Archive for the ‘Silent No More Awareness’ Category

“Life is Always a Good”

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014
Jen and Kevin Sheridan with their son, Owen, and daughter, Aubrey.

Jen and Kevin Sheridan with their son, Owen, and daughter, Aubrey.

There are few happy endings when doctors pronounce a child in the womb to be “incompatible with life.” But miracles – and good medicine – do happen.

In the Huffington Post, Nicole Stewart wrote of her abortion at 22 weeks after a doctor made that pronouncement. Her post doesn’t detail the problems the doctor diagnosed, but a story from the Dallas News in January gives a few more clues. The baby boy’s brain was “abnormal.” Fluid was building up in his brain and lungs. He would lose the ability to swallow.

Ms. Stewart and her husband made the decision to take the life of their wanted and loved child, and they feel it was the right decision. She speaks publicly about it, and receives kudos for being one of the few women brave enough to talk out loud about her abortion. Of course, the women of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign have been doing that since 2003, but that’s another subject.

But a few weeks before the Dallas News was congratulating Ms. Stewart for her courage in talking about her abortion, a couple in Johnstown, Pa., was reaping the rewards of their courage – and their faith. Jen and Kevin Sheridan, a devout Catholic couple who already were the parents of a baby girl, learned that something was seriously wrong with the baby boy in Mrs. Sheridan’s womb. She was about 14 weeks pregnant when doctors told the couple that a neural tube defect called an encephalocele was causing a portion of the baby’s brain to grow outside of his skull. Abortion was never an option for the Sheridans.

By the time baby Owen was born at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center on Dec. 6, 2013, the growth was nearly seven pounds, and almost as long as his body. The couple knew that Owen might die shortly after his birth, but that boy had other plans. A team of specialists at Boston Children’s Hospital was able to remove the encephalocele and close his skull. Today Owen is four months old and a treasured member of his family. Exactly what his future will hold is unknown, but that is true for every living creature on God’s Earth.

It is not up to us to decide who is compatible or incompatible with life. It is not our right, in any circumstance, to take a life.

It takes courage and faith to travel the road the Sheridans did. And it takes a doctor willing to accompany a couple whose baby’s survival is in jeopardy. As I wrote in my book, “Recall Abortion,” those doctors can be found. Dr. Byron Calhoun is one. He is a pioneer of the perinatal hospice movement. Parents who know their children might not live long after birth are prepared for that eventuality. They have family with them for the birth, and often a clergy member, and a photographer. They have a chance to hold their child, to surround him with love, to let him die with dignity. Contrast that with a shot of digoxin to the heart and a brutal dismemberment. That’s what a late-term abortion is, and we can’t pretend that choosing that kind of death for a child in the womb could ever be a loving choice.

Ms. Stewart’s experience also reminds me of a situation I encountered almost 30 years ago. A woman who had given birth to twins on Staten Island asked for help from the Mothers of Twins Club, of which I was a member. One of this woman’s twin daughters was born healthy but the other had severe complications. She needed a breathing machine and a feeding tube to live, but the family’s insurance company wanted to drop them from the policy, citing the futility of continued care for this sickly newborn.

I alerted the media, rallied the troops, and joined this girl’s parents in the fight for her life. As it turns out, this is another happy ending for a child whose life was considered not worth saving. She is in her late 20s now. She had a rough start, with lots of medical intervention, but she survived and is now a young woman, a college graduate with a bright future.

Nicole Stewart and her husband made the choice they thought was right. But they were wrong. As Blessed St. John Paul II, who will be canonized this month, often said, “Life is always a good.”

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The Seven Most Common Lies About Abortion

Friday, February 28th, 2014


This week Rolling Stone Magazine ran a piece that promised readers the truth about abortion. It was written by Lauren Rankin and presented as a news story. But Ms. Rankin is not an unbiased reporter. She is a graduate student who serves on the board of the New Jersey Abortion Access Association, which raises money to buy abortions for women who can’t afford them. They hold bowl-a-thons for abortions. You can’t make this stuff up.

The seven “lies” she sets about “debunking” are based on information available at pregnancy resource centers. This nationwide network of centers – some affiliated with organizations like CareNet or Heartbeat International, and some operating independently or as ministry outreaches – exist solely to provide actual choices to women facing unexpected pregnancies. When pro-aborts talk about “a woman’s right to choose” they only mean her right to choose abortion. But a woman who knocks on the door of one of some 3,000 pregnancy centers in the U.S. will often be given a free ultrasound onsite, but that’s just the beginning. If she’s poor or homeless, she will get help finding a place to live and referrals to agencies – government and charitable – that will help her with finances. Her first visit will lead to a continuing relationship with the people at the center, many of whom are volunteers. They will be with her through her pregnancy and often, accompany her in the birthing room. There will be assistance to get back into school or assist with job opportunities and even rides to doctor’s appointments. Will she be encouraged to choose life? Absolutely. Should we apologize for that? Absolutely not.

About a year ago, a college gymnast showed up at Life Choices Resource Center in Metuchen, N.J. I serve on the board there. She knew from the moment 10 pregnancy tests confirmed her suspicions that she would have her baby. She needed help from Life Choices because she knew that everyone else in her life was going to push her toward abortion. There’s a truth about abortion you won’t read about in Rolling Stone: Many women are coerced by parents, boyfriends, husbands, employers, even guidance counselors and coaches, into abortions they would never have chosen on their own. Had this young woman gone to Planned Parenthood, she would be the mother of a dead child now. Instead, she has a three-month-old son with a full head of black hair and an angelic smile. Which choice was better? You decide.

To rebut Ms. Rankin’s biased advertorial in Rolling Stone, I will now debunk the lies that abortion profiteers and their supporters tell about abortion.

1. Lie: Abortion is not linked to breast cancer. Pro-aborts love to cite a 2003 workshop conducted by the National Institute of Health and a 2009 study by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to conclude that abortion has no link to breast cancer. That’s a lie. The 2003 workshop would not allow scientists whose research showed an abortion-breast cancer link to present at the conference. Also, many, many studies, performed before and since the 2009 study, show the so-called ABC link is a reality. In China, where abortion is mandatory for millions of women, a new study found that abortion is “significantly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer,” and that risk increases with each subsequent abortion. In India, another recent study found that multiple abortions were among the factors that caused an increased risk of breast cancer (oral contraceptives also were on the list). A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association found a significant increase in aggressive breast cancers in young women, starting in 1976. Although the researchers said they couldn’t pinpoint a cause, they theorized that a sedentary lifestyle could be to blame. But the spike in cancer started three years after abortion became legal everywhere in the country and that can’t be a coincidence. To learn about dozens of additional studies that point to an ABC link, go to the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute’s fact sheet.

2. Lie: Abortion is not linked to infertility. As compelling evidence that breast cancer and infertility are not even tangentially related, abortion advocate Rankin offers this quote from the Mayo Clinic web site. “Abortion isn’t thought to cause fertility issues or complications in subsequent pregnancies.” Isn’t thought to cause? In case you’re not convinced, she points to research from the Guttmacher Institute (a kissing cousin of Planned Parenthood that is falsely described as “nonpartisan”) that suggests first-trimester abortion is not harming women’s fertility. Not so fast. Another study from China showed a correlation between first-trimester abortion and subsequent miscarriage. And what I know from my work with the Silent No More Awareness Campaign is that botched abortions do lead to loss of fertility or cause women to have hysterectomies. Many women who speak of their abortion regret, like Donna, aborted the only child they would ever conceive.

3. Lie: Women don’t regret their abortions. Rachel’s Vineyard is one of the world’s largest post-abortion healing ministries. Since it began in 1993, it has helped 250,000 women and men heal from their abortion experiences. In 2013 alone, more than 1,000 weekend retreats were held, and the Rachel’s Vineyard model has spread to 49 states and over 70 countries. The retreat is currently offered in 22 languages, with other translations in progress. Rachel’s Vineyard wouldn’t continue to grow if women weren’t dealing with feelings of regret after abortion. Women don’t need the endorsement of the American Psychological Association to validate their feelings. What they need is help dealing with those feelings, and they get help at Rachel’s Vineyard.

4. Lie: Women who see an ultrasound image of their baby have the abortion anyway. The Rolling Stone puff piece pointed to a report of a study that looked at 15,000 women who went to Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles for an abortion. Of those who chose to look at the ultrasound image, most had the abortion anyway. But hang on a second. The lead researcher, Dr. Mary Gatter, was on the Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles senior management team in 2012-2013. The rest of the research team has solid pro-abortion bona fides as well. Randi Zung of the Obstetrics & Gynecology journal wouldn’t divulge who funded the study, but it was very likely the same cast of population control characters who ordinarily fund studies that always come out on the side of abortion. So this is the situation: Planned Parenthood and its supporters fund research that is performed by its very own people, and the results favor those who profit from abortion, namely Planned Parenthood. One hand washes the other, and the baby is thrown out with the bath water, if you’ll pardon the mixed metaphor. Something else to consider: A woman who is on the table for an ultrasound at an abortion clinic is probably not getting out of there with her baby alive, even if she decides to choose life. Tales of women being held down and forcibly aborted are common, and even if force isn’t used, women in this vulnerable state are repeatedly assured that once the “contents of the uterus” are gone, everything will be all right. No abortionist wants to lose a sale.

5. Lie: Abortion is not psychologically damaging to women. This is basically the same lie as number three. Rolling Stone relies on a 2008 statement from the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion that said there’s no evidence that a single abortion causes mental health problems. But in that very same paragraph, it says: “The Task Force found some studies that indicate that some women do experience sadness, grief and feelings of loss following an abortion and some experience ‘clinically significant disorders, including depression and anxiety.’ ” So, in other words, mental health problems. Dr. Vincent Rue, a psychotherapist with more than 30 years’ experience working with people suffering trauma and grief after abortion, first used the phrase “post-abortion syndrome” in 1981 to describe what his patients were experiencing. The pro-abortion medical establishment has been trying to discredit the term ever since. But the syndrome doesn’t have to be officially recognized for it to cause suffering. We see it in our work every day.

6. Lie: Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider (TRAP) laws make abortion unsafe for women. The abortion industry is a master of spin. When Kermit Gosnell’s “house of horrors” was discovered in Philadelphia in 2011, pro-aborts crafted a tale so ridiculous it was hard to imagine reporters would use it in their stories, and yet they did. They insisted that toughening up oversight of abortion clinics was forcing good clinics to close and leaving the worst of them open to kill children and maim their mothers. Gosnell’s clinic had not been inspected in 17 years, even though its deficiencies were well-known and reported to city and state officials. Can you imagine a nail salon, or a veterinarian office, or a portable toilet for that matter, going so long between inspections? In West Virginia, abortion clinics have never been inspected! Unfettered access to abortion is seen as so important that pro-aborts think nothing of exposing women to the most horrific conditions as they fight every single proposed regulation. Gosnell’s Philadelphia clinic was not an anomaly. Here’s a house of horrors in Michigan. In Delaware. In Virginia. In New Jersey. You can find a house of horrors in every state if you’re willing to put in the time to look. This strange situation puts pro-lifers in the position of working to make abortion safer for women. Do we hope that some of these abortion regulations will close clinics? Absolutely. Does the strategy work? It does! A record-setting 87 abortion clinics closed last year alone. The latest weapon in the TRAP war is for states to pass laws, as Texas, Ohio and others have done, that force abortionists to have admitting privileges at hospitals within a reasonable distance. Many abortionists can’t get these privileges because they are quacks. They lose licenses in one state and they set up in another. Or they are circuit- rider abortionists, hopping from state to state on a weekly basis. Third-trimester abortionist LeRoy Carhart wasn’t even in Maryland anymore when Jennifer Morbelli died after an abortion at 33 weeks. That’s the state of safe, legal, rare abortion in our country (i.e. not safe, not rare).

7. Lie: Abortion does not endanger women’s health and lives. This week, GM recalled 1.37 million cars because a faulty ignition had led to 13 deaths. Although we know that many women are killed by abortion and the cause is covered up on their death certificates, the Centers for Disease Control concedes that eight women died after a legal abortion in 2009 in the U.S. But isn’t that eight too many? Aren’t the lives of these women, these pregnant women – these mothers – as valuable as the drivers whose faulty ignitions killed them? We know that by September 2011, 14 women had died from RU-486 abortions, and yet instead of being recalled, the drugs are still considered the next best thing in abortion. Post-abortion depression is also killing women, and you don’t have to reach back very far to find examples. The Australian actress Charlotte Dawson committed suicide this week. In a television interview that was later reported in the Daily Mail, the actress discussed her marriage to Olympic-hopeful Scott Miller and the abortion she had to keep him from being distracted from his swimming career. That abortion triggered a depression from which she never recovered. Also this week, LifeNews reported on the tragic suicide of a young woman in England that also was linked to her abortion.

Abortion is the real war on women, and it’s killing us.

My colleagues Georgette Forney, who co-founded the Silent No More Awareness Campaign with me, and Bryan Kemper, Priests for Life’s Youth Outreach director, also were outraged at the Rolling Stone piece. Read what they had to say here and here.

Posted in Abortion Complications, Breast Cancer, Forced Abortion, Health Care, Late-term abortion, One Child Policy, Planned Parenthood, RU-486, Silent No More Awareness, Uncategorized, Women's Health | 4 Comments »
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You can help report on the March for Life

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

140121 Blog Image JM

Every year on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, hundreds of thousands of people from all over the country descend on Washington, D.C. for the March for Life. And every year, the mainstream media mostly fails to show up.

This year, pro-lifers are taking matters into their own hands.

The Media Research Center is inviting anyone with a smart phone, iPad or other recording device to record and send interesting and newsworthy things they spot along the march route or any of the other events held in conjunction with the event. The footage could end up in a documentary MRC will produce to show and tell the truth about the massive mobilization of people who want to see an end to legal abortion in the United States.

So if you are at the Youth Rally at the Hyatt Hotel this afternoon, or the National Memorial for the Pre-born at Constitution Hall on Wednesday morning, or at the Supreme Court listening to the testimonies of the women and men of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, consider yourself an iReporter and document what you see.

To find out more about the project, click here.

Also this year, the producers of the pro-life film, “The Voice of John,” will set up a studio in the Hyatt Hotel – aka March for Life Central – to interview pro-life leaders on the day of the march. Roving cameras in the crowd will provide a live feed beginning at 4 p.m. To tune in, go to

And as in previous years, EWTN will have a live feed throughout the march. For the first time this year, EWTN will cover the Silent No More rally at the Supreme Court building. So if you can’t be at the march, please make sure to tune in.

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Silent No More Awareness Campaign Canada to mark 10th anniversary

Monday, May 6th, 2013





That's me speaking last year at the Silent No More Awareness Campaign Canada event at the National March for Life in Ottawa.

That’s me speaking last year at the Silent No More Awareness Campaign Canada event at the National March for Life in Ottawa.

The women and men of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign Canada will be in the vanguard of the National March for Life in Ottawa on May 9 and will talk about their abortion experiences and regret during an hour-long event, beginning at 2:45 p.m. on the steps of Parliament Hill.

Angelina Steenstra, National Coordinator for the Campaign, organized the first gathering in 2004 after attending the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., that January. She was moved by the courageous testimony of the women who spoke in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building about their abortion experiences and knew that a similar gathering would be a powerful addition to the March for Life in Canada. Her efforts were embraced by National March for Life organizers, and a dozen women gave their testimony on May 13 that year.

“We’ve been very embraced.  People are extremely grateful for our courage,” said Mrs. Steenstra, who last year was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in honour of her service to her fellow Canadians.

Janet Morana, co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, also will speak at the gathering.

“Women who have made the choice for abortion are the best qualified to talk about how devastating that choice has been,” Ms. Morana said. “Experience trumps rhetoric every time.”

Last year’s National March for Life was attended by a record-breaking crowd of 20,000 people. More than 4 million unborn children have been killed through taxpayer-funded abortion in Canada since 1969.

“Support for abortion is the politically correct position in Canada, but the debate is ongoing in the public square,” said Ms. Steenstra. “The Silent No More Awareness Campaign has contributed to the dialogue in a unique and meaningful way.”

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Arkansas abortion ban is good policy, but it could be better

Friday, March 8th, 2013



The Arkansas Legislature took a ground-breaking step this week when it enacted a ban on abortions beyond 12 weeks, the point at which a heartbeat is detectable. Legislators had to override the veto of Gov. Mike Beebe to get the law on the books. Pro-abort groups have vowed to challenge the constitutionality of the new law in court, so second and third-trimester babies are not safe yet in Arkansas.

But even if this law survives all challenges, it leaves some later-term babies at risk: Those who were conceived in rape, those whose mothers’ lives could be imperiled through carrying to term, and those with serious fetal anomalies.

These exceptions are tacked onto just about every piece of abortion legislation because even some pro-lifers believe abortion in these circumstances is unavoidable. I’m here to tell you that is not the case.

Let’s take a look at rape. The numbers of rape-related pregnancies in the United States are hard to pin down, but the best estimate is that between 25,000 and 30,000 women become pregnant through rape every year (that number likely will fall, as women treated in hospitals after rape are often given morning  after contraception – but that’s a subject for another time). About half of the women who become pregnant through rape give birth to their children and the other half abort. Many of those who choose abortion later come to regret it.  Irene van der Wende, a regional coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign in the Netherlands, was conceived when her mother was raped and then became pregnant through rape herself. She aborted her child, and immediately knew she had made a mistake.

“I could have grown to love my child just as my mother loved me,” she said. “Life is not about how we were conceived.”

Women who choose life for their babies are never sorry they did.

Here’s something else to consider about rape and parenting. When a woman chooses to have her baby, the rapist can claim parental rights. Even more outrageous: Many states have streamlined the process for terminating a rapist’s parental rights when the mother makes an adoption plan, but women who keep their babies find very little similar protection in the law. Also, federal funds – which cannot be used to pay for abortion – can be used to abort a child conceived in rape. These children begin their lives in the womb with fewer rights than anyone else!

Let’s look at fetal anomalies. In our culture that stresses convenience for all, we have convinced ourselves that babies with serious defects or life-limiting illnesses should not be allowed the dignity of a birth and a life, no matter how short or compromised or inconvenient. We have come to look at abortion in these cases as the humane choice. But the loving choice would be for parents facing these kinds of desperately sad situations to seek out a pro-life doctor and a perinatal hospice program, like those pioneered by Dr. Bryon Calhoun. If these babies could choose, do you think they would select a brutal death by forceps or a brief life surrounded by family and love and warmth? Abortion is never the loving choice.

Abortion to save a mother’s life is never necessary. Women do face life-endangering situations during pregnancy, but doctors who are committed to treating two patients do everything they can to save them both, with great success. Dr. Calhoun offers sage advice to other physicians: “Just be a doctor and treat two patients, the mother and her unborn child.”

When I started writing my book, “Recall Abortion,” I expected to have a struggle in trying to defend the lives of babies conceived in rape, those facing serious health challenges, and those whose very lives in utero are threatening their mothers. I knew that abortion is never the right choice, but I worried that the arguments of those who advocate for abortion in these instances would be hard to refute. But my research and my interviews with those on the front lines showed me that the argument for life is an easy one to make, without exception.

If you would like to read my book, now available in print and electronic editions, please go to While you’re there, please sign the petition and help get this terrible product called abortion off the market.

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Women of Silent No More Regret Their Abortions; Ask them why

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Close to 10,000 women and men have registered their abortion regret on the Silent No More Awareness Campaign website. More than 1,637 have written or videotaped their stories. Since campaign members started attending the March for Life in 2003, hundreds have spoken in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building to share the vital message that abortion is a bad choice.

But when a health writer for the Associated Press in Chicago was looking for women to discuss their abortion experiences, she couldn’t find any.  Ultimately she did find her way to, a site that describes itself as neutral on the abortion issue, and convinced four women to tell their stories anonymously. All of them said abortion was the right choice for them. One of them called herself a pro-choice Catholic. One had a brain tumor. One was coerced by the baby’s father. One, whose mother decided against aborting, had a child whose serious illness caused a stillbirth. But she had a P.S.: She lives in South Dakota, where abortion restrictions are the toughest in the country. Here’s a link to the full AP story:

I’m not suggesting the reporter fabricated these interviews, but certainly she chose only stories that highlighted the pro-choice side. For instance:

*She reports, quoting an unspecified statistic, that only 2 percent of abortions lead to obstetric infections. She did not report on the death of 24-year-old Tonya Reaves in Chicago this past summer, killed by a botched abortion at Planned Parenthood.  Read about that here:

*She quotes only women who said they had to choose abortion because there was no other way. She did not write about the mother of 20-week twin girls who decided to abort in Orlando this summer because she already had two girls at home and didn’t want more. Silent No More’s Kelly Clinger describes that here:

*She spoke to a woman who said the baby daddy didn’t want the baby. She did not mention that coercion is a frequent cause of abortion. It’s illegal, but it happens every day. And when a woman stands her ground, she can be killed like Cherica Adams was in 1999, when she refused to abort the son she conceived with then-Carolina Panthers receiver Rae Carruth. You can read that incredible story here:

Had the reporter found her way to Silent No More, she might have found Kelly Stauffer’s story of being forced by her parents to have a late-term abortion at the age of 14. Or Jacquie Stahlnaker’s story of being driven to the abortion clinic by a man who said he would kill her if she didn’t abort. Women are forced into aborting every day. You want to talk about a war against women? Let’s start here.

The premise of the AP story was to dispel what the reporter said was a pervasive attitude about the types of women who have abortions. She didn’t say who hold this pervasive attitude, but I can guarantee it’s not the pro-life movement. We know that women from all walks of life, all faiths, all economic strata and all ages find themselves facing unplanned pregnancies. Thanks to the courage of thousands of these women, we know what led them to choose abortion, and how it has impacted their lives ever since. Please read their stories at and decide for yourself if abortion is ever the right choice.

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My first National Review piece!

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Dear friends,

I’m very honored and thrilled to share with you the news that’s made my week: The National Review has published my response to an article in last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine on the ‘selective reduction’ of twins – when a pregnant mother of unborn twins decides to have one of the twins injected with a lethal solution.  I would love to hear your feedback, and thank you all for your encouragement and support as I venture into the world of writing and blogging!  God bless you all!


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Not quite as exceptional as you might think…

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

I saw the following item in the news yesterday and wanted to offer my own anecdotal perspective on it:

“Operation Rescue has released eight tapes of 911 calls from New Mexico abortion clinics regarding women who suffered from complications including a ruptured uterus, cervical laceration with hemorrhaging, and multiple seizures.  On average, there is a 911 call from a New Mexico abortion clinic every 10 weeks.”


Several years ago, I was in the emergency room at a major hospital in New Jersey.  In the same room was a pretty young woman in her twenties who was suffering from hemorrhaging. I heard her tell the doctor that she had undergone an abortion earlier that day. She was rushed off for some tests.  Upon her return to our shared room, the doctor informed her that her hemorrhaging stemmed from fetal tissue left inside of her uterus from the abortion – parts of her unborn child that the abortionist had failed to clean out of her.  He explained that her uterus might have been perforated, in which case a hysterectomy would be necessary. Even more heartbreaking, the abortion might have perforated her colon, too.  If that were the case,  this attractive young woman would spend the rest of her life with a colostomy bag.

But it was what the doctor said next that blew me away:  “You’re one of the lucky ones…”

Now, I was perfectly aware at this point that botched abortions had not disappeared after Roe vs. Wade.  Abortions were legal, but – despite the promises of pro-choice advocates and politicians – abortions had not become rare, and they still weren’t always safe.  But this experience brought the issue to my attention in a more dramatic way.

Not every woman suffers the same problems from a botched abortion as this young woman did, but how many times do we hear about women experiencing infertility after an abortion?  Many of these women don’t even make the connection between the two.  My work with the Silent No More Awareness Campaign has really opened my eyes to how *common* these complications are. You can visit to read and listen to more testimonies.  The next time you hear someone talk about the benefit of abortion – how women need abortion – share these facts and this story with them. Abortion shouldn’t just be illegal – it should be unthinkable. It should be the choice that no one has to choose.

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