Silent No More

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The scene outside the U.S. Supreme Court in the hours before the March for Life is rowdy and boisterous and occasionally tinged with violence, as pro-abortion counter-protesters in faux-bloodstained pants attempt to infiltrate the area reserved for the women and men of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign to give their testimonies about abortion regret.

The scene was more raucous than usual at last month’s event. However, as President Trump spoke on the rally stage a mile away on Constitution Avenue, and hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers got ready to march, a woman in front of the Supreme Court, holding a handmade “My Body, My Choice” sign, folded her sign and went home.

“In telling us the details of her life, she convicted herself about the truth about abortion and was humble enough to fold her sign and walk away,” recalled Patty Decker, a member of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and one of several pro-lifers who spoke with the woman that day. The woman’s name was Chris, and she appeared to be in her late fifties or early sixties, Ms. Decker said. She was an African-American woman with her hair dyed bright pink. She appeared to be alone.

Stephanie Stone, a regional coordinator for Students for Life of America, and the woman were jostling for position when Stephanie suggested they have a conversation instead. “The woman looked at me funny and she shook her head,” Ms. Stone wrote in a story on the Students for Life website. “But then she asked, ‘what did you want to talk about?’ ”

 

Silent No More’s Theresa Bonopartis and Ms. Decker joined the conversation and learned that the woman had gotten pregnant after a sexual assault. She was pressured to abort but ultimately chose life for her son. “When I asked about her son, her whole demeanor changed,” Ms. Bonopartis said. “She told us he’s 21 and away at college. She just beamed when she talked about him.”

“What struck me was that she told us her son was born on Easter and that he was the light of her life,” Ms. Decker said. “I didn’t know what had brought her to the March, but now I think the Holy Spirit brought her there.”

The woman asked questions about rape survivors and abortion, and Ms. Bonopartis gave her information about Save the 1, an organization that advocates for the lives of children conceived in rape and the mothers who choose life even in that most difficult circumstance. “She was still holding on to her beliefs but I give her credit because when I asked her what her life would have been like if she had aborted him,” Ms. Decker said, “she said she had a lot to think about.” Ms. Bonopartis remembers the woman saying, “I don’t think I belong here. I’m going to go home.”

Chris hugged both women from Silent No More and left. “It was the best part of the whole March,” Ms. Bonopartis said. “She made the trip worth it.”

These incidents are just the tip of the iceberg. People are walking away from the pro-abortion movement every day.

For Priests for Life Executive Director Janet Morana, who founded the Silent No More Campaign in 2002 with Anglicans for Life President Georgette Forney, the incident recalled a similar one from 2004, when they and some women from Silent No More attended a pro-abortion march in D.C. “A woman named Shirley was holding a sign supplied by Planned Parenthood that said ‘Stand Up for Choice,’ and she approached me and another woman. I was holding a big yellow sign we had just had made for Silent No More. It had a smiley face and said, ‘I’m pro-life.’

“Shirley told me she had lost a child to Crib Death, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. She had tears in her eyes and she said, ‘I can’t march with them anymore.’ She bent the Planned Parenthood sign and handed it to me. I still have it.

“Silent No More has been changing hearts and minds for 18 years. What happened this year at the March for Life is proof of that.”

Mrs. Forney added: “When we allow our mother’s heart to connect with the joy our children bring to us and the world, it becomes harder to advocate for a woman’s right to kill that joy in the name of choice. I have yet to meet a woman who asks to carry a sign that says, ‘I Regret Having My Child,’ which is another reason we are silent no more. Motherhood is a blessing and we Silent No More women have learned that truth the hard way.”

Photo credit: AFP via Getty Images

Leslie Palma

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Leslie Palma is the director of communications for Priests for Life. She was a reporter and editor for the Staten Island Advance before joining the staff at Priests for Life in 2009. She is the mother of three and lives in San Antonio, Texas.

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