Rebecca Kiessling Can Better Explain Mourdock’s Distorted Comments on Rape
posted at 6:32 am on October 25, 2012 by Matt Vespa
Yes, I still think that Richard Mourdock could have used a better anecdote to convey his pro-life stance, but the fact remains that most people would agree with him. I probably should backtrack a bit. I admit my passion sometimes gets the better of me, and I’m trying to keep my hopes up that Republicans can retake the U.S. Senate. However, to label this as Akin-esque may have been overblown and a bit sensationalized. “A tempest in a teapot,” according to Ed Morrissey, who commented on this development on his show yesterday afternoon.
However, perusing through some blogs, I came across a story, which strikes at the heart of this issue. It involves a woman named Rebecca Kiessling, who was the product of a rape – and would have been aborted if it had been legal. She was put up for adoption, and eventually found out the circumstances surrounding her conception.
On her website, she wrote that:
although my birthmother was thrilled to meet me, she did tell me that she actually went to two back-alley abortionists and I was almost aborted. After the rape, the police referred her to a counselor who basically told her that abortion was the thing to do. She said there were no crisis pregnancy centers back then, but my birthmother assured me that if there had been, she would have gone if at least for a little more guidance. The rape counselor is the one who set her up with the back-alley abortionists. For the first, she said it was the typical back-alley conditions that you hear about as to why “she should have been able to safely and legally abort” me — blood and dirt all over the table and floor. Those back-alley conditions and the fact that it was illegal caused her to back out, as with most women.
Then she got hooked up with a more expensive abortionist. This time she was to meet someone at night by the Detroit Institute of Arts. Someone would approach her, say her name, blindfold her, put her in the backseat of a car, take her and then abort me . . . , then blindfold her again and drop her back off. And do you know what I think is so pathetic? It’s that I know there are an awful lot of people out there who would hear me describe those conditions and their response would just be a pitiful shake of the head in disgust: “It’s just so awful that your birthmother should have had to have gone through that in order to have been able to abort you!” Like that’s compassionate?!! I fully realize that they think they are being compassionate, but that’s pretty cold-hearted from where I stand, don’t you think? That is my life that they are so callously talking about and there is nothing compassionate about that position. My birthmother is okay — her life went on and in fact, she’s doing great, but I would have been killed, my life would have been ended. I may not look the same as I did when I was four years old or four days old yet unborn in my mother’s womb, but that was still undeniably me and I would have been killed through a brutal abortion.
According to the research of Dr. David Reardon, director of the Elliot Institute, co-editor of the book Victims and Victors: Speaking Out About Their Pregnancies, Abortions and Children Resulting From Sexual Assault, and author of the article “Rape, Incest and Abortion: Searching Beyond the Myths,” most women who become pregnant out of sexual assault do not want an abortion and are in fact worse-off after an abortion. See http://www.afterabortion.org .
So most people’s position on abortion in cases of rape is based upon faulty premises: 1) the rape victim would want an abortion, 2) she’d be better off with an abortion, and 3) that child’s life just isn’t worth having to put her through the pregnancy. I hope that my story, and the other stories posted on this site, will be able to help dispel that last myth.
Her story and her activism has influenced some prominent members of politics, like Mike Huckabee and Gov. Rick Perry, and it does ask a great question to those who believe in the rape and incest exception – which is why is her life, or any life conceived through rape, valued less in the political discourse of this issue? It’s a macabre question, but it does, or at least should, point out that life shouldn’t be put on a graduated scale.
Rebecca is now a pro-life activist, lawyer, happily married, and is a mother to five children.
I admit that I was pro-choice in college, but it wasn’t due to any liberal sensibilities. I don’t like government killing enterprise with regulations and I don’t like government interfering with people’s personal lives. I took the regrettably nonchalant position that it was a procedure between a doctor and a patient and that government shouldn’t interfere. In short, I just wanted government to stay away from Americans’ personal lives and the means in which they earn a living. However, this story, and many like them, changed my opinion. As an adoptee myself, although I don’t know the circumstances of why my birthmother gave me up, I empathize with the pro-life argument completely. In this case, why was Ms. Kiessling the first to be eliminated for something she wasn’t responsible for?
Furthermore, seeing the antics at the Democratic National Convention, and the obsession that Democrats and liberals have when it comes to abortion – I simply disgusted. It begs the question, when did abortion become the only legitimate issue concerning women’s rights? Furthermore, when did abortion become a woman’s only acceptable form of choice? The debate continues.
It’s a question liberals either ignore, prevaricate, or scoff at – which is unconscionable. How is Kiessling’s message of everyone deserving a right to life controversial?
While I still maintain that Mourdock could have framed his position better, due to the political minefield that exists when you bring up these issues; he’s not wrong at heart. However, such issues become trivialized, distorted, and diminished in importance when conservatives fall into the whirlpool liberals have set up for them on these wedge issues. As Obama lags behind the polls, he wants to make 2012 an election solely about ‘war on women’ nonsense.
Nevertheless, while some in the media obsess about whether Mourdock implied that rape is morally permissible, they should probably read Kiessling’s story first before reporting on anything. I sure wish I had.
These issues aren’t front and center during this election cycle, but they still need to be addressed. I just want to repeal Obamacare first before we tackle them – that’s all.
Recently in the Green Room: