Kim Keffer discovered she was conceived in rape when she reached out to learn the identity of her birth mother. It wasn’t a piece of information she expected after a wonderful childhood growing up under the protection of her loving adoptive family.

Attending the Hobart and Launceston Emily’s Voice dinners in Tasmania, Kim shared how she recently made contact with her birth mother, only to find out that her mother was raped when she got into a car with two teenage boys when aged 16 years old.

In a heart-wrenching interview with her newfound biological sister Stacy Allen, she shared of the initial shock of the news, and then the immense feeling of gratefulness to her birth mother who had the strength to follow through with the pregnancy as a vulnerable, 16-year-old girl. Kim attended with her adoptive mother Vicki and sisters Heather and Wendy, all from Texas.

Tears were shed and almost 300 people in attendance at both the Hobart and Launceston dinners were drawn to this incredibly affirming story: that our value is not determined by circumstances of conception or pregnancy, and that a strong young woman’s decision to keep her baby upheld the legacy of a family, stretching now to Kim’s own children.

It was truly a #gloriouslife moment!

We were thrilled with the turnout at both events and it was wonderful to see Hobart embrace its inaugural event. Across the two dinners, $35,000 was raised to ensure Emily’s Voice maintains a strong presence in the state.

The Hobart dinner, held at The Old Woolstore, was a warm and intimate occasion, with music by guitarist Dave Matthews. The Tailrace Centre hosted the Launceston event and music by The Jam Plan had many up dancing at the end, and talented local artist Anna Van Stralen did a live artwork for auction. Guests were moved and challenged by a presentation by Dr Rebecca Kelly who has made inroads on the negativity around Down Syndrome diagnoses.

Dr Rebecca Kelly speaking on the stigma around Down syndrome.

Emily’s Voice CEO Paul O’Rourke told guests that abortion remained Australia’s greatest unattended emergency, affecting 80,000 children and mothers each year.

“We rightly spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year preventing heart disease, cancer, the road toll, suicide and drowning, why not preventing an irreversible decision often made under pressure from others at a time when a woman is already vulnerable?

“Emily’s Voice life campaigns speak to the woman experiencing an unplanned or crisis pregnancy, and those who have most influence over her decision: the father of the child, her doctor, her mother, other family and friends.

“The ads are purposely truthful; sensitive and hopeful.’’

Tasmanians who missed out on the Hobart and Launceston dinners still have the chance to attend the Devonport dinner on June 30. Click here to book your place.

Live artwork by Anna VanStralen (detail)

Your year end can be someone else’s beginning.
Please consider donating to our end of financial year appeal, because #storiessavelives.

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