Is a Woman Acting in Sin When She Aborts a Pregnancy That is the Result of Rape? Yes!

Is a Woman Acting in Sin When She Aborts a Pregnancy That is the Result of Rape?

Yes! Theologians, ministry leaders and pastors need to be clear on this. Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17 command: “You shall not murder.” Killing the innocent is murder: “You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.” — James 5:6

As with any other sin, there is accountability for the shedding of innocent blood. Genesis 9:5,6: “And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being. Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.” Just do a Bible search of “innocent blood,” and you’ll see how relevant innocence is, and how God detests the shedding of innocent blood.

Is abortion included in murder?

Yes. Abortion always involves bloodshed, and the baby is always innocent. Consider Exodus 21:22-25, which is the first place in the Bible where the law of “an eye for an eye” is declared, which demonstrates the seriousness with which God takes the injury to a pregnant woman or her unborn child: “If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life,eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.” This necessarily includes harm to the unborn child, or the verse would not be talking about a pregnant woman. The injury or death to the unborn child is what’s critical here.

God says that for Ammon’s sins, He “will not relent. Because he ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead.” So it’s clear that God expressly counts the ripping open of pregnant women as a sin. That’s exactly what abortion is. Again, the fact that she’s pregnant is relevant — not because of her autonomy, but because of the harm to her unborn child.

Abortion involves the killing of your own children and is just another form of child-sacrifice. Psalm 106:37-38: “They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to false gods. They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood.” The child conceived out of rape is still the rape survivor mother’s own son or daughter.

Jeremiah 20:17 says, “For he did not kill me in the womb, with my mother as my grave, her womb enlarged forever.” Abortion turns a mother’s womb into a grave.

But what about in cases of rape?

Only the rapist is to be punished for the rape: “But if out in the country a man happens to meet a young woman pledged to be married and rapes her, only the man who has done this shall die.”

72 Hour Waiting Period Bill Passed in Missouri Without Exceptions!

Imagine yourself sitting in a large stately room, up in a balcony overlooking 160 of the most powerful people in your state, as they debate the value of your life. Some legislators are arguing about how horrible your existence is, while others are defending your very right to survive – that was my surreal experience last night, September 10, 2014, as the Missouri legislature ultimately passed a veto override of HB 1307 – a 72 hour waiting period to obtain an abortion, often referred to as a “reflection” period. Governor Nixon had vetoed the bill on July 2nd of this year stating that there needed to be a rape exception, and with a 2/3 “super majority” vote, the House and Senate were able to override the veto – with no exceptions. The final vote was 117-44 in the House and 23-7 in the Senate.

I was invited to the Missouri State Capitol by Samuel Lee, director of Campaign Life Missouri, and Tucker Jobes, Chief of Staff for the Senate bill’s sponsor, Senator David Sater (R-Cassville). When the governor vetoed the bill, Sen. Sater completely rejected any notion of reintroducing the bill with a rape exception, knowing that children conceived in rape do not deserve such blatant discrimination and devaluing of their lives. For that, he is a hero and to the tens of thousands of children born each year as a result of rape, and their mothers who love their children dearly.

The debate on the bill began as the House sponsor, Rep. Kev Elmer (R-Nixa), gave a rigorous defense of all life – specifically mentioning Angela Grogg, pro-life speaker from Save The 1, who was at the Capitol sharing her family’s story, along with her daughter Pyper who became pregnant by rape at age 14, and her 3 year old grandson Noah who was conceived in rape. Rep. Elmer spoke of the value of Noah’s life and how this innocent child does not deserve to be targeted and devalued. At a pro-life rally in the Rotunda earlier in the day, Angela spoke, sharing that Noah turns three this Sunday. So when Noah was brought on stage with his mother, the crowd of 250+ sang him the most powerful and memorable version of Happy Birthday you could ever hear!

During the House debate on the veto override, many legislators who advocate for abortion rights used the “r-word” – rape, as a ploy to try to win public opinion on this bill that they would never be willing to support even with a rape exception. Rep. Stacey Newman (D-St. Louis) called the legislation “the Todd Akin bill of the year.” She also said that it’s insulting to women and throwing them under the bus. Sitting there listening to her, I felt like I had a good view of the underside of the bus, as she had no problem insulting my very life! Where’s her compassion, as more than 50% of those being aborted are female?! She and many others repeatedly told the bill’s supporters, “You just want women to change their minds about abortion.” It’s rather evident that they greatest fear is that women will change their minds about abortion, thus causing their friends at Planned Parenthood to lose “revenue” from abortion profits. They needed to maintain their 100% approval rating with the abortion industry.

But there were many powerful voices in response to the vitriol. Rep. Keith English (D-Florissant), began his comments, letting us know that his heart was pounding as he was about to share something very personal which he’d never shared before the whole assembly before – his wife obtained an abortion without his consent or knowledge of his 18-weed son Luke, which has completely devastated him. He mentioned that he’s a cage fighter, and perceived as such a strong man, but the abortion of his son has left an indelible mark upon him.

Explaining why she’s so passionately pro-life as a woman, Rep. Holly Rehder (R-Sikeston)shared her personal story of having become pregnant at age 15, and also having been a victim of rape/incest, though that child was not conceived as a result of the incest. The House floor turned completely silent as she shared this powerful testimony – except for one extremely rude comment from Rep. Newman, and chuckles from her pro-abortion chronies.

Term-limited Rep. Jeff Grisamore (R- Lee’s Summit) gave a fervent defense of life as he shared about hearing a woman conceived in rape at the Rotunda rally earlier in the day. There were two of us who shared our testimonies as a child from rape – me and another Save The 1 speaker, Susan Jaramillo who lived in Jefferson City for several years. Then he shared that he’d heard me speak in the Kansas City are several years ago, and explained why women like us deserved to have been protected as much as anyone else.

Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones (R-Eureka), also term-limited, gave credit to women who’ve shaped his pro-life values – his mother, a former girlfriend who was devastated by the loss of a child she’d once aborted, and Angela Grogg and her daughter Pyper. He beautifully honored those woman as he gave dignity to the value of little Noah’s life!

Other pro-life measures that state lawmakers passed by overriding Gov. Jay Nixon’s vetoes were HB 1132, which increases the amount of tax credits available to donors to maternity homes, pregnancy resource centers and food pantries Section 5.165 in HB 2005, which added an additional $500,000 in appropriations for alternatives to abortion services, to a record level of $2.16 million.

All in all, yesterday’s events served as an example to pro-life leaders and legislators all across the U.S. and around the world, that passing pro-life bills without exception is possible, and that a strong defense of all life is achievable without any scandalous flubs. Many pro-life organizations came together in Missouri to make this all possible. I’m hoping that other pro-life leaders and organizations will continue to contact me so that we can utilize the hundreds I have in my database of others conceived in rape and mothers from rape who want their stories to be heard.

BIO: Rebecca Kiessling is an attorney, wife, mother of 5 and international pro-life speaker, sharing her story of having been conceived in rape and nearly aborted at two back-alley abortions. She’s the founder and President of Save The1 –, and co-founder and Board Member of Hope After Rape Conception – Visit her website at

I’m So Glad I Had You!

“I’m so glad I had you!” These were the words my birthmother spoke to me last year on my birthday — nearly 25 years after we met, 25 years after telling me it should have been her choice to abort me, 44 years after I was born, 44-1/2 years after she sought to abort me at two illegal “back-alley” abortions, and 44 years, 9 months after she was abducted and raped at knifepoint by my biological father.

It was a bittersweet day because she called not only to wish me a Happy Birthday, but also to tell me that my grandma had died early that morning. I was born on Grandma Nina’s wedding anniversary, and she died on my birthday. My birthmother and I spoke at length on the phone, and it was at the end of the conversation, as we were about to hang up, that she quickly called out my name a couple of times because she had just one more thing she urgently wanted to say to me on this day — “I’m so glad I had you!”

She couldn’t say to me that she was so glad she chose to have me, because that just wasn’t the case. Years earlier she had made it quite clear that she would have aborted me had it been legal, and that it should have been her choice. In fact, she tried to abort me twice! She stuck to her guns on being pro-choice for 6 years — until my niece had an unplanned pregnancy with my birthmother’s first great-grandchild, and suddenly everything changed for her. She realized how much more important life is, and she made a point of telling me.

My birthmom has been interviewed several times over the years regarding our story — by Glamour Magazine and by the syndicated television program “Extra,” in which I got to hear her tell the reporter that she’s glad she couldn’t abort me, adding: “And now I have this wonderful daughter and the sun just shines in her.” It was such a blessing to hear her say that! She’s come to hear me speak at numerous pro-life fundraising banquets and I’ve had the opportunity to overhear her saying really nice things to other people and how glad she is that she couldn’t abort me. But on my birthday last year, I had the extra-special blessing of being able to hear her say it directly to me, and it was the best birthday gift I ever received — well, besides the gift of being born and actually having a birthday to celebrate!

So many people think that a child like me must be the worst thing that’s ever happened to her — not the rape, but becoming pregnant by rape, and that I must be a “horrible reminder of the rape.” But I’m not. On the day her mother died, I represented hope and healing in her life. At least she has a child to whom she is able to speak these words. I think of the millions of women for whom changing their minds about abortion is a painful realization that they will never have this opportunity, and I grieve for them. I grieve with them. And then I think of those who were planned and wanted and never get to hear something so profound from their own mothers. Even worse are the rare mothers with such wretched hearts that they would actually say to their own child, “I wish you’d been aborted.” Instinctively, we all know how horrible it is for a mother to say such a thing. Who on Earth would commend such a hard heart?

People often ask me how difficult it must be for me to be sharing my painful story regularly and whether I wish I didn’t know the truth of my conception and near-death experience at the hands of abortionists. I tell them, “Not at all!” It’s my story, and God is using it for His purposes. Most of the time, I am speaking to people who are either very sympathetic, or whose hearts are easy to change — pro-life people who make the rape exception. I regularly get to hear people not only say that my story changed their mind forever on this issue, but I also have the added blessing of people saying things to me that others don’t ever get to hear in everyday life — things like, “I’m so glad you were born!” I feel spoiled that I get to hear this and others don’t, so I make a point of telling people when I wish them Happy Birthday, “I’m so glad you were born!” I can’t tell you how many people were deeply moved, telling me “Thanx — no one has ever said that to me before.”

We need to tell one another because that’s what a birthday is — it’s celebrating the fact that you were born! You are one of a kind — irreplaceable, designed by God for a purpose and intended to be a blessing, no matter the circumstances. If you are a mom or a dad, don’t hesitate to tell your children how glad you are that you had them — not of your own choosing or planning, but give them the gift of knowing that there is a greater purpose to their lives, well beyond your personal intentions, and watch them soar!

BIO: Rebecca Kiessling is an international pro-life speaker, attorney, wife, mother of 5, founder and President of Save The 1 –, co-founder of Hope After Rape Conception —, and author of the Heritage House ’76 pamphlet “Conceived in Rape: A Story of Hope.” Visit her website at

Hard Cases Unite to Make a Difference!

How would like to be labeled “a hard case?” What if your class of people were systematically targeted for extinction within legislation? What if political candidates felt quite comfortable with stating their position that you and your kind aren’t worth protecting and better off dead? What if your child was regularly stigmatized by our society? That’s exactly what it’s like for those of us who were conceived in rape, mothers from rape, and those given a poor in utero diagnosis. But being branded as a “hard case” becomes easier when we all begin to unite behind our unique kinship. And that’s what Save The 1 has been doing – drawing together perhaps the most stigmatized and marginalized members of today’s society.

May 2014 was a very big month for Save The 1. On Saturday, May 3rd, Mary Rathke and I both spoke at the 1st Annual International Pro-Life Leaders Conference in Rome, Italy – sponsored by Lifesitenews — sharing our stories of having been conceived in rape. Mary was a double-exception because her birthmother was raped after having been diagnosed as schizophrenic. Pro-Life leaders from around the world received our message well – vowing to fight abortion without exception and without compromise.

The next day, Mary and I were introduced on stage at the Marcio Per La Vida – the Italian March For Life, which had an estimated 60,000 by the time we reached St. Peter’s Square, where the Pope came out and addressed us. The theme of this year’s march was “Pro Vida Senza Compromesso,” which means “pro-life without compromise.” During the march, thousands were chanting this theme!

One woman – a nurse – came up to us and showed us a photo of a baby who was conceived in rape. She explained that the pro-life activists at the hospital have been familiar with my story since it’s been translated into Italian, among many other languages. So any time they have a patient who is pregnant by rape, they share my story on my website with the pregnant rape victim. This nurse credited my story has having saved the baby in the photo. What a wonderful example for every person with a difficult history to see how stepping out and sharing your story can make a difference across the ocean, for someone else who doesn’t even speak your language!

Upon returning from Rome, Mary Rathke spoke at Branch County Right to Life’s benefit dinner where she met a grandmother who shared that her grandchild was conceived in rape. This grandmother was heartened to know that there are others who are paving the way for her grandchild to be loved and accepted in our society. Several legislators and even judges shared with Mary how her story helps them to be able to articulate a defense of all human life.

On May 10th, I spoke at a Mother’s Day brunch at Gateway Assembly in Imlay City, MI. After the brunch, a 16 year old girl named Sarah came up to me to share her own difficult story. She was conceived when her birthmother was sexually trafficked by her own parents. Not only was she conceived during unconsensual prostitution, but her birthmother had become a drug addict. Sarah is now writing out her story and is our newest member of Save The 1! The next day at the church, another family approached me whose young adoptive daughter was also conceived in rape. They too were thankful for a support system for their daughter and their family.

A week later, on Saturday, May 17th, Save The 1 had its 3rd Pro-Life Speaker Training Conference, at the legislative offices of Right to Life of Michigan in Lansing, MI. We had five adoptees who were all conceived in rape present – me, Mary Rathke, Travon Clifton, Sarah (these four are all from Michigan), and Darlene Pawlik from New Hampshire. We also had one mother who had become pregnant from rape – Karyn Liechty, one post-abortive mother from rape whose abortion was forced upon her – Sheryl Williams, as well as Brad and Jesi Smith whose daughter Hope has Trisome 18. In the morning, everyone had a chance to practice responding to impromptu questions often asked by reporters and during Q & A on college campuses, and in the afternoon, each member gave an 8-minute prepared speech. We were blessed to have some family and friends there in support, as well as three of our friends from Right to Life of Michigan who helped with our critique – President Barb Listing, Ed Rivet and Genevieve Marnon. As an additional treat, filmmaker Jim Hanon (End of the Spear) and his team were present filming and we look forward to seeing the pieces he is putting together for Right to Life of Michigan in conjunction with Save The 1 members!

After a wonderful day of camaraderie, we had our first official Board Meeting, having just filed our 501c3 application! Thank you to the Thomas More Society for generously sponsoring our filing and to Sally Wagenmaker for your wisdom and representation. I’m proud to announce our stellar Board – Darlene Pawlik, Mary Rathke, Jim Sable (conceived in rape adoptee from IL,) Nick D’Angelo (conceived in rape from NY,) Brad Smith, Dyanne Gonzales from NM, and me – thank you all for your confidence in electing me as President of Save The 1. I’m eager to see what God is going to achieve through us all!

Our next Save The 1 speaker training conference is Saturday, September 20th in Akron, OH at the offices of Right to Life of North East Ohio, and our 5th Save The 1 speaker training will be held at the offices of Georgia Right to Life in Atlanta on Friday, October 10th. In 2015, we hope to have more conferences around the country, including in the Los Angeles area.

If you fall into one of the categories of “the hard cases” – those whom Jesus would call “the least of these,” we would love to connect with you! You are not alone. Connect with us on our Save The 1 Facebook page, and e-mail me. We have a Save The 1 activism e-mail group, and there is also an e-mail support group for those who are struggling and/or who want to help others to know their incredible dignity and worth.

My Heroes Are Under Attack

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My Heroes Are Under Attack

There are many ways to save some babies

My Heroes Are Under Attack

My Heroes Are Under Attack

There are many ways to save some babies

Conceived in Rape Traitors?

Good response Rebecca! Let’s keep pushing these issues forward!


Steven Ertelt, Editor
P.O. Box 270841
Fort Collins, CO 80525

From: Rebecca Kiessling
Sent: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 2:47 PM
To: Blog
Cc: Steven Ertelt ; <a title="info
Subject: Conceived in Rape Traitors?

My friend Kelsey Hazzard, founder and president of Secular Pro-Life wrote an article today which was posted in LifeNews posing the question, “How can abortion supporters conceived in rape justify supporting abortion?” My piece is in response to Kelsey’s brilliant article, which poses a very sincere question in regards to a position I see has an anathema.

When I first learned at 18 that I was conceived in rape, I felt very alone in this knowledge for many years. I barely knew anyone else who was adopted with whom I could relate. It was nearly 10 years before I finally met someone else who was conceived out of violence — Julie Makimaa, who was also a pro-life activist at the time. Glamour Magazine was running a story entitled, “My Father Is A Rapist,” featuring eight women who were all conceived in rape. Each of our mothers were interviewed for this article as well, just to verify our stories. At the end of the article the journalist wrote, “It is a stunning fact that each of these mothers expressed that they were able to overcome their hatred for their rapist and find joy in their love for their daughters.” I felt vindicated by this “evidence” that we are all indeed lovable.

The next person I met who was conceived in rape was Rob Murphy — a youth pastor at the time, who was speaking at a Teens for Life event for Right to Life of Michigan. He was the first I’d ever met face to face. When we began speaking together, he introduced me as his sister: “Different rapist

Conceived in Rape Traitors?

My friend Kelsey Hazzard, founder and president of Secular Pro-Life wrote an article today which was posted in LifeNews posing the question, “How can abortion supporters conceived in rape justify supporting abortion?” My piece is in response to Kelsey’s brilliant article, which poses a very sincere question in regards to a position I see has an anathema.

When I first learned at 18 that I was conceived in rape, I felt very alone in this knowledge for many years. I barely knew anyone else who was adopted with whom I could relate. It was nearly 10 years before I finally met someone else who was conceived out of violence — Julie Makimaa, who was also a pro-life activist at the time. Glamour Magazine was running a story entitled, “My Father Is A Rapist,” featuring eight women who were all conceived in rape. Each of our mothers were interviewed for this article as well, just to verify our stories. At the end of the article the journalist wrote, “It is a stunning fact that each of these mothers expressed that they were able to overcome their hatred for their rapist and find joy in their love for their daughters.” I felt vindicated by this “evidence” that we are all indeed lovable.

The next person I met who was conceived in rape was Rob Murphy — a youth pastor at the time, who was speaking at a Teens for Life event for Right to Life of Michigan. He was the first I’d ever met face to face. When we began speaking together, he introduced me as his sister: “Different rapist — same Father in Heaven!” And indeed, it’s been a wonderful kinship which I’ve shared not only with him, but with hundreds of others over the past 15 years.

If you do a Google search for “conceived in rape” or “pregnant by rape,” my website comes up first. Hence, I regularly hear from others with these stories, many of whom have decided to write out their uplifting pro-life stories for my website, and some of whom have decided to begin speaking for Save The 1 and/or blogging as well. The common thread is that we love life and feel targeted by the rape exception being so prevalent amongst not only politicians, but those who call themselves pro-life, According to a Gallop poll almost four years ago, 60% of pro-lifers make the rape exception. It’s been wonderful in the face of those daunting statistics to be able to connect with one another on a common mission. I currently have a database of over 140 people who share this commonality of being conceived out of rape or mothers from rape — a list which I only began compiling about three months ago. Many of our members expressed that, prior to learning of their own conception, they had been one of those people who made the rape exception, but upon learning of how they were conceived, they instantly realized the ramifications upon their own lives, and became 100% pro-life. Additionally, I’ve been a member of a confidential e-mail support group for us for nearly a dozen years. Given what I’d consider to be a very unique exposure to a multitude of others with these stories, I would venture to estimate that only a handful out of hundreds have shared with me that they are pro-choice.

And that brings me back to Kelsey Hazzard’s question? How could they?!

I instantly felt like this position in the face of our own stories was a betrayal of others who were not as fortunate to have been protected by law, or who were not as blessed to have had a mother who valued life. One such example of a pro-choice rape-conceived person is retired attorney Dahn Batchelor from Canada. I regularly receive Google alerts any time something new appears on the web that has “conceived in rape” or “pregnant by rape,” so his story popped up, and I was excited to connect with him. As you’ll see, it’s a very life-affirming story. He writes, “I wasn’t aborted and I didn’t end up dead on a rubbish heap and my mother didn’t abandon me. Had I been disposed of as a dead infant like thousands of infants who had mothers around the world who had unwanted pregnancies, certain events in history would not have occurred.” Then he goes on to talk of the work he’s done at the United Nations, and he relates a story of how he once saved someone’s life — kind of like in the film, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Reading this wonderful story, I invited him to participate in the filming of our group DVD, “Except in Cases of Rape? 12 Stories of Survival,” and to also speak on a panel for a pregnancy resource center. We were firming up details, when he sent me his proposed speech, which made it clear that he’s actually pro-choice! I was stunned!!!

How can this be? He valued his own life so much, but was unwilling to see that others would be protected. My own testimony is that I’m still alive because I was legally protected in Michigan at the time. My birthmother wanted to abort me and in fact, tried to kill me at two back-alley abortionists. The law, and the courage of legislators who chose to protect children like me, saved my life. I feel like my life was spared from a burning building, and as I have the opportunity to go back and save others, I’m going to do it! The most selfish thing would be to just sit back and enjoy my life, saying: “Too bad for the rest of you!” Being rape-conceived, I see us as ambassadors for those similarly-situated who are at-risk for being aborted or for being targeted in the law. As an ambassador for a nation, you have the responsibility to act on behalf of that nation’s best interests, but you do NOT have the right to advocate for your people’s destruction.

This brings me to my next example: Jesse Jackson, who was conceived when his 30-something year old father — married with children, committed statutory rape against Jesse’s 16 year old mother who lived next door. Jesse Jackson was outspokenly pro-life, until he ran for President. That’s when he betrayed his own story — when his own selfish ambition caused him to stop looking back to save those who are not yet safe.

The few others I’ve met who have said they were conceived in rape, yet were pro-choice, were either suicidal or extremely depressed because they really did not value life at all and did not know their own worth, or had an abortion themselves, before learning of their own conception. Worldview can make a huge difference as well: Are we all just accidents, by-products of evolution with no real purpose? Can good come out of evil? Is there such a thing as an “evil seed,” or is every child created innocent? In the words of the Declaration of Independence, are we all really “created equal?”

Until you know your own worth, it’s difficult to see the value of others and to have an interest in protecting them. When we know love, we are better able to show love. My friend Sherrie Eldridge — famous adoption author and speaker who was also conceived in rape calls us “wounded healers.” Our own wounds can be used to bring healing to others. Unfortunately, some people take their wounds and use them to hurt others, becoming “wounded wounders.” But it’s not intentional. They’ve just been blinded, as so many others have been as well. I’m thankful for the hundreds of rape-conceived people whom I’ve met who are willing to share their frequently painful stories — in order that hearts would be softened and others would be spared.

Rape Exception Amendment Defeated, Children With Fetal Anomalies Thrown Under The Bus

On Thursday, February 13th, the Mississippi House passed HB 1400 — a 20 week abortion ban known at the Preborn Pain Act, with an overwhelming vote of 89-22. A rape-incest exception amendment was introduced by Rep. Toby Barker, R-Hattiesburg, but was defeated by a vote of 73-40. So that’s 73 state reps in Mississippi who value the lives of people like me who were conceived in rape — something to celebrate, and 16 otherwise pro-life members who apparently still need an encounter with someone who was conceived in rape. At first glance, I cheered because many of these fetal pain bills exclude children conceived in rape from protection, such as the federal Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which passed the House last June, but stands no chance of passing the Senate this session, and certainly has no chance of becoming law any time soon because the President would never sign it. Congressman Eric Cantor of Virginia introduced the rape-incest exception, and was inexplicably rewarded for doing so with a 100% approval rating from NRLC. The rape exception in the federal bill was particularly painful to me, because it makes it sound like we are such mutants that we’re incapable of feeling pain like everyone else, or that it’s just absolutely irrelevant that innocent children conceived in rape feel pain — “They can just suffer for all we care!” A month later,Texas passed a similar bill in July and I celebrated the fact that children conceived in rape were not targeted in that piece of legislation, though dismayed to learn that children with fetal anomalies were excluded from protection, as they were in the Georgia bill, the Louisiana bill, and now the Mississippi bill — all very conservative pro-life states. Don’t the legislators realize that most late-term abortions are done for this reason? Jennifer Morbelli died last year after Leroy Carhart performed a late-term abortion, which she sought because she was told her baby had fetal anomalies.
Some of my pro-life friends criticized my opposition of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and, more recently, the federal No Taxes For Abortion Act, which also had a rape exception. These friends said things like, “You can’t throw a baby under the bus who is already under there.” But I explained that a rescue bus is being pulled up and everyone loaded, when suddenly, the bus driver begins to complain that he’s offended because there are rape-conceived babies on the bus, and that he’s not leaving the abortion clinic depot until they are kicked off. Unruly crowds are gathering with the media outside the bus, chanting “Kick them off! Kick them off!” The bus organizers — national pro-life groups — give in and tell all of the rape-conceived kids that they’re going to have to get off the rescue bus. They inevitably are run over and killed. To make matters worse, they give a hefty tip to the discriminating bus driver in the way of a 100% approval rating and PAC endorsements. And that’s how the children conceived in rape end up being thrown under the bus — this was no accident.
The next argument from my pro-life friends is that excluding rape-conceived children is no different than excluding pre-born children under 20 weeks. Though I don’t particularly like these bills because I don’t think our rights as persons should be related to whether we feel pain or not (would anesthesia being administered really satisfy any of us?), I do, however, see a tremendous difference here. After all, preborn children under 20 weeks are not systematically targeted for abortion in the same way that children conceived in rape and incest are. We just don’t see parental notification bills “except in the case of preborn children under 20 weeks,” or “only for preborn children over 20 weeks,” or in informed consent bills, sonogram bills, taxpayer funding of abortion bans, etc., etc., with such a discriminatory exclusion. In Congress, it’s somehow become the norm to see bills with rape-incest exceptions.
Furthermore, politicians don’t take the position that they are pro-life “except in the case of preborn children under 20 weeks.” And if they did, they’d never get a pro-life organization’s PAC endorsement! But we quite often see candidates and legislators with the rape-incest exception as their official position. We don’t endorse them in Michigan and in many other states like Georgia, South Dakota and Alaska. But nationally and in the majority of states, it’s the rule to endorse them. These exceptions — and the ready willingness of pro-life individuals and groups to compromise — serve to devalue the lives of not only those who are yet unborn, but also the lives of children born as a result of rape, and create more hardship for the rape survivor mothers who chose life for their children, grieving to see how much their children are devalued. No other segment of the population is as demonized, stigmatized, marginalized and discriminated against as the child conceived in rape — clearly those Jesus said are “the least of these” in today’s society.
Just recently, Bishop Paul S. Morton Sr. said at the 2013 Pastors and Ministry Workers Conference in Nashville: “A man rapes you on the street from a demon seed and you’ve got to have that baby from a demon seed, that’s not what God conceived.” Sean Hannity echoed the same sentiment when he interviewed Lila Rose on April 30, 2013. She skillfully explained that a child should not receive the death penalty for the crimes of the father, just as I explained to him when we met backstage at a Citizens United event at the Republican National Convention in August, 2012. Sean admitted to Lila during the radio interview that he’s intellectually inconsistent with his rape exception position, but then, in referring to the child conceived in rape, he said: “It’s almost like an evil seed.” Ouch!!! Then he asked Lila Rose, “Doesn’t the Bible say that the sins of the father shall be passed on to the child?” He’s clearly unaware of Deuteronomy 24:16 — “Parents are not to be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their parents; each will die for their own sin.” And Ezekiel 18:14, 17b-20 — “But suppose this son has a son who sees all the sins his father commits, and though he sees them, he does not do such things. . . . He keeps my laws and follows my decrees. He will not die for his father’s sin; he will surely live. But his father will die for his own sin. Yet you ask, ‘Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?’ Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all my decrees, he will surely live. The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.” Taking the time to have a sound theology is very worthwhile.
So I was elated to see that another bill was passed just last week with no rape exceptions and that a rape exception amendment had been overwhelmingly defeated in Mississippi. But then I read the actual bill and discovered the other problematic exceptions. The 20 week abortion prohibitions “do not apply to abortions that are necessary to avert the death or substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman or abortions that are performed on unborn children with severe fetal abnormalities. ‘Severe fetal abnormality’ means a life threatening physical condition that, in reasonable medical judgment, regardless of the provision of life saving medical treatment, is incompatible with life outside the womb.”
But there’s a glimmer of seemingly protective language in the case of an abortion to save a mother’s life and/or her major bodily function, though specifically excluding the child with fetal anomalies: “a physician performing or inducing an abortion under subsection (1) of this section shall terminate the pregnancy in the manner that, in the physician’s reasonable medical judgment, provides the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive.” So it’s not so much allowing an abortion in such a case, but instead, allowing a physician to induce labor, or to perform a C-Section. But then there’s an unfortunate and gaping caveat, that those provisions — “do not apply to an abortion performed or induced if there exists a condition that, in the physician’s reasonable medical judgment, so complicates the medical condition of the woman that, to avert the woman’s death or a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, other than a psychological condition, it necessitates, as applicable: a) The immediate abortion of her pregnancy without the delay necessary to determine the probable post-conception age of the unborn child; (b) The abortion of her pregnancy even though the post-conception age of the unborn child is twenty (20) or more weeks; or (c) The use of a method of abortion other than a method described by Section 41-41-139(2)” — which is the “best opportunity for the unborn child to survive section.” They entirely nullified this protective language by putting a life of the mother and impairment of major bodily function exclusion on top of the life of the mother and impairment of major bodily function protective provisions! It’s absolute nonsense. But sometimes that’s how legislation is made — satisfying one legislator with a particular provision, then another legislator with a countering provision.
The “severe fetal abnormality” – “incompatible with life” portion is extremely troubling. Our Save The 1 speakers, Brad Smith and his wife Jesi, have a precious 5 year old daughter named Faith who was given such a diagnosis while yet unborn. She has Trisomy 18 — the same chromosomal anomaly which Sen. Rick Santorum’s daughter Bella has. In fact, the two families are friends, and the Santorums helped the Smith family to advocate for the proper care which Faith needed. The Smiths are paying it forward by advocating on behalf of many of other families now. Because of their experiences, the Smiths got the Medical Good-Faith Provisions Act — the first of its kind in the nation — unanimously passed and signed into law on June 11, 2013 in Michigan last year. This law prohibits a health facility or agency from maintaining or implementing a medical futility policy unless it is in writing, and must then provide a copy upon request to a patient or resident, prospective patient or resident, or parent or legal guardian of any of those people. “Medical futility policy” is one that encourages or allows a health facility or agency employee, or other health care professional to withhold or discontinue medical treatment or care for a patient or resident based on medical futility. “Medical futility” would mean a judgment that further medical treatment of a patient or resident would have no useful result. The Smith family had faced an unwritten medical futility policy of a hospital when it refused treatment of Faith. When she later received treatment, it turned out to have a very useful result — she didn’t die! Brad and Jesi have been in delivery rooms where doctors were telling the parents that if the baby with a “severe fetal abnormality” is born not breathing, they will not resuscitate! These children born with these special needs often end up with those issues becoming “incompatible with life” only because the hospitals have futility policies and refuse to treat! These laws, such as the Mississippi Preborn Pain Act, which ruthlessly discriminate against these children are incredibly unjust. By endorsing these unjust bills, the pro-life movement is not only crippling these innocent children, they are perpetuating the discrimination and devaluation of their lives within the medical community, they are neutering their late-term abortion bans, and they are ultimately crippling the entire pro-life cause. Isaiah 45:9-12a: “Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker . . . . Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘The potter has no hands’? Woe to the one who says to a father, ‘What have you begotten?’ or to a mother, ‘What have you brought to birth?’ “This is what the Lord says — the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands? It is I who made the earth and created mankind on it.”
Think about it — does any other social cause movement allow for exceptions with their politicians? Would the NAACP endorse a candidate who said he was against racial discrimination — except in the case of albinos and those with vitiligo? Would PETA endorse a candidate who supported animal rights, except for skunks? Would Greenpeace endorse a candidate who was against polluting the environment, except in the case of Rhode Island? Would the American Family Association endorse a candidate who supported traditional marriage, except in the case of transgenders? Can you see how ridiculous it is that so much of the pro-life movement has been compromising on it’s fundamental principles? Would any pro-life organization still support a piece of legislation that had an exception in the case of bi-racial rape? Just imagine the national outcry from civil rights leaders if such an exception were introduced! So why allow the systematic discrimination of children conceived in rape or incest, and children with special needs?

With edits: The Right to Life of Giraffes — What About Preborn Humans?

From: Rebecca Kiessling <>
To: Blog <>
Cc: John- Henry Westen <>; Steve Jalsevac <>
Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 6:26 PM
Subject: The Right to Life of Giraffes — What About Preborn Humans?

by Rebecca Kiessling

Tuesday evening, February 11th, Anderson Cooper began a segment explaining that Marius the giraffe was killed by zookeepers in Copenhagen, despite being “perfectly healthy . . . , simply because his genes weren’t good for their own breeding program.” Hmm, a healthy innocent creature was killed because it was considered to be less than perfect? Instantly, I recognized the pro-life rhetoric coming out on CNN, though I doubt they recognized it themselves. It went on, with Cooper talking about how there were multiple offers to adopt this creature who “didn’t need to be killed, (but the zookeeper) turned them all down.” I’m reminded of a case I had as an attorney in 1997 involving a local 12 year old girl who was raped by her older brother. At 7 months pregnant, her parents were trying to get permission from the court to take her out of state for a late-term abortion. Multiple offers came flooding in from all over the country to adopt the baby, and/or to set up a college fund for the 12 year old pregnant mother, if only she would give birth to this innocent baby. The preborn baby was determined to be perfectly healthy, though the genes had been a concern because of the incest. The media was outraged in this instance as well — not that an innocent creature was to be needlessly killed, but that anyone else would dare meddle in the killing. The judge ultimately allowed the parents to take their daughter to Dr. Tiller in Wichita, Kansas. She went through a 3 day procedure, but delivered a dead baby because her parents did not value that life.

The exchanges throughout the Anderson Cooper 360 program Tuesday night were just like the dialogue in an abortion debate, except they used the term “animal” instead of “child”: “What’s worse that could happen to an animal, though, than being killed? I mean, you say you don’t want to send to it a place you don’t know what’s going to happen to it. You know what’s going to happen to it at your place” The zookeepers response was right on cue: ” Because first of all because it was a surplus to the population. . . . But the most important thing for us is that an animal has to have a good life as long as it lives, be it short life or long life. It has to be a good life. If you send it to a place where you cannot take responsibility for it anymore, you risk it going to what we would call a substandard place. . . . It has a value as long as it lives. It has to have a good life as long as it lives.” It’s the old quality of life argument! And the zookeeper spoke of how typically zoos get to be in control — he should have had a placard: “My zoo, my choice!”

When Anderson Cooper went on to interview the famous animal lover Jack Hanna, he asked about the Copenhagen zookeeper’s comments on adoption and quality of life. Hanna’s response was: “There were others . . . that could have taken it. That will become clear shortly. Who are we to judge, Anderson, who should live and not live a short life?” Wow — that’s how I feel about preborn babies! More of the exchange between Anderson Cooper and Jack Hanna is very telling, with both arguing that the giraffe should have a right to life. Please don’t miss how the term “animal” should be replaced by the term “preborn child”:

COOPER: What he seems to be saying is that the animal itself doesn’t really have any right to live, there’s no inherent value in the animal living out its natural life, which just seems odd. . . . It just seems odd that there’s no sense from this guy that the animal itself, the life of the animal actually matters. It’s just a product in the breeding program.

HANNA: Right. I like that term you use, a product in the breeding program. Anderson, this is a living creature. . . . You have an obligation to that animal, Anderson. That’s a living creature. God put that creature on earth for certain reasons. It teaches responsibility. It teaches love.

COOPER: At some point the animals themselves should have a right to actually having a life.

HANNA: They sure should, shouldn’t they? We are now trying to build places in this country, our country, to take surplus animals where they can live out their regular lives and also a place where older animals can live out their regular lives. . . . You are one of the few reporters that have gotten out there and understand why it’s so important. That’s what is important because you’ve taught yourself — you and me — out in the wild. How many people can do that? Not 1/10 of 1 percent. We’re trying to bring that to them in a humane way and take care of the animals for their lifetime.

Anderson Cooper makes this final statement before the close of the segment — “It just seems odd. I kind of wonder if the zoo has a poster somewhere that says, enjoy our animals. We’re going to kill 20 of them this year. But enjoy them while they last. No one I think knowing that would kind of keep going to that zoo. It just seems an odd set of priorities.”

How many people would keep going to Planned Parenthood if they knew how many preborn babies they kill every day? If they had posters out front advertising what they really do — with the truth of abortion, who would want to go in there?

Two days, ago, Jack Hanna was interviewed by a guest host on Anderson Cooper 360, also addressing the killing of the giraffe. He said, “That’s how I want them to remember the giraffes, they want to love something and save something. We’re trying to educate people, if you don’t see something and love something, you can’t save something. . . . I’ve had things that bothered me in my life, and this is one of the top five. . . . I can’t even compare this, in our country, we don’t do that, we don’t ever intend to do that, we’re there to educate you and educate people about these beautiful creatures God gave us, that’s what we’re there for.”

In the pro-life movement, we try to do the same thing — to educate people, to show them the beauty of preborn children through ultrasounds so that these children can be seen, loved, and saved. Jack Hanna thinks that we don’t commit this needless killing of God’s innocent creatures in the U.S., but he’s wrong — we do far worse through legalized abortion. The question is, what will it take for the world to finally be outraged by abortion? Over the years, I’ve asked pro-choice people at what point would it disturb them to know what happens to aborted babies? I’ve asked, “What if it were discovered that an abortion clinic was feeding the remains of aborted babies to their Dobermans? Would that bother you? What if you knew your aborted child had been fed to Dobermans?” If they are just meaningless, insignificant tissue, then it shouldn’t matter, right? But it makes people uneasy when they begin to think about the fact that the babies have remains — heads, bodies, fingers and toes, and that babies do not just magically disappear and vanish into thin air, but that someone outside of their control makes a decision about what happens to their baby’s remains.

If there were actual video footage of an abortion being performed in front of a group of children, and then the babies remains were fed to lions


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