GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Former family law attorney Rebecca Kiessling was raised with an adopted family in the suburbs of Detroit. At 18-years-old, Kiesling started her search for her birth mother.
“I don’t have answers to questions like, who am I? Why am I here? What is the meaning of life? What is my purpose?” explained Kiessling.
Finding her birth mother was just the start of her journey as Kiessling was told the harsh reality of how her mother became pregnant.
“She was abducted by knife point and she was a single mom heading to the grocery store right down the street from her home and the guy jumped out of the bushes and abducted her,” said Kiessling.
Kiessling`s biological mother wanted to abort the pregnancy and forget all reminders of the rape. With Michigan law preventing the abortion, her mother tried to find a physician to do it under the table.
“She actually went to two back alley abortionists and I was almost aborted, but I was legally protected here in Michigan,” said Kiessling.
As a young woman Kiessling said that she suffered from low-self esteem, with thoughts of feeling unwanted.
“I was devastated. I instantly thought what people say about abortion and in cases of rape. I felt very much devalued and targeted by our society. I also felt tainted,” said Kiessling.
While developing a relationship with her birth mother, Kiessling was told more detail about her mother`s own struggles following the rape.
“She said that she did always wonder if the rapist knows who she is, if he is out there watching her every day, and it would give her peace of mind to know that he’s locked up, because this guy is locked up,” said Kiessling.
Kiessling said that she has no intention to ever meet her father, and that he is a serial rapist.
“He doesn’t know I exist and I would not want him to know because it wouldn’t be safe for me and my birth mother and my family,” said Kiessling.
Kiessling went on to adopt children of her own and has been featured on national TV expressing her anti-abortion stance.
Planned Parenthood of West Michigan is aware of Kiessling`s specific situation, but said that it`s still up to a woman on whether to abort a pregnancy.
“Obviously Rebecca’s family story is complicated, and our hearts always go out to woman in that situation, however the decision of whether to parent, end a pregnancy or choose adoption is deeply complicated and deeply personal,” said communications director Julie McKeiver.
Planned Parenthood said that whether a woman consents to sexual intercourse that results in a pregnancy or is raped, it doesn’t change the woman`s rights.
” We are here to support the woman in whatever option she chooses, but ultimately the choice is up to her to make on consultation with her physician and whom else she wishes, and that fact does not change regardless of the circumstances of the pregnancy,” said McKeiver.
McKeiver said that Planned Parenthood helps refer women who have been raped to area abortion clinics here in west Michigan, but if a woman chooses to continue her pregnancy, it will provide emotional support.
“Our clinicians you know will speak with them, council them and if we do learn you know that they’ve had a difficult situation or a traumatic situation, then we do have the ability to refer them to other local organizations,” said McKeiver.
Kiessling said that she will continue to devote her life to protect the rights of children born as a result of rape.
“I really believe that there is no other segment of our society today who is as demonized, marginalized, stigmatized and discriminated against like the child conceived in rape,” said Kiessling.
On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives passed a bill to prohibit federal funds from being used to cover any abortion. Current law allows for federal dollars to be used in the exception of rape or incest.
The bill must now be approved in the Senate before it can given to the President to sign into law.