“I regret my abortion” … and “I am Silent No More!”
Every year, the “mainstream” media make a point of not covering the March for Life on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade abortion ruling. They are especially careful to make sure we viewers/readers never see one particular group of people at the March whose presence refutes everything the “liberal” establishment wants us to believe about abortion: the women who have actually had them.
Before the March, out on the National Mall, there is a Rally for Life at which pro-life activists, ministers, Congressmen and Senators take the podium, with a huge sound system that can be heard all the way out to the edges of a crowd that numbers in the hundreds of thousands. Speakers include some of Washington’s most prominent figures, but you will not see photos of any of these speakers in the news. Here’s why: Immediately behind whoever’s speaking, there is a solid, shoulder-to-shoulder line of brave women across the entire width of the stage, each of them holding a black sign with white lettering: “I REGRET MY ABORTION.” It is impossible to take a photograph of any of the speakers without that stark message showing up in your picture. So, the media simply take no pictures. They can’t have the American public knowing that abortion hurts women. Not when they’ve built this whole murderous structure on an absurd fiction of “empowerment” and “choice” for women.
But doesn’t every one of us know better? Haven’t we all seen what abortion has done to women we know who’ve had them? If we’re honest, we know that it has mutilated them emotionally even when it hasn’t left lasting effects physically. But, it’s human nature to resist change, and we’ve gotten so used to abortion… and so we, as a society, keep on trying to convince ourselves that abortion is not that big a deal — and the media are only too eager to make every effort to maintain that fiction.
After the Rally on the Mall, the March begins, with the very front contingent being the women — and men — of the Silent No More movement. The women with the black “I regret my abortion” signs are joined by men carrying black signs that say “Men regret lost fatherhood.” These men are even more ignored by the media than the post-abortive women are. The whole abortion debate tends to focus on the mother and the child — as if the father doesn’t exist. In all the rhetoric about “choice,” abortion advocates are scandalously silent about the fact that abortion is almost never a woman’s “free choice”; it is usually done under intense pressure from someone — quite often, the man involved. Some of these men later come to regret having pressured their girlfriends/wives to abort. Some men, on the other hand, beg their girlfriends not to abort — but since our warped legal system cuts the man completely out of it, the woman has the absolute legal right to kill their child, even over the father’s protests. In still other cases, men do not even find out that their girlfriend was pregnant until after their child has already been killed.
On the Silent No More YouTube channel, there are nearly two hundred testimonies by these women and men. (Thousands of such speeches have been given all over the U.S. by members of Silent No More.) You will notice that all of them list their full names. No anonymity here. They want the whole wide world to know who they are, for they have been healed of their shame. They have no secrets to hide any more. Quite the contrary: Now that they walk in truth, no longer living a lie — now that they have accepted forgiveness, and are no longer trying to hide from God and from themselves — they consider it their mission to tell others their stories, in the hope that others faced with an unplanned pregnancy will be spared from going through the hell that they themselves have gone through, having killed a child who can never be brought back.
You will also notice that all these individuals read from prepared notes, rather than speaking extemporaneously. There are several reasons for this. One is that each of them has put a lot of time, toil and tears into writing their unique, personal story. They do not want to risk getting flustered or breaking down and not being able to communicate it the way they had wanted to. And of course, the odds of goofing up or forgetting some important detail are considerable when one is dealing with such an emotional subject, one involving painful memories and the deepest, most personal parts of oneself.
I couldn’t be there this year, but I was there for last year’s rally and march. The March always ends in front of the Supreme Court building, where, at the base of the steps leading up to the Court entrance, a small podium and portable sound system are set up for the women and men of Silent No More to publicly share their testimonies. For me, this was the most moving, memorable part of the whole March for Life weekend. As the sun sank lower and lower, and the temperature dropped, the audience thinned to a handful — but still the women continued, one after another, in the bitter cold and darkness, telling their stories.
There were less than a dozen of us spectators left by the time the last speaker had her turn three hours later. It became clear to me that they weren’t just giving their testimonies for the world to hear — important as that is — or they would have stopped when the crowds went away. Instead, they continued; evidently, the very act of getting up there and speaking the truth out loud is, in itself, an important part of their own healing.
I am posting here the testimonies of three of the women who made the strongest impressions on me that day.
This video of Angelina Steenstra supposedly was posted in 2009, but her speech here is exactly what I remember from when I heard her speak last year. She broke my heart.
The next video is of Cheryl Carey. I did not personally see this speech because Cheryl was one of the first speakers at the Supreme Court building, and I was one of the last to arrive there, since the March crowd was over a mile long, and I was near the tail end. However, I had the incredible blessing of meeting Cheryl in the hotel later that evening, completely by “chance.” (Meaning: God arranged it!) She is an amazing person. We had a long heart-to-heart talk, even though we’d never met each other before, and may never meet again (in this life). She is one of those people who just glows. That glow doesn’t come through in this speech as it did in our one-to-one conversation — which only goes to show that even when one has been fully reconciled and forgiven and healed, the scars from abortion are still incredibly deep.
In the case of this next video, I was standing right there — just a few feet away from the camera as it filmed this speech. I remember Patricia in a special way because she reminded me so strongly of several women I have known — women who look so much the very stereotype of “the nice girl next door” — and who had abortions because they didn’t want anyone to find out they’d been “bad.” Only too late did they learn that the loss of their child was infinitely worse than the loss of their “reputation” would have been.
There are several very important themes in common in the experiences of these three very different women.
Did you notice?
I heard those same themes in nearly every single one of the dozens of testimonies that were shared that day.
There is hope and healing after abortion. Nothing is unforgivable. God loves you just as much now as He ever has. In fact, Scripture says, “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted.” If you or anyone you know needs healing from an abortion, please, please, please visit http://www.silentnomoreawareness.org/