Patty Knap calls herself a “born again” Catholic. She planned to be a wife and mother of four or five kids with several girls, but as life played out, she’s a single mom with two young adult boys. She counsels at a crisis pregnancy center, teaches CCD, takes online classes with the Avila Institute, and loves the beach, dalmatians, and America’s national parks. She also saves recipes in a pile until it gets big and then throws them out.
From the “pro-choice” camp we'll catch the cynicism and sarcasm this Friday: “Why do they keep doing this, marching in the cold every January, year after year? Can't they see, abortion's still legal so obviously they're having no effect.”
The networks and other mainstream media, if they report on the March for Life at all, will give it about four seconds , squeezed in after an alert about the Kardashians. Video coverage will be a quick flash of four elderly folks carrying "We Love Life"signs walking past a small group of "My Body, My Rights" folks.—as if the few pro-choice stragglers that come out are similar in numbers to the tidal wave of pro-lifers. It's so exasperating, year after year, that the only fair coverage to be found is with Catholic or conservative media. The average low-information media consumer is likely not to hear about the post-abortion people at the March, the adoptive families, the special needs folks, the former abortion workers, the black Americans who remember another U.S. law that denied rights to them—all testifying to the sacredness of all human life and the evil of abortion.
But as the liberals belittle and mock the efforts to give voice to the voiceless, the pro-life movement has only grown. It's grown because of ultrasound, for sure. It's also grown because of the heartwrenching testimony of post abortive women who have courageously helped to educate other women. So many of these women who were sold the lies of abortion—at probably the most vulnerable time in their life—now put their pain and passion to good use in counseling at crisis pregnancy centers. Who better to counsel a young pregnant woman convinced that abortion is the answer, than someone who thought the same thing and went through with aborting their own child? Anyone can train to counsel a young woman in an unplanned pregnancy, rattle off the major risk factors, show a fetal model, talk about help available, explore adoption. But who better than a woman who was in the same position—young, feeling “not ready”, maybe with some outside pressure from a boyfriend to abort.
The clients considering abortion who come to the hundreds of pro-life pregnancy centers across the country often think, “If I just get rid of this pregnancy, everything will be the same as it was before.” The post-abortive woman can tell her like no one else can: "No. It will not be the same. I've never been the same since my abortion. It's the regret of my life." No pro-life video, brochure, or conversation can possibly be as riveting to a pregnant woman considering an abortion than a woman saying to her, “Don't do what I did.”
I think the terribly wounded women of Silent No More and other post-abortive women (and men) are part of the reason for the increase in young people in the pro-life movement. The testimony of these courageous people has helped to educate so many on the anti-woman barbaric practice of abortion, just as the recent undercover videos tore the mask off Planned Parenthood. Young people want the truth, and there's so much deception involved in selling abortion. Our young people hear so much about “abortion rights,” and the pro-life issue presented as a human rights issue makes sense to them.
I worked with one of these post-abortive women the other day at a crisis pregnancy center near me. As we were sorting baby clothes by size and sex into bins, she shared with me that for so many years, even seeing baby clothes would bring her to tears. She had a hard time hearing about other women's babies and children, because after her abortion, she'd never been able to have one. She'd conceive and miscarry, conceive and miscarry, over and over. After much soul-searching, prayer, confession, and a post-abortion healing retreat, she can now not only sort baby clothes and enjoy it, but counsel pregnant women who think abortion is the answer.
The annual March for Life says loud and clear, “We cannot, will not, get used to abortion. It was wrong in 1973 when the Supreme Court legalized it, and it's just as wrong today.”