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Monday, June 25, 2018

Does anyone care about God's opinion?




We all have defining moments in our lives.  Usually they are moments marked by the birth of a child or sadly by the death of a loved one….maybe a new job, a move to a new state and so much more.

One of my most defining moments can be said in two words “Kunta Kinte.”  For some of you that will immediately bring to mind an image of a young LeVar Burton in the tv mini series Roots and for others you may not be familiar with that TV show, but for me it was and will forever be heavily marked on my heart and in my mind.

I loved learning about history in 4th and 5th grade.  I think because history is truly people’s stories in life’s journey and how our stories impact people, nations and the world, that history has always captivated my attention as at a young age, even though not a Christian, the value of each soul was impressed upon my heart by God in a way that people’s stories and people’s pain impacted me in a very profound way.  

I had learned about slavery, of course, as any grade school student does as I studied our American history and while it impacted me, the reality of it did not hit me until I found myself watching a new TV series that would hit the air waves in 1977 while I was still in grade school.  That was Roots.   Kunta Kinte’s life and the lives of both the slaves and the slave owners would forever impact my life.  To this day the images that I tried to erase are still clearly marked on my heart and mind.

Even as a young girl, I sat there in disbelief that any human being could justify in any way treating ANY other human being as if they were/are not human.  It made no sense to me. TRULY MADE NO SENSE TO ME.  I mean of course logically I had learned the sick rationale that was used to enslave people but I could not wrap my mind around how any human being could go along with something so clearly evil beyond words.  I would wrestle and wrestle how anyone could ever not only do this but allow this and allow this on a level of actual legislation supporting this in our nation and in our history.

Fast forward to my college years….Jesus reached down and saved my undeserving soul.  While I saw Him merely as fire insurance in that moment so to speak initially and did not really start following Him and engaging in a vibrant relationship with my Savior until my mid twenties, instantly I knew that being pro choice, which I had been in college, was wrong and I immediately said I would never vote for a Democrat again and would always support Republicans with my vote as I knew that Republicans by in large voted pro life.  Outside of voting though I did very little to show any evidence that I was pro life.  I was in word but not in deed which truly leaves one to question if I was really pro life at all as my lip service  apart from any real actions hardly qualified me to call myself pro life.

It was not until my husband and I found ourselves facing three top doctors at a top hospital in IL that my eyes were truly opened to the reality of abortion in America and how much it was and is a part of the very fabric of our nation.   I remember clear as day as if just yesterday that utter feeling of horror and shock that people in medicine not only suggest, that is bad enough, but insist on parents killing their child and not only killing their child but the reasoning being because the child is sick.  Since when did/does being sick become a crime and become something worthy of being killed over????  Of course, in utter shock that this would even be suggested we kindly argued with and took a STRONG, BOLD yet kind stand against this and today we have a beautiful, KIND beyond measure 20 year old daughter that lights up every room she enters and impacts lives with her kindness.
But it would not stop there the education on abortion God was revealing to me.   I was about to get an even bigger and most unexpected education yet again within a community I had always viewed as truly safe and truly pro life as I had once viewed the medical community.  

I started to learn that EVEN IN the pro life community there were factions of people that did not really believe in PRO LIFE at all as they would advocate for or succumb to fighting for some lives but not ALL lives.  This, just like with the utter shock of those in the medical community seeing abortion as a very real “solution” and “option,” was just as shocking to me that there were people within pro life life that held the same stance.  I was in utter shock! And what is this stance within the pro life community where some who profess to fight for life would relegate some lives to less valuable than others…..THE EXCEPTIONS……

Just like with Roots, as a young girl, as I sat in front of the TV screen in utter shock and disbelief with tears running down my face uncontrollably, I would sit before God with tears running down my face asking how could this be.   I fully understand the deception of someone who does not follow Jesus buying into the lie of abortion as a solution, as that was once me before I encountered Jesus.  BUT …..to find out that professing believers, professing followers of Jesus Christ, professing pro life people would say that abortion is ok in any circumstance or being willing to go along with it for some so that others could live was nothing short of knock me on my bottom shocking to me.

It would forever take me back to slavery in our history.  Professing believers not only supported slavery and had slaves but would go along with legislation to support that and legislation that dehumanized an entire people group.  Professing believers would justify slavery because of the economic benefit to so many which well outweighed the cost to the human lives of the slaves….sound familiar…….benefiting the many even though at great cost to the few?????  Abortion…..EXCEPTIONS…….

As a believer, there will NEVER EVER, let me repeat this in kindness and love but so boldly, that there will never be a time that SIN IS THE SOLUTION TO ANYTHING THAT AILS MAN.  The sin of slavery may have seemed like a solution to the South’s economic woes and a way for great prosperity for many but in God’s economy is SIN EVER THE SOLUTION???  Praise God enough people were willing to be hated, put their lives on the line and accept no compromises and fight for the complete end to slavery. It was a defining moment in our history……Today is no different.

Sin is still never the solution even though from a human standpoint it can be rationalized and not even called sin…..but as with slavery….as with the compromise of some states being free and others slave states-that would never be God’s way to say, “Well at least some states are free even if some still allow slavery.” NO! God never condones sin…because SIN HURTS ALL INVOLVED…….God does not compromise and neither should we……..Pro life legislation with exceptions is sin before a holy God….it is no different then when our nation made compromises allowing for some free states….That may have seemed generous and like a win win but when an entire people group was still dehumanized and enslaved in the slave states that compromise was of man and never of God.

May the pro life community and may pro life legislators who know Jesus as Lord and Savior filter exceptions in pro life legislation through the lens of Jesus the same way that the abolitionists who would tolerate no compromises filtered their stand and their fight through the lens of Jesus.  We can do what seems right to man and compromise and for a moment in time, it may appear to be the loving thing, but God will never allow anything HE does not call love to be called love and when HE calls ALL life valuable then our job is not to make excuses, not to compromise, not to make exceptions but to respond to HIS Heart and do the same by calling all life valuable as well….with no exceptions.  We must not settle for exceptions…the same way those that truly took a stand against slavery would not settle for at least some states being free states, we must not settle for at least some babies being saved while others die…….

Suzanne Guy
Save the 1 speaker and blogger
Saturday, June 16, 2018

Save The 1 Intervenes in Iowa Heartbeat Case -- Our Hearts Beat Too! By Rebecca Kiessling, with Brad and Jesi Smith


On May 4, 2018, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the Heartbeat Bill into law which would protect unborn children who have a detectable heartbeat, except "when the abortion is medically necessary" and defines "medically necessary" as cases of rape, incest and fetal abnormality, making the abortion provider the sole arbiter of these determinations.  These exceptions were surprisingly added -- allegedly because certain legislators in the House would not sign the bill without exceptions.

Save The 1 is a global pro-life organization of over 600 of us who were conceived in rape, incest or sex trafficking and mothers who became pregnant by rape, incest or sex trafficking who are either raising their children, birth mothers, miscarried, or post-abortive and mourn the loss of their children.  Additionally, we have hundreds who were told by physicians to abort due to a pre-natal diagnosis, along with their children who were targeted by doctors.  We specialize in defending all of the so-called “hard cases” in the abortion debate through sharing our personal stories, and we additionally act as a support network.  The deadly discrimination contained in the exceptions within the Iowa Heartbeat Law hurts us -- because our hearts beat too!

One of our members and a Save The 1 international pro-life speaker, Jennifer Christie -- a mother from rape, testified before a Senate hearing on this bill, which was originally introduced without exceptions.  I testified a year earlier on a life-at-conception bill.   We are grateful to the Iowa Coalition for Life -- a coalition of the major pro-life organizations in Iowa who brought us in to testify and who vigorously opposed the exceptions.  The video of Jennifer's three-minute testimony went viral.  When she heard of the exceptions being added, she was pained and so was I.  

We discussed what our response as an organization should be.  We could cooperate in order that we may have a "seat at the table" and be invited back to Iowa to speak and to testify again on a future bill.  But to what end?  To have another viral video which ultimately is rendered ineffective in gaining any protection for us and our children?  Do we want to be popular, or protected?

Others would like for us to roll over and play dead.  Sometimes it feels like the game is fixed -- like this is the Harlem Globetrotters and we are merely the Washington Generals.  We aren't supposed to cry foul when our players are thrown to the ground.  Politically, many are quite used to us being the sacrificial lamb, and we are supposed to somehow be understanding and cooperative as we are lead to slaughter.

We are told, "It's nothing against you personally," but we are persons, the attack on our very right to life could not possibly be more personal, and of course we will take it personally!

If it were just us who have already been born and merely a matter of our feelings being hurt, perhaps we could somehow "let it go," but there are others who are yet at risk, who are being targeted for killing, who are just as deserving of protection as any of us, and so, we are fighting back.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland recently filed a lawsuit against the state of Iowa, and we are now filing a motion to intervene as necessary third party intervenors "of right" since the current Plaintiff, Planned Parenthood, clearly will not argue on behalf of our interests.  The exceptions within the Iowa Fetal Heartbeat law violate our fundamental right to life, depriving us of due process and equal protection under both the Iowa and U.S. constitutions.  Thankfully, there is a severability clause in the legislation so that the offending provisions can be severed and the remainder of the law upheld.  We have three attorneys representing Save The 1:  Erin Mersino -- a pro-life constitutional law attorney from Michigan with the Great Lakes Justice Center, Eric Borseth -- an attorney from Iowa and a board member of Personhood Iowa, and myself.

As a pro-life attorney, this is why I went to law school.  While attending Wayne State law school, I wrote what has been for decades the #1-ranked philosophical abortion essay, "The Right of the Unborn Child Not to be Unjustly Killed -- a philosophy of rights approach."  If I can't defend my own right to life in court, then what is the point of being a pro-life attorney?  What is the point of being alive?  Just to be selfish and live my life without caring about others who are yet at risk?  I was protected by Michigan law when my birth mother sought to kill me at two illegal abortions.  As a rape victim, she was not offered any help or hope -- just abortion.  My life was spared for a purpose, and for such a time as this I will use my life, my talents, my expertise and law degree to save others.

The discriminatory language in the Iowa Heartbeat law defines "medically necessary" as cases in which:

a. The pregnancy which is the result of a rape which is reported within forty-five days of the incident to a law enforcement  agency or to a public or private health agency which may include a family physician.

b. The pregnancy is the result of incest which is reported within one hundred forty days of the incident to a law enforcement agency or to a public or private health agency which may include a family physician.

c. Any spontaneous abortion, commonly known as a miscarriage, if not all of the products of conception are expelled.

d. The attending physician certifies that the fetus has a fetal abnormality that in the physician’s reasonable medical judgment is incompatible with life. 

Interestingly, among the bill’s definitions, rape, incest, fetal abnormality and incompatible with life are not included or even cross-referenced with other sections of the Iowa code, as other definitions are cross-referenced.  So the abortion providers get to decide what they deem to qualify as rape, incest and incompatible with life.

The rape, incest and fetal abnormality exceptions are based upon a fabrication that aborting these unborn children is “medically necessary.”  Not one witness testified in the Senate hearing as to such a medical necessity.  This language was added to appease state representatives in the House who said they would not approve the bill without language that excludes these children from protection.   In other words, the legislative intent was that they believed it was politically necessary – not medically necessary, if they were being honest.  The language not only excludes innocent children from protection, doing so under a faulty premise, but really was intended merely to protect certain politicians and nothing to do with protecting pregnant mothers.

The abortion physician is given the power to decide whether the unborn child has a fetal abnormality and whether the living unborn child with a detectable heartbeat is somehow “incompatible with life.”  These preborn children are actually disabled children, and as such, should be protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Additionally, and equally as troubling, the report of the rape and/or incest merely needs to be made to the “public or private health agency” – in other words, to the abortion clinic.  So the abortion clinic becomes the sole arbiter of whether a woman was raped and whether her child is to suffer the death penalty for the alleged crimes of his or her biological father, with no guidelines provided within the legislation.  This clearly lacks due process and fails to provide equal protection.


The third prong of the exceptions doesn't even make sense at all, because the law only applies when there is a fetal heartbeat.  So how could this possibly be a spontaneous abortion situation when there's a beating heart?  In so many respects, the exception provisions are extremely poorly written law.

The targeting of our people groups for exclusion of protection, and in fact, for state-approved killing is clearly discriminatory.  The sting of this discrimination not only affects every unborn child who is deemed to fit into these legislative categories of rape, incest or fetal abnormality, but is lifelong – affecting every person born who was conceived in rape or given a challenging pre-natal diagnosis by a physician.  Additionally, it causes anguish to the mothers who became pregnant by rape or who were told by doctors to abort.  They grieve at how their children are so quickly devalued by politicians and within the law.

Permitting abortion for rape, incest and fetal abnormalities sends a message to our people groups that our lives are worth less than anyone else’s.  Imagine having an exception in cases of Asian babies, Jewish babies, or left-handed babies.  The message sent is that these people are not worthy of living and did not deserve to be protected like everyone else.  There would be an international outcry if such discrimination against these other people groups were even proposed.  Yet, it is the same for us, and we feel the sting of such hatred against or apathy toward our lives. 

The rape survivor mothers and those told by doctors to abort grieve how their children are systematically targeted and devalued.  The rape victim mothers are not believed they were raped because they didn’t abort and because they actually love their children. 

We appreciate concern for pregnant rape victims, but they are four times more likely to die within the next year after an abortion, as opposed to giving birth.  In Dr. David Reardon’s book, Victims andVictors: Speaking Out About Their Pregnancies, Abortions and Children ResultingFrom Sexual Assault, he cites the research done on the subject.  After an abortion, rape victims have higher rates of murder, suicide, drug overdose, etc..  Rapists, child molesters and sex traffickers love abortion, which destroys the evidence and enables them to continue perpetrating.  Sexual predators depend upon abortion clinics because the abortion protects them – not the pregnant rape victim.

Tragically, it is at times a girl’s own mother who has been either trafficking her or leaving her unprotected.  It is always the baby who exposes the rape, who delivers the pregnant mother out of the abusive situation, protecting her and bringing her healing.  If the legislators truly  care about rape victims,  then they must protect her from the rapist and from the abortion, and not the baby!  Her baby is not the enemy, despite what the legislated exceptions suggest.

In regards to a diagnosis of “incompatible with life” – it is impossible to be such when you are still living.  Physicians who peddle abortion are truly the ones with fatal heart defects, often failing to treat the children of parents who refused to abort.  A eugenics mentality becomes pervasive when you allow abortion.  For parents who are told by doctors to abort, the pressure is tremendous – and not just during the pregnancy, but after the child is born when doctors often refuse to treat their disabled child. 
The purpose of the Americans with Disabilities Act is to guaranty that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The ADA gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion.  Accordingly, as a suspect class, the offending provisions against disabled children within the Iowa Heartbeat Bill should be subject to strict scrutiny.

The Iowa Heartbeat bill’s bewildering exceptions legislate extreme and inexplicable hatred toward disabled children in the womb, as well as those conceived in rape or incest.  Prenatal testing -- instead of being used to treat and heal -- is used for search and destroy missions for those with medically identifiable disabilities.  Iowa legislators have now authorized doctors to commit genocide against an entire people group, decreasing their voices and representation within society. 

This deliberate targeting and killing of our people groups also results in doubt being cast upon rape victims for not aborting “like a true rape victim would”, and the “blaming” of parents for not aborting their disabled children who are seen within much of the medical community as a burden on the health care system – much like the Nazi regime which employed the medical designation of “lebensunwertes leben” (“life unworthy of life”), referring to the disabled as “useless eaters.”

Using terminology such as “fetal abnormality” or “incompatible with life“ as classifications for children with disability is deceiving and treacherous treatment from a government which claims its citizens have equal protection under the law.  Born children and adults are treated by some physicians as “incompatible with life,” and doctors and hospitals point to “medical futility policies” in order to justify discrimination against these disabled individuals.  This deadly eugenics is alive and well today in the United States, and now codified in Iowa by the exceptions within this new law.

Physicians’ predictions are not medical certainty and denying the right to life and equal protection to entire groups of disabled children based on an abortion doctor’s best guess is not medical science.  Bias and arrogance of those who wish to promote biological superiority through the destruction of disabled children in the womb brings new meaning to the words biological warfare.  

A child’s God-given right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness should never be denied because of his or her disability or circumstances of conception.  His or her value is not based on what he or she is able to do or the behavior of his or her parents; rather, it is based on his or her humanity and that the child has been endowed by his or her Creator with these inalienable rights.

We’ve had parents within our organization who refused to abort and were told by doctors:
 “The only further testing you will receive is an autopsy,”
“If your child is born not breathing, we won’t resuscitate,” and
“Your child has already outlived her life expectancy.”
Some parents have endured others looking at their disabled child in their arms and asking, “Didn’t you get any pre-natal testing?”

The clear expectation and even obligation is to abort.  The Iowa legislature has now codified this deadly discrimination.

Since the government has not done its duty to protect disabled children in the womb, they are also targeted after leaving the womb.  Many children have medical treatments withheld and denied leading to their death simply because they have a disability. 

Children conceived in rape are often called dehumanizing names such as:

“Demon seed,” “evil seed,” “horrible reminder,” “rapist’s child” (an insult to every rape victim mother who knows that this is her child,) “monster’s child,” “demon spawn,” “Satan’s child,” “tainting the gene pool,” and on and on.  The exceptions within the Iowa Fetal Heartbeat law suggest there is something inherently different about the child conceived in rape that they would be unworthy of protection.  To legislate that aborting us is "medically necessary" further suggests that we are somehow medically harming our mothers -- furthering the notion that we are somehow the ones raping our mothers.  But we are entirely innocent and we plead our innocence.

While some states like Michigan, Georgia and Nebraska do not have a single rape exception within the law, there are other jurisdictions where the child conceived in rape is singled-out and systematically targeted for extermination.  This lack of equal protection undeniably feeds into the discrimination within the culture.  It codifies hatred, fear and prejudice against an innocent child.
 
A civilized nation must protect the lives of the innocent and disabled child, not target them for extermination and codify hatred.   It is barbaric to punish an innocent child for someone else’s crime.  The legislature should focus on punishing rapists, not babies and the Court must focus on protecting lives of the innocent and not the careers of politicians or interests of the abortion industry.  More violence does not bring healing, but only more pain, more destruction and a less empathetic society.

Given that there was no testimony before the Iowa legislature from physicians or expert witnesses to suggest that denying equal protection and due process for our people groups is somehow a “medical necessity,” it is impossible for the state to claim even a rational basis for the violation of the most fundamental right.   For the disabled unborn child, the state cannot claim any sort of governmental interest in codifying eugenics, and certainly not a compelling governmental interest.  Assuming medical necessity based upon faulty assumptions is deadly, and must not stand as a basis for violating the right to life and equal protection of the laws.

As far as we know, this is the first time in the U.S. and even globally that a group of people like us has defended our own right to life in court.  To every legislator nationwide who wants to target our people group within pro-life legislation:  we are united, we have a voice, and we will fight back!

BIO:  Rebecca Kiessling, conceived in rape, is a pro-life attorney, international pro-life 
speaker, wife and mother of 5.  She is the president and founder of Save The 1.  








Brad and Jesi Smith, Save The 1 pro-life speakers contributed.  Their youngest daughter, Faith, was born with Trisomy 18.  They were behind the Good Faith Medical Act passed in Michigan -- the first of its kind in the nation.




Saturday, May 19, 2018

More False Information from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, by Rachel Mary Guy

As I was scrolling through the Facebook page of the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology I found an article done by Northwestern University.

According to a Northwestern University national survey on Teens, Technology, and Health, 84% of teens have gotten health information online. In addition to recommending teens see a Gynecologist before age 21, ACOG also has an entire patient FAQ section dedicated to questions and health concerns specific to teens.

I found it quite concerning as I looked at the flier done by ACOG also talking about the reasons why it is important for women to see a GYN before 21. Some of the topics they covered were LGBTQ, trans gender, bisexual, and "pregnancy options" (talking about abortion, adoption and parenting).  The site goes on to mention women's "options" talking about the way to keep their baby safe if they are parenting or talking about the option of adoption. ACOG mentions abortion as the first listed option when going over again the "options" for a pregnant woman. They say, "If you choose to have an abortion, it should be done early in pregnancy when there are fewer risks. If you have a medical condition, pregnancy may pose risks to your health and increase the risk of complications for the baby." There are two concerns and false information given.  First, abortion is not "safer" when it is done earlier. There are even more emotional effects on women who have abortions earlier particularly women who take RU-486 because they are the ones doing the abortion, their home is the abortion clinic and they often see their dead child. Also abortion is never necessary to "save a woman's life."

Also ACOG never mentions the side effects of abortion and their description of one claims the procedure to be "safe" yet they never explain what actually happens to the child and they never give the side affects of what truly happens to women after an abortion.

Sarah Torez wrote this Live Action article which talks about a woman's experience at an abortion clinic. This blog talks about the effects of a late term abortion on women. In Live Action's article it states, "Studies show that post-abortive women are 65 percent more likely to suffer from depression. Two studies based on medical records found that post-abortive women were six to seven times more likely to commit suicide. Other studies have linked abortion with post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep disturbances, and substance abuse." (https://www.liveaction.org/news/blogger-writes-intense-suffering-women-late-term-abortions/)

Here is the description from ACOG:

"In an abortion procedure, the embryo or fetus is removed from a woman’s uterus. If you decide to have an abortion, it should be done as early as possible. After 12 weeks, an abortion requires more steps and takes longer to perform.

What are the different types of abortion procedures?
Some abortion procedures are done by surgery. Some are done with medication. The type of abortion you have depends on your choice, your health, and how long you have been pregnant. See the FAQ Induced Abortion for detailed information about each type of abortion procedure.

When can each type of abortion be performed?
The most common type of surgical abortion is called vacuum aspiration. It can be performed up to 14 weeks of pregnancy in a health care provider’s office or clinic.

After 14 weeks of pregnancy, the abortion procedure is called a dilation and evacuation (D&E). A D&E takes longer to perform than a vacuum aspiration and it may require more than one visit. This procedure can be done in a health care provider’s office, clinic, or hospital. You usually can go home within a few hours after the procedure is completed.

In a medical abortion, certain drugs are taken to cause an abortion. For this option, a woman usually must be no more than 9 weeks pregnant.

What are the risks associated with abortion?
In general, abortion is a low-risk procedure. Risks and complications depend on how early the abortion is done and the method that is used. Fewer than 1 in 100 women have complications from an abortion performed before 14 weeks of pregnancy. For later abortions, up to 2 in 100 women have complications. In most cases, the risks from an abortion are less than the risks of giving birth to a baby. Most health care providers agree that having one abortion does not affect later pregnancies or a woman’s future health. However, the longer a woman waits to have an abortion, the more risk it carries for her.

What should I expect after having an abortion?
You usually will have a follow-up visit with your health care provider after the abortion. Be aware that you can get pregnant soon after having an abortion. You should use a birth control method to prevent pregnancy right away."

Glossary

Former abortionist explains to Live Action founder Lila Rose, "https://www.abortionprocedures.com/questions/"

Friday, May 4, 2018

Iowa Heartbeat Bill: The Exceptions Speak for Themselves by Sarah St. Onge

Iowa Heartbeat Bill: The Exceptions Speak for Themselves, by Sarah St. Onge


Last month Ben Shapiro shared a video clip showing a mother speaking passionately about the value of her son’s life. Having conceived her son during a violent sexual assault, Jennifer Christie has bravely stood up to defend his right to life a number of times at rallies and before a variety of state legislatures.

Her words were well received by most pro-life believers. But her passion was evidently not enough to persuade Iowa lawmakers, and the Iowa Heartbeat Bill was passed with exceptions for rape and serious fetal anomaly. 

If we can ignore the glaring discrimination, the passage of Iowa’s heartbeat bill was a watershed moment in pro-life advocacy. While the bill still hasn’t been signed into law, it sent a strong message out to the rest of the country: we can pass restrictive pro-life legislation in a state which is not necessarily conservative. It would seem to be a shining achievement for the pro-life movement. 


But with the exceptions, the bill sent another message: A message of exclusion for those conceived in rape or who have been diagnosed with a serious birth defect, and there have been some who’ve spoken out against that message, including Ms. Christie herself.

Watch HERE.

Viewing the very personal video, seeing the visceral reaction the news has provoked in her, leaves the watcher feeling a bit less certain about whether the Iowa bill is as great as it seems. 

We move on to a statement from Rebecca Kiessling who, with tears in her eyes and audible distress in her voice, explains the emotional toll these
Sarah St. Onge with Rebecca Kiessling and Darlene Pawlik
exceptions take on her.


Watch HERE.

As a strong and outspoken representative of those conceived in rape, her words add an element of intimacy to the proceedings which highlight the fact we’re speaking of real people: children conceived during a sexual assault aren’t just a philosophical concept -- they’re our friends, neighbors, and loved ones. They deserve equal protection under the law -- the same protections you or I deserve.

Last, we hear from me, Sarah St. Onge.

Watch HERE.

My daughter was diagnosed with a lethal birth defect before birth. Exceptionally frustrated with the liberties lawmakers take in excluding children like mine from protection, I want to know why we continue to place these exceptions into laws we are writing. Why not leave the picking and choosing to the pro-choice side? Why ruin our reputation with an inconsistent message regarding the value of an unborn child? 

With the wealth of information available about the life of the unborn, it’s foolish for us to continue on the discriminatory path we are headed down. Rarely, if ever, do these exceptions get removed once they’re in place. We are sentencing valuable, wanted, and fragile innocents to death. There is no excuse for this -- the time for political maneuvering should come when we meet those who oppose us on the floor, and not before we've even put an offer on the table.

We beg you to continue to help us fight for our rights, and the rights of our children, to have equal protection under the law, like all other American citizens. 

BIO:  Sarah St. Onge is a mother and pro-life blogger for Save The 1.  She blogs on faith, grief, loss, and pro-life issues pertaining to continuing a pregnancy after a lethal anomaly has been diagnosed, at www.shebringsjoy.com.



Thursday, May 3, 2018

Pregnant by Rape, I Threw the Abortion Pills to the Floor, by Genesis James

I love storms -- seeing the dark clouds, watching the storms roll in, and dancing in the rain.   I love to see the lightning and hear the thunder roar, shaking the Earth.  But this was a storm that I had no opportunity to anticipate. . . .

About four years ago, I was studying Christian Leadership to be a chaplain at Barclay College and about ready to get married.   I was on my way to work to give a therapeutic massage.  Little did I know it was going to change my life forever.  During that appointment, I was raped by my client.

I initially stayed silent about it because I was convinced no one would believe me.  Also, I had so much going for me at the time and I thought if I told anyone, it would instantly jeopardize all of my future.  So, I decided to just keep my mouth shut and pretend that it did not happen.

Exactly ten days later, I found out I was pregnant.  As if living with the rape was not hard enough for me, how in the world could I deal with this?   I already had three girls and I was sure I could never be able to handle four -- especially on my own, since I was certain my boyfriend would leave me.

I am a girl who has always been so strongly outspoken against abortion.  There was never ever a reason to have one in my mind, but boy does your mind change when you are faced with this.

I had a handful of pills in my hand which someone told me would naturally abort the baby.   I had them inches from my mouth when I threw them on the floor.  What if I took these pills and instead of aborting my baby. it would cause her to have a birth defect and I would end up causing her severe problems in her life?  This thought caused me to realize I could not cause harm to my baby in any way.  In tears, I decided not to abort her.  Little did I know, that was the start of the hardest and yet most beautiful journey I would ever take.

Finally I was able talk to David, my boyfriend, on December 10th and told him what had happened.  But I was afraid he'd make me quit my job, so I told him I was raped at a club I went to a week prior. Even thinking of it that way made it somehow easier in my mind -- if he were drunk and making a poor decision while intoxicated, I could at least wrap my head around that as opposed to the premeditated evil.  I was so afraid that if I told people the truth that I was raped while working, then I would lose what I felt God gave me as a means of income.

David was very angry and upset.  He told me he needed some time to figure out what he wanted to do.  Two days later, he told me that he loved me and he loved my daughters, and he was going to be there and support me through this.

Nevertheless, many days I felt very suicidal.   It took everything I had not to drive the car off the bridge.  And the tears came often.  I knew I needed to get help, so I started going to a counselor at my church, which helped me a little bit.  But it felt like she did not understand the pain I was going through.  I never felt free to open up and share with her all my dark corners that I had.

At that point, I could hardly work at my job anymore without totally breaking down in tears and shaking.  I found a group on Facebook with members who told me about Anchor Point which specializes in helping pregnant women, and how they might be the exact thing I needed.  Their website said that they are "champions for the future of child by educating and empowering parents because no one is beyond hope," and I needed hope!

I called them up and made an appointment.  I was told that there was a lady who used to volunteer with them and worked with women who had gone through similar situations.  However, they said she was in a transition at the time, so they were unsure if she would come back and see me.  I left and prayed hard about this because I was desperate for any ray of sunshine at the moment.   Then God gave me Angel, who has lived up to her name for sure.

For once, I felt like I was heard.   I held onto so much pain from past abuses that when I went through this rape, I never felt I was worthy of help because “who really cared?”  I and everyone else beat me up all the time with the whys and why nots so much so that I felt like I was crazy.

But not Angel.  She heard me as she listened to the pains and hurts I endured as I was growing up.  She wanted to uncover all of that.  I for once felt safe enough to tell someone my whole entire story of my life -- even the really dark areas which I felt would result in no one ever accepting me if I told them.  She never condemned me and she never told me I was crazy, which are the things I was telling myself repeatedly.

After talking with Angel about everything, there were no more shadowy places left in my life.  Satan
no longer had a foothold and I was finally free!!!  Angel helped me see that I was not alone on the path that I choose and that it was normal to choose the path that I took.  I no longer had to travel on this path alone because now there was light on the path and I was going to be okay.   I came in weekly and met with her up until my daughter was born.

If it was not for this wonderful woman at Anchor Point, who gave of her time to meet with me, I do not know if I or my beautiful daughter would even be here now.   She helped me see God’s strength and the love that He had for me.  She helped me see that I was not the piece of trash which I felt I was.   She helped me see that God still had a meaning and purpose for my life.  I for once felt like a huge weight had been lifted.  I was finally able to tell David and others about the truth in the rape because I no longer took the blame and I could deal with the truth myself.

I would like to say that all the pain and struggles were finally over and everything else was easy, but after I had my daughter, I often saw the person who had raped me in her.  This made it so very hard for me.  I love my daughter and she did not deserve me pushing her away.  I did everything I could do to make sure she had someone around her to show her love when it was hard for me to do so.

I went back in to Anchor Point again to get some help through this, so that I could see God when I look at her. They listened to me and prayed with me.  Each day I have been getting stronger.  The days that I see him in her have been fewer and fewer.  I now see a wonderful baby girl who God is going to bless and use for His glory!  God has shown me a vision of being able to share my story and help other women who have or are going through the same hurt and pain as I have.

I mentioned in the beginning my love for storms because, when you are going through the storms and the clouds are so dark, it makes the light just that much brighter when the rays of sun start coming through.   I just thank God that He put Anchor Point and Angel in my path to be a ray of light, to help me find God’s strength which has kept going each and every day.

My daughter is three and a half years old now.  I gave her a name which means the light of Christ, and she truly is.  I am a year out now to getting my masters degree in Spiritual Formation, and I am celebrating my 3rd year of owning my own massage clinic, so I can still use the gifts God has given me.  My God is so good!

BIO:  "Genesis James" is a mother of four children, a professional masseuse and now a pro-life blogger for Save The 1.  She is using a pseudonym to protect her family.



Wednesday, April 25, 2018

She's My Shining Light Out of The Most Awful Situation, by "Malia"

It was the start of my junior year.  I was a normal 16 year old teenager.  Over the summer, my parents renewed their vows which was like a second wedding for them.  I enjoyed going to the lake where my uncle lived.  I did things with my friends, enjoyed my close-knit family, and was looking forward to starting another school year.  Dating wasn't an interest for me since I was so focused on friends, family and studies.  All of that changed when I was targeted and raped by a convicted sex offender.

In October 2016, I was spending the night at a house behind me.  We've known this family for about 8 years.  My friend was a year older than me.  Her older sister Paige, age 25, offered to take us for a ride and meet up with her family.  As soon as we got to her family's house, there were a couple of older men there, and I was very uncomfortable -- pleading with her three times for her to take us home.  

I'd prefer not to go into details of that horrific night, but it resulted in this 32 year old man, Shane R. Rodgers, raping me.  After that, I was never the same.  My parents knew something was wrong.  I didn't want to go school.  I didn't want to get out of bed or go anywhere.  I couldn't sleep without my light on and I never wanted to be alone.  Suffering with fear and shame, I kept it all in.

I knew pregnancy was a possibility, but was relieved when I continued to have a regular cycle.  However, about six months after the rape, I began to feel distinct movement in my abdomen.  So a friend and I went to the dollar store and got a pregnancy test, which showed up positive.  I was a virgin when I was raped and never had relations since, so I knew right away what this meant.  I went to the 25 year old neighbor who had driven me to the house that night, and told her I was pregnant.  Paige took me to a clinic which confirmed my pregnancy.  

That night, I told my mom, but Paige had convinced me to say it was a stranger, because she was afraid of getting into trouble herself.  I was naive and didn't know she had set me up all along -- basically, trafficking me to her cousin (with whom she was having sex) who was a convicted child molester who'd already gone to prison with a plea for attempting to rape an 11 year old girl.  I thought she was trying to protect me, while all along I was just a simple pawn in her sick, twisted game.

My mom was shocked, but showed me love and support.  We told my dad when he got home from work the next morning, and I broke down and ended up telling him everything.  My dad was of course furious, and we called the police.  The rapist was arrested that same evening, and I'm glad to say, he's been in jail ever since. 

In fact, he was just sentenced by Judge Margaret Noe in Lenawee County with a plea deal for 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct, and will be serving out the 6 year remainder of his prior sentence, plus another 5 to 10 years for raping me.  I never thought I'd share my difficult story publicly, but after seeing comments under the news coverage of his sentencing, I feel I need to speak up and not be silent any longer.  This man admitted in court as to what he did to me -- he admitted it wasn't consensual and that I was lured to the home by my neighbor.  I went through hell and nobody but myself will ever understand.  When I realized that people were defending a man who could do something so awful and continue on without a care, I was so hurt, but now I have found my voice.

No girl ever deserves to be raped.  It is never her fault.  Clearly this man has been a predator for a long time, and I'm only now learning that Paige not only trafficked me, but many other girls as well.

As far as my daughter, she is everything to me, and she is the one who is getting me through the trauma of the rape.  I've been homeschooling for my senior year.  I won't be going to prom.  I won't be graduating with all of my peers.  We moved away because I was tormented by my neighbors after going to the police.  My whole life has changed, yet, my child is not to blame -- just like Judge Noe pointed out in Court at his sentencing when she said, "The child bears none of the ugliness of what he did."  She showed a lot of compassion for me and my daughter, and I was really touched when I heard what all this good judge had to say.
  
My baby girl is my hero.  If it hadn't been for her, this child molester would still be free raping other
girls.  And I will do anything to protect my daughter. I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for her. And I wouldn't be getting justice without her.

I was horrified last fall when I saw that a judge in Sanilac County, Michigan gave joint legal custody and parenting time to another two-time convicted child molester, and I was immediately afraid a judge could do the same once my rapist gets out of prison.  His family was already trying to send me friend requests on social media, and I needed to be sure my child would forever be safe from all of them.  

So my mom contacted the attorney who had represented the mother in Sanilac County and ultimately got her and her child protected from the rapist.  Rebecca Kiessling agreed to handle my case for free as well, and explained the law that was passed in the summer of 2016 which was intended to protect women like me who become pregnant by rape.

Fortunately, at his sentencing in Lenawee County, Shane Rodgers signed the two key court papers we needed him to sign -- the judgment of paternity and the order revoking paternity (as required by the Michigan Rape Survivor Child Custody Act.)  However, I just found out that Judge Theresa Brennan in Livingston County won't just sign the consent order, but is requiring my attorney to file a motion on it.  I'm so scared.  I thought it would be simple if he was agreeing to the termination of his parental rights.  I just want this part over with so I can have peace of mind that whatever happens in the future -- whether it's him getting out of prison, with regards to his family, or if something were to happen to me, then I could know my child will be safe and protected by the courts.

Some people think I made the wrong decision in keeping my daughter.  Some even tried to convince me to give her up for adoption.  It was a tough decision for a teenager to make, but my daughter has been the shining light that came out of the most awful situation.  

When I first held my child in my arms, nothing could ever compare to that moment.  I knew that she was innocent in all of this.  I'll never forget that she helped me get justice for the both of us.  

I'm still healing to this day, I still have trouble coping with what happened to me, and I know it will be with me for the rest of my life, as well as my daughter's.  I never want someone to go through what I went through, and I want to encourage anyone who has:  yes, it may be hard, but please don't be afraid to ask for help or speak out.  Don't be ashamed of what happened to you as I was.  You had no control. And I promise, one day, it will get better.

I really want to thank the Michigan legislators who passed that law so the rapist won't have any part of my child.  If you ever wonder what kind of difference you can make, you are making a real difference in my life and the life of my beautiful daughter!

BIO:  "Malia" is a 17 year old homeschool student about to graduate and is the mother of one.  She's now a pro-life blogger for Save The 1, and wants to help other rape survivors.
Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Impregnated As I Was Passed Out, Raped and Filmed by My Husband, I Now Fight For My Son, by "Sarah"

Sometimes I feel like I am the person who fell between the cracks -- the lost and forgotten.  I struggle in silence.  I'm sharing my story here because I want to raise awareness regarding spousal rape and how serious it is.  Laws have been passed here in Florida and elsewhere to terminate the parental rights of rapists -- without a marital exception.  However, the judge in my particular case acknowledged the rape, but justified giving him visitation, saying, "Well, he didn't hurt the child."  

It not just the courts who lack compassion either.  When I tell someone that I was raped, they'll say, "Oh, that's terrible."  But when I say it was by my husband, their tone quickly changes, as if it's not as serious of an offense.  From older generations, I'll hear things like, "Oh, I didn't know it's possible that your husband could rape you."  It makes me realize the misconceptions people have.  I want people to know that it's at least as bad as being raped by a stranger.  This was very personal -- someone I chose and trusted, and the ultimate betrayal.

My husband and I had separated for a few months because my ex-husband was worried about him being around our daughter and there were a lot of complicated issues which led to the separation.  On weekends that my ex-husband had our daughter, I did see my husband a few times.  When I found out I was pregnant, I kind of thought the timing was off, and maybe I was further than the doctor was calculating, but I didn't really give it a lot of thought.  Not wanting my child to be raised with divorced parents, we got back together and rented a house.

About four or five months into my pregnancy, I was using my husband's computer, and saw a file labelled "star-porn."  My curiosity was definitely piqued, wondering what my husband was up to.  I clicked on it, and my mind could barely comprehend what I was seeing.  I was in a state of shock and absolutely mortified by the images on the screen.  Despite what felt like having an out-of-body experience, I somehow had the clarity of mind to make a copy, as my entire being was shaking in terror.

In the three different videos, which were filmed on my husband's mobile phone, it was clear that I was either completely unconscious, or semi-conscious in one of them as I uttered the word "rape," and that my husband was clearly raping me.  To my horror, he used household objects to assault me (an iPhone and a brush).

As I viewed these unimaginable scenes, I felt a sense of humiliation that I've never felt before.  My heart was racing and I was in a cold sweat.  The videos had the dates they were filmed.  When I calculated the doctor's estimated date of conception, it coincided with the date of the videos, and that's when I realized that my child was conceived in rape.

I sent him a text message saying, "You raped me."  In a panic, he came rushing home from work, knowing I'd discovered the videos.  He actually had the audacity to tell me I was nosy.  I asked him why he did it, and he said he was angry with me, but that he couldn't remember why.

He told me that if I turned in the video. the police would have to see me like that, and lots of people would see me like that.  Because he was my husband, he said, "No one will believe you," and warned me, "You know how vindictive I can be.  I will fight for custody." Scared, humiliated, and confused, I remained silent.

On top of that, I was a stay-at-home mom with a daughter from a prior marriage, along with being pregnant.  It wasn't like I could go job hunting with a baby showing.  Who would want to hire me?  I was incredibly vulnerable with nowhere to go, so I stayed in the home we had just moved into.  I'd hope he would have some remorse and leave me alone.

Things just got worse.  I would wake up to him masturbating over my face. I could no longer sleep out of fear -- fear he would rape me, film me or otherwise violate me.  He knew that I was terrified, and started threatening to kill me. He would make comments like, "You never know when you might not wake up."

As I was in labor for my son, my husband was flirting with the mid-wife, and singing.  It was awkward.  Since I was delivering without pain medication, I didn't even have the energy to say anything.  I wished so much he wasn't there.  

When my son was born, all I felt was love.  He was amazing.  I'd had an abortion when I was younger, and suffered greatly from it, so I felt like my son was a second chance.  It never crossed my mind that my son is the child of my rapist.  He's my child, and he didn't do anything wrong.  

My husband had no interest in my son.  If someone was watching, he'd act like he's superdad.  At times, he was even sadistic, putting hot sauce in the baby's food to laugh at his reaction, or putting a bottle of alcohol under the baby's nose.  To this day, my son won't eat anything red because he's afraid it will be hot.

After the baby was born, My husband's disdain for me seemed to grow, since he resented the attention I gave to the children, and the bond I had with them.  He also resented my family.  

He also did a lot of little things that to most people wouldn't make much sense.  He threatened to kill himself all the time.  On several occasions, he would take my son for a bike ride to lull him to sleep, but then wouldn't come home until one in the morning, not answering his phone the whole time.  I was terrified he would commit a murder-suicide.  I always tried not to leave my son alone with him.

The abuse toward me went on, and I began getting counseling. I was diagnosed as suffering from PTSD.  My therapist said I needed to get out of there, regardless of the financial devastation. By this time, my son was two years old.  My father helped me to move out with my daughter and son.  

With courage and counseling, on the day I was planning to leave, I went to the police with the video evidence of the rapes on my external hard drive.  Initially, the police detective told me I didn't have a case.  Feeling defeated, I returned home, but the next day, I went back to the police station and demanded to see her superior, and I was told that they would take my case.

I returned home to load up my vehicle, but somehow, my husband must have known I was planning to leave and he came home from work.   He tried to get me into the garage with him, which is where he kept his gun.  I called my father, who was right down street, and he left.  

The detective who was hostile toward me was kept on the case.  She actually said to me, "Maybe you're into that sort of thing."  What kind of a woman would be "into" having objects brutally forced into her?!  Then the detective interviewed him, and the report she issued was extremely biased.  

However, it still went to a state attorney who explained to me that a jury wouldn't understand because he's my husband and because I didn't leave sooner. I was also told that it's very rare for juries to convict in rape cases.

Terrified for the safety of me and my children, I fled the state and went to stay with family.  On Skype, my husband was waiving a gun, so I got a photo of that.  But my husband had divorce papers prepared a month before I left, and I was quickly ordered to return.  

With nowhere to go, I stayed at a domestic violence shelter, where they helped me to file for a restraining order, which was granted.  I was hoping my battle to protect myself and my children was over, but the legal battle has gone on for over two years now.

At the last hearing, the judge actually watched the videos and said that he's not an expert in rape, but that it sure looks like rape, and denied my husband's request to terminate the restraining order.  However, the judge is still allowing supervised visitation every other weekend, with mandatory Skyping bi-weekly.  His mom, who tried to get me to delete the videos, is doing the supervision.

Florida actually passed a law several years ago to terminate the parental rights of rapists, without requiring a rape conviction, and without a marital exception.  However, I can't find an attorney who is willing to file a case for me to terminate his parental rights, saying I could somehow risk losing custody because of something called "the friendly parent" provision, which requires parents to facilitate a good relationship with the other parent.  I don't understand the culture of attorneys in my county, and it's hard to know who to trust.

I am on the verge of homelessness. I live in an RV now.  I'm still not divorced because the court won't grant it until custody is settled.  I had to arrange for my daughter from a previous marriage to stay with her father during the school year while I get on my feet. 

The Brevard County Family Court judge found that my husband raped me and threatened our lives with a gun.  Despite that, I cannot be more than 50 miles from my rapist.  I'm required by this court to find a way to be the "friendly parent" so I can "co-parent" -- all the while in fear he will kill me and/or my son to punish me for telling.

Despite a restraining order and his past criminal record, he is now a teacher at a public middle school in Florida.  If the police had done their job, he'd be a registered sex offender.  

To anyone who believes that being raped by your spouse isn't as bad as stranger rape, I'm here to say it's worse.  This is someone who I loved enough to say "I do."  Now I see that I made a horrible judgment-call.  I can no longer trust myself or anyone else.  Everyone is a potential predator.

BIO:  "Sarah" is a mother of two, has been an active member of Save The 1's group for mothers who became pregnant by rape, and is now a blogger for Save The 1.  She hopes to one day be an advocate for other rape victim mothers and their children.  If you are able to assist "Sarah" on her case, please contact Rebecca Kiessling (an attorney only licensed to practice in Michigan, President of Save The 1.)