Editor’s Note: In 2014, Kyler Kiessling, son of Save The 1 founder and attorney Rebecca Kiessling, wrote the following essay when he was just 12 years old. Kyler, age 18, and his brother Caleb, 20, tragically died of a drug overdose on July 29, 2020. A Go Fund Me account has been set up to help cover the cost of funeral services for the brothers. Our hearts and prayers go out to the Kiessling family.
(Save The 1) What exceptions do you make? What about a teenaged girl who has been testing positive for heroin and has been in and out of jail? Should she have had the choice to abort me? What about a baby who the doctors say will have a lot of serious health problems when she’s born? Should my sister have been aborted instead of living for 33 days? What about a woman who’s been raped? Should she have had the choice to abort my mom?
This is the reality of me and my family. When you make exceptions, you hurt other people because some people have lived through those experiences and don’t want to see other people like us aborted.
My birthmom was only 18 when she had me. While she was pregnant with me, she tested positive for heroin. My biological father was doing heroin with her while they were dating. Because they shoplifted, the judge made her test for drugs. When she tested positive four times, she had to spend time in jail. People would say that she’d been through a lot, so she should have had the choice to abort me. Or, people would say she should abort the child — abort me — because you don’t want to bring a baby in this world like that, while she’s in jail and doing drugs.
Well, I got adopted by a very nice family who already had my older half-brother. We have the same birthmother, but different biological fathers. My adoptive parents fought against child protective services to be able to keep us together. They wanted to go trial and keep me in foster care.
My life is great! I play sports — travel soccer. I have had a lot of opportunities for different kinds of sports, activities, travelling, friends, good education, etc.. I’m a friendly kid at my middle school. I go to church where I volunteer. I’m involved in my youth group. I’m a playful brother with my 4 siblings. I have a good relationship with my parents. I feel loved – by my parents, my siblings, my friends and my birthmom.
Today, my birthmom is a stunning, successful hair dresser and waitress. She’s been drug-free for many years and not involved in crime. My brother and I get to see her often. We spend time at her house and my grandma’s. My uncles are really cool with us. When my uncle got married last summer, my whole family went to the wedding and my brother and I got to spend the night at her house. My birthmom is very enjoyable person to be around. She’s funny and cool. She plays video games with us too. I love her so much!
I’m glad she chose adoption and that she didn’t want to abort me or my brother. She was 16 when he was born. In the United States, only 1% of pregnant women choose adoption when the pregnancy wasn’t planned. I feel very loved that she chose adoption over abortion. But 50% are aborted. I’m sharing my story because I want more people to be inspired to choose adoption, but I also want to address the exceptions people: Every life is valuable! No one should be an exception. No one should be treated as less than the fortunate.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published at Save The 1 and is reprinted here with permission.
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