Tuesday, October 17, 2017

I didn't become pregnant after rape, but my wife did. ..and I have an opinion by Jeff Christie (husband of Jennifer Christie)




I understand what women mean when they say that men don’t have as much of a right to talk about abortion after rape as it doesn’t have anything to do with them. That statement has some truth to it. Sometimes. But when it happened to my bride of 22 years, when she was raped, I was deeply affected. Our amazing 3-year-old was conceived on that horrific day. He is a gift that helped us both recover.


I’ve read the comments. I’ve heard the opinions. I agree that you don’t know what you’ll think or feel in such a situation unless it happens to you. That’s a terrible, stark reality and one I live with. I know that I can’t take away the trauma that my wife went through no matter how much I try. I recognize that I can’t and won't ever comprehend the depth of her pain.
She also won't understand mine. I’m supposed to be her protector. I’m the one who stood in front of our families and friends and, along with "for better, for worse...", silently vowed to make sure her heart and body stay safe. So where was I when she needed me the most? I live with constant “what-ifs” and “Why didn’t I” thoughts. 


I saw, before anyone else could, that the woman I knew from the time she was a bubbly, outgoing 14 year old whose quick wit made everybody laugh, that she was never going to be the same. I also recognized that our son had nothing to do with the horror she went through. I knew she would never forget what was done to her, regardless of whether he existed or not. It’s ignorant arrogance that brings about comments like “With a child, a victim of rape has to live with that reminder every day of what that monster did to her.” She doesn’t need a reminder. That kind of violation is forever imprinted in her memory.


What are children conceived in rape if not these terrible “reminders”? I can tell you from personal experience.
They are chances at redemption. They are opportunities for healing and a way to find meaning from nightmarish, meaningless actions. Isaiah 61:3 says that He provides those who mourn with “…beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”


My wife likes to say that our son gave her hope. A purpose. I SAW that spark light up in her heart, and I knew then that without having a purpose come from all the violence, without another soul to protect and nurture, she would forever feel alone in her victimhood. She might always wonder why this happened to her, a loving child of God. This evil rapist left behind two victims: The woman he violated, and the life that began with his heinous actions.


Full disclosure: I, too, began to heal with the news of our son’s conception. (I did say our son. My beloved and I are one. If she is pregnant, then WE are having a baby.) I spent the first few weeks after the rape, while being the bastion of strength and solidity that my bride needed, slamming my fists into the wall in the shower. In two decades of marriage, I hadn't ever questioned my effectiveness as her knight and protector. I was in anguish,not able to see past the pain that I couldn't help but feel responsible for...turmoil over what I couldn't protect her from. I am in no way trying to compare my experience with her torment, her loss of self, but I would be remiss to not speak up on behalf of men who have been tangentially impacted by sexual assault through a woman they love. We are wounded. The collateral damage is great. 


But the child..
He heals. He teaches. He encourages us. He forces us to focus on something outside of ourselves. He is an opportunity for us as parents to bring another loving, compassionate soul into the world. He is a blank slate, and the wonderful and humbling burden for his impact on the world is on us. He’s not our only child. He’s the youngest of five. Just like the others, he was placed in our lives by a God who entrusted all of them to our care. As with all our children, our love for him started the moment we knew he existed. We welcomed him into our fold with the same devotion and reverence as his brothers and sister. They all love each other-usually-as siblings, and none of them consider him different or lesser, they are all equal partners in their mission to survive our parenting . They know how he came about but it's evident that they just don’t think about it when they look at him. This child-like acceptance that their brother is just here in the world and he is innocent of how, encourages us as parents. Our kids have reinforced the mindset that a child’s life and impact start at conception-not a second sooner.


To the women who have aborted after rape, I tell you unequivocally that we cast no judgment. We understand more than most that the decision you are faced with in the early months after such a trauma, when you are still trying to make sense of the world, is overwhelming. The pressure to feel animosity towards the child you’re carrying is horrendous. We lived through that. We know how the future can feel so unstable that you want more than anything to reduce the turmoil in your head in any way that you can. In our case there really was no decision. Without discussion we knew we'd honor God and our beliefs and protect this little soul from harm. You may not have had such support. All we offer is the knowledge that God forgives and allows us to learn. It’s the beauty of human experience that we can continue to make changes throughout our lives. He can make us new. All we have to do is ask.


To those who have been assaulted and find yourself in the position of carrying new life, we offer comfort & support. Prayers and love. Reach out to us. We know that you will not forget, but over time you will heal. My wife likes to say ,“There is no going back, but there is moving forward.” There is acceptance of a new reality and learning how to live every day. I stress the fact that the person growing inside of you is unique. You are not alone. Yes, your life is different now, but that normalcy was stripped away by your assailant, not the child now growing inside of you. That child is also a victim of evil intentions. In almost 4 years, my wife’s body has not completely healed from the attack. You,too, may have long-lasting physical and emotional scars. A woman’s body should never suffer that kind of violation. But when you get down to the basics, that body WAS miraculously designed to protect and grow life.


What happens after birth is completely up to you; there are always options. ALWAYS people to help.  


I finish with a tribute to my amazing wife and the incredible women she has found along her journey since we began sharing this part of our life. True heroines. Hearing their inspiring stories of grit and courage always leave me speechless. I have to shake my head when I hear people say that not all women are strong enough to carry a child in this circumstance or after that trauma. I don’t agree.  I’ve seen my wife give birth five times. I’ve watched her hold her head high in situations that would make iron men crumble. The strength of women should never be underestimated. 


I didn't become pregnant after rape.. but my wife did. My life also changed forever that day. So don't tell me my opinion doesn't matter. It does. Don't tell me I can't argue for life in the womb. I will. And please don't tell me I have no idea what a woman goes through.
Because I do. 












Saturday, October 14, 2017

Pro Life, NO exceptions by Rachel Mary Guy

I cannot remember a time when I did not know my story, but as I got older God started to really do something in my heart that compelled me into action.

Can you imagine finding out at a young age that three doctors wanted you dead? It is hard to wrap my mind around the fact that anyone would have wanted me dead, but even harder for me because they were doctors! They were in a position of power to insist and pressure that my life be ended. My story taught me that doctors have great power not only for tremendous good but also for tremendous evil, and some doctors see only some lives as valuable and do not believe in fighting for all life.

At 14 years old, God impressed upon my heart to write to the six doctors involved in my journey. I wrote to three of the doctors thanking them for honoring my parents’ pleas to fight for my life. Out of a deep forgiveness and passion, I wrote the other three other doctors who told my parents to abort me. I told them I forgave them and about the gospel message and that this amazing Savior, Jesus, loves them passionately and longs for them to use their power for good and not for evil.

As I stared at the face of one of the doctors online who wanted me to be gone, I cried because he was lost and believed that the intentional killing of an unborn child could ever be a “solution” for parents of a sick child.

To this day it baffles me that we have come to a place in our society where people in positions of medical power would ever think that destroying lives would ever be a course of action for an innocent life whose only crime is location and health status.

At my mom’s 22-week ultrasound the tech saw something wrong, so she notified the doctor. The doctor came in, frantically telling my mom that she needed to have an abortion because I would die and my mom would die and that I must have some chromosomal abnormality not compatible with life as my mom was missing half of her amniotic fluid. My mom said that she would never abort, and that she loved me. My parents (this time with my dad) would come back at 24 weeks and the same scenario happened but this time all of the amniotic fluid was gone. This same doctor told them (yet again) that they needed to abort me because I had a chromosomal abnormality that was not compatible with life. When my parents refused this, they were sent to speak with yet another doctor in the practice. My parents told me that this doctor calmly (which made this conversation even more chillingly disturbing the casual way ending my life was insisted upon) told them that they must have an abortion because their child would have no “quality of life.” My mom said, “Our child will have quality of life because this baby will know the unconditional love of God.” The doctor went on to say, “Well, you will have many other children.” My mom said, “Even if we have 100 other children, we want this child. This child is valuable.” The conversation went on for about 20 minutes when my dad said, “We will not abort, so what will you do to help us?” The doctor said, “In all of my years of practice no one in your position has ever “not” aborted, so all I can say is to go home and wait for your baby to die and you will come back and deliver a stillborn child.” My parents went home heart-broken, not only that these doctors so devalued my life and had written me off, but with the thought that other parents are made to believe they must have an abortion. My parents were not giving up on fighting for my life but they did not know what that looked like.

When my parents called my grammy, she said these words that would change everything, “If there is a heartbeat then there is hope.” God used my grammy’s words to give them hope through Jesus. My dad talked to an ob/gyn at church who knew my situation. And she knew my mom’s primary ob/gyn and would call him. When she did, she could not even imagine the doctor’s sickening response. The doctor told her that the only test he would do for my parents was an autopsy. This doctor at the church then got us into the hands of two doctors at another hospital who said they would honor my parents’ wishes to fight for my life.

While my mom and I were in the care of these new doctors, they saw BOTH of us as their valuable patients. They put my mom on bed rest in the hospital and took me via C-section at the first day of my 26th week. The doctors said that they didn’t know if I would be born alive, and that it would be like getting a pit out of a peach due to lack of amniotic fluid and if I was born alive that I would be too sick to make any noise. The kind doctor that delivered me said I was born squawking. I was born at 26 weeks 1 lb. 2oz.

I was in the NICU 5 1/2 months and I thank God that my parents never backed down on fighting for me! They didn’t know if I would live, but they embraced each day and gave it all up to God!

God has used my story to open my eyes to the reality that we live in a world that devalues and dehumanizes some life and that even within the medical field, and even within the pro-life community, “some” life, like mine, is deemed an “exception.” My story has compelled me to be a voice not only in a world that strips people of their humanity, but also within the pro life community to share that babies with “fetal anomalies, chromosomal abnormalities, conceived in rape or incest, destroyed embryo children from IVF” are human beings authored by God with just as much intrinsic value as any other child. When we start classifying human beings into categories of who is valuable and who is not does that make us any different than those in our history who dehumanized different people groups?

Throughout every generation, a people group has been dehumanized and stripped of their personhood. Isn’t it about time that we learned from our horrific human history and see our humanity through God’s lens that ALL life is equally valuable and that we are all persons, healthy or sick, no matter how conceived, made in the image of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our mental state towards a person does not change their/our humanity. Society does NOT define our value. God does. If we could grasp that truth, no life would ever be marginalized, deemed disposable and dehumanized. We must must have laws in place that protect ALL life from fertilization to natural death because man in his humanity, as we have seen historically, wants to redefine what God has already defined. Our laws must protect ALL PERSONS and recognize the inherent dignity of all life.

All life is valuable! Society sees ability as what gives “value” yet they never recognize that ALL life is innately valuable because we are ALL created by God.
Monday, October 2, 2017

Irish Pro-Choice Advocates Try to Silence Victims of Rape by Sarah St. Onge


Irish Pro-Choice Advocates Try To Silence Rape Victims, by Sarah St. Onge




A fierce battle is being waged in Ireland over the “8th Amendment”. Unlike the US, and most of its European neighbors, Ireland formally recognizes the preborn child as a human being with his/her own inherent value and right to life.  The 8th amendment prohibits abortion from conception and through all 9 months of pregnancy, under any circumstances save when the life of the mother is threatened.



While we’re mourning the death of a dissolute human trafficker, and feigning outrage over the latest NFL decision, Ireland is deciding whether to continue protecting its most vulnerable citizens or join the  21st century abortion death-cult led by Planned Parenthood.



Irish pro-lifers (ie the majority of rational Irish citizens) have come out en force. They have spent months knocking on doors to inform the public about the issue. They’ve secured television and print ads, as well as held rallies. Their rallying cry- "Love them Both" is one of compassion and understanding.



However- they’ve been met with fierce opposition by radical pro-abortion groups who have decided to use the most aggressive of tactics to silence them.



“I knew this campaign was going to be divisive, that there would be nastiness and vitriol battered at prolifers. The level of abuse is truly off the scale though. Is this still Ireland?? Or have we woken up in another country? Frightening is an understatement, women who have been pregnant through rape or conceived through rape are reduced to standing on the street to deliver their stories? Is this some Soviet state where freedom of speech is punishable? Is this what freedom was fought and won for in Ireland?  Absolutely terrifying and sickening, and no date as yet set for an actual referendum, all of this from a minority of rabble rousers and anarchists allowed to screech and bully...we've been funding these miseries for much too long.”



This statement from an Irish pro-life activist, who wishes to remain anonymous, in response to the numerous threats and intimidations visited on American pro-life speakers Rebecca Kiessling and Jennifer Christie, both of Save the 1. The two traveled to Ireland this week as part of the “Unbroken- Life Beyond Rape” tour, arranged by Life Institute. They were scheduled to speak on the realities of pregnancy and abortion after a sexual assault in two separate venues.



Instead, pro-choice activists decided to silence these women, publicly bragging about removing posters, which were placed to advertise the event. In addition, they began a campaign of harassment- including sending death threats to individuals they identified through social media who were staff at the hotels where their speaking engagements were to be heard, causing both hotels and a third alternate, to rescind their contract with the Unbroken –Life Beyond Rape group.




Ms. Kiessling and Ms. Christie were instead forced to stand out in the street to deliver their message- a message which, unlike that of the Repeal Movement, was one of love, strength, unity and hope. Ms. Kiessling spoke boldly about her own situation as the child conceived in rape, stating the facts in passionate and practical detail:



Women are naturally inclined to love and protect their offspring. They must be conditioned by external forces to despise them.



The abortion lobby teaches women to view their children as invaders or aggressors, instead of victims of circumstance, especially in cases where a sexual assault has occurred.



Children conceived during an assault have the same inherent value as those who are conceived during a consensual act of passion. They are human beings.



Women who have been assaulted deserve better than an abortion. They need help to integrate their violation into their lives. We don’t need to become destroyers of life in order to regain power over our own lives.



Unfortunately the vitriol continued, with gruesome comments left on Save the 1’s Facebook page- there were threats of violence aimed at both women, and no attempts to excuse the threats and destruction of pro-life property. In fact, those responsible for doing so were proud of their actions. Their official responses delivered with flippancy. We’re not linking to their sites or pages. We won’t give them the satisfaction of sharing.



The truth is- the Repeal movement really doesn’t care about women. If they did, they wouldn’t send their men out to re-violate a rape survivor, by in essence telling her that her story doesn’t matter and her right to speak her truth is subordinate to others. They wouldn't tell a woman conceived in rape that her mere image offends them, if they cared about women.



Ms. Kiessling and Ms. Christie did not travel to Ireland to bring an American viewpoint to the debate. They came to offer their testimony in the court of opinion- their personal and traumatic testimony- in hopes of letting Irish women who may have been through similar circumstances, that they aren’t alone. Their stories matter. One Irish woman wrote, after meeting them, “I felt that I belonged yesterday and was not ashamed to say I was raped and I could never talk to anyone about it in Ireland until yesterday. You helped me cry out openly...”



They also went to create a dialogue with those who may be on the fence, or even those who oppose them, in hopes of changing hearts and minds and bringing them to a place of love.



Unfortunately the Repeal movement has decided to offer them only threats of violence in response...... just like with the men who violated them, these women have been told to "keep quiet or else." Fortunately these women are much stronger than those who try to silence them will ever be. And for Ireland's children, women like them may make all the difference.





Sarah St. Onge is a wife, mother of 4, step-mother of 2, and pro-life blogger for Save The 1.  She's also the founder of limbbodywallcomplex.net, a pro-life, diagnosis specific website which supports parents who continue their pregnancy after receiving the same lethal diagnosis which took her daughter, Beatrix Elizabeth.  She blogs on grief, loss, and pro-life issues pertaining to continuing a pregnancy after a lethal anomaly has been diagnosed, at www.shebringsjoy.com.