I stayed late at work tonight to attend a lecture being sponsored by the UK Students for Life organization. The speaker was Rebecca Kiessling, a lawyer and pro-life speaker who was conceived in rape. For her full story, the stories of others who were also conceived in rape, and more, check out her website.
Her talk was great. She had a great style for speaking with college students and her story of discovering that she had been conceived in rape was truly amazing. To hear how it effected her perception of herself for so long was remarkable, especially how she moved beyond it. Most notable of course was her emphasis on putting a face on the issue of abortion. As someone who is a product of rape, she is a face for all those people who think abortion should still be an option in the case of rape.
I was struck by the connection she made so vividly between the value of every life (hers and everyone else in the room), the false promises of feminism, and the tragedy of abortion. The feminists tell women that they can't handle being a mom at that time of their life, that they aren't strong enough to deal with raising a child, and so on and so on, thus telling them that abortion is really their only option. All that does is make us feel weak and helpless. I don't believe that was the original idea behind feminism. Don't the struggles and challenges in your life make you a stronger person? Isn't it better to give life and give a child the gift of adoption than to murder that child? That child is precious and his or her life is valuable. All our lives are valuable.
But that doesn't mean that our lives always go as planned. Rebecca wanted to be a lawyer; she imagined owning a fancy car and being a wealthy partner in a fancy firm. She did not envision being a mom to five kids, driving a 12-person van, and practicing family law. Her perspective on life is different now because of her own journey of discovering herself and the value of her own life.
Why do feminists make women feel that they can't raise a child alone? Why are these women made to feel that abortion is their only option? Shouldn't the feminist movement be about building women up, helping them when they face difficulties and unplanned events in their lives that will make them stronger in the end? Rebecca is a woman, too. Why is it okay for people to tell her that her mother should have been able to legally abort her? She is here only because abortion was illegal at the time (1968/69). Norma McCorvey's daughter is also walking on this earth today because her mother was unable to obtain a legal abortion. (McCorvey is Jane Roe, from the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.)
I am pro-life, have been for a while. But I got a different perspective tonight. I saw a face on the abortion issue. I was reminded that there are many men and women around, not much older than me, who could have been aborted had abortion been legal at the time of their conception. It's heartbreaking to know that my generation and all those that have followed are missing many of our brothers and sisters.
Abortions in this country peaked at around 1987. When were you born? I sat in that room tonight with a bunch of college students, all of whom were probably born around 1989/90 or thereabouts.
I wonder how many more students could have been in that room tonight.