This Video Will Make You Rethink Abortion in Cases of Rape or Incest

National   Rebecca Downs   May 20, 2014   |   4:55PM    Washington, DC

In an updated version to Conceived in Rape & Other Exceptions, Rebecca Kiessling, who herself was conceived in rape, as well as others who were conceived in rape or became pregnant from rape, share their stories and answer questions about the hard cases. There is also a ConceivedinRape YouTube channel.

rapeexception3The hour long production is divided into several questions, which ask what those who are pro-life, even in these “hard cases” are likely to hear. Such questions include “How can you deny abortion to a young girl who is a victim of rape or incest?” “How can you force a victim of violent rape to give birth to the rapist’s child?” “How can you bring a special needs child into the world, only to suffer and die?” and “How can you force a woman to die from an abnormal pregnancy if she can be saved by an abortion?” Rebecca Kiessling is a well-known pro-life figure who was conceived in rape, and speaks several times, mostly to open a lot of the segments.

The video begins with Rebecca’s story, of how she was conceived when her mother was abducted and raped by a serial rapist, and how she came to discover the truth about her birth father. Rebecca mentions that when people make the rape exception, or are “pro-choice especially in cases of rape,” it affects her personally. This same sentiment is echoed by others conceived in rape.

While many pro-lifers make these same remarks based on sincerely held beliefs, those who appear in the video give their statements based on real experiences and real feelings. Many of them do raise questions to abortion advocates and those who make exceptions. If the abortion industry and those who truly wish to help women, particularly those who have been violated by rape or incest, care, these are the stories which they should be listening to.

Many stories echoed several themes throughout, including what society says about those conceived in rape. Liz Carl, who conceived in rape, mentions how society tells rape victims and the world that there is something wrong with rape babies and so they cannot be brought into it. In saying so though, society robs women of joy and healing. Wendy and Jim Sable, who are married to each other and were both of them conceived out of crisis challenge society’s idea that they are any less loved or wanted. Their adoptive parents would certainly argue otherwise. Monica Kelsey who was conceived out of rape talks of how just as her mother went to an abortion clinic in 1972 because of peer pressure over her carrying a child conceived in such a manner, society today tells girls to get an abortion, as their child will not amount to anything and have a black cloud for their whole life.  Monica expressed how she does not have a black cloud over her, and rather loves her life.

Another theme which is echoed by pro-lifers and those in the video alike is that rape is not the child’s fault. In beginning one of the segments, Rebecca Kiessling addresses how when someone makes the rape exception, it is like saying that she deserved the death penalty for the crimes of her father. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled, however, that there is no death penalty for rapists and child molesters, as it is regarded as cruel and unusual punishment. People who make this exception to care about the woman don’t care about the child.

Many women who were raped and became pregnant as a result expressed that they knew they could not abort when it was not their baby’s fault. The very sentiment of a child not deserving the death penalty for the crimes of his or her father is mentioned several times. Lianna Rebolledo was only 12 years old when she was abducted, raped and became pregnant but still felt this way. Ashley Boyer reflects on how she felt this way the day she found out she was pregnant, and emphasis throughout telling her story that the rape was not her fault and not her son’s fault.

Even more prevalent is that these women felt that they found healing from their child. Ashley Sigret, who is post-abortive after he rape resulted in her becoming pregnant, says that she sees women who chose to keep their children and that there is something good and positive to see in an innocent child. Lianna Rebolledo’s heavily expresses this sentiment as well. And Jackie Evans, who became pregnant through incestuous rape emphasis that women are stronger, and that their child will bring them healing.

Rebecca Kiessling perhaps best captures such sentiments of these children. Rape victims do not regard their children in bad ways, but rather see their child as a blessing that helped them to overcome their rape. They did not have to go through the rape alone. Conceiving a child was what made them get help and counseling they might not have gotten otherwise. And in some ways the child is even a little angel to keep these women company during their time of healing. Rebecca reiterates that it is a fallacy to think that the worst thing to happen to a rape victim is a baby when an abortion is.

That abortion makes the rape worse is an idea that is brought up by many women in the video. However, Ashley Sigret can speak to it personally. Ashley had to deal with killing her child and nightmares from the rape and so could never get over her rape fully. She understands how people want to be gentle with rape victims and that it is hard for them to understand sometimes. Abortion adds a weight on top of the rape, though.

Pam Stenzel’s mother was raped at 15 and became pregnant with her as a result but placed her up for adoption. Pam speaks of counseling women who became pregnant from rape and that women who have been raped and abort are still victims of rape and assault, but that there is now a victimization of a child through abortion and that is difficult to deal with in counseling. She has never met anyone who wishes they could have aborted the child they gave birth to, but she has met women who regretted their abortions from rape. Pam even speaks of a woman still suffering from that pain 53 years after her abortion.

As mentioned by Rebecca Kiessling, conceiving a child out of rape will bring attention to the situation and ensure that there is help. In explaining how abortion is not what a rape victim needs and why, Pam Stenzel mentions that abortion only truly benefits the rapist in the situation, and he is not the person we should be showing compassion for. The abortion industry also has a long history of failing to report sexual abuse and send the abused girl right back to the one who committed the assault, as Planned Parenthood has done. Jackie Evans was 17 when she conceived through incestuous rape. She emphasizes what a blessing her child has been and how she has provided her with hope, a purpose and made her who she is. But Jackie also says how if she had had an abortion, she would have remained in her same situation.

The video also discusses other exceptions made when it comes to abortion, including children born with special needs. Melissa Smith appears with her children, including her son Joseph, who is special needs. She emphasizes the point that each life originates with and is ordained by God, and so who are we to take life? It is not up to us. Melissa shared with an atheist that he had been given to them by God and so she didn’t plan on being the one to end his life. God would do so if it was his business.

Such segments feature Dr. James P. Johnston who warns that when doctors say women need to have a life-saving abortion, it is often more so for the doctor’s benefit. Rebecca Kiessling also argues that abortion has nothing to do with and is never healthcare. The mother’s life can be saved by inducing labor and prematurely delivering the baby, so that healthcare can be provided to both. She has a doctor friend who delivers babies prematurely and that sometimes the baby lives and sometimes the baby dies but there is an attempt to save both. This is not the case with an abortion.

Although her story has to do with the segment on rape, Pam Stenzel brings much to the overall debate as to if pro-lifers should make exceptions when it comes to abortion. For when we make exceptions for any such case, we open ourselves up to others, as abortion advocates will attempt to use these reasons for abortion which make up such a small percentage to make it legal for any and all reasons. The media is not our friend in this movement, and so we must be friends with each other. If we enter into a compromise when it comes to the most important truth that it is wrong to kill an innocent human life regardless of conception, we are playing into the argument from the other side. Pam is very clear on this, and that all children deserve the right to life. To make exceptions negates our argument and at the end of the day, compromise has not worked. The community needs to speak up about why abortion is wrong and that’s because an innocent human being’s life is taken.

The video closes with website resources as well as an urging from Ashley Sigret for those women who are post-abortive. Regardless of one’s experience with these hard cases, Conceived in Rape & Other Exceptions features many touching stories which will no doubt inspire or at least get the viewer to think more about these exceptions.