Conceived In Rape Children

Conceived in Rape Children
It is a very hard thing to hear that you were conceived in rape. Society says we are mistakes, unwanted and unloved. But that is far from the truth. We are human like any other and there are people who want us. Most mothers want to give birth even though some want the very best for us and place us in the arms of other loving parents. We are grateful for life and consider our mothers heroes. Doctors, lawyers, singers, teachers, pastors, mothers, fathers, authors, celebrities- they are no different than any other part of society. I hope by seeing all these real faces who are real people you will understand the magnitude of saying abortion is ok in case of rape. All these people would not be here. This is just a very small portion of the people who are conceived in rape. It isn’t rare. It is rare that anyone will talk about it.

Bethany- Doctor

My name is Bethaney. I am a Doctor of Audiology. I grew up in what I thought was a perfect example of a “nuclear” family. I was an only child up until the age of ten with both parents, a dog, and family and friends all around. However, that perception of my nuclear family was shattered when I was 12 years old. It was then that I found an obituary for a stillborn baby girl that my mother had. The date was April 7 th 1974. My birthday is March 30 th 1974. As a result of this and other discoveries, I was coerced into the reality that I was adopted. Prior to this, I had no idea that my parents weren’t my real parents. Thus began a process of molding my emotions into feelings of being unwanted, worthless, insecure, and angry. As a result, I withdrew and never told any of my family or friends about the about the moment that changed my world forever. I did not open up to anyone until I was in college when I told my best friend that I was adopted. When she still accepted me for who I was and was not ashamed of me, I began to realize that adoption is not necessarily a bad thing. A few years later my mother died. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to deal with. She was 44, I was 23, and my brother was only 12. I moved out shortly thereafter to attend graduate school. In 2000 following graduation, it was then that I decided to start searching for my birthparents. I definitely did not want to replace my own parents; however, I just needed answers. In December of 2000, I received a letter of non-identifying information. Reading that letter for the first time was incredible. In a period of five minutes I found out so many things about me; my given name at birth was Stephanie, I found out my birth weight and length, the time of my birth, and my maternal family history. Finding out so many things about yourself at one time really is indescribable. I could not take my eyes off that paper. I just sat there for the rest of the evening, holding that paper in my hands and staring at it. Two weeks later, I contacted Catholic Charities and started the search for my birthmother. Now all I could do was sit back, be patient, and wait. And wait I did . For over four years I did not hear anything from them. By May of 2005, I was now residing in Florida. It was then that I received a phone call by Catholic Charities. The case worker who was working on my search said “Bethaney, we found your birthmother. I will give you her phone number and you can call her.” She started by saying “813.” “813, I interrupted! That is Tampa!” “Yes,” my caseworker said. “She lives in FL near you.” What are the chances of that? I lived in Florida for less than one year and within those few months, I find my birthmother living only 20 miles from me! I called her and we met on Memorial Day. It was amazing to meet her and see what she looked like. She brought pictures of her family and I showed her pictures of me growing up. Finding out some things were incredible. She was in the medical field just like me. She told me that she thought about me every day, especially on my birthday and mother’s day. She had always wanted to look for me but decided not to interfere with my life. She respected me enough to wait until I was ready to contact her. So many of the things she told me were positive. However, others were not quite so uplifting. My birthmother remained single and had a tough life. She grew up without her mother around and still has no communication with her. She got pregnant with me at age 19, placed me up for adoption, and one year later had a hysterectomy. This was difficult on her because she had always wanted many children. She just was not ready to be a single mother to a child while she was still a teenager. The following year, her older brother and sister, whom she was very close with, died in a car accident. Later on she almost killed herself and another person in a terrible car accident where she was at fault. In addition to finding out about her difficult life, I also found out many things that no one would really want to hear about their genetic heritage. She told me that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, as was her father. Almost all of her family dealt with severe depression and took anti-depressants, and my first cousin, who was seven days older than me, committed suicide a few years before. In the midst of finding out all of these things about her and her family, I still had a burning desire to find out who the father was. Catholic Charities reported that the birthfather was unknown. My hope was that my birthmother knew who the birthfather was but just didn’t divulge that information to Catholic Charities. When I asked her who the father was, she was slow to answer. “I knew you were going to ask me this. I don’t know.” Then she told me that she left Pittsburgh and moved to Tampa for six months in 1973. It was during that time that she started using drugs and drinking heavily. She would go clubbing in downtown Tampa and after those late evening she got involved with many men. As a result, she had no idea who the father could be and could not even begin to guess on names. Although this is the answer I had been expecting, I was still disappointed that I would never be able to find out where half of my DNA came from. I am never going to be able to look my father in his eyes. I am never going to be able to see what traits we share. What made it even stranger for me is that I was conceived in Tampa. My birthfather and his family might be living right next door to me and I would never know it! After realizing that more conversation on this topic would do nothing to gain more information, we moved on. However, later on in the evening when I was telling a story, my birthmother abruptly interrupted me and said “By the way, I was raped by gunpoint.” For a second I just sat there. I was prepared for her to tell me that I was conceived through a one night stand. And I was prepared for her to tell me she was a prostitute. However, I never thought about the fact that rape could have resulted in my conception. All I could think to ask her was “So, that could be my father.” She responded by saying “Yes, but that doesn’t matter.” I was so shocked to hear that I might be alive because of someone else’s anger, lack of self-control, and need for dominance, that I had no idea what to say back to her. I had always assumed that my conception was my birthmother’s fault for not being responsible. But, finding out that I might have been conceived by rape; that is a whole new ball game. Now the birthfather’s selfish behavior led to my birthmother having to endure nine months of horror and a more or less a lifetime of pain and regret. Knowing that I was a probably a product of rape, I asked the big question that many adoptees want to know. “Did you want to abort me?” The answer was one that I expected, but one that stung never-the-less. “Yes” she responded. “I did.” In 1974, although abortion was legal at the time, it still it wasn’t as accepted as it is today. So, as a result of that and her Roman Catholic upbringing, she chose to give me life. In the midst of finding out all of this new information from my birthmother, I also spoke with my adoptive grandmother to figure out some of the other missing pieces of my adoption story. One day I found a calendar from 1974. Under June 19 th, it read “Bethaney came to us.” I always wondered where I was from March 30 th until June 19 th, almost two and a half months. Being a healthy, white baby girl, I should have been adopted out by Catholic Charities as soon as I left the hospital. Since there is a long waiting list for white adoptions, I could not figure out how my family got through the entire process so quickly considering that they planned on having their own child up until April 7 th. After years of wondering, I finally asked my grandma about that situation. She told me that my mom was devastated by the news of her stillborn baby and no hope of having any more. My grandfather knew someone who worked for Catholic Charities. When my grandpa met with that person, the man said that in fact there was a baby girl in foster care waiting to be adopted. That baby girl was me. All of the prospective parents on the list to adopt were told about me…a healthy, white baby girl. However, due to the negative maternal history and lack of paternal history, no one wanted to take a chance on raising me. Everyone thought that I would turn out like my birthparents, a promiscuous drug addict and alcoholic, with very little education and no hope for the future. My parents on the other hand had a different opinion. My mom didn’t care anything about my birthparents and they were willing to give me an opportunity to have a productive life. My parents chose me despite the rejection I faced from the rest of the world. So the process of meeting my birthmother enlightened me to many things about my negative genetic history, possible traumatic conception by rape, and the unimaginable pain and loss felt by my adoptive mother as she gave birth to a stillborn baby. The awareness that not only was I unwanted by my birthmother, but that I was also unwanted by the entire Catholic Charities adoption list, hit me hard. I had no strong connections while in Florida that year – no family, no network of friends, and no church home. I began to question why I even existed. I was taken to the lowest point that I have ever been in my life. Then in September of 2005, without any prospective jobs available and not enough money to get me through two months, I quit my current job in Florida and I moved to Decatur, Alabama. I needed to get connected into a good church home and decided on one that I had visited several times where my best friend’s husband was one of the pastors. It was during that first year in Alabama that I began to take a step back to the basic foundation of my life and rediscover who I really was. I got saved in August of 2003 and baptized shortly thereafter. For the next eleven months I was planted in a strong Bible believing church where my spiritual life grew tremendously. I learned more about the Bible in those eleven months than I have the entire 29 years prior. Having learned so many new and troubling details about my life, I realized that in order to experience healing, I would have to go back and apply those Biblical principles that I learned to the overall picture of my life. I already acknowledged the basic foundation that God created the heaven and the earth. As I began to search the Bible for answers, I slowly realized the magnitude of God’s love and plan for each one of us. In Acts Chapter 17, it states that God made the world and all things therein. It continues on to say that not only did he create us, but he created each of us to live in a specific time period and a specific locale. God has a reason for me living here in the south in 2007. If God plans for us to live in specific regions in certain decades, then that shows me that I am definitely not a mistake. God wants me here for a purpose and planned out my birth, life, and death to accomplish that purpose long before I was ever born. Earlier on in Matthew, it states that God knows the number of hairs on my head. I have heard and read that verse many times before. However, this time that verse meant something different to me. For God to know the number of hairs on my head, a number that is constantly changing, that must mean that He cares about me. That He thinks I am important. That I matter. That I have value and purpose. While I was now understanding that God created everyone no matter what the circumstance of their conception, I still needed to process why being adopted had to be part of my life. Essentially adoptees are not wanted by their birthmother and in most situations adoption is not the first choice that couples use to have children. It is a “plan B” scenario when “plan A” does not work. By opening my eyes and allowing God to show me His divine plan for each of us, I found many verses describing how adoption is the method that God chooses to bring us into His family. I learned that adoption is God’s way of picturing His love for us. After reading the prevalence of adoption in the Bible and internalizing that, I have realized many things. Since God used the spirit of adoption to call us to be children of God through Jesus Christ, I definitely know there is no stigma in being adopted. Look at the life God chose for Moses, one of the most famous adoptees in all of history. Through being raised in the midst of his enemies, Moses learned the tools and skills that were needed to make him a leader in order to take his own people, the Israelites, out of Egypt. By acknowledging the power of God in my life and the truth that He has a purpose for me and loves me for who I am, I have accepted the fact that I am an adoptee. I no longer feel the need to keep that fact a secret. I am just as important and can make as much impact here on earth as any planned human being. Through acquiring knowledge and regaining a close relationship with God, I began to see my life in a whole new way. A life with purpose. A life made through love; the opposite of what most people would say, but it’s true! A life made through His love, which is so much more powerful than any human parents love could ever be! I began to internalize that the rapist is not my creator. Neither is a promiscuous mother my creator. I am not of child of either one but rather I am a child of God. That is all that matters. Genetics and environment both play a role in whom a person grows up to be. But ultimately, a person who allows Jesus Christ to be their savior and turns over the control of their life to Him can become anything that God intends for them to be. When I first heard the lyrics of a song written by Avalon, I knew that God was using them to teach me a lesson. “There are no strangers There are no outcasts There are no orphans of God So many fallen, but hallelujah There are no orphans of God” I was unwanted. I was unloved. I was orphaned. But God has no orphans. He gives us that promise when he says in Hebrews 13:5 when God tells us that he will NEVER leave us! He will NEVER forsake us! Listen to the magnitude of those versus. God will NEVER abandon us. He will NEVER deny that we are His children. Once we are children of God, we are Children of God forever! It doesn’t matter how I was conceived. It doesn’t matter that I was not planned by a couple madly in love. What matters is that I am here now and that God planned me. I am glad that I am alive. I am thankful that my birthmother gave me a right to live. Thanks to her, I now have the opportunity to share God’s love to the world. Have you ever felt the way I have; unwanted, unloved, worthless? We weren’t all born into the ideal family environment, with plenty of money, family love and devotion, and a strong social support network. Many of us were unwanted, orphaned, abused, and taken advantage of. It is impossible to understand how those things have affected each of us and to feel comfortable with whom we are without the love of Christ. The Bible offers so many promises to us, many of which I have seen come true in my life once I began to follow Him. Won’t you consider doing the same? I promise you, praying this simple prayer and restoring your life through Jesus Christ will change your life forever. It did mine. Won’t you consider beginning a new and exciting journey by praying the following prayer? Dear God, Thank you for speaking to my heart. I know that I am a sinner. I am truly sorry and want to turn away from my sinful past. Please forgive me. It said in your Word, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). And so I am calling on your name to come into my heart and be my savior. You also said, “…if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). I believe in you and believe with all my heart that Jesus died for my sins and was raised from the dead. Thank you for your unconditional love and for eternal life. I confess Him, right now, as my Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen. If you have prayed this prayer, Congratulations! You have just made the most important decision of your life. I would love to hear from you about this life-changing experience. Please contact me at

Irene Van der Wende- Director of Silent No More

Irene Van der Wende aborted her baby conceived in rape, and later learned she, herself, had been conceived in rape. Irene is from the Netherlands and available for speaking — abortion information _eu@yahoo . com I regret killing my baby after rape.His strong arms gripping tightly around my neck, strangling me, choking me, left me gasping for breath. I realized death was imminent, so in a split second I chose to let him have his way with my body, so that I could stay alive. Afterwards, I clutched my coat tightly against me, so no one would see my ripped clothing underneath. . . .Although my body started to change, and needing larger clothes, I believed I was not pregnant, as the initial pregnancy test came up negative (not enough hormones yet.) But after a 6-week roadshow, a visit to my family doctor informed me I was pregnant. “Oh no!” Shock, disbelief, fear and turmoil gripped me. London advised me to go a clinic halfway north in England for an abortion, mentioning that it had to be done quickly, as it was on the verge of the time it was allowed to be done legally. Numb, and only focusing on all the fears, I went ahead. My abortion took place in a cold, sinister, old mansion. I felt very uncomfortable, waiting in the hall with black-white checkered tiles, watching the minutes on the clock tick by. It was as if death hung as a cloud in the air above me. I did my best to stuff my emotions, signed a paper, received my number, and joined some 8 women lying on beds in a room, waiting a long time after inserting something and changing into an operation garment that was to remain open. As they spoke of their pregnancies, morning sickness, and why they were killing their babies, I began to think. In the lift (elevator) later, when I was going upstairs, I placed a hand over my tummy, finally realizing I had a child inside of me, and said “I’m a mother. I have a baby inside of me!” The nurse accompanying me reassured me, saying “It’s okay – other women have that thought too at the last minute. You’re doing the right thing,” after which the doors opened, and I walked into a brightly lit operating room, where I was told to lie down, and place my legs up high in the stirrups. But I felt terrible and vulnerable due to the privacy, and even more so as the abortionist became very angry and agitated when the nurse discussed something with him, and he started to yell at me, saying I had already signed a consent form, hadn’t I? And that I was holding up the flow of things. He roughly grabbed my arms, which they strapped down, and forced a needle into my arm, after which I don´t remember much . . . . I passed out.When I came to, I was loudly told to stand. In agony, I gripped my tummy with one hand, doubled with pain, while with the other, I fumbled my way along the dark corridor wall, back to my bed in the other room. The other women were now silent and groaning with pain. My stomach felt as if every inch had been scraped open with a sharp razor blade. We were left alone, and after a long time — I believe the next day — I was allowed to go home, but the pain was unbearable. They offered a wheelchair, but I grit my teeth, saying to myself: “I wanted this, so grin and bear it.” I bled profusely on the drive home, having to stop every now and then, dizzy, and was in absolute agony. The bleeding lasted half a year.Looking back, I regret my abortion, and the morning after pills I took. If I had realized then, what I now know, I would never have been able to ask to have my baby killed. I came to this awareness after seeing videos of an abortion, seeing a 12 week old baby react to the instruments inside the womb, and seeing the aweful pictures of these little humans, where we pull off their arms, break their legs and pull them off, squash their skull, suction out (parts of their) bodies, brains, decapitate them, etc. How can we look at these pictures, with intestines, ribs, brains, heart, backbone, etc., and not call them a human being? Life starts at conception – all the genes, and sex are in the first cell, hair colour, skin colour, etc. which keeps on expanding to 2, 4, 8, 16 cells etc., on till adolescence, when our children are fully grown. I had immense guilt and remorse, after realizing what I had done. I also cut myself off from my emotions, as the guilt was too much to bear, causing problems in relationships later. Later, I read that of women like me, who abort after sexual abuse (=less that 1% of all abortions) that 80% of us regret our abortions. Whereas of the 70% who chose to let their baby live, none had regrets. I wish I hadn’t killed her.Every mother’s day afterwards, I had to stand still at the fact that I was a mother, even though I had no living child – mother of a dead baby, through my own doing. Emotional trauma — I carried this in silence, not talking about it. I froze when shortly afterwards someone placed their little baby in my arms – who was I to still hold a baby after killing mine? I joined the statistics of having a miscarriage later. I learned that scar tissue from the abortion can cause problems in later pregnancies, and premature births from the damage of the abortion, along with 50% more chance of breast cancer if you don’t carry your first baby to full term, but abruptly stop the milk production process developing by aborting. When my daughter was born later via c-section, my arms were strapped again, just like during the abortion, and all the fear and anxiety came flooding back, at what should have been just a joyous moment. I also find it heart-wrenching to not be able to say to my oldest living child, that she is my first born. And when one day she came home from school, asking if I had ever lost a baby, I was stuck for words – how do you tell a little girl that you ordered her (half-) sister to be killed? How emotionally traumatic for the family of the woman who chose to kill. How unsafe the brother/sister feel — “Why them, and not me?”When I was around 35, I found out I, myself, was conceived in rape. My whole family had known all along, except for me. My father and mother were married, but it was brutal rape. He was totally drunk at the time, and had violently slapped her, all around the room, threw her on the bed, and raped her at force. I was conceived. But my mother tried to commit suicide. When I had been growing in her womb about 6 months, she got on her bike, having premeditated to throw both her and me in front of a train at the railroad tracks a few miles away. She went there, and stood at the side of the rail, but just as the train was approaching, she couldn’t go through with it. I am so grateful she didn’t! Life growing up wasn’t always as nice as it could have been when you hear how some were raised in nice, warm, loving, friendly homes. But . . . , life is not about how we were conceived, or our upbringing, but about what we make of it. There is healing, and I am so glad my mother didn’t have me killed through suicide, when she had the chance. I am so glad that she gave birth to me, and raised me, despite how I was conceived, and that I am alive, and able to now do something for humanity. My value and right to life does not depend on how I was conceived.I have had to come to terms with what I, myself, did. I chose to have someone paid to kill my innocent baby. There was a father (the rapist), a mother (me) and a baby. But I hired a murderer (the abortionist) to kill my baby. I stuffed it away as much as I could for 25 years, but like psychology says, eventually the cesspool of life needs to be opened, and become honest about things we have done in our life. I have named my babies, made a grave for them at the cemetery, and I have found healing with YHWH (God), and His son Yahshua (Jesus), whereby I am now able to testify of what I have done, and the effects it has brought me, my family and loved ones, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I deeply regret having put my innocent little baby through such torture and painful mutilation, letting her be cut up into pieces while still alive with a beating heart. Killing an innocent baby is never right, even after rape. Two wrongs don’t make a right. The father harmed me, but I harmed the baby. The baby didn’t do anything wrong. The baby is a 3rd person. I could have grown to love her, or have her adopted in a loving family. A baby should not carry the burden of the sin of the parent and be killed for it. In law, if a man kills a pregnant woman, he is punished for the death of two people. What are we doing killing our own children? I wish people would have told me about the beautiful development of my little one (= foetus in Latin). That before we as mothers even know we are pregnant, 4 days missed cycle, that the baby already has a beating heart at 18-21 days. That at 18 days, their brains start developing, at 20 days with mid-, fore- and hindbrain, and that their brainwaves can be measured at 40 days. That they are sensitive to touch, heat, light, and noise. Pain eceptors begin to grow with 4-5 weeks. At 6 weeks, they respond to touch. They have their own DNA, sex, blood type, and fingerprint, making them unique individuals. Beautiful little hands and feet, ribs, mouth, tongue. Sometimes the baby doesn’t die straight away when the killing starts, and the arms and legs are pulled off. An abortionist has testified that the babies heart then still throbs sometimes. Or that they are still alive as they are suctioned out, going through the tube, to die later in the jar. These are human beings, who are not brain dead, or without feeling. If a woman is pregnant, she needs support, not abortion. Many of us (64%) are coerced into abortion (e.g. by boyfriend, mother, father, schoolteacher, doctor, nurse, girlfriend, social worker) according to a study in Medical Science Monitor ( Later in life, I conceived another child, but my boyfriend insisted I abort the baby, or he would leave. I chose the life of my baby, and so he left. Sadly, I miscarried her. But I understand women who are in the situation of being forced to abort – we go against our conscience and our mother instincts, whereby we can feel regret and shame and guilt later, when we fully realize the full extent of what we have done. A baby says: let me live. Take my hand, instead of my life. Love me, instead of kill me. Abortion kills a beating heart. With embryoselection for diseases, we are saying to brothers/sisters “you are only wanted and loved, because you don’t have a handicap.” To the handicapped people, we are actually saying “you are only tolerated, because the technology wasn’t there to eliminate you when you were an embryo” — genocide inside our laboratories. Remember: God loves you, but also your baby. With abortion, one heart stops beating, but another heart breaks. We either become numb, like I did at first, or the remorse and guilt and shame hovers over us, till we come clean, and find healing. Like Mother Theresa said, “Abortion is the death of two: the baby, and the mother’s conscience.” Please don’t kill your baby. Your baby needs to be allowed to live. Find someone to help you.

Jason Lovins- Worship Leader

“Christian recording artist who was conceived in rape and says he lived to tell about it.” Visit his website!

Karen Blake-Mom

Karen Blake conceived in rape. Mother of one adoptive son I was always told I was adopted by my parents. I never really had any questions. All they knew was my birthmom had blonde hair, blue-green eyes, was 28 (but had actually turned 29, 5 days before I was born) Scotch-Irish. My husband and I started adopting our child (boy now l7 years old), through DePelchin Childrens Center in the year l987 or l988. We got approved in one year, then we had to wait. Our son was born April 29, l992. It was during that time I started to ask my parents more questions than I ever had. I did not have any pictures. I was adopted privately and was born April l4, l955. I did not know anything. As a little girl, my imagination thought that my Birthmother had too many children and could not keep me. That is just what I thought.My adoptive Parents died both in l994, within 5 months of each other. I was an only child. Upon looking through some documents, I found my adoption decree with another name on it. My mother in law is into genealogy. She told me after my Mom and Dad died, that the last name on my adoption decree would be my Birthmom’s last name. Anyway, I also found a piece of paper that my adoptive Mom had wrote three women’s names on it – one of those being my Birthmother.I did not know how to look up information on that. I had to get an attorney to handle practically two estates, due to the time length of their deaths so close. My attorney for the estate referred me to a private eye. With the help of my adoptive Mom’s names of three women, they found my mom in less than three weeks. I was standing in the line at an Eckerd’s getting some medication for my son which was sick and they called. I just started balling from excitement. Everyone in the line at pharmacy at Eckerds (in Houston) asked if I was okay. I told them a private detective had found my birthmom and everyone was so excited for me. I told people in the line my parents had died in l994. Well this was August l996.I called her and we both cried and talked for hours upon hours. She like me, did not know how to find or look up each other. It was so funny, she was living in Spring Branch neighborhood and I had grown up in Northwest section of Houston. We talked and talked forever. I was about to have a hystorectomy surgery like maybe a week later. Then I could not drive. Anyway, my Husband and I and my son went to meet her and it was wonderful.She had re-married, both of her husbands had died. So she had another last name. She had been date raped by someone she worked with at her company. She did not believe in abortion, but she knew God would find her baby a good home. I was her only child.She lives in a nursing home in Houston. We go and see her all the time. I still don’t know anything about my Birthfather. When my Birthmom, my Birthaunt and myself get together, you can see we are all relatives, we have the same nose, and same mouth and same face features.It was truly a blessing to find her. I love her very much.- Karen C Blake

Kristi Hofferber- Pastor’s Wife

In May of 1978, God put forth the plans for my life. I was given up for adoption when I was only 3 days young. My adoptive parents were unable to have any children of their own, and were ecstatic that their dream of raising a child was about to come true. God placed me in the arms of two very loving people who took me in and provided me with unconditional love, support and opportunities that shaped the foundation of the person that I am today. I was raised in a Christian home, and attended a Christian school up to the fourth grade, which set the foundation of my faith. Although I remained active in the youth group at church, I still struggled through school, both socially and emotionally. I was not the social butterfly, and often enjoyed my time to myself. I did not make friends easily. This pattern would continue through high school and even into college. I had a few close friends, but that too was difficult. If I began to feel like I was being left out, as I often did, it would put me into a state of depression and panic. I knew deep down what the real issue was, but I did not want to admit it, even to myself. I did not know how to handle the fact that I was adopted. I did not know anyone else who was adopted who I could turn to for advice, and going to the psychologist for my behavioral outbursts with my family did not seem to be much help either. I could not open up to anyone, let alone find someone who understood my frustrations. For as long as I can remember, my parents have been open with me about being adopted. It was not something that I needed to be ashamed of, but in a way, I was. I was not ashamed of being adopted, I was ashamed of the way it made me feel. I was always angry. I felt like I did not belong in this world. As a matter of fact, I would often ask God “Why am I here?” and “Why did I have to feel like this?” My high school years were the toughest years of my life. I would cry myself to sleep almost every night, praying to God to take away the pain in my heart. Thank God that I had my faith to turn to, because I felt that I had nothing else. It was only when I was at church that I felt any semblance of peace. Something told me that I belonged there. One particular person at church made an impression on me that will last throughout my life. She is someone I will always look up to. She was my first grade teacher, and she was the one person in this world that I wanted to ask for help and guidance. If only I had had the confidence. Ironically, I now interact with her often. My husband is a minister, and is called to the same church where I grew up. God is a marvelous God! I know for a fact that God placed certain people in my life for his purpose, including my first grade teacher. I feel the same way about my husband. He and I have been married almost 10 years, and have one son. As a family, the three of us share something very special, we were all adopted. We are a family stitched together with God’s love and that was God’s plan from the very beginning. God has provided our family with through the difficult times. I had a low self-worth, and would often question my very existence. I cannot pinpoint exactly what brought a change to that view. I believe it was a gradual change, beginning with a speaker that I saw while attending a youth gathering in 2004. Her story moved me to the point that I felt something telling me that we had something in common; I just had no idea what it was. She was survivor of an attempted late-term abortion who fought for her life, and now brings awareness of the effects of such procedures. No, I was not an abortion survivor, or an attempted abortion. However, as I would find later, I do indeed have a story to tell! In April of 2008, I attended a mission trip to New Orleans to help rebuild homes from Hurricane Katrina. It was there that I made the decision in my life that the time had come for me to know exactly where I came from. I would be turning 30 in a little over a month, and I was going through the reality that I had dreams that were not fulfilled. The “what ifs” were weighing heavy on my mind, as well as many other unanswered questions. There was never a day in my life that went by without me thinking “Is that person related to me?” wherever I went. It was also on this trip that I met a new friend who would be a God sent support in my journey. I am eternally grateful to her for all of her support and the strength she helped me to find. I finally had the courage to face the unanswered questions that I had for a very long time. I knew my adoptive parents had always told me that they would support me if I wanted to research my adoption, but I have always told them I did not want to know. The last thing I have ever wanted was to hurt them. I did try first to get information through the legal system without telling anyone. I have always been told that I would have that option as long as I was 18 years old. However, the judge determined that the case was sealed, and would remain sealed. I was crushed, but at the same time, I knew that God wanted me to do things the right way, not my way. My parents are very important to me, and even though I thought it may bring them a bit of heartache, they deserved to know the truth that I did want the information I had denied numerous times. By mid July of 2008, I was very interested in knowing what needed to be done to begin my search. I remember picking up the phone several times with the a few weeks of anxiety, I brought myself to ask my mom and dad for the information. It was almost as if, in an instant, I went from having no courage, to having more than I ever knew possible. My adoptive mother almost sounded relieved that I had finally asked. She invited me over, and she and my adoptive father were very honest with me. What I would find out was something that had never and would never in a million years cross my mind. After knowing only that my biological mother was 16 when she gave birth to me, I was told that she was also a victim of incest and rape by her father, and I was likely the result of these actions. I was speechless! It took all I had to keep my composure. I went from having about a dozen questions in my mind, to having hundreds. The first question that I remember asking was, “How would you know that if my adoption records were sealed?” Ironically, my adoptive mother worked at the hospital where I was born. She is unable to remember exactly how she had my birthmother’s name, but having her name is also how she knew about the possible situation with my biological father. The incest was published in 1991 when my biological mother prosecuted her father, for not only the one pregnancy resulting in my birth and adoption, but also for six other pregnancies resulting in five abortions, and one forced miscarry by her father. Words could not begin to describe the emotions going on inside my mind at that moment. What kind of monster would do such a thing to his own daughter? Another thought going through my mind was, given the fate of the other six children, why was I spared? As a teenager going through the struggle within my mind about being adopted, I had also wondered if my birthmother had thought about aborting me. I did not, however, imagine that my very existence would be so controversial. When I was told the circumstance, I kept asking myself, “Why wasn’t I aborted also?” I thank God for showing me where to turn in times of crisis because this question could only be answered through scripture. Romans 9:20, NLV states, “But who are you, O Man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it ‘Why did you make me like this?’” I do not need to ask why. I already know why I survived — I was created intentionally by God for his purpose. He chose me! I did have heartache for the others who did not survive, but I had more concern for the true survivor, my biological mother. How could one person be put through such trauma? I also thank God that my faith was strong at the time that I asked to know about my adoption. If my relationship with Christ was not as mature, my view may have been very different. This just reinforces the fact that God’s timing is perfect! I really stewed on the information I received for about a week, praying and asking God to guide me to do His will. I felt that I was being guided to continue my search for my biological mother and the truth of my existence. I also wanted to consult with my husband before continuing with my search. It did take me a few days to tell him what I had found out also. I did not fear his reaction, but at the time, I was not even sure of my own reaction. After sharing the information with him, he expressed that he was supportive of me continuing my search if that is what I felt led to do, and that where I came from was indeed God’s doing, not man’s. I could not have asked for a better man by my side. I had many things to consider as I decided how to begin a formal search. First of all, was my biological mother or father still alive? Second, would she want anything to do with me if the circumstances were in fact that I was a child of incest? Another consideration was facing the possibility that my biological father was present in his daughter’s life, and what his reaction to me would be. On the other hand, my strength lies with God and in my faith. No matter how I got here, I know I am his child. Matthew 10:30, NLV states, “And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” I knew I had to trust in Him, especially now. Ultimately, my thought was that if she has been through so much in her life, does she know that there is someone out there who loves her unconditionally and does she also know Jesus as her Savior? After only 2 short days of searching the internet, I came across a popular website that reunites schoolmates, revealing a photo of my biological mother. At this point, I had so many emotions going on in my head that I did not know what to do. The moment that I had imagined for so long was no longer just a dream, it was finally a reality. I could not believe it! My first thought was, “Where do I go from here?” Would a picture and a small amount of information be enough to satisfy my desire to find her? Should I contact her? How do I contact her if I decide that is what I want? There were too many “what ifs” not to try to contact her, but was I really ready? After much prayer and a lot of support from my husband and a close friend, I decided to follow through with the journey I had started. I really felt that if God brought me this close, how could I stop now? I searched again on the internet in hopes of finding some way to contact her, but the only thing I found was a partial email address. At the bottom of the website where I originally found her picture, there was a note that she could be contacted at an email address, but it was only a partial email address. Now I was really confused. The address ended with I was not familiar with this particular email, so I searched it online. After finding nothing matching, the only possibility I could think of is yahoo mail. Since this was the only information I had to go on, I had to try it. It was definitely a shot in the dark, but if I had no guts, I knew I would have no glory. I sent a blind email to a yahoo email address that I believed was the correct one with the intention of never hearing from the recipient. I simply asked if she was the correct person from the area where I grew up. What were the chances that it was really her? But that is just it, there are no chances in life. Later that night, I had a message back from her stating “Yes, Who is this?” As I read this, my jaw dropped. It was really her! Now I had to figure out how to tell her who I was, and also ask myself if I was prepared should she tell me she wanted no contact. I knew it was time to face the reality that had bothered me for so long. I brainstormed for an hour trying to decide how I would word my response. Finally, I simply let her know that I thought we had a connection, and asked that she please visit my page on the same website where I found her picture. I also stated that I wanted to honor her wishes if she chose not to contact me again. Ironically, our internet went down that evening shortly after I sent the last email so I had no way to see if she responded back. It was like sitting on pins and needles. First thing the next morning, the internet was working and I immediately checked my email. Sure enough, she had responded. Not only was that a pleasant surprise, but she wanted me to call her right away. I can still remember the feeling I had in my stomach. It is like having a hundred butterflies fluttering around uncontrollably. I quickly sent her another email letting her know our internet was not working, and that I had just gotten the message. I also told her that I was getting ready to go to work, but she was welcome to call me. She replied back that she would call me at 8:00 that morning which was in about half an hour. I was counting the seconds, as it seemed like the longest half hour of my life. At 8:10, I began to get worried because my phone still had not rung. All of the “what ifs” began to enter my mind, but I quickly reminded myself that God was in control. Patience has long been one of my weaknesses. When my phone did begin to ring at 8:15, I was frantic. What would I say to her? What would she say to me? As I answered the phone, I could tell she was nervous, as she could tell I was also. After about the first 5 minutes of conversation, the awkwardness left, and it was smooth sailing. She and I spoke on the phone for well over an hour about some of the family’s history and my upbringing. At one point, she told me that both she and my biological father thought I had not survived when I was born. The reason that this was assumed was because of a hospital bill that she had received by accident. I was born with an infection in my body, and was very sick. I was transferred to a bigger hospital that could provide me with the intense treatment needed to recover from the infection. My biological mother received a bill from the hospital for the services I received, and at that time was told by her mother that if a child is taken to this hospital, it is likely not to survive. Not only did I survive, I also completely recovered from the infection. After our initial conversation, we both agreed that we wanted to meet, along with her younger daughter — my half sister — who I found out was expecting a child in a few days. My half sister was very excited, and asked if I would like to visit when she had the baby. I was thrilled! I made quick arrangements to drive there over the coming weekend, and we were all very excited. That same evening that we had talked, my half sister had her baby. What a day to remember! Three days later, I was on the road to visit. I decided it was a trip that I would take alone, even though my parents were concerned about the drive by myself. I knew that God would guide me and protect me. The drive only took about 5 or 6 hours, which went very quickly. We all met for breakfast, including my new nephew. I could not believe that the day I thought about for so long was finally here! We talked briefly at breakfast, and spent the morning together looking at pictures and getting to know each other. I was literally in awe with the resemblance between my biological mother and myself. Later that afternoon, my biological mother wanted to spend time showing me around the area where she lived. She and I took a drive around the downtown area and eventually stopped at a park to sit and talk. I will never forget this day! We sat on a bench near a beautiful lake just talking about everything. It was also at this time that she felt comfortable enough to tell me about my biological father and who he was. My half sister and biological mother’s fiancé suggested she wait to tell me because they feared I would turn and walk away from her. I had no intention of ending the relationship, and I told her that there was nothing she could tell me that would make me want to run away from her. My biological mother was unaware that I or my parents knew her name or about the prosecution of her father. As my biological mother began to explain to me who my biological father was, I let her know that I already had an idea about it. My biological mother was very surprised that I had chosen to find her even after knowing the truth about my biological father. This is when I let her know my faith and how I felt about who I was. He may share my DNA, but God created me. No matter the circumstance, it is of God’s will and purpose that I was conceived. I do not want anything from my biological father, nor will I ever. It is very hard for me to describe the feelings towards my biological father. The sinner in me wants to see him punished for his actions, considering he only served less than 18 months in prison due to lack of evidence, (which would have been me.) However, my Christian upbringing taught me different. Don’t get me wrong — in no manner what-so-ever do I agree with what he has done. It is tough to explain exactly how I feel, and I do not even understand completely how I feel toward him. If I were given the opportunity to speak to my biological father, I really would simply tell him that I pray he has asked for forgiveness in his heart. The second day of my visit with my birthmother, reality hit me. I woke up early in the morning and sat on the porch for several hours by myself, crying profusely. No matter how hard I tried, I just could not stop. It was 29 years of bottled emotions that were pouring out. All I could do besides cry at this point was pray prayers of thanksgiving that I finally got to meet the person who gave birth to me. It was truly a miracle! That evening, we drove about an hour to visit with my biological mother’s brother and his family. This was something that meant a lot to my biological mother. Growing up, her brother did not believe that his father had been raping his sister, as his father wanted him to believe she had made it all up. Finally showing her brother that there was relevance to the claims was a form of closure for her. For her brother, it was a shock! He now believed her after all of this time, and this was a good feeling for me to know the truth finally brought them closer again. A few short weeks after my first visit with my biological family, my biological mother came to visit with me and my family. I was able to introduce her to my adoptive parents and to many of my close friends. Although this was a bit awkward for all of us, it was one of the most precious moments in my life! I also got to meet some of my biological mother’s family who still lived within a 40 mile vicinity from where I live now, as her family is also from the area where I currently reside. It really is a small world! Her family here was also happy that the truth was finally revealed and the family was brought together again. My hope is that the family that was torn apart by secrets and lies can now be brought together and begin to heal by the truth. There is no doubt in my mind that God was in control of it all. There is no other explanation! I was finally beginning to see the pieces of my life fitting together. He turned my feelings of being broken and unworthy to that of having unending value. Through Christ, I have gained the confidence necessary to fulfill my dreams after searching for so long on my own. I am not defined by my DNA, but by the calling I have received as a child of God. No one can take that away from me. My calling in Christ Jesus is my destiny! He is my foundation, and with Him I cannot crumble. Now I am able to share my faith with someone who has had many obstacles to overcome in life, and to help her to move on. I have learned something very important in the last year. Life is about the Faith that we have in Christ, the Hope he gives us for tomorrow and spreading his Love to everyone around us! Look to Christ for strength in everything! Even in cases of rape and incest, each unborn child is created by God for a purpose. As my story reveals, God can take something bad and make it an opportunity to do something miraculous! The legalization of abortion is nothing short of playing God, and who are we to question God? — Kristi Jones,

Laura Tedder- Pro Life Speaker

“Every child a wanted child,” so the Planned Parenthood slogan goes. Laura Tedder knows something about that. Laura survived several abortion attempts before her birth in 1948 and was placed for adoption. To say Laura’s life has been difficult is an understatement. She was born with cancer, and complications from it have led to dozens of surgeries since. Despite all the hardships she has endured, Laura is a living argument against that slogan.”I’m a walking miracle, she said. “I’m lucky to be alive. God put me here for a reason.” Laura’s aunt and uncle brought her into their loving home two days after her birth. While Laura’s birth mother was not able to raise her and the two do not share a close relationship, she was wanted and loved by her aunt and uncle.While being adopted can have some negative consequences for a child, Laura has been forced to deal with a lot more. Laura was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a cancer of the eye when she was two years old. Doctors had to remove her right eye before the cancer spread. She has had many surgeries since to correct the trauma left from the cancer. The treatment included radiation, which in turn caused several more surgeries years later. At one point in 1998, Laura was given only two weeks to live because of a brain tumor. Despite her frequent visits to the operating room, Laura described her continuing trip through life as hilariously funny at times.”When you are dealt a hand of bad cards, you have to keep persevering,” she said. Despite her bad cards, Laura kept persevering. She currently lives in Warren with her husband John, and they have one son and three grandchildren. Her mother is still alive and although she has not made peace with her, she has made peace with herself. “I don’t have any hatred for her, I’m too old for that,” she said. “When you get older, you just see everything differently.”After another brain surgery in 2006, Laura decided to write an autobiography dealing with her struggles in life and is currently working to have it published. She said she doesn’t know why she has had so many problems, but she hopes her life story will inspire others to believe they can overcome their own struggles. “I wrote it for someone going through the same problems, to show them there is light at the end of the tunnel,” she said. Laura said any people in similar circumstances with a parent should let go of their resentment sooner so they can reconcile before it is too late. She hopes that any woman facing a crisis pregnancy like her mother would think again before following the advice of that slogan. “Now matter how you get pregnant, it’s a miracle baby,” Laura said. “No matter what the circumstances, it’s not the baby’s fault. They were meant to live. Everyone needs a chance for life, you don’t get many shots at it.”Laura the “walking miracle” certainly knows something about that. Purchase Laura’s book here.

Patti Casey- Mom/Student

Patricia was adopted as a baby and no one knew the circumstances of her conception. She was loved dearly by her adopted mother who said, “God never gave me my own for my tummy but I have my daughter. Thank you God.” So Patty grew up knowing only love from her mom and dad. As a married adult, Patty learned that she was the last child of eight conceived in incest. She was devastated but didn’t know that she was so very loved by her birth mother too. Her father was her mother’s father. She had been abused from a very young age and didn’t have the strength to get away until she was in her 20’s. Patty was only 3 months old when the father once again tried to rape her mother. She hit him with a bottle and ran away but without the baby. When she returned much much later the baby had been placed for adoption. That turned out to be the best that could happen to Patty. Her sisters endured abuse just like her mother. When Patty found out she couldn’t understand how this could all happen. She was struggling so much but her birth mom looked at Patty and said so sweetly, “Patricia you are my child.” The stigma placed on children conceived in incest almost caused Patricia not to have her own beautiful daughter. But today she in college and is happily married with a precious daughter of her own.

Patti Smith- Worship Leader

Patti is an adoptee who was conceived in rape. She is a worship leader from Huntington, California and is available for speaking — pattismith55@yahoo.comI believe that God has called you here today — you are meant to be here, and I would even go on to say that I believe God has created you and sent you into fearfully and wonderfully made, and that before you were formed in your mother’s womb, He knew you! You and I are infinitely valuable to Him – and He paid the infinite price.Even many in the pro-life movement may say that abortion is wrong, but in the case of rape, maybe abortion is even justified — as if that child is of less value because of the way this precious child was conceived. But I’m here today to tell you that every child is of infinite value to the Father . . . every child. Every child is created and sent into this world to glorify the Father. Every child!By the world’s standards, maybe I should not be here. I am 54 and adopted. When I searched and met my birthmother 20 years ago, she told about the circumstances of my conception and birth. I expected to hear a tragic love story, but instead I heard the shocking news that she had been raped and could not deal with keeping the child of a rapist, so she gave me up for adoption. She said that she knew that this man had also raped her roommate and two others. He never knew about me and she never saw him again. She didn’t go to the police — it was the 50’s and she was too ashamed.My birthmother found herself pregnant and alone. This world would say that I was disposable, of little value. Even damaged goods – bad genes they might say. But my mother knew in her heart that I was precious in His sight and that I was of infinite value. She gave me up in adoption to two loving parents and I was raised in a loving Christian home. At the age of 18, I came to know Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. I’m here today to declare to the world that I, you and every child are of infinite value and Jesus paid the infinite price on the cross for our salvation. I thank Him every day for the wonderful life I have had and that I was sent to tell others about how much He treasures every life, no matter what the circumstances of conception. I want to make a difference in the world. I want to say that even though the circumstances of my conception were in violence and hatred, I am not my father, nor am I my mother. I am me. I was created by a loving God and my life is so valuable. And so is the life of every baby conceived — valuable and a gift from God.Today, I am involved with His Nesting Place here where I live. It’s a Christian home for unwed mothers. I lead worship music from time to time as a guest, and have just begun sharing my story. At times, it has seemed like if I tell anyone — they just get so shocked, and it was uncomfortable for me, but now I am sharing. I want to speak more about my story and the value of life, and I want to make a difference in this world.

Sharon Isley- Chemist

Conceived in rape, Sharon is now a Chemist and also an assistant pastor at Debra Heights Wesleyan Church in Iowa. She is available for speaking in her area. — sharonaisley@gmail.comI am amazed at God’s love. The sheer delight expressed in Psalm 130 leaves me speechless. How is it possible that the Almighty God, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, actually cares about me?!How can He look at me, and not see me as a disappointment? I was conceived by an act of violence. From a very early age I knew the story. My father was an alcoholic, and became very violent when drunk. Apparently after my sister was born, that was pretty much constant. He was spending all the family’s money on booze, and my mother and sister lived for about a ear on a single bowl of rice daily.Mom decided to leave my father, and in a drunken rage he raped her. I was conceived. Abortion was never considered by my mother. This is because it was 1964 and it was illegal, and she was Catholic. Abortion per se wasn’t considered by my father either; instead he resorted to violence. After he found out about the pregnancy, he beat mom, kicked her in the stomach, threw her down stairs – all in an attempt to force a miscarriage.My mother also was hospitalized during the pregnancy for a severe kidney infection. Doctors were sure she would have a miscarriage. Given that my mother has had 4 miscarriages, it is clear to me that God had His hand on my life from the very beginning. He was helping me to grow, protecting me, and making sure that I was not only born, but born healthy.I know that pro-choice advocates state that every child has the right to be wanted and loved. I agree with that. However, not being wanted, and not being loved, does not mean the child should be killed. I was not wanted. My mother loved me, but her ambivalence was clear. She struggled with the emotional impact of her own abuse, in turn abusing my sisters and me. I was sexually abused by several family members, beginning at the age of 3.Despite all of these obstacles, God had a purpose for my life. This difficult beginning has been the foundation of who I am. It has developed my character – both my strengths and my weaknesses. And it has given me a passion for ministering to those who are hurting, and who need hope.If a pro-choice advocate had been able to counsel my mother, she would likely have been told to abort me. I was nothing but a living reminder of my mother’s trauma, and a financial burden on a soon to be single mother. Had that counselor been able to see into the future and know that I was to be abused, that would have confirmed it– an abortion would be more compassionate than bringing an unborn child into the world to suffer so much.But think about what this is saying! How is it an act of compassion to murder an innocent baby, to prevent it from being abused? The abuse, I lived through. I had a chance to grow up, and through the grace of God a horrible beginning has become a story of hope and inspiration.Yes, every child deserves to be loved and wanted. But first and foremost, every child deserves to live! Had my father succeeded in taking my life, I would not be making a difference in the lives of people in my community through my church. My husband would not have his wife. My children would not exist – a thought that is so profoundly sad that I can’t bear to think about it! I am thankful to my mother for doing all she could to make sure I survived such a difficult beginning. She has made mistakes over the years, and has sincerely repented and is working on her own issues. But above all, I am thankful to God. He loves me. He created me. He knows everything about me. He has a plan for my life. He thinks about me all the time. I am His passion! He loves me so much, He came to earth, suffered more than I ever have, died an agonizing death, descended to Hell itself, and then arose again, just so that I could be forgiven for my sins and live in His presence for eternity.And He loves you too, much more than you can ever imagine!Sharon Isley

Russell Saltzman- Pastor

Conceived in step sibling incest. Summary Remarks of Russell E. Saltzman, Pastor of Ruskin Heights Lutheran Church, Kansas City, MO Before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, September 14, 2000 Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Senators, for the opportunity to appear before this subcommittee this morning. I count it as a privilege. I once worked for a Member of Congress and I know the energy and the time you bring to this work and how difficult your decisions sometimes are, and you are to be thanked for your efforts. I am here as a person with diabetes to testify against the use of human embryonic stem cell research. But I shall first reveal something of myself. I am the adopted child of Harry and Lola Saltzman, my parents who live yet in the home where I was raised in Olathe, Kansas. Since I am an adopted child, you might guess, accurately, that the circumstances of my conception were not ideal. In the summer of 1946, I was an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy. My birth parents were members of the same family. In fact they were step-siblings. Very possibly my conception was the result not only of step-sibling incest, but step-sibling rape. There is no question in my mind – given the circumstances current these days – that my birth mother would have been urged to accept abortion and very likely would have sought one as the means of solving the dilemma I represented. I am unable to look at abortion in any light except those of my origin. When I say that appearing here is a privilege, I hope I also convey my sense of the miraculous, for had my conception occurred after 1972, I would not be here at all. And suddenly it comes to mind that – having been aborted – the fetal parts that were once me might have become research material for somebody’s investigation into the very disease I have come here to discuss. So at the outset, I say it is a terrible thing we undertake in these discussions, not only because the matter touches me so personally, but also because I know our common origin, the base humanity that links us one to another, whatever our stage of development or maturity. We all once sprang from an act of union between egg and sperm. We all once were human embryos. We all once were fetuses quickening in our mothers’ wombs. We are all, each, human life. We may hope that all of us were conceived in love, but in my case that matters not at all. Whether I was conceived in love or in violence, what is important for me is the fact that I am here in the first place. My existence by itself has some considerable consequence for other people, not least for my seven children, two of whom are adopted. I suffer from diabetes. Since my diagnosis in 1995, I have learned that the burden of a chronic illness is a real burden. I have experienced the progression of this illness from a time when simple diet alterations controlled it, to the point now where I am completely insulin-dependent. It is the chronic part that constitutes the real burden, knowing I shall never be rid of it, knowing my life will always be governed by diet and injection schedules, and knowing, too, that my death probably will be the result of some diabetic complication. When I say I wish I did not have it, I am saying there is almost anything I would do to get rid of it. Almost. The prospect of stem cell therapy derived from human embryonic research – involving the destruction of a human embryo – touches me in a most profound way. I would never consent to any treatment for my diabetes that directly or indirectly came about as the result of destroying a human embryo. What I find disturbing about this incessant rush to harvest stem cells from embryos is the fact that no researcher to date has been able to develop a pancreatic cell from the techniques presently used, this while there are several promising avenues of research that do not involve destruction of a human embryo. Most recently, I have learned about investigations by Canadian researchers that employed pancreatic islet cells from cadavers. The technique successfully eliminated insulin-dependence of several diabetics who received the procedure. The procedure is subject to further trials and it must be nuanced in application. But this holds greater promise for a diabetic cure than anything else I have heard about – and islet cell transplant is ethically neutral. It has no moral implications associated with it. Yet, we here in the United States seem in a rush to use what is arguably the most ethically objectionable method available, while other morally neutral medical technologies virtually are at hand. The President’s own National Bioethics Advisory Commission has said that because human embryos deserve respect as a developing form of human life, destroying them “is justifiable only if no less morally problematic alternatives are available for advancing research.” The fact is, those alternatives exist. It comes to a question. Is the human embryo human life, or is it a mere bit of research material? If it is mere research material, then why should any human life at any stage of development – yours or mine – carry any special privilege? But if the embryo is human life, then we should have in place some restraint that cautions the strong against using the weak for their own purposes. I would commend to your reading Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Written in 1933 Huxley, with astonishing prophetic foresight, created a world of genetic clones and what he called “decanted babies.” All this arose because in the world of his novel, the human embryo was merely research material. He worried that science was being twisted all around. Where once, as with the sabbath, science was made for Man, he foresaw a time when Man would be made for science. In Huxley’s fictionalized world the process that turned science around was methodical and deliberate, and without moral regard. In our own world, the process going on is less tidy but no less deliberate, and, I fear, with equally little moral regard. If a cure for diabetes and a host of other ailments require the production and destruction of human embryos, then I beg you to consider the possibility that some diseases are better than their cure. — Russell E. Saltzman

Tony Kiessling- Professor

A PRO-LIFE TESTIMONY By Paul Burdett Hello, my name is Paul Burdett. I help Mothers in crisis because it is of particular interest to me. I am a Father of four beautiful children (and eight in heaven). I have a lovely wife. I am grateful for the choice of life my Mother gave me because it was not an easy choice.Her choice was to give birth to her baby after she was raped. I was born a few years before abortion became the law of the land but I was born to a woman who even in those days would have had a “right” to an abortion. She was raped when she was 18. She was unmarried and lived in a small town in rural Illinois. Only her parents knew about the pregnancy, her other brothers and sisters and extended family did not know. And even her parents did not know of the fact of the rape until years later.She was sent to an aunt’s house in another small town in Illinois about 2 hours away so that no one would know. She was cut off from her family and friends and was pretty much under house arrest for months so that the neighbors would not talk. But through all this she chose to continue the life growing in her womb. She chose the path of life so that I could take my first breath, that goes above and beyond the call of duty, out of love.My Mother did not have to wait long, for you see, I was born at 6 1/2 months gestation in 1969 in the back of a taxicab on the way to the hospital. The hospital staff said that it would be better for her if she did not see me. I weighed only 2 pounds, 6 ounces and I spent the next few months of my life in an incubator with double pneumonia but I pulled through, I guess God has me here for a reason. Just as He out of love has willed every child, no matter what circumstances surround that child’s conception.I was adopted by two wonderful people, the Burdetts when I was 6 months old. They could not have children of their own and were very grateful to my Mother that she had chosen to continue her pregnancy and to give me into their care to raise as their own son.If my Mother was faced with an unplanned pregnancy today and not in 1968, she could have walked into Planned Parenthood and ordered up an emergency contraception kit (if it were available) and she would have more alternatives to have had her pregnancy ended, but my Mother made a choice that day in 1968, she chose life and I must say that I am eternally grateful for her choice. It was not an easy choice but she had some people in her life to help her. I had people in my life, my parents to adopt me.The world needs to hear the voices of those who were conceived in rape, that we are not just a percentage that is bandied about concerning abortion. We are human beings, we are not the reason to keep abortion legal, that all children need to take their first breath, even those who were conceived by rape.

Monica Kelsey

Monica Kelsey I was adopted and have been given the greatest gift I could have ever ask for, my amazing family on top of my life! At 17 years old, my birth-mother was violently and brutally raped and as a result became pregnant with me. But my life was protected in 1972 and so was the life of my birth-mother. She got cancer 5 years later and never had anymore children. She hugs me now every time I see her and she says that I am a blessing. Struggling with identity issues I have learned to overcome the question of why and replaced it with how. How can I take this gift that I have been given and make a difference? My answer, is simple. Follow God’s path? My life has been on a path from the start and now I has decided to share my life story and struggles. My story will reveal to you that my life has purpose, and I am here for a reason. That just because of the way I was conceived doesn’t make me any less valuable then a child conceived out of love. Every life has value, the woman going through the pregnancy and the child she is carrying. We need to love them both. I have appeared on numerous radio programs, commercials, videos and spoke at rallies with my latest one supporting Richard Mourdock who was running for Indiana Senate and his stance for being pro-life no exceptions. I can be contacted at

Brian T.

I was conceived in 1972 as a result of the stranger rape of a seventeen year old girl. All I know about the rape is that a mysterious man lured my birth mother into his vehicle before transporting her to an isolated location where she was held against her will and sexually assaulted. She never reported the attack to police and the rapist was never identified. She refuses to discuss the details of the rape. Both before and after the attack, my birth mother was- and is- very pro-life. Before she met me she attended right-to-life meetings and demonstrations. She opposes abortion throughout pregnancy and for any reason — including saving the life of the mother. In fact, before the rape, she had difficulty even understanding why anyone would consider obtaining an abortion. But when she was impregnated from rape, she did just that — she considered obtaining an abortion. She did not do so because she was lacking in respect for human life; she did so because she was aghast at the idea of bearing the offspring of her rapist. Fortunately, she decided that having an abortion would be wrong. She believes that God has a purpose for even my life. But the experience of bearing a child from a rapist and being reminded of the attack just by looking at me has sometimes been a traumatic experience, nonetheless. And, it was worsened by her inability to provide a good home for me. The experience of adopting out a child is, itself, an agonizing experience for many women, ncluding my birth mother. My birth mother was so distraught at having relinquished a child that she would weep every Mother’s Day.Given the background and experiences of my birth mother, I will not deny that completing a rape-induced pregnancy creates hardships for women. What I would like people to know, though, is that the option of abortion did nothing to help my birth mother. Legalized abortion did not prevent the rape or the impact that it had on her. Nor did it prevent the problems that arose from bearing the biological child of her rapist. What she needed was assistance and encouragement in raising me and medical intervention for the emotional problems that resulted from the rape and pregnancy. Women who are impregnated from rape face unique challenges in trying to raise their children. In addition to other problems that unmarried mothers face, they must also overcome the physical and emotional scars of the rape and, in some cases, the emotional problems that come from raising a child who may remind her of the rapist and/or the rape. Women who have been impregnated from rape may also fear further attacks by the rapist. In many states rapists have the ability to gain partial or complete child custody or block adoptions, so the mother of the rape-conceived child may be forced to interact with the rapist and both mother and child face increased risk of being attacked by the rapist. Finally, what she most needed was for the criminal justice system and other people and institutions to ensure that the rape never happened in the first place. Efforts and policies that keep abortion legal in cases of rape divert attention from these needs of women like my birth mother and may create a false sense that legalization solves their problems. Those who advocate the legality of abortion in the case of rape want people to believe that the progeny of rapists will inevitably become rapists as well. In my case, at least, that insinuation is false- I have never raped anyone and never will. I have no criminal record or any history of harming anyone. Furthermore, I deplore rape and have written to officeholders asking them to take more aggressive action against rapists. When I came to discover that rape conception was the genesis of my own existence, I was extremely angry at my biological father for how he treated my birth mother. I wondered in exasperation how any human being — my own biological father at that — could be so selfish and callously disrespectful as to bring about a rape conception just for some wrongful motive. It seemed incomprehensible. There is no empirical evidence that any of the progeny of rapists, in fact, are more likely to be rapists themselves.Those who advocate the legality of abortion in the case of rape also want people to believe that all rapes are inevitable. Such was clearly not the case in my birth mother’s rape nor is it in the vast majority of rapes. Statistics show that in the vast majority of cases of rape-approximately 98 percent-, as in the case of my birth mother, the rapist is not brought to anything resembling justice. My biological father may very well have raped before and raped again afterward because there was a very small likelihood that he would have been incarcerated for any length of time for any rape. The lack of an effective system for retribution also meant that he had no reason to choose to refrain from rape. And with little possibility of punishment for the crime, he had no reason to be deterred from committing sexual assaults. Moreover, few people in our society speak out against and shame rapists, so he had little reason to feel guilty about the crime or fear loss of reputation. All of these problems are very correctable with today’s technology. The reason why these problems are not corrected, and why, therefore, the overwhelming majority of rapes are allowed to occur, is because the political will to end the scourge of rape has not been realized. But if that will was realized then very few women would ever be faced with pregnancy from rape.Thank you for reading my story. — Brian T.</div>

Jim Sable

Jim Sable
My story arrived in a neatly addressed, letter sized envelope from Catholic Charities in November 2005. Catholic Charities facilitated my adoption in 1958 and when I reached adulthood, provided the opportunity to receive non-identifying background information about my biological family. I considered requesting information in 1995, but it took me 10 years to purge the anxiety and trepidation surrounding my desire to learn about my biological history. I hemmed and hawed and procrastinated and convinced myself I was okay. The nagging curiosity became an urgency, so at long last, I completed and submitted the request for my background information in the fall of 2005.
The much anticipated letter arrived quietly enough. Little did I know as I opened it the explosiveness of the information inside. On that early November day when I read the letter, my life came to an abrupt halt. There was information I did not expect. My mother was raped. She said the attack occurred as she walked home from work. That is how I was conceived.
The news was not easy to take, it really shut me down.
For two years, only a therapist and my wife, Wendy, knew the story. Slowly, by the end of 2007, I was getting through the stigmatized feelings and began testing my ability to share and the ability of others to hear the story. I now realize the gift I have been given, not just the gift of life, but the gift of having this unique story and the perspective it gives me about the sanctity of all life. My story and the stories of this group, have the power to change the minds, soften the hearts and expand the conscious horizon of those limited to abstract concepts about rape conception. The pro abortion side declares all unwanted lives are expendable, and abortion is justified, even recommended. Rape and incest conceptions create lives that they define as unwanted. On their list of unwanted lives, we are Exhibit 1. Even if only one unwanted life is saved, the wanted vs. unwanted rationalization comes crashing to the ground. We all know the truth. There are no unwanted lives. There are millions of open arms waiting to accept any and all lives forsaken.
Adoption made me pro life since the time I first learned about abortion. I was a freshman in high school when Roe v. Wade was decided. Abortion, as a social issue, was gaining more and more prominence in the early ’70’s, so it was probably during that time when I made my connection to being an abortion survivor. I do not mean literally surviving the procedure attempting to take my unborn life. We know there are those who really did survive an abortion — the miraculous lives. My survival was due to my mother’s decision combined with the cultural climate of the 1950’s, and also due to society protecting me through law. It was not long after abortion was legalized nationally when I began to hear comments justifying the killing. People would say, “These unwed mothers shouldn’t be bringing these children into the world . . . .” Painful comments to hear, of course, but then I had an opportunity to rebut with, “My mother was single, and I think I am much better off here than in a garbage can.” It was then that I realized my birth was at least partially due to timing. Being rape-conceived, there are many people today who think I should have been killed. Our lives are repeatedly used as bargaining chips in the abortion debate and allowed to be called exceptions to anti-abortion laws.
My mother was 36 years old when I was born, probably a little older than the average rape conception. My adopted life was excellent and had many of the usual highs and lows of family life. God provided me with parents who were unable to have children because I was born to a mother who felt she was unable to parent me. My mom and dad were tremendous examples of God’s grace and love. However, I yearned for some answers to help deal with some of the loneliness and feelings of rejection which were byproducts of the old, secretive, confidential adoption system. There was enough information in the Catholic Charities letter and my adoption decree to start a search for my birth mother, so I did. A close friend who researches genealogy helped me to search. We found my birth mother two years ago, but it was a year too late. Eleanor died in 2007. I was able to learn a lot about her though, because I also found and reunited with her sister. My aunt describes Eleanor as a slightly reserved, quiet woman, devout with a steady moral compass. Unfortunately, my aunt could not confirm or deny the Catholic Charities story. There was no police report. The rape was a secret. The baby growing inside her was a secret. She looked minimally pregnant, even near the end. She called her baby bump, a “tumor”. Eleanor did not tell anyone of her pregnancy until about two weeks before I was born prematurely by four to five weeks. I was actually born on the day Eleanor was scheduled to be admitted to the Catholic Charities mother and baby shelter in Chicago. After I was born and surrendered for adoption, I was never talked about again. Her family knew not to ask about or refer to the pregnancy and birth. The subject was covered up, taboo. As the years went by, the story was never retracted. So I am left to interpret, with help, what her reaction to the pregnancy means.
The story of her words, her silence, and her actions, all speak of a deep, acute trauma.
We have some reflexes to trauma – fight, flight or freeze and apparently Eleanor froze. My mother signed my surrender five months after my birth and was married nine months later. She married a protector, a veteran of two wars, who became her warrior. My birth cousins say he treated Eleanor like gold. He provided safety. He deflected some of the natural questions extended family asks about a couple’s plan for starting a family. He talked about miscarriages. He defended her. She did not have any more children. My cousins speculate about a secret boyfriend who might be my father because they do not fully accept the attack story. But why would a 36 year old woman with two married sisters have to keep a boyfriend secret? If my father was someone Eleanor was emotionally close to, why didn’t they get married? Many of these emotional clues indicate my father was likely someone Eleanor knew, and just as likely in a position of power over her, a boss or higher level coworker who forced the sex, the denial, the secrecy and most likely pushed for the adoption surrender. What is evident is that my mother was not a man chaser, was not someone willing to engage in adultery and was not looking to climb the corporate ladder on the rungs of sexual gratification.
Compounding the trauma was the humiliation caused by Eleanor’s father imposing his will over his 36 year old daughter by removing her from the family and forcing the adoption.
So however it happened, in a dark alley or street, in the back recesses of a mail room or in the seclusion of a locked office – God gave me life then and through the news of the rape, renewed it now. For five years I’ve known how it feels to be conceived through rape. Even though I’ve known the bottom of that stigmatized pit, I now feel the power of the gift I have been given. Finding Rebecca and this group put an end to the sensation of being the only one on the planet with this story. The exhilaration of speaking out and defending life, of trying to give back to the system that saved me, the thrill of being part of this special group and meeting my heroes, has been a monumental healing force in my life. Through you, God has touched me with His love and my faith has been reinforced. My journey continues,guided by His grace.
Every Life Matters
Thank You
Jim Sable, available for speaking events
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