I am proudly a no-exceptions pro-lifer. But I wasn’t always.

Abby Johnson , Abortion , Planned Parenthood

I stand firmly and proudly as a no-exception’s pro-lifer.

However, this hasn’t always been the case. Admittedly, I used to accept the rape/incest exception.

My opinion began to change as I encountered people who had been conceived in rape and realized that their lives deserved the same protection as mine. I developed the understanding that how a child was conceived had no bearing on their humanity. I also began to understand and reflect on a strange irony… actually two of them.

When a woman is raped, the police are able to use the fetal tissue for DNA. When I worked for Planned Parenthood, in most rape cases, we were asked to draw two tubes of the mother’s blood and collect the “products of conception” after the abortion. All of this had to be kept in a very strict “chain of custody.”

For example, if I was the one in charge, I would be the one to draw the woman’s blood before the abortion, put the tubes in a “chain of custody” bag, fill out the information on the bag, seal it up, and place it in the refrigerator. Then, when she went in to the abortion room, I would accompany her into the room, stand by the suction machine, and wait for the procedure to be completed.

The jar that contained the “products of conception” would then be handed to me and I would take the jar into the lab. I would then “float” the “products of conception” in a Pyrex dish.

“Floating” is the process of dumping all of the contents into a kitchen strainer and using a sprayer to wash all of the blood and additional tissue away from the “product of conception.” In order to “float” the tissue, you spray some water into the Pyrex dish and dump the remaining tissue into the dish. The tissue actually floats. Then, you will be able to reassemble the fetal parts.

After all of the parts were reassembled, and accounted for, I would gather them up and placeput them in a sterile cup, careful to en make sure everything made itgot into that cup and I didn’t leave anything behind. Then, I would close up the cup, put it in the “chain of custody” bag, fill out the information on the bag, seal it up, and carefully place the bag in the freezer.

Usually, the police department would come and pick up the blood tubes and frozen tissue the next day. They would have us fill out a form to ensure the “chain of custody” had not been broken. We would carefully pack the items into a Styrofoam cooler with an ice pack and send them off with the officer.

First strange irony is: Collecting fetal tissue and sending it for DNA testing. Yet, we didn’t consider that child to be a separate person! As strange as it sounds, that was the truth. We knew that this fetus had its own DNA, but denied its humanity.

Second strange irony is: These are the rape-conceived children. These are the “exceptions.” These are the ones that many pro-lifers can excuse, right? It seems ironic that so many in the pro-life movement can justify the death of children conceived in rape, but the abortion industry does their best to protect their remains.

Is their humanity somehow different? Can you look at the ultrasound picture of a baby conceived in rape and tell that this baby is somehow different? Could you look in the face of a person conceived in rape and tell them that their life wasn’t as valuable as someone who was conceived in love? Could you even tell the difference between a person conceived in rape and one conceived otherwise?

I encourage anyone who accepts these exceptions to really think about your perspective on this.  Are you willing to toss out these children for political gain?

Did you know that 87% of pro-life legislation is passed without these exceptions? And did you know that when exceptions are incorporated into bills, it is almost always by organizations and individuals who, while often really pro-life, misguidedly think they have to add the exceptions to get the bill passed.

What if your best friend or relative had been conceived in rape? How would you explain your acceptance of these exceptions to them? Many people try to use the "burning building" argument when defending these exceptions.

They ask me, "If a building was on fire and you could only save 9 out of 10 people, would you just let them all burn because you couldn't get to them all?" My answer is that I'm out here trying to prevent the fire so that no one has to be left behind.

As people who believe in the sanctity of human life, let us not be selective with whom we fight to save. If any human life is worth saving, then all human life is worth saving.


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