‘Silent No More’ Cannot Be Silenced

“These women need to hear what we are saying. Even if they pretend they’re not listening, they hear.”

(photo: Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The women calling themselves “Team Abortion” were not interested in hearing the truth when they showed up at the Silent No More gathering at the March for Life in D.C.

Every year since 2003, the most courageous women I know have stood outside the U.S. Supreme Court to say, in front of tens of thousands of pro-life marchers, that they had made the choice to abort their children and that they bitterly regretted that decision.

On Jan. 24, we had dozens of women giving their testimony for the first time. One young woman told of a rape at the age of 13 that set her on a bad path. Another told of a date rape at 15 that led to her pregnancy and abortion decision.

But if you were standing close to the stage, you might have missed these heartbreaking stories. A few  noisy women wearing hats that said “Abortion” had jammed themselves up next to the stage and were shouting the lunatic slogans favored by their side. They did everything they could to drown out the voices of Silent No More, which is surprising if you think about it.

Don’t feminists tell us to listen to women, trust women, believe women? Or maybe women can only be heard and trusted and believed when they are shouting lunatic slogans?

Team Abortion gave up long before we did, of course, and more than 40 women and men were able to tell their stories to everyone willing to listen. The power and pain in these stories is potent.

Listening to a woman tell her abortion story changed Adriana Camp’s life in ways she could never have anticipated and brought her to D.C. this year to tell her own story. She would never have made the trip if she hadn’t first heard another woman’s truth.

A year ago, Adriana, a mother of three grown children, received an invitation from a friend to attend the March for Life in Jefferson City, Missouri. She didn’t want to go, yet found herself driving 45 minutes from her home in Mexico, Missouri, crying the whole way, thinking about her own abortion.

Adriana got pregnant at 18 and saw abortion as her only option.

“It wasn’t even a choice,” she said. “I didn’t think I could do this.”

She was living in Los Angeles at the time, and remembers nothing about the abortion – not how she got there or got home, what it was like when she emerged from anesthesia, seeing the other women who had gone through the same nightmare – all those memories are gone.

“I do remember that a few weeks before, I was told I could qualify for one day of Medicaid,” she said. The state of California paid for her abortion.

In the more than 33 years since, Adriana had told only four people about the abortion – the baby’s father, a friend from high school, and later, her husband and her daughter. She couldn’t bring herself to tell her sons.

Arriving, alone, at the event in Jefferson City, she made her way to the front of the crowd of about 1,000 and heard a woman named Nancy Hall talk about the abortion she had as a 17-year-old. Nancy was then the regional coordinator for Silent No More and Adriana remembers thinking, “this lady is going to get stoned to death, and then the thought came into my head that that would be me some day.”

Adriana met up with Nancy after the march, telling her about her abortion, her 33 years of silence, her broken heart. Nancy invited her to take part in a post-abortion healing program called Surrendering the Secret.

“I was almost indignant, thinking I didn’t need to go through all that.” But she did go through it, spending a weekend in Nancy’s basement making her way through the Bible-based program, listening as God told her the name of the son she had aborted: Eric.

“My No. 1 fear is that more people would find out about my abortion,” she said.

A year later, she was standing in front of tens of thousands of pro-lifers at the March for Life in D.C., shouting her story over the heads of Team Abortion.

“I was so loud when I got up there, but these women need to hear what we are saying,” she said. “Even if they pretend they’re not listening, they hear.”

In the year since she found herself “shaking in my boots, all alone at the march in Missouri,” she has addressed the congregation at the church she and her husband started after he retired from the military, spoken to inmates at a women’s prison and shouted down the opposition.

None of that would have happened if she had not first heard Nancy Hall’s story. The power of the Silent No More testimonies cannot be overstated. The voices of women who bought the lie that abortion would solve their problems, then had their lives unravel, are the voices we must listen to, the voices Team Abortion was desperate to drown out at the March for Life.

“This is not what I expected to be doing with my life, but Nancy was my person,” Adriana said a few days after giving her testimony. “I hope to be that person for someone else. And I want to get the attention of that 18-year-old who thinks she has no choice.”

To read the testimonies of the women of Silent No More, go to www.abortiontestimonies.com. Information on abortion recovery programs nationwide can be found at www.abortionforgiveness.com