I was not lucky... I was pro­tected

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE - Gabriel Schem­bri

Re­becca Kiessling, a woman con­ceived by rape, has called on the au­thor­i­ties to pun­ish rapists, not ba­bies. Speak­ing at a con­fer­ence or­gan­ised by the Life Net­work Foun­da­tion, the 46-year-old from Michi­gan gave a heart­felt plea for Mal­tese au­thor­i­ties not to con­sider the in­tro­duc­tion of abor­tion, not even in cases of rape.

“Abor­tion will sim­ply cause more vi­o­lence to an al­ready vi­o­lent is­sue,” she in­sisted while ad­dress­ing mem­bers of the me­dia while speak­ing as a guest of the Life Net­work Foun­da­tion.

Ac­com­pa­nied by Chair­per­son of Life Net­work Foun­da­tion Miriam Sciber­ras, the mother of five has come all the way from the United States as she fears “Malta could be at risk, like many other coun­tries, to in­tro­duce abor­tion.”

Dr Kiessling, who is a lawyer, has founded an or­gan­i­sa­tion to help rape vic­tims and peo­ple who, like her, were con­ceived by rape. “The bat­tle for this cause is all over the globe, and I in­tend to fight it.”

Re­becca Kiessling was adopted nearly from birth. At 18, she learned that she was con­ceived out of a bru­tal rape at knife-point by a se­rial rapist. Dr Kiessling in­tends to meet with lo­cal leg­is­la­tors and pol­icy mak­ers.

She ex­plained how her mother con­sid­ered com­mit­ting abor­tion twice. “I was not lucky, I was pro­tected,” she says. “My life was spared and I want to pro­vide a voice to the voice less.”

“It is very bar­baric to pun­ish an in­no­cent un­born child for a crime com­mit­ted by some­one else. We speak about pro­tect­ing rapists from the death penalty but when it comes to abor­tion, we are will­ing to sac­ri­fice the life of a baby.”

Asked to com­ment on the morn­ing af­ter pill, Dr Kies­ling said that the peo­ple need to un­der­stand how it works. “They tell them that it will not ter­mi­nate preg­nancy when in fact it can.”

“The mil­i­tary never drops a drone strike if there is the slight­est doubt that there is some­one in the build­ing. So why don’t we also err on the side of cau­tion when it comes to sav­ing a baby still in the womb?” She ex­plains that the morn­ing af­ter pill also tends to have peo­ple show­ing less com­pas­sion to­wards rape vic­tims.

Re­becca Kiessling will be at­tend­ing a walk or­gan­ised by the Life Net­work Foun­da­tion which will be held on Satur­day.

Pho­to­graph: Jonathan Borg

Re­becca Kiessling, a woman con­ceived by rape, has called on the au­thor­i­ties to pun­ish rapists, not ba­bies

Re­becca Kiessling (right) Photo: Jonathan Borg

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