What a week the pro-life movement had last week! The extremism of the abortion lobby was on full display, both in D.C. and in the states, and we remain fully encouraged, knowing that the American people reject such extremism.
Governors both in Illinois and Vermont signed into law abortion bills that are even more extreme than the one in New York, because instead of taking refuge in a “health exception” to justify abortion on demand, they simply come right out and say that abortion is a “fundamental right.”
As this was unfolding, the Democrats in the U.S. House continued to refuse to hold a vote on the Abortion Survivors Protection Act, H.R. 962, which would protect babies outside the mother’s womb when they are born alive after a failed abortion.
And then there is the House Appropriations bill, H.R. 2740.
The Democrats placed provisions in that bill that would eliminate the rule put in place by the Trump administration to protect the consciences of doctors and nurses who refuse to participate in abortions.
Another section of the Democrat bill would reverse actions the Trump Administration took to protect our tax dollars, as distributed through Title X, from funding the abortion industry, directly or indirectly.
All the Republicans in the House voted for pro-life amendments that would have protected those pro-life provisions.
But because only three out of the 235 Democrats voted for those pro-life amendments, the amendments failed to pass.
As I said, the pro-life movement is nevertheless very encouraged, because we know that none of these pro-abortion efforts correspond to the opinion of a majority of Americans, and the more the extremism is exposed, the more Americans will move away from it.
But there’s another key way in which the pro-abortion argument is at odds with the American public, and that is in the arena of experience.
Why do legislators and their Governors in Vermont and Illinois, as well as Democrats in the U.S. House, continue to think they are serving women by taking the pro-abortion stands they take? Why do they not hear the voices of the women who have actually had abortions?
Those voices have not been silent.
Ever since abortion was legalized in America, those who have learned by painful experience that it’s much worse than smooth slogans like “freedom of choice” and “women’s rights” would suggest, have been speaking out.
And since 2003, my organization has been privileged to give those voices an even bigger platform within an organized, worldwide campaign called “Silent No More.”
Moms, dads, and other family members who have experienced the loss of a child to the violence of abortion share their stories of despair, deception, and pain, as well as of hope, redemption, and healing.
After having come through a process of reconciliation and healing, they discern whether they are ready to share their testimony publicly.
If so, we assist them to do so, at public rallies, in the media, in Churches, and in legislative hearings.
Their stories talk about why they had the abortion in the first place. Unlike laws in Vermont and Illinois might suggest, they did not have abortions because they were exercising a “fundamental right,” but because they were trapped by despair and fear.
Their stories go on to talk about how horrible the experience of the abortion procedure itself was, and how it impacted them immediately afterwards.
Then, they talk about the long term effects: the physical wounds, the devastated self-esteem, the broken relationships, the ruined careers, the substance abuse, and more.
And finally, these testimonies talk about how they sought and found healing in their faith, through their Churches, through ministries of healing like Rachel’s Vineyard, and through the pro-life movement, which, while rejecting abortion, does not reject those who have had abortions.
Indeed, the voices of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign are more necessary and relevant than ever, as our national divide on abortion becomes wider and more dramatic.
Perhaps those who, in promoting abortion, keep saying we have to “listen to the voices of women” will begin hearing those voices saying, “I regret my abortion,” and will start working with the pro-life movement for better solutions.
Fr. Frank Pavone is one of the most prominent pro-life leaders in the world. He became a Catholic priest in 1988 under Cardinal John O’Connor in New York. In 1993 he became National Director of Priests for Life. He is also the President of the National Pro-life Religious Council, and the National Pastoral Director of the Silent No More Campaign and of Rachel’s Vineyard, the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion. He travels to about four states every week, preaching and teaching against abortion. He broadcasts regularly on television, radio, and internet. He was asked by Mother Teresa to speak in India on abortion, and was asked by then-candidate Donald Trump to serve on his Pro-life and Catholic advisory councils. He has served at the Vatican as an official of the Pontifical Council for the Family, which coordinates the pro-life activities of the Catholic Church. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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