‘He Has a Right to Be Here’: Woman Who Refused to Abort Son Conceived in Rape Speaks Before Iowa Legislature

DES MOINES, Iowa — A woman whose now three-year-old son was conceived in rape recently delivered an impassioned speech before the Iowa legislature to speak out against the “genocide of the innocent.”

Jennifer Christie-Brierly was attacked in a hotel room in 2014 and was raped during the assault. She refused to abort her child after learning that she was pregnant, and now speaks out on behalf of babies who are conceived in rape, as she stated on March 20, who are “targeted, it seems, for eradication.”

“This doesn’t make sense to me because the Supreme Court has already decided that for a rapist to be punished with death is considered cruel and unusual punishment, and yet somehow, somehow we are okay with killing the children who are not even in existence at the time the crime was committed,” Christie-Brierly lamented.

She said that she was told that if she obtained an abortion, she could better forget and move on. However, a woman never forgets, Christie-Brierly explained, and her son is a reminder that a human being should not be defined by how they were conceived.

“A woman at her most broken needs hope and help and love and people rallying around her. She does not need violence on top of violence, tragedy on top of tragedy,” she outlined. “I’m here tonight [as] one woman, but I speak for most of us when I say: Stop calling my son a ‘rapist’s child.’ Stop calling him ‘evil seed’ and ‘child of the devil.’ He is my son, and he has a right to be here.”

“Do not use me and my rape and my story—and the story of all of us, mothers from rape who love our children—as a banner to hide behind and excuse a genocide of the innocent. We love our children,” Christie-Brierly proclaimed.

She told lawmakers that her toddler’s beating heart is the same heart that she saw beating in the ultrasound, and it is not right to still hearts such as his.

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“The first time I saw my son’s heartbeat was on an ultrasound. It’s the same heartbeat that beats in his three-year-old body today. He is an exceptional child, but he is not an exception,” Christie-Brierly declared.

“I beg you to think of this,” she continued. “The heart that beats in my son, the heart that beat in him at four weeks is the heart that beats in him at three; it’s the heart that will beat in him at 30. It loves and it hurts and it feels just like mine and just like yours. I beg you not to stop it.”

Christie-Brierly was among those who desired to desired to testify surrounding bill SF 359, also known as the “Heartbeat Bill.” Those on both sides of the issue presented their views about the proposed legislation, which would ban abortion in Iowa if a heartbeat is detected.

According to The Endowment for Human Development, the heart begins to beat approximately three weeks (less than 25 days) after fertilization, and beats 105 to 121 times per minute by the fourth week.


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