On Jan. 22, millions of Americans will stand up for life on the 44th anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion on demand in the United States. That 7-2 decision may well mark the darkest day in America’s history.
In this editorial I want us to consider some very important people who almost never were, who narrowly escaped being aborted. I also want us to consider the question: Does rape justify an abortion?
Alveda King, director of Civil Rights for the Unborn, declares that her grandfather, Martin Luther King, Sr., convinced her mother not to abort her.
Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, admitted he was spared from abortion via adoption and expressed his wish that other children had been given a similar positive fate.
Tim Tebow, the famous American football player and analyst, would have been aborted if his parents had heeded their physician’s counsel. During his mother’s pregnancy she suffered a life-threatening infection. Consequently, the drugs she was prescribed caused a severe placental abruption. Doctors convinced her to abort the child or risk endangering her own life. In the end, she went against the orders and kept the baby.
Marlin Stutzman, an American politician and member of the U.S. House of Representatives since 2010, was nearly aborted. His teenage mom allegedly considered aborting him. As rhetoric for anti-abortion legislation, he frequently tells the story of his mother’s decision to keep him.
Some of you will remember Ethel Waters, the famed blues and jazz singer as well as frequent soloist for Billy Graham Crusades. She was the second African American ever nominated for an Academy Award and a Grammy award- winning singer. Her story is different from the previous celebrities, because she was conceived in rape and yet reached great heights in her life and career.
The story of Rebecca Kiessling is a compelling one. She was the keynote speaker for the most recent Georgia Right to Life REACH Benefit Dinner. Kiessling, president of Save the 1, learned at age 18 she was conceived when her birth mother, who lived in Michigan, was brutally raped at knifepoint by a serial sex offender. Her mother was counseled to obtain an abortion, which at that time in Michigan was illegal even in cases of rape. During that time, her mother went to two back-alley abortionists and Rebecca was almost aborted. She was ultimately saved because he mother simply could not go through with an illegal abortion.
Rebecca said, “I was devastated when I discovered that I was conceived out of a rape. I felt so ugly and unwanted and thought, ‘Who would ever love me?’ I didn’t want to be a part of that classification – conceived as a result of a rape.
“But I wanted to meet my birth mother, and was one of the first persons in Michigan permitted to have the name of her birth mother. I wanted to find out if she would be willing to see me.”
Kiessling added, “I called her and we were able to meet. I discovered my real name was Judy Ann Miracle. I was a ‘miracle’ baby, but she then filled me in on all the horrible details. She was small – a mere 4 feet, 10 inches tall and weighed 90 pounds. She was a single mom and one night headed to the grocery store when a big man accosted her and raped her.
“To hear my biological father was a serial rapist was difficult to accept. I felt totally worthless and disposable. My birth mother did not choose life for me; she chose abortion. But there were some pro-life advocates in Michigan who interceded and chose life for me. I am indebted to them.
“For some people a near death experience is when they wake up from a coma after a terrible accident,” explained Kiessling, “but for me the probability of an abortion was my near death experience. The fact that my life was spared was not luck, but the result of pro-life legislation and pro-life advocates that kept me from becoming another abortion statistic.
“Today my birth mother is so thankful the legal system would not allow her to abort me. Today I am close to my birth mother. In fact, she is going to adopt me.”
Kiessling testified, “I am thankful for the relationship I now have with my biological mother, but one of the Scripture verses that has sustained me throughout my life is Psalm 27:10: ‘When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord with take me up.’
“I realize my value and identity are not established a result of a rape, but because I am a child of God, created in His image and loved by Him with an unconditional love. He has loved me into His family by the spirit of adoption.
“If you want to know what your value is, you don’t have to prove your worth to anyone. Look to the cross – that is evidence of the infinite price that Christ paid for your life.”
So, the question is asked, “Is abortion justifiable in cases of rape or incest?” I would never question the horrible trauma and injustice of someone who has endured a rape. I cannot imagine anything as shocking and disturbing. However, an abortion will not un-rape the woman. The tragedy has happened and nothing can change the past. However, having an abortion simply compounds the problem. Two wrongs do not make a right. Abortion brings a trauma all its own.
Dr. David C. Reardon, stated, “Furthermore, the welfare of a mother and her child are never at odds, even in sexual assault cases. As the stories of many women confirm that both the mother and the child are helped by preserving life, not by perpetuating violence.
“Many women who become pregnant through sexual assault do not believe in abortion, believing it would be a further act of violence perpetrated against their bodies and their children.
“Further, many believe their children’s lives may have some intrinsic meaning or purpose which they do not yet understand. This child was brought into their lives by a horrible, repulsive act. But perhaps God … will use the child for some greater purpose. Good can come from evil.”