Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I was very upset when the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in June with a rape exception added to it. Just because I was conceived in rape doesn't mean my pain scale is different then a child conceived with wine and roses. The bill originally had no exceptions in it until Trent Franks' comment during a House Judiciary hearing on the bill on Wed., June 12, 2013. Trent stated that he objected to a rape exception being added because "the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low." This not only echoes the voice of Todd Akin last August, but also much of the leaders of the pro-life movement who tend to diminish the incidence of pregnancy by rape. "It's only 1%" is their motto, instead of just standing up to defend my life and other lives conceived out of rape.

All of the Democrats had opposed the original bill, but two pro-choice Democrats were trying to introduce a rape exception John Conyers from Michigan and Jerry Nadler from New York. Every single Republican UNANIMOUSLY voted against the rape exception amendment, citing that too much time would have gone by to justify a late-term abortion for this exception. This was on Wed., June 12th.

But Trent Franks' comments were quickly picked up by every liberal news media outlet, and by Saturday, we began hearing talk that a rape exception amendment was being introduced this time, by a Republican! In fact, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia formally introduced the rape exception amendment on Monday, June 17th. Then on Tuesday, June 18th, the bill with the rape exception in it, was voted on and passed. 6 Democrats voted for it and 6 Republicans voted against it. 2 Republicans are from Georgia, whose Right to Life affiliate is a no exception / no compromise organization.

So how did this bill go from having EVERY Republican vote down a rape exception, to having nearly EVERY Republican vote FOR a rape exception? Well, pro-life leadership surely had a role, right? If there are political consequences like losing a PAC-endorsement, having their scorecard with NRLC affected, wouldn't that certainly make a difference? So what would any pro-life organization do? They would bring in people like me who was conceived in rape to show my value, to talk them out of supporting the exception. Right? Well I never received a call and no other member of Save The 1 has received a call yet either.

I was shocked to hear recently that a pro-life U.S. Congressman who is 100% pro-life, with no exceptions, voted for the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, with rape exception added to it. This is because he said he was warned by National Right to Life that it would go against his "scorecard" if he tried to oppose the exceptions by voting against the bill with the exceptions in it. Why would a pro-life organization risk so much to pass a bill with exceptions especially when they had the votes a week before? Does this kind of bologna really happen? Then I received a copy of the letter sent to all of the pro-life members of Congress the night before the vote was to be taken on, confirming that this type of threat was really made.
For the past week, I debated blogging on this and publicly releasing the "smoking gun" letter. Many of my friends are with NRLC affiliates. I volunteer several days a week at a local affiliate. These are good pro-life people and I have nothing bad to say about any of the people who are working for and volunteering for Right to Life, they are my favorite people on earth! But this strategy from NRLC is degrading to me and my friends who fight every day to show the value of a child conceived in rape. It's not becoming of the pro-life movement and there is nothing honorable about it. Since the bill did not pass the Senate, it will surely be introduced again in the next Congress, and the same damaging tactic could be employed again. And so, I'm posting this letter with great sadness, but I feel that these tactics are a virus and the only way to be healed from it is to expose it. So I am posting the NRLC letter below. Now can anyone say to me that this letter is honorable? Is this manipulating and threatening? Is it a form of slander to a good pro-life Congressmen who take an honorable stand against the rape exception? Do Paul Braun and Rob Woodall of Georgia deserve to have NLRC tell their pro-life supporters nationwide that these good men are pro-choice and that they support the killing of babies after six months gestation? Even if you support compromise, do you support these tactics? Does Eric Cantor deserve a RTL PAC-endorsement while Paul Braun and Rob Woodall get trashed? I'd like to hear from all of you after reading the letter below. Is this what you stand for? Or does the pro-life movement need to change its strategies and get serious about protecting all?
-- Monica Kelsey
Conceived in rape, Pro-life Speaker

---------- Forwarded message ----------From: <federallegislation@nrlc.org> Date: Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 7:15 PMSubject: NRLC scorecard letter on H.R. 1797 (20-week abortion bill)To:

June 17, 2013

RE: Scorecard advisory on H.R. 1797,
Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
Dear Member of Congress:
The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of state right-to-life organizations, urges you to vote in favor of our organization’s top congressional priority for 2013 – the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 1797).
NRLC regards this bill as the most important single piece of pro-life legislation to come before the House since the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act was enacted, a full decade ago. H.R. 1797 would extend protection nationwide to unborn children who have reached 20 weeks fetal age (i.e., the sixth month and later), based on findings that by that point, if not before, they have attained the capacity to experience great pain as they are being aborted.
NRLC urges you to vote for the Rule on this legislation, to oppose the hostile motion to recommit, and to vote for final passage.
NRLC will regard a vote against this legislation, no matter what justification is offered, as a vote to allow unlimited abortion in the sixth month or later – and that is the way it will be reported in our scorecard of key right-to-life roll calls of the 113th Congress, and in subsequent communications from National Right to Life to grassroots pro-life citizens in every state.

David N. O’Steen, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Douglas Johnson
Legislative Director


  1. I completely agree, Monica!

  2. It seems to me that the strategy of incrementalism and compromise has kept abortion for forty years. It is time to take a total ban approach, It is the only logical action. If only some are safe, than none are safe.

  3. This action by NRLC is shameful! Thank you, Monica, for exposing this vile tactic to the light of truth.

  4. Monica, I'm so upset by this letter. As you said, there are many good people at NRLC -- some are my friends too. But this underhanded manipulation is just wrong and we will never have an end to rape exceptions as long as this treachery continues. But how can we put an end to it???

  5. Monica, why are you singling out NRLC for attack? *EVERY* major prolife group supported the bill to ban abortions after 20-weeks of pregnancy. No, it wasn't perfect but the alternative is allowing thousands and thousands of babies to die at or after viability. How is THAT pro-life?

    1. How is THAT pro-life? Being pro-life to me means standing up for all life at all times not only when its convenient to save some. I get so tired of my life being expendable to save my neighbor. I am all for saving lives, I do it everyday as a firefighter and a medic, but there comes a time when politics doesn't matter, we save them all. So I ask the same question, how is passing a bill that doesn't save them all pro-life?

    2. I decry the letter from NRLC, which should not have been sent to bully legislators into voting for a bill if they wanted to make a legitimate argument about the amendment. However, the bill is already "not pro-life", by Monica's statement: a bill that doesn't save them all.

      The bill only saves those babies who have reached the "magical" 20 weeks! What about the 19-week old babies? Don't they deserve to live?

      My point is that all laws are incremental that do not match the moral law: "Thou Shalt Not Kill". Until then, there are legitimate reasons to compromise on passing legislation.

      So the question is: in this situation--with full support of the Republicans FOR the bill without the rape exception, but with little chance of ANY support by Democrats WITHOUT the rape exception, what should have been the proper way to vote? With 20-20 hindsight we can say that the amendment did no good--6 Democrats changed their votes, but so did 6 Republicans. But what damage has been done for future legislation?

      I believe that in this situation, where we are trying to use the humanity of the unborn to sway public opinion using the "they can feel pain" reasoning (even though this is still incremental and does not attempt to save ALL the unborn), the argument is watered down by voting for the "rape exception" amendment, which, in essence, says "some of the unborn AREN'T human"! The "pro-life" legislators voting this way--all but 6 of the Republicans--have shown themselves to be logically and morally wrong.

      And further damage is done to the credibility of the entire pro-life movement by sowing dissension and not speaking with a unified voice.

  6. Thank you for your courage in writing about this. He signs the letter "Respectfully", but it doesn't sound like he has any respect for the people he's writing to and their opinions. I think babies (no matter how they're conceived) all have the same right to life.

  7. Intimidation is a tactic unbecoming of anyone trying to fight for human rights. It is commonly employed by the very people that brought us abortion and continue to fight tooth and nail to not only keep it legal, but expand it everywhere they can. Neither intimidation nor compromise will ever end abortion. Only winning people over with the truth about what abortion is, and complete abolition, will solve the abortion problem.

  8. Why did NRLC want Trent Franks to vote for the rape exception? I don't understand why NRLC wanted him to vote for this bill so much. I'm confused, and I think I'm missing something....

  9. I personally know of two women who were raped and conceived. Both chose to carry the baby to term. Their reasoning? "It's not the baby's fault."!