by Ed Harpring
Wounded Women & Men share their Pro-Life Testimonies at the Annual March for Life –
Hundreds from Archdiocese Prepare for Pilgrimage
“Roe v. Wade made it too easy for me to make the fateful and fatal decision to abort my child. The doctor advised that the procedure would hurt no more than ‘having a tooth removed,’ However, the procedures damaged my cervix and forced her to miscarry another baby months later. The physical toll on her body and the emotional strain of the abortions led to the demise of my first marriage.”
Dr. Alveda King – niece of Dr. Martin Luther King
(Today, King is a proud mother of six and grandmother of six. As a Christian pro-life leader, she works with Priests for Life and Silent No More to stop abortion. Following in her uncle’s footsteps, she is fighting for the rights of the voiceless and inspiring students to do the same.)
Despite the tragic results of legalizing abortion on demand (over 60 million children’s lives lost) many courageous women and men speak about their abortion experiences in an effort to keep others from making the mistake and to affirm the sanctity of Life. Since 2003, the Silent No More witnesses have spoken in 17 countries and all 50 states, with 6,270 women and men sharing their abortion testimonies. There are 2,506 testimonies posted on the Silent No More website, with 421 that are shared via video!
Last year, Fr. Stephen Imbarrato, a priest, shared his painful story from the steps of the Supreme Court:
“In the 1970s, I was living with my girlfriend, away from my Catholic faith. I was responsible for her pregnancy and, like so many, I told my girlfriend how it was not a good time for us to have a child, giving her all the lies that many men give to convince her that abortion is the best way out of their problem.
Being the coward, I was I didn’t even go with her. She went to the abortion mill all by herself. I rationalized later that maybe if I had gone with her, I would have stopped her at the last moment. A rationalization because, truly, I was a coward and this was nothing more than conscience easing.
My girlfriend’s behavior quickly changed after the abortion, a change that was parallel to the guilt I was feeling. We went to confession and saw a priest a couple of times for counseling but soon fell back into the same sinful lifestyle.
It wasn’t until decades later when I was in the seminary that I received permission from my spiritual director to look her up. At the meeting, I apologized for not standing up for her and our baby. In my apology, I mentioned that I had named our baby Mary, and I believed she was in heaven. She then stunned me with, “We have two babies in heaven. I never told you. They were twins.”
A large part of my ministry involves speaking to men about the importance of protecting women from the wounds of abortion. I encourage all men who have been wounded by an abortion to learn the lesson Jesus’ mercy has taught me and to be Silent No More.”
These heart-wrenching accounts of the pain of abortion, and a desire to make a difference by attempting to build a culture that promotes the dignity of every human “Life” is really at the heart of what the March for Life is all about. That’s why we put up with long overnight bus rides, lack of sleep and cold, snowy weather. It’s totally worth it! As Archbishop Kurtz said, “That small action (often a silent prayerful action) is a public declaration that life is worth standing up for. Every one of us needs to find the courage to have some public declaration.”