Darrow Miller and Friends

Conceived in Rape and Worthy of Life: The Rebecca Kiessling Story

“I’m pro-life except in cases of rape.”

Who hasn’t heard that sentiment? You may have expressed it yourself. Here’s another story that powerfully contradicts the idea that abortion should be tolerated in cases of rape.

A few weeks ago we told the story of Valerie Gatto, who was conceived in rape and has grown to become a compassionate, talented, and beautiful young woman recently crowned Miss Pennsylvania 2014.

Should Valerie have been aborted? Would that have been better?

A child conceived in rape does not deserve to live?

How about a restatement for clarity? Instead of “I’m pro-life except in cases of rape” try this: “A child conceived in rape does not deserve to live.” There’s no substantive difference between the two, and the second clears much of the fog.

Nazi Germany used the term lebensunwertes leben (“life unworthy of life”) as a designation for people the Third Reich deemed had no right to live. By this concept Hitler justified the death camps where 11 million people, including 6 million Jews, were murdered. Their lives were judged not worthy. We look back at that and say, “Never Again!” Our words are empty.

Today in the United States and other Western countries we use lebensunwertes leben as the standard for children who are mentally or physically handicapped, for the elderly who are no longer “productive members of society,” or the Valerie Gattos who were conceived in rape.

Rebecca Kiessling conceived in rape

Recently we learned of another woman whose story parallels that of Ms. Gatto. I speak of Rebecca Kiessling. She has defiantly stood against the culture of death that assumes that a child conceived in rape is a life unworthy of life.

Rebecca was conceived when her mother was raped at knife point. She survived the pro-abortion culture. Today Ms. Kiessling is a family law attorney, blogger, and pro-life speaker. She actively speaks out against the rape exception in Obama care (as well as other legislation, including some “pro-life” measures that grant a rape exception).

For obvious reasons, Ms. Kiessling staunchly opposes the rape exception that directly impugns her life and the lives of 32,000 babies conceived from rape every year.

“It’s very frustrating to just be summarily dismissed like this,” she writes. “[This] is my life that you’re talking about.”

At her blog Kiessling writes personally and passionately about her fight to save the lives of children conceived in rape. In her DVD, What Rape Exceptions Really Mean, Rebecca says,

Have you ever considered how really insulting it is to say to someone, “I think your mother should have been able to abort you.”? It’s like saying, “If I had my way, you’d be dead right now.” And that is the reality with which I live every time someone says they are pro-choice or pro-life “except in cases of rape” because I absolutely would have been aborted if it had been legal in Michigan when I was an unborn child, and I can tell you that it hurts. But I know that most people don’t put a face to this issue — for them abortion is just a concept — with a quick cliché, they sweep it under the rug and forget about it. I do hope that, as a child conceived in rape, I can help to put a face, a voice, and a story to this issue.

In reply, some have said to me, “So does that mean you’re pro-rape?” Though ludicrous, I’ll address it because I understand that they aren’t thinking things through. There is a huge moral difference because I did exist, and my life would have been ended because I would have been killed by a brutal abortion. You can only be killed and your life can only be devalued once you exist. Being thankful that my life was protected in no way makes me pro-rape.

Thank you to my 100% pro-life heroes!

Go here for more on this story. See more at Rebecca Kiessling’s website.

If you are inclined to support a rape-exclusion clause to pro-life legislation, please think about Rebecca Kiessling and Valerie Gatto and what they are telling us about the thousands of children conceived in rape every year.

– Darrow Miller

Related posts:

Elizabeth Joice: The Mother Who Gave Her Life For Her Baby

Rape, Abortion, and the Miss USA Contest

Abortion Doesn’t Contribute to Women’s Health

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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).

1 Comment

  1. Jon

    November 26, 2014 - 10:57 am