A woman who is the “product of rape” took a stand against abortion in a recent media appearance.
Valerie Gatto, 2014’s Miss Pennsylvania, told the ahead of the 2014 Miss USA pageant that she was against abortion.
According to Gatto, her mother was raped at knifepoint in Pittsburgh when she was only 19. Her mother contemplated aborting the pregnancy, but decided to go through with it, with help from her friends and family.
“I knew God put me here for a purpose, and He’s the reason my mother and I were saved,” Valerie Gatto said three years ago, according to a LifeNews profile ahead of the 2014 Miss USA pageant. “I want to do Him proud and my family proud.”
“I could just sit here and say, ‘Why did this happen,’ and ‘Does my father know I exist,’” she continued. “But God put me here to do great things, and I’m not going to let things from the past stop me.”
“Being a child of a rape, not knowing who my father is, not knowing if he’s ever been found, most people would think it’s such a negative situation,” Gatto told “Today” in 2014. “I grew up with my mom and my grandparents. They never looked at it as something negative.”
“I believe God put me here for a reason: to inspire people, to encourage them, to give them hope that everything is possible and you can’t let your circumstances define your life,” she added.
Gatto was told about how she was conceived when she was in the third grade.
“It gives me a deep desire to shed light on the trauma of sexual assault and rape for young women,” Gatto told LifeNews. “I am very passionate about educating women on how to protect themselves and prevent these types of crime.”
“Unfortunately, we have to be aware of these crimes,” Gatto told “Today” in regard to sexual assault. “I hope to show others how to be proactive, what to do, to be present, to be aware of your surroundings, little things like that … I’m educating women about a topic that’s so serious, but it’s so awesome to see their responses. They say it changes their life.”
“Being a voice is life-changing, and I just want to keep going,” she added. “I’m not sharing this story for publicity. I’m not doing this for any selfish reasons. I truly am doing this to change the world and make a difference.”
What happened to Gatto’s mother is tragic, but what a strong woman for overcoming it and raising a beautiful and intelligent daughter.
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