Jan 242010
Authors: Lexie Wissler

“Conceived in Rape.”

These are the words emblazoned across the top of fliers hung across campus announcing a presentation by international pro-life speaker Rebecca Kiessling tonight from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Cherokee Ballroom of the Lory Student Center.

The event’s title appropriately reflects Kiessling’s story as an individual who was conceived in rape.

Roe v. Wade, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that gave women the right to an abortion up until the point a fetus becomes “viable,” had not been passed at the time of her mother’s rape. It was the legality of abortion that Kiessling said she believes saved her life, according to her Web site http://rebeccakiessling.com.

“Rebecca’s story is just so phenomenal,” said Katy Glennon, co-president of Students for Life. “This is a really educational opportunity for both pro-life and pro-choice arguments to just hear a woman’s story and what she’s overcome.”

There are expected to be about 80 people in attendance at the presentation, which is estimated to be about an hour long. A question-and-answer session will take place thereafter.

Glennon’s goal is to “bring about a peaceful way for people to come together” and facilitate constructive communication between people who support and oppose abortion. She encouraged not only pro-life but pro-choice students to come and hear Kiessling’s story as well as express their points of view during the Q&A part of the session.

Students for Life, a CSU student organization that aims to educate people on the pro-life cause, is a relatively new organization that started about two years ago. Wanting to find a pro-life speaker, SFL found Kiessling on Google.

Throughout January, Kiessling has spoken at a number of places during her Colorado tour including Regis University and CU-Boulder.

Kiessling grew up in Michigan and was raised by her adoptive parents. When Kiessling was 19, she met her birth mother. Her mother then told her the story of how she was raped at knife-point and attempted to abort Kiessling on two occasions –– backing out in the end.

Today, Kiessling is a successful family attorney, a pro-life speaker and a mother of five (two adopted, three biological).

“I’m pro-choice, but I don’t know what to expect,” said Amanda Poston, an undeclared freshman who will be attending the event. “It will be interesting to see a unique point of view, (and) I might change my mind after hearing her.”

While student government funded the presentation, Students for Life is the event’s primary sponsor.

Staff writer Lexie Wissler can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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