Woman conceived in rape, celebrates pro-life at OU event

International speaker Rebecca Kiessling spoke to students in the Fireside Lounge Tuesday at noon about abortion and her experience as a child conceived in rape.


Discovering the truth

Kiessling said she had been adopted at birth and never knew her origins. It wasn’t until her 18th birthday that she first began the search for her birth parents.

Kiessling found every description possible about her mother except her name. It wasn’t long before Kiessling figured out that she had been conceived in a rape.

“I remember feeling so ugly and unwanted,” Kiessling said. She said she finally contacted her mother at the age of 19. Her mother welcomed her with open arms, apologized, and told her of “a love that ate at (my mom) for 19 years.”

Kiessling’s mother also told her the details of the rape — of how she was a single mother out grocery shopping when she was confronted by a man with a knife, dragged out to a field and brutally assaulted.

“That was so hard to hear,” Kiessling said. “I just felt totally worthless, like garbage.”

It was then that Kiessling said she found herself in the position where she felt it necessary to prove herself to the world and that she was “worthy of living.”


The fight for life

Kiessling said her mom had arranged for an abortion multiple times but backed out because it was illegal and the clinics were very unsafe and unsanitary.

“For me, this is my near-death experience,” said Kiessling. “My mom chose abortion. Pro-life advocates chose life for me.”

Kiessling has since then been advocating pro-life around the world. 

Kiessling said she also tries to fight society’s labelling of people like her — she doesn’t want to be part of that classification “conceived in rape.”

“It’s not fair… to have to deal with that type of stigma,” Kiessling said. 

She said that it’s important to focus on the good things that come out of rape instead of the bad.


Students for Life

Kiessling was brought to Oakland by Students for Life, a pro-life student organization dedicated to raising awareness on campus.

Mirna Awrow, president of Students for Life, was in charge of the event.

“I feel like when Rebecca speaks she’s going to give us a reason why people shouldn’t get an abortion – even in these circumstances,” Awrow said.

So far members have raised awareness through “chalking” and a drive that gave away more than 800 cupcakes with messages attached to them, according to Awrow.

The group plans to hold many more meetings and events this semester, which Awrow said anyone is welcome to attend.

For more information on Kiessling visit 


For more information on Students for Life visit www.orgsync.com/33739/chapter