“My God, I lay at Your Feet our burden of suffering and sorrow. I offer it all through the Heart of Jesus, and I beg You to transform these trials into joy and holiness for those I love, into graces for souls and into precious gifts for Your Church. Into that depth of depression, of moral weariness, disgust, and darkness into which You have permitted me to sink, let there penetrate a glimmer of Your surpassing splendor. Or rather, since the darkness of Gethsemane and Calvary is fruitful and good, grant that all this misery may promote the good of all. Help me to hide my inner wretchedness and destitution with the wealth of a smile, and the grandeur of Your holy love. When the cross becomes too heavy, put Your loving Hand beneath the burden You have laid upon my soul and my afflicted body. Jesus, I adore You, and I always remain indebted to You, for You have given me the Holy Eucharist and heaven itself as an antidote to my woes. Amen.”
I found this prayer the day before Sandra Cano — the “Mary Doe” of the 1973 U. S. Supreme Court Doe v. Bolton case, the companion case to Roe v. Wade — filed her motion to set aside that ruling which legalized abortion-on-demand and led to the practice of partial-birth abortion. It's a fitting prayer for us who suffer from our abortions. It wasn't written with us in mind particularly, but it could have been.
Cano says, “The truth is that I did not seek or want an abortion. I was young, uninformed and in a difficult situation. Not once in the process was I given an opportunity to speak, and no judge or attorney in court asked me how I felt about abortion.” In her affidavit, Cano says her case was based on lies and deception. She sought legal aid to obtain a divorce — not an abortion.
Norma McCorvey, the former “Roe,” and many other women harmed by abortion joined Cano and her attorneys. McCorvey's motion to overturn Roe was appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals August 26. The judge who denied Norma's first motion said too many years had passed for it to be heard.
But it isn't just Norma's heart that has been changed. It is the hearts of thousands of us. The Supreme Court has reversed its own precedents before, after as many as 41 years, so we are not discouraged.
Doe v. Bolton struck down a Georgia Statute that required three doctors to say that only abortion could save a “mother's health.” The ruling so loosely defined “mother's health” that it ended up legalizing abortion for any reason, at any time during a pregnancy.
In Connecticut, our press conference went on even though I'm fighting advanced Lyme disease and there was no press and only one attendee. At least 75 people heard my words as they walked by or stopped for red lights at the busiest intersection in town. About 300 passersby in all saw the “I Regret My Abortion” signs. I knew we made an impact when many rolled down windows to hear my words. I could see the stares, the shock on their faces as they heard of the horrors described in our sworn affidavits.
The invitation to all post-abortive women to file an anonymous “Friend Of The Court” remains OPEN. By Sept. 5, whatever Legal Briefs are ready will be added to Norma's appeal. But after that date, yours still can be included in the next level of appeals for both McCorvey's and Cano's motions as they make their way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
With your help and all women like us, we can win this thing, for God, for ourselves, our children, for everyone: “For The Least of These Brothers and Sisters” of Christ Jesus.
© Copyright 2003 Annie Banno
(Annie Banno is the Connecticut State Leader of OPERATION OUTCRY: SILENT NO MORE. To contact her or sign up to receive her free newsletter, e-mail [email protected].)