Anti-abortion advocate speaks at GV

GVL/ Audra Gamble
Rebecca Kiessling speaking for the student organization Students for Life, an anti-abortion group.

GVL/ Audra Gamble Rebecca Kiessling speaking for the student organization Students for Life, an anti-abortion group.

Audra Gamble

There are some things that people just don’t talk about. For many, the legality of abortion is one of those things.

However, the Grand Valley State University student organization Students for Life opened up that conversation this past Monday evening. The Students for Life organization sponsored a lecture by Rebecca Kiessling, an anti-abortion advocate who speaks around the country on a regular basis.

Kiessling was conceived in rape, and has dedicated her life to advocating for the illegalization of all abortions, without any exceptions for rape, incest or other cases.

Kiessling spoke of her experience discovering the violent story of her conception and coming to terms with the social stigma placed on children conceived in rape.

“We’re called rape babies, demon spawn, evil seed,” Kiessling said. “It’s so offensive to suggest such a thing. There is no other segment of our population that is more demonized, marginalized, stigmatized and discriminated against than a child conceived in rape. It has to stop.”

Kiessling’s birth mother gave her up for adoption, but told Kiessling later in life that, had abortion been legal at the time of her pregnancy, she would have aborted Kiessling.

A Michigan native, Kiessling is proud of her home state’s legislative stance on abortion.

“In Michigan, we have never had a rape exception in a single law, because Michigan Right to Life has refused to compromise on this issue,” Kiessling said. “Michigan has mentored many other states to a no exception, no compromise on abortion laws.”

However, Kiessling said it is important for students who feel strongly about the issue to speak up in the college setting.

“Do not be afraid to speak up in class, no matter how tough your professors may think they are or how vocal some of the other students may be,” she said. “Do not be afraid to speak up.”

According to Kellie Pnacek-Carter, assistant director for event services at GVSU, Students for Life will be participating in a demonstration on campus on April 1 and 2 in the designated free-speech zones advocating an anti-abortion perspective on the issue.

Not only is Kiessling anti-abortion, she also advocates against the use of oral contraceptives. She cited the World Health Organization’s classification of combined estrogen-progestogen oral contraceptives as a Group One carcinogen as her basis for opposing the popular form of birth control.

However, in a September 2005 publication from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is underneath the umbrella of the WHO, the IARC states that “several WHO committees regularly assess the balance of risks and benefits of (oral contraceptive) use and they have determined that for most healthy women, the health benefits clearly exceed the health risks.”

Students for Life is a national organization with student groups on college campuses all across the U.S.

For more information on the GVSU chapter, visit their Facebook page, Grand Valley Students for Life.

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