Pro-life speaker Rebecca Kiessling gave a powerful keynote speech at SPUC’s "inspiring" annual youth conference.
The Archdiocese sponsored four students to attend the event - Laura Calnan and Henry Viall, from the University of Edinburgh, Sophia Tait, a parishioner at St Andrew’s, Ravelston, and Matildarose Nevin, a pupil at St Modan’s High School.
In her testimony Ms Kieslling - an American who was conceived in rape - said: "I was 18 when I first learned I was conceived in rape and I immediately felt targeted. I felt like I had at least half the world was against me. There are all these people who don’t even know me who stand in judgement of my life and are quick to dismiss it because of how I was conceived... People spoke about my life as if I was garbage like I was disposable.
— SPUC Pro-Life (@spucprolife) February 29, 2020
“Gallup polls in the US show that 63% believe in the rape exception, and I knew I had to justify my own existence and prove to the world I shouldn’t have been aborted...We are despised and targeted to be killed. We are the only group of people alive today that it is acceptable to despise.
“How does an innocent child deserve the death penalty... It Is barbaric to punish an innocent person for someone else’s crime... I am the good that came out of something evil
How does an innocent child deserve the death penalty... It Is barbaric to punish an innocent person for someone else’s crime... I am the good that came out of something evil."
The conference, at Wyboston in Bedfordshire, aims to educate, inspire and empower young people to protect unborn children and their mothers. Also speaking was Sr Roseann Reddy, founder of the Sisters of the Gospel of Life, based in Glasgow.
Sophia said: “It was a wonderful weekend that has both inspired me to get more involved with the Pro-Life cause. It also gave me some practical ideas of how to go about doing that. It was lovely to meet so many people who are passionately Pro-Life.
"Altogether, the conference was both educational and uplifting, and I'm really grateful for the opportunity to be there."
From left: Henry, speaker Rebecca Kiessling , Laura and Sophia.