptly left.  I told my husband that I was pregnant, and I asked him if he would raise the child with me.  I was so scared that he might say no! He told me that just as I was a miracle, this child is also a miracle, and that he would love the child like his own.  In that moment, I felt secure and protected, but at the same time, I felt unworthy of such unconditional love.  Within another month, I began to bleed, and I either miscarried or had a false positive pregnancy test.  I had a accepted the fact that I was going to have a baby, and felt sad realizing that the babys life was gone.

I have had four miscarriages and the doctors told me that it was my genetic makeup due to my conception which makes me more susceptible to miscarriages.  Gratefully, my husband and I have two healthy children together.  My path of healing has taken so much hard work, but it has been worth it -- God has been so gracious to me!  I reconciled with my biological father before he died and forgave him.  I have worked with my mom to rebuild a broken and confused relationship.  I am a Christian and find my Hope in Jesus Christ.  I have come to a place of peace about my conception and I can now voice my deep found identity in the One who created me.  

I have now shared my story as pro-life speaker with church groups, youth groups, college groups, in the media and testifying before the state Legislature.  I desire to speak to the value of life -- even the lives of those who, like me, were conceived in incest and/or rape.  As I have come to see my life as a precious gift given to me, I want the unborn lives of all to be protected from abortion, and I want every child to be protected from sexual assault.

I am going on 16 years of marriage with my husband Casey.  We have two beautiful children -- a son and a daughter.  My family and I are members at Heritage Christian Fellowship. This coming Fall, I will be enrolled at Liberty University where I will be getting my degree in Government --Western Legal Traditions, so I may continue on to Law School.  My goal is to become a Constitutional Attorney so I can fight for the rights of the unborn, including those conceived in incest and rape.  I am working towards getting more involved in the Yahoo email support group for those who have conceived in incest/rape or who became pregnant by incest or rape.  I know God is calling me to use my story to offer hope and healing to others, and to show His goodness in my life!

BIO:  Rowena Slusser is a wife and homeschool mother of 2.  Shes available for speaking, and is a pro-life blogger for Save The 1.  She can be contacted at, and  also has a personal blog at