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Rick Perry Now Opposes Abortions in Cases of Rape, Incest

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 12/28/11 11:34 AM

National, Politics

At a pro-life presidential forum last night, Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry announced that he had a change of heart on abortion in cases of rape or incest — now opposing abortion in such rare cases.

Perry said his change of heart came after meeting with Rebecca Kiessling, a pro-life attorney who was born after her birthmother was a victim of sexual assault.

“This is something that is relatively new and it goes back to a meeting with Rebecca Kiessling, who was at the The Gift of Life,” Perry said about meeting her at a recent showing of the new movie. “We had a fairly lengthy and heartfelt conversation about how she was conceived in rape. Looking in her eyes, I couldn’t come up with an answer to defend exceptions for rape and incest.”

“Over the course of the last few weeks, the Christmas holiday, reflecting on that – I would suggest that my pro-life position has been rather strong as the Governor of Texas. But she made a statement to me that was really strong and pierced my heart. As I signed that document, I will suggest to you that all I can tell you is God was working on my heart,” he said.

“You’re seeing a transformation,” Perry said of his thinking on abortion and called his conversation with Kiessling “powerful.”

Kiessling described that conversation with Perry and said it left an indelible mark on her as well.

“He was stunned as I handed him my DVDs, asking me more about my story. Then he said he wanted my autograph, which I tried to brush off, but he ripped open the cellophane, pulled out the DVD and a marker, asking me to sign it to his daughter, which I did,” she said, signing “100% Pro-Life, Rebecca Kiessling.”

Kiessling continued:

“He asked more about my story, then he told me that I was his heroine. I thanked him and said, “Funny you say that, because my question for you is — would you be my hero? I’m alive because of pro-life leaders who were my heroes. They made sure abortion was illegal, even in cases of rape. They are my heroes and I owe my life to them. Would you be my hero too?’”

“He said, “Yes, I would!” And I replied, “But you make the rape exception.” He responded, “Wow, this is so powerful.” I said to him, “When you make that rape exception, it’s like you’re saying to me that I deserved the death penalty for the crimes of my father. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, my father didn’t even deserve the death penalty. The Supreme Court has said there is no death penalty for rapists. But you say that I, as the innocent child of rape, deserved the death penalty?” And Perry said, “No, no, I don’t believe that.”

He hesitated, then went on, “Wow, you know, tonight’s event, and this film, is all about changing hearts and minds. Right now, you’re changing MY heart.” I looked him in the eye and asked, “No more exceptions?” He looked intently back at me and said, “No more exceptions.”

He went on to say that he’d never really put a face to the issue and never considered it from the perspective of someone like me, then he said again that I’d changed his heart on this issue. When he gave his speech later, he was talking about protecting every child, then looked at me and said something like “ALL are worthy of protection.” And that’s how he ended his speech.