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Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Abortion Was Worse Than The Rape, by Tammy

At the age of 16, just a few days before my 17th birthday, I went on my very first date.  I was thrilled. He played football and was popular. We ate and saw a movie. I still had some time left before my curfew, so we drove around our rural area for a little while. We went to some of his family's property and walked around looking at horses. My first date, which seemed like a total dream, soon turned into a nightmare when he forceably raped me in a barn.

I didn't tell anyone initially; after all, he threatened me immediately after, telling me that I would live to regret it if I told anyone, that he’d make my life miserable, and that nobody would believe me. A couple of weeks later, I told a friend. After talking with a few people, and finding out that he had already been spreading his version of what happened that night, no one believed me. People who I trusted and loved and who should have supported me did not.  I began to just deny the whole thing and started trying to block it from my memory. 

I didn’t think a lot about the possibility of being pregnant because I had a distorted view that because it was rape, then it was somehow less likely I’d become pregnant.  It wasn’t until I started having symptoms that I began to realize I might be pregnant.  I drove to a different town by myself to buy a pregnancy test kit, doing the test in the gas station bathroom so no one in my hometown would ever know.  Before I took the test, I had kind of already thought ahead of what I would do if it came back positive, and so, I had the name of a pregnancy center with their phone number because I thought they were an abortion clinic.  I felt extremely scared and angry there all alone in the gas station restroom.  I was angry at God, asking “How could you allow me to raped?”  I was angry at myself for putting myself in a position to allow this to happen.

From a pay phone, I called the pregnancy center and they said I could come in right then, which I did.  It was about an hour drive for me.  I trusted no one at this point and chose not to tell any friends or family. I felt like this would only confirm what people were already saying about me "making up the rape." I went to the crisis pregnancy center because I thought it was an abortion clinic, hoping to get one that day.

They were so nice to me and told me everything I already knew about the life inside me.  I didn’t feel like I was judged by them at all. They only had certain days of the week that they did ultrasounds, and I would have had to return two days later to get one.  Crying, I told them I was so scared and couldn't handle facing people with the pregnancy, and that I was still going to go to an abortion clinic when I left there.  The counselors told me that even if I did go through with an abortion, that I was still welcome to come back there and talk to them about it.  To this day, 17 years later, I still have a relationship with one of those counselors.

Scared out of my mind of facing ridicule, having to address the rumors the rapist was already spreading, already overwhelmed from my reputation being slandered, I drove to an abortion clinic that same day.  It was the opposite of the pregnancy center, which was warm and inviting, even though it still had the feel of a medical office.  But the abortion clinic was cold and sterile.  There were others in the waiting room, but no one would look at each other or acknowledge each other’s presence in any way.  There was no privacy speaking to the receptionist, telling her why I was there.  She they could see me, but I’d have to make an appointment to come back to get the procedure done the next day.  I told her I couldn’t skip school another day, so she said they would take me right away.

There was no waiting and no questions.  All they cared about was that I had the money to pay. They didn't even care that I was by myself. It was the absolute worst experience of my life -- even worse than the rape.  I kept telling myself that it was going to be okay, that I was raped, so this was justified, and I would get through this.  I didn’t believe any of it, so I just kept saying it to myself over and over again.  I told God that it was all his fault, and I was just so angry in the moment.  But I knew that there was a baby inside of me.  I knew that life begins at conception, but in my 17 year old mind, I just wasn’t making the connection. 

The abortion clinic estimated I was between 14 to 16 weeks pregnant, so they used ultrasound during the procedure.  The screen was turned so I couldn’t see it.  I don’t know if it malfunctioned, or if the nurse made a mistake,  but I heard my baby’s heartbeat, and that was when the connection finally happened.  I told the doctor that I wanted him to stop, but he said it was already too far along to stop.  I was out of it because they’d given me a Valium to relax.  The nurses helped me to get cleaned up and to get dressed.  They were rushing me because they needed the space.  I wasn’t ready to move or to go anywhere, but they didn’t care about hurting me or that I was upset.  They didn’t offer to walk me out to my car, or even ask if anyone was there to drive me.

I sat in my car in pain and crying for 2 hours before I could even think about driving home.  I really shouldn’t have been driving at all that day.  The problem had been taken care of according to society, and I should have been relieved and ready to go on about my life, but relief was the farthest thing from what I felt.  I remember having a dialogue myself, like a good vs. evil talk, first telling myself, “You did what you had to do.  Did you really have any other choice?  Most people would understand what you just did.”  But then I’d tell myself, “You know that was a baby.  How could you do that?  You’re a horrible person.”  I thought, I must not really be a Christian.

For many years, I did anything I could to numb my pain. I barely remember college because I drank all the time. I also struggled with an eating disorder and honestly don't know how I survived, but by the grace of God.  I was attending church this whole time, but part of me just felt dead and I still really questioned, “How could God love me?  How could He ever forgive me for killing my baby?”

With lots of counseling, I stopped drinking and I curtailed the eating disorder.  We focused on the rape for a certain period of time and worked through that, which was helpful, but we hardly ever touched on the abortion.  My therapist even told me, “You really did what you need to do in that situation because you were raped.”

I met a Christian guy through church, and we abstained from sex until our wedding night.  I felt like I’d have enough garbage in my life and I wanted to do things right and honor God.  But as time went on, I still suffered from depression and struggled with the eating disorder.

I’d always felt that because of the experience I had when I went to the pregnancy resource center, I knew that later in my life, I wanted to be involved in this kind of ministry.  We had just had Sanctity of Human Life Sunday at my church, and I told my pastor that the nearest center was about an hour away and that there’s a huge need for a center in our area.  He felt God had given me a vision, and encouraged me to start a local center.  So I got people together and we began to plan the opening of a pregnancy resource center.  During that process, I heard of post-abortion ministry for the very first time by visiting other centers and learning what services are offered.  I dove into reading about post-abortion syndrome, and I realized that this was my big issue, and that’s why I’ve suffered so much.  It just all clicked.

So a couple of years ago, I went through a post abortion bible study, finally understanding and accepting God’s forgiveness and grace.  I’ve finally overcome the eating disorder.  I still get depressed at times, but it’s manageable and no longer dictates my life.  I’ve now started a post-abortion ministry through our local pregnancy resource center and I’m guiding other women through the healing process.

I'm here to tell you that abortion is never the answer.  It will only cause an already painful and difficult situation to be even more hurtful. During my abortion procedure I was terrified. I kept asking questions about what was about to happen and no one seemed to want to answer me. Looking back, I think they wanted to hurry up before I had a chance to change my mind. For many years after, I would have terrible anxiety and even panic attacks at times any time I heard anything that remotely sounded like a heartbeat. For a long time I didn't know that's what I was reacting to and it wasn't until many years later when my husband and I were expecting our first child together that I connected the anxiety to certain sounds. 

I lived in my own private hell until I went through the post abortion Bible study and found healing. The pain I felt all those years literally felt like it would kill me at times. I was very depressed. There were times I cut myself thinking that it would release some of the pain I felt on the inside. There were many times I thought about ending my life and a couple of times I came close to trying. I honestly thought my eating disorder would eventually kill me and that actually became my intention with those behaviors. I felt like I deserved to suffer and not live any resemblance of a happy life because of what I did. 

I want people to hear my story. As hard as it is to tell, it it needs to be told. Something terrible happened to me on that date that night. Then I was betrayed by the people closest to me. All of that was extremely painful, but it doesn't come close to comparing to the pain, the guilt, the shame, the remorse, or the self hatred I heaped and Satan heaped upon me in the years following the abortion. I thought at the time that I was justified in what I was doing because I didn't choose to be in that situation -- I was pregnant by rape. I knew there was life inside me but I thought it wouldn't matter because of how that life got there. I've never been more wrong about something. Aborting a baby that's the result of a rape doesn't affect the woman any differently than under any other circumstance. I've talked with many post-abortive women over the years through working with a local pregnancy center and what I've learned is that we all share the same pain. It's absolutely no different. The end result is still the same.

My prayer is that through me telling my story, more rape victims will speak out about as well, so that we can put a stop to rape being an excuse for keeping abortion legal. I love and grieve for that baby's life, just like I would for either of my other children. I think about every day how old she would be and what she would be like. I don't know if I would have raised her or placed her for adoption, but it's terribly unfair that she never got a chance at life. Even though her life was cut short as a result of the abortion, that didn’t stop her life from having meaning and purpose, and through me telling our story, I’m ensuring her life was not in vain and that she will be remembered. 

BIO:  Tammy is a wife, mother of 2, post-abortive ministry coordinator, serving on the board of a pregnancy resource center, and is now a pro-life blogger for Save The 1.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Tribute to the Life of Richard Hejza Sr., Conceived in Rape, Well-Loved, by Michelle Mitchell

On Sunday, July 26, 2015, a dear relative of mine, Richard M. Hejza Sr. (nicknamed "Captain"), departed this life, after having been hit by a car.  He was an extraordinary man who shaped my values, and I'm writing this as a tribute to his life.

Richard was conceived in rape under circumstances which exacerbated the situation.  His mother was a white woman who worked at a hotel as a cleaning lady, and she was raped on the job by a black man. She was married to a white man (Mr. Hejza), so you can imagine the challenges they faced, as it would always be obvious that her husband was not his biological father.  Nevertheless, they raised him with his brothers and sisters.

He always knew the circumstances surrounding his coming into existence, but he didn't let it define him.  He went through a lot in school, as kids can be cruel, for whatever reason they knew.  So when Richard got married and had his own kids, he decided to keep his conception a secret from them.  But as secrets have a way to coming out of the dark, this one was no exception.

When my sister was 5 months pregnant with my nephew (Richard's grandson), a close friend of ours knew Richard's story, because her father went to school with him.  Her father was livid when he found out his daughter had told us.  I knew before my sister did, but kept it to myself.  Then the same gal told my sister, and my sister in turn told my nephew's father and his sister -- Richard's two children.  Richard's son then called his dad and asked, "What nationalities am I?" Hid dad mentioned Polish,and then my nephew's father asked, "Are you missing one?" At that moment, he realized his son knew, and told him how he was conceived and he didn't want to let him or his sister know because of what he went through in school. I'm sure our society's views had a role in it as well, with him wanting to spare them the shame and stigma of having been descended from a rapist.

His daughter Bernadette said, "Dad always made us go to church. He said 'God makes time for us and we're going to make time for God.'"

Richey was a lot of fun, and always the life of the party.  He cracked me up; if you were a woman, no matter what your name was, he called you "Stella." He was such a goof ball. As you can see by his hat (which he began wearing about 10 years ago) his granddaughter Amber referred to him as "Captain."  In the photo, you can see him holding his great-grandchild, and next to him is a photo of the actor Earnest Borgnine. If you could see his teeth, they even had the same smile.  He was truly loved by his family and friends and will be missed.

Richard's life was cut short last week after being hit by a car while he was riding a motorized bike.  After a week and a half in the hospital, he succumbed to his injuries.  We are all missing out on having him in our lives now, but had his life been taken years earlier by abortion, none of us would have had the joy of knowing what it would be like to have him around all of these years. His children would never have been born, he would have never had grandchildren or great-grandchildren, and I wouldn't have had my nephew had Richard's mother chosen to take his life because he was conceived in rape.  Four generations (since he was a great-grandpa) so far have Richey's mother to thank for choosing life and love over death, and for the law protecting his life pre-Roe v Wade.  Not only was his life saved, but his future children and generations to come were saved as well.  God bless his mother, and her husband who chose to love his wife's child!

BIO:  Michelle Mitchell is a blogger for www.savethe1.com, a pro-life activist for decades, and has been on the front lines outside of abortion clinics in upstate New York for the last several years.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What It Means to Have a BIRTHday, by Rebecca Kiessling

Today is my birthday.  I'm not at all ashamed to tell my age because it's very relevant.  I was born July 22, 1969 -- exactly 10 months before the hearing date in Texas in Roe v Wade, and exactly 3-1/2 years to the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion throughout the U.S..

I was conceived when my birthmother was abducted at knifepoint by a serial rapist.  She went to two illegal "back-alley" abortions, and I was almost aborted.  That was my life-changing, near-death experience.  When we met when I was 19, even though she was very happy to meet me, my birthmom was pro-choice, and told me she absolutely would have aborted me if it had been legal, and that it should have been her right.  Six years later, she completely changed her mind on the issue, and now, we are BOTH thankful that we were both spared the horror of abortion.

Many people will say to me, "I'm so glad your mother chose life."  But she didn't.  She chose abortion.  Pro-life legislators, activists and voters chose life for me, and they are my heroes!  I owe my birth to the law being there to protect me.  I was lucky -- I was protected.  Legality matters.

In the mid-1960's, there were efforts to legalize abortion in cases of rape all over the country.  Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe from Roe v Wade) even lied, claiming she was gang-raped, in order to try to obtain an abortion in Texas.  But I'm from Michigan, where there has never been a rape-exception in any laws.  This is why I have a birthday to celebrate!

I'm so blessed to have people say many profound things to me as a travel around the world sharing my story.  I get to hear things which many people don't get to hear in everyday life -- things like, "I'm so glad you were born!"  I'm so very grateful for those words, but I believe that everyone deserves to hear them like I do, so I make a point of it -- whenever someone shares their personal story with me, or whenever I see it's someone's birthday on Facebook, or when someone tells me it's their birthday, I make a point of telling them, "Happy birthday -- I'm so glad you were born!"  I'm amazed at how moved they are -- many responding with "Wow, thanx so much!  No one has EVER said that to me before." 

We need to be saying these words to one another.  There are many who are hurting from our abortion culture who have bought the lie that their lives don't really matter.  So please, take the time to tell others that you are so glad they were born.

Two years ago, on my birthday, my birthmother called to wish me Happy Birthday and to tell me that
my biological grandmother had died earlier in the day.  I was born on her wedding anniversary, and she died on my birthday.  We had both been to visit her a few weeks before.  I got her to smile and to laugh by singing to her, "You Are My Sunshine."  Please understand that God gave me the gift of voice for speaking only!  So you can understand why anyone would laugh.

My birthmother and I had a long heart-to-heart.  I told her that I had just arrived the night before to visit my in-laws in Massachusetts, but that I would fly home to be with her.  At the end of our conversation, we were about to hang up when she stopped me:  "Rebecca, Rebecca!"  Then her voice broke, "I just want to say, I'm so glad I had you!"  That was the best birthday gift ever! 

This morning, I wrote this poem to share on Facebook, and I'd like to share it here as well:

Today I was born!
I could have been torn
from my mom's womb,
her body my tomb.
But I have a birth
because others saw my worth.
See, I was protected
instead of dissected.
Today, I can celebrate
instead of having hate
for her rapist and
the abortion man.
So when you say,
"Happy birthday,"
please be aware
of why I am here,
and that others are yet neglected
when they should be protected.
 
 
Bio:  Rebecca Kiessling is an international pro-life speaker, blogger, attorney, as well as wife and mother.  She's the founder and president of Save The 1, co-founder of Hope After Rape Conception, and co-founder of Embryo Defense.
 

What Planned Parenthood's "Tissue Harvesting" Program Means to Me- The Post Abortive Mother, by Sarah St. Onge

This past week has no doubt been an emotional week for many American women. Statistically speaking, {supposedly} one in three of us have ended an "unwanted" pregnancy via abortion.

This means that last Tuesday many of us woke up not to images of a beleaguered, controversial corporation caught in a scandal, but to a reminder of what our very personal, past choices really encompassed.  

It wasn’t made any better when social media was, again, plastered with a callous PP worker bargaining for human organs today.

I terminated my second pregnancy, in the second trimester, in 1994. I was moderately pro-choice. I never thought I would have an abortion, but I didn't believe I should be making the choice for anyone else. When I got pregnant a second time at 19 -- already a single mother-- I did what I believed was right for my family. I believed that it was the only decision I could make. There were medical complications with the pregnancy which made it easier to choose abortion. 

At least I believed it would be easier at the time. 

There were things I saw and heard while in the clinic which still wake me up in a cold sweat. What happened after my surgery made my experience more traumatic than most {if there is such a thing as more traumatic than ending the life of your unborn child}. I found it necessary to return to my physician for further care, because the "procedure" was incomplete and "fetal tissue" had been left behind. I was fortunate to have realized this early because retained "tissue" can cause serious infection which in turn can leave you infertile or even cause death.  

Unfortunately, I was only made aware of the retained "tissue" because it was visible on a sanitary napkin following my abortion -- along with surgical gauze which had been left behind in my cervix.

The current events have been a reminder of an experience which was particularly painful. I've watched a number of anti-Planned Parenthood videos throughout the years but none brought such a feeling of revulsion as the ones which are currently circulating. As Dr. Nucatola described manipulating the unborn child for maximum ease in obtaining intact organs I was reminded of the lack of concern for my health, as evidenced by the retained tissue and gauze which I found in the days following my abortion. I was reminded of my own unborn child's humanity, as she spoke so casually of crushing legs and other fully-formed body parts. I was shown the unfeeling nature of an organization which promotes destruction and financial gain under the guise of empowering women during Dr. Gatta’s conversation about the costs of tissue procurement, in which she made the statement, “I want a Lamborghini”.

This past week has brought out a variety of emotion, but primarily I feel sadness and anger.

Sadness because until this week I was never fully comfortable openly mourning the loss of that one, sweet baby.

Who was I to mourn the loss of a child I chose to throw away? It's not about a baby, after all. It's about choice.



As a 19 year old girl I was mistaken in believing their narrative -- the narrative in which my child's life was an impediment to my own growth, nothing more than a choice. I was mistaken to believe their view, that my unborn baby would be a burden.

This mistake turned out to be deadly for my child, as it has been for millions of children conceived in the U.S. for the last 40 years. 

And angry--

For too many years, women have believed the lie which Planned Parenthood has told us. They have believed the lie which states that our reproductive health depends solely on them, as if a woman can't find and fund alternatives to PP’s monstrous and murderous infrastructure. 

Women have believed the lie which states PP is our only ally  in the fight for women's rights --and that those rights are reliant on the destruction of our unborn children. 

Women have believed PP when they told us that they wanted us to have better lives. 

Women have believed PP when they told us our unborn children were not human

This week was difficult. I am a mother. 

I will now always wonder- was my child's body manipulated for organ harvesting? 

Was my child's termination prolonged so that an intact liver, an intact pair of lungs, or an intact heart was made available for research purposes? 

Was there a possibility that my child felt extended and unnecessary pain during the procedure because someone was attempting to procure intact tissue?

As stated in the long version of the video-- transcripts available here-- not all babies' lives are ended before the "extraction" procedure begins.

The potential pain which my unborn child suffered is something which I have struggled with for over 20 years. I know this is a primary concern for many {most} post-abortive women. There are many women whose hearts are heavy with new-found grief tonight. 

I am sending this message out today not as a pro-life activist, but as a former Planned Parenthood patient. 

Planned Parenthood owes me more than a canned response about legality and tone.

My abortion hurt me. 

My abortion ended the life of my unborn child.

For once, Planned Parenthood needs to address the thousands of women who have been hurt by their abortions. Planned Parenthood needs to address the women who felt taken advantage of today. They need to address the women who may have consented to tissue donation, not realizing that PP wasn’t talking about “a clump of cells” but intact lungs, muscle, and brains, being removed from babies which may have been delivered using less than compassionate methods.

Planned Parenthood owes every woman who has had a procedure in their clinics more than a canned response. 

Preferably before the next set of videos shows up. 

I didn’t consent to tissue donation, because I wanted to help fund their executive’s luxury auto.  

I consented because I was trying to make some sense out of what I instinctively understood was a senseless decision on my part.

Over the past two decades, I’ve grappled with, and admitted to the dishonesty and selfishness inherent in my choice- it’s time that Planned Parenthood does the same. 



{This post was first published on Ms. Connors personal blog on 7/21/15. Reposted with permission}


Sarah Connors, mother to Beatrix Elizabeth Connors -- 12/13/10

BIO:  Sarah Grandfield-Connors is a wife, mother of 4, step-mother of 2, and pro-life blogger for Save The 1.  She's also the founder of limbbodywallcomplex.net, a pro-life, diagnosis specific website which supports parents who continue their pregnancy after receiving the same lethal diagnosis which took her daughter, Beatrix Elizabeth.  She blogs on grief, loss, and pro-life issues pertaining to continuing a pregnancy after a lethal anomaly has been diagnosed, at www.shebringsjoy.com.