Human Interest

These rape survivors and their children are ‘exceptions’ to pro-life laws, and deserve to be heard

In its effort to win reelection this year, the Biden campaign is using the story of a young rape survivor-turned abortion advocate to bolster its heavy-handed promotion of abortion, for any reason — not just in the “hard cases” or “exceptions.”

Hadley Duvall of Owensboro, Kentucky, was tragically raped by her stepfather as a young child. This led to a pregnancy at age 12, which ended in miscarriage. Now, Duvall is using her story of abuse to campaign for abortion alongside Vice President Kamala Harris.

Duvall and Harris recently spoke during an exclusive interview with MSNBC. Though both made many inflammatory pro-abortion statements, perhaps the most egregious is one Duvall previously made while campaigning for the current Kentucky governor, Andy Beshear. At the time, she claimed “Anyone who believes there should be no exceptions for rape and incest could never understand what it’s like to stand in my shoes.”

For Duvall to speak this way reveals a lack of awareness of the feelings of many other assault survivors; it is essentially a slap in the face to both assault survivors who have chosen life for their children, and to the children themselves who were conceived as a result of rape. It insinuates that abortion is the only logical option for rape survivors and tells the children of those survivors that they should not have survived to be born.

The following are just some of the survivors who have stood in Duvall’s shoes, yet resisted the pressure to kill their children, choosing life instead. Though their stories are different, they all share one thing in common: overwhelming gratitude that they (or their mothers) decided to choose life.

Lianna Rebolledo

At age 12, Lianna Rebolledo was taken from a shopping center, raped by two men, and left for dead. Though she was pressured to abort her child that resulted from this rape, she resisted.

“Just knowing that I had my baby girl, it helped me. It helped me to heal and I just knew that my daughter had a purpose in life,” she told Live Action president and founder Lila Rose in an interview. “And she gave me the strength to go on. She gave me hope. She showed me what real love was, and because of her, I am who I am right now.”

Rebolledo now focuses on teaching others that “abortion is not a solution when you’re raped.”

“[Abortion] doesn’t help you. It’s just a double rape. That’s the way I thought about it, that it was going to be a double rape. And if I did that, I don’t think I would be alive today.”


Crystal Willis

Raped at age 14, Crystal Willis chose life for her daughter — even as she was being driven to an abortion facility. Willis later placed the baby for adoption.

“My daughter knows she is a gift from God. I tell her every chance she gets,” Crystal said. “She looks just like ME, and when I see her smile, I see how good God is and how he took this bad experience and made it beautiful!”

She also shares a message of hope for women who have been raped and may be discouraged at the message that abortion is their only option.

“I’m pro-life for the women and girls who are so often left alone, abandoned, dirty, and feeling like they just can’t do it. They have been told throughout life in our society that rape makes them dirty, and that pregnancy is unthinkable. But the sins of the father aren’t the sins of the child — not any more than my sins belong to you, or vice versa. If rapists aren’t even given the death penalty (it’s been deemed too harsh), why should unborn human babies be sentenced to death for the rapists’ crimes?”


Kathy Barnette

Author and television/radio commentator Kathy Barnette learned as a young woman that her mother was just 11 years old when she was raped. Despite her young age, Barnette’s mother gave birth to her and raised her.

“As a child, I knew no different. I was loved, and I felt loved. It gave me a greater appreciation for my mother,” Barnette told Live Action in an interview. “It helped me to forgive a lot of the mistakes someone at that age, having gone through such trauma, would have made in their own parenting. But it definitely made me become very adamant about the sanctity of life, of all life, regardless of their conception… My life has purpose.”

Barnette’s mother also spoke to Live Action about choosing life. “Regardless of… how the child was conceived, that child deserves a chance. And if I had made that choice, where would I be right now without my daughter?”


Kathy Folan

Kathy Folan was a junior in college in 1990 when she was raped and became pregnant. She decided to keep her baby, named Nathan, and placed him for adoption. This decision led to their beautiful relationship today.

“Looking back at what my birth mother went through to give me life, it amazes me the courage that she had, and the sacrifices she was willing to make,” Nathan told Live Action.

“The biggest misconception about abortion from rape is that it will heal the woman from that rape… But what would really happen is that you would live not only being raped, which is traumatic, but with the trauma that you destroyed a human being,” Folan explained.

“Out of darkness comes beauty, and Nathan is the beauty that came out of that darkness.”


Steventhen Holland

Steventhen Holland wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the heroism of his mother in choosing life after she was gang raped. Though she only had the mental capacity of an 11-year-old and had no support or resources available to her, she knew that her child deserved a chance to live. Holland was adopted as an infant, and only discovered his past and his birth mother’s courage after a search led him to her as an adult.

“The realization hit me that it was a miracle I was alive,” he told Live Action News. “My mother chose life despite not being able to care for me. It was a great act of love to let me go so I had the chance to thrive.”

Today, he shares his story to advocate for preborn children who are at risk of abortion due to the circumstances of their conception.

“I can never be silent,” Holland said. “I must be faithful and share my testimony even to the doubters and especially to those who believe abortion is acceptable in cases of incest and rape. I wasn’t supposed to be here but a woman who was homeless, unemployed, and mentally challenged chose life. If she can overcome the most challenging of circumstances, then I believe so, too, can others.”


These five are far from the only stories of people who have courageously chosen life; in fact, at least three studies have shown that the majority of pregnant rape survivors choose life with no regrets.

Live Action News has shared some of these other stories, from both rape survivors and people conceived as a result of rape, like Ryan Bomberger, Robyn McLean, Patti Harrison, Ashley Boyer, Paula Peyton, Tricia Allen, Jane Moore, Emily, and more. Each and every one of these situations are stories of courage, hope, love, and resilience — the antithesis of a pro-abortion movement that says the death of an innocent human life is the best path forward.

The DOJ put a pro-life grandmother in jail for protesting the killing of preborn children. Please take 30-seconds to TELL CONGRESS: STOP THE DOJ FROM TARGETING PRO-LIFE AMERICANS.

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