Torch Voices: Rebecca Kiessling

Editor’s Note: This is a guest column by pro-life speaker Rebecca Kiessling, who spoke on campus Jan. 30.

In the January 20, 2013 article of the Torch, “Shaming the Survivors: Ferris bringing pro-life speaker to campus with radical beliefs about rape, ” Arts & Entertainment Editor Jessica Smith apparently attempted to shame me with some radically libelous misinformation, claiming that I was coming to Ferris State to discuss “decriminalizing rape. “ Yeah – wow! That’s what I thought! A retraction was printed in the Torch one week later, but it did not state what the misinformation was. So, for the record – I do NOT support the decriminalization of rape. In fact, I believe that Michigan “Criminal Sexual Conduct” (rape) laws are not strong enough.

Part of my story is that I was conceived in rape. My birthmother is a rape survivor. Two years ago, she and her husband legally adopted me. She means the world to me and the feeling is mutual. Having been a survivor of child abuse and domestic violence, I became a family law attorney in order that I could be an advocate for women and children. I’ve worked tirelessly doing so for the last 18 years. I’m the co-founder of an organization called “Hope After Rape Conception” —, which offers support for women who become pregnant through rape. As part of this rape survivor advocacy organization, I lobby for changes to the law to properly protect rape survivor mothers and their children from the rapist having any kind of parental rights. So, the libelous claims made in the Torch go against everything in which I believe and for which I have fought.

The editorial goes on to wrongfully state: “Kiessling told Piers Morgan she believes a rape victim’s rapist doesn’t deserve to be punished. I don’t know how that makes sense. Any person who commits a heinous crime deserves to be punished for causing senseless pain and trauma in someone’s life.” The writer is correct that such a position would definitely not make any sense, which is why this editor and the rest of the editorial staff at the Torch should have gone to YouTube and watched the footage of me on Piers Morgan so that they could see what I actually said. My statement was that, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, rapists don’t deserve the death penalty – that even child molesters don’t get the death penalty because — according to the U.S. Supreme Court, that would be “cruel and unusual punishment.” Well, I certainly don’t believe that an innocent child deserves the death penalty for the crimes of her father. BIG difference!

Yet another libelous statement in the story about me was: “On Kiessling’s blog, she states she defends the former U.S. representative for Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District’s outrageous statement: “It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.” That is another outright lie! I did not defend Todd Akin’s statement, which was indeed outrageous. If you’d like to read my blog to see what I actually said, you can find it on my website. The writer suggests I was defending Akin when I pointed out the fact that Roe v Wade was based on an illegitimate claim of a gang rape. Jane Roe – normally McCorvey has since admitted that her rape claim in the Affadavit to the U.S. Supreme Court was completely false and fabricated in order to gain sympathy. The Torch editor wrote it this way: “For Kiessling to say that abortion rights are squarely responsible for women crying wolf about being pregnant from rape is just atrocious.” That is, again, manipulating what I said. This is not real journalism and I’m certain it can’t be what Ferris State is teaching it’s students.

Lastly, Ms. Smith wrote: “Her arguments come from a selfish standpoint. She doesn’t have the credibility to be arguing about this matter since she’s a product of rape and an abortion survivor.” This statement alone clearly shows that this writer was extremely bias and had an ax to grind when she repeatedly libeled me. I’m the daughter of a rape survivor, I advocate for rape survivors, and yes, I’m a survivor myself. My speech is relevant, my story is relevant, and despite what she may think, my life is relevant. I hope that everyone at the Torch has learned a valuable lesson here. We still need to get to the bottom of which professor first started this awful slander of me. Thank you to my Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys. It’s good to know they’ve got my back. Don’t allow yourself to be bullied on campus! I look forward to returning to speak at Ferris State again next Fall, and to have a fair promotion of the event by The Torch.


Rebecca, I dont know if you will read this, but I have a few things to say about you. Firstly, your arguments on his subject are elementary at best, centering around a logic that classes itself between 2-4th grade level reason. Secondly while the article written about you was more of an attack against your character as compared to your arguments, your rebuttal could most certainly use some more thought. As a gay rights activist Rebecca, the last thing to do to a person is throw the same fecal matter back, that they had thrown at you. You come up with something better to throw back at them (metaphorically). Also… while I do applaud your work for trying to help rape victims who wish to carry their pregnancies to term, I had a friend who died because she could not get an abortion when she lived in Kentucky.

Another thing that you seem to do wrong (talking about your interview with Morgan) is that when asked a yes or no question you create a huge talking point that circles the drain as much as your logic does at times. You sincerely need to take a step back, create a logical list of your arguments with another person who holds a strong difference in opinion and see how your talking points could be less circular in logic. By doing so you become a stronger person who can carry a sentence a little further before breaking out into a talking point.

Finally, just remember that talking points do very little to convince a well reasoned, logical, and socially aware person to your side. If anything it gets you laughed at. Try more to answer the yes or no questions bluntly even if it makes you look somewhat harsh, because its better to expose your true beliefs than to have them exposed later by an editor, a talk show media person, or worse… a comedian.

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