Tag Archives: Silent No More

People Deserve Better

by Fr. Matthew Wertin

Whatever anyone thinks about it politically, ethically, morally, or even religiously, one thing is certain – abortion does serious damage.  Women still die from abortion, abortion creates physical, emotional, spiritual, and behavioral problems for women, abortion is a form of racism against poor and ethnic women, abortion has lead to increased violence against pregnant women, women are pressured and coerced by family, friends, employers, institutions of learning, and sexual predators into having abortions, abortion is a band-aid that allows society to abandon women, and abortion negatively affects future relationships.  (To confirm these findings and to learn more, please go to www.silentnomoreawareness.org, or get a copy of their work, “What’s So Bad About Abortion?”)

The voices of women who have had abortions are resoundingly clear – “abortion hurts women.”  One woman, Sabrina, said, “My life just started spiraling down in destruction, and I attempted suicide three times.”  Another, Shelly, said, “Abortion did not end my pain; it began it.”  Now men are even coming forward saying, “We regret lost fatherhood through abortion.”  One man, Scott, said, “I didn’t defend the life of my own daughter.  Based on misinformation, selfishness, fear, shame, I let her die to an abortionist’s knife and I died the same day.”  The list of negative emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual effects of abortion is hauntingly grave and long.

Just as every community, big and small, has women who are experiencing or will experience an unplanned pregnancy and need alternatives to abortion, so too every community has women and men, families, who are suffering from the effects of an abortion and need healing.  The fear, the pain, the confusion, as well as the need for guidance, help, and compassion are real and present in each of these situations and in each of these people.  It should be a priority of every community, therefore, in striving to meet the needs of others in their community, to do what they can, by offering resources, compassionate care, and social action, to bring about an end to abortion, give help to those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, and extend healing, forgiveness, and mercy to those suffering from the wounds of abortion.  Abortion hurts everyone and helps no one, which is why we can and should join together in making it unnecessary, unthinkable, and unused as an option for anyone in any circumstance.  Women deserve better than abortion.  Men deserve better than abortion.  Every member of the human family deserves better than abortion.  Will we help those in need?

For opportunities for confidential care and healing, please go to http://www.newwine.ca/post-abortion-healing-recovery.htm or PROJECT RACHEL: Post-abortion healing and reconciliation. Project Rachel is a sensitive, private and confidential experience; it is for women or men who have been hurt by an abortion. Info: 416-629-8264; info@stmarysrefuge.org. All calls/emails are private and confidential.

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The Pain of Abortion

by Kate Larson

If, like me, you were unable to attend the Silent No More event on Feb. 2, I direct you to their website where you can listen to or read stories from women who have regretted their abortions and found healing. The stories are short, but there is a lot of pain in them, pain in the circumstances leading up to the abortions, pain in the procedures themselves, pain in the fear, self-loathing, depression and other negative emotions many women experienced before, during and after the abortions, pain in their regret at the decision, and pain in the healing process. The stories, however, end hopefully. While the regret at choosing abortion does not go away and has led these women to speak out, the stories describe finding forgiveness both from others and from themselves, and experiencing a sense of being set free from the past.

The latter cannot be said of the comparatively few testimonies I have come across from women who apparently do not regret their abortions. They may genuinely feel this way, or genuinely believe they feel this way. They are entitled to their opinion. What strikes me about these stories, however, is how much more negative they are than the stories of regret, despite being considered “positive” experiences of abortion. I don’t just mean negative in the obvious sense of considering that there is nothing regrettable in ending a human life. I mean negative in the sense that they detail all the pain of the stories of regret without the redemption.

Many of the “no regrets” stories describe women being in the same situations and experiencing the same fear, anger, shame, and pressure upon discovering they were pregnant as they do in the stories of regret. Both types of stories describe women having similar reactions during and after their abortions, such as crying, hatred of themselves and those around them, initial relief, and emptiness. The main difference is in how most of the stories conclude. The stories on the Silent No More website end with the admission that, though the hurt caused by abortion never goes away, healing is possible. Many of the so-called “positive” stories of abortion conclude that the author has no regrets because she considers herself undeserving or unfit to be a parent, because she has made and sees herself continuing to make bad decisions, or simply because she did not know of, or wish to know of, any other option at the time. Far from proving that the negative consequences of abortion are either non-existent or inconsequential, the “no regrets” stories show women in pain and as in need of healing as the women of Silent No More. The real difference is that the women of Silent No More have found healing and want to help others begin that long process.

Silent No More Coming to the University of Ottawa

We are pleased to announce that on Wednesday, February 2, our campus will have the honour of hosting a Silent No More Awareness Gathering. Representatives of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign will be gathering in the University Centre Agora from 10-11 a.m. and again from 3-4 p.m.

Silent No More Awareness seeks to make the public aware of the devastation abortion brings to women and men. The campaign seeks to expose and heal the secrecy and silence surrounding the emotional and physical pain of abortion.

We strongly encourage you to come out and listen to the speakers. The voices of those who regret their abortions need to be heard.

 

In the name of choice…

by Rebecca Richmond

Like many others, I was very interested to watch Focus on the Family’s Super Bowl commercial featuring football star Tim Tebow and his mother Pam. Weeks before the Super Bowl, the ad generated about as much buzz as Janet Jackson’s infamous 2004 “wardrobe malfunction.” Some feminists and women’s groups immediately went on the warpath to prevent CBS from letting one woman who chose life despite difficult circumstances tell her story. Note that they hadn’t yet seen the ad.

The entire kerfuffle was in many ways tragic to the point of ridiculous. Did anyone else find it ironic that women’s groups, in the name of choice, were trying to silence a woman’s story of her choice? Did someone rewrite the definition of choice and forget to tell me?

The commercial, when I finally saw it, was cute, positive and utterly benign.

It appears that these women’s groups may have actually ended up shooting themselves in the foot since they brought the issue to the headlines and got America and Canada talking about abortion. They also demonstrated how their position is, in and of itself, contradictory. If women have the right to chose and the right to freedom of expression, they sure shouldn’t be shot down for talking about their choice – whether it’s Pam Tebow who chose life or the women of Silent No More who proclaim that they regret their abortions, as another example.

Someone directed me to an interesting article by Sally Jenkins, a pro-choice columnist who also found the Tebow controversy silly. She writes:

Let me be clear again: I couldn’t disagree with Tebow more. It’s my own belief that the state has no business putting its hand under skirts. But I don’t care that we differ. CBS owns its broadcast and can run whatever advertising it wants, and Tebow has a right to express his beliefs publicly. Just as I have the right to reject or accept them after listening — or think a little more deeply about the issues. If the pro-choice stance is so precarious that a story about someone who chose to carry a risky pregnancy to term undermines it, then CBS is not the problem.

For the full article, click here.

While it must have been difficult for the Tebows and for Focus on the Family to endure the onslaught of angry women’s groups, the entire debacle may also have helped our cause by revealing the absurdity of the pro-choice claims. If pro-choicers want to be consistent in their claims, they need to start supporting all choices, and not just their preferences.

Watch the full story of the Tebows.