When Rebecca Kiessling turned 18 she found out that she had been conceived when her mother was brutally raped at knifepoint.
Had abortion been legal in the state of Michigan, the 47-year-old would not be around today.
Mrs Kiessling is currently in Northern Ireland for the first time where she says she has been warmly welcomed.
“It’s been a fantastic visit so far,” she told the News Letter on Tuesday afternoon following a speaking event at Stormont.
“The support has been wonderful,” said Mrs Kiessling, regarded as the world’s most famous anti-abortion campaigner.
“I’ve had a lot of people coming up and shaking my hand, saying how honoured they are for me to be here.
“I’m just as honoured to be meeting with pro-lifers who have ensured abortion remains illegal in Northern Ireland.”
The attorney, who is the national spokeswoman for Personhood USA, founder and director of Save The One and co-founder of Hope After Rape Conception, has come under attack from pro-choice supporters for her unwavering stance that there should ‘no abortions under any circumstances’.
She is opposed to the current push in Northern Ireland for legalised abortion in cases of rape and incest and when an unborn child has been diagnosed with a life-limiting disability.
When asked if she had encountered any opposition on her visit, Mrs Kiessling said there had been “none at all”.
She encouraged pro-life campaigners to keep Northern Ireland’s abortion ban in place.
Mrs Kiessling added: “I’m alive because of pro-life leaders who were my heroes.
“They made sure abortion was illegal, even in cases of rape. They are my heroes and I owe my life to them.”
The pro-life speaker is in Northern Ireland until Friday after she accepted an invitation from Bernie Smyth of Precious Life to come here.
Her engagements include a debate at Queen’s University and talks at schools as well as Tuesday’s meeting with members of the Assembly and pro-life groups at Stormont.
Mrs Kiessling said her main agenda at the moment was to get as many countries as possible to pass updated legislation to protect rape survivor mothers from the rapist having parental rights.
When the attorney found out at the age of 18 she had been conceived from rape her life flashed before her eyes.
She said: “Like most people, I’d never considered that abortion applied to my life, but once I received this information, all of a sudden I realised that, not only does it apply to my life, but it has to do with my very existence.”