June 17, 1970: Dallas Federal Court legalized abortion in Texas in the Roe v. Wade case; three years later, the Supreme Court did so nationally.
Over one-thousand of us who have suffered from abortions went with Norma into that court, on paper at least. Our notarized affidavits are the largest body of sworn evidence in the world on the negative effects of abortion on women.
Roe v. Wade was decided on the basis of one single affidavit: Norma's.
As I spoke in Connecticut, knowing Norma was speaking at that same moment to the entire world from Texas, it overwhelmed me. That I also had reached the most vulnerable part of my
testimony, intensified my emotions. My voice cracked; the tears began; the five press people and crowd of thirty stood motionless, watching, listening. My son appeared at my side, his arm around me, and I kept going.
History is being made, I thought. No, it's being changed! The reporters looked awestruck. They had never heard this nor ever seen someone cry in pain over her abortion. The cameramen filmed constantly. Channel 12 News at 5 PM, and the Connecticut Post carried lead stories.
It was a day of answered prayers. Three of us who had suffered abortions spoke. The pro-life crowd watched as we cried. One of us explained how horror-filled her saline abortion was, and how she sought it only after her parents had thrown her out of the house for getting pregnant. She now leads Lumina, a post abortion referral service in Westchester County, NY. Another woman spoke of her advanced-stage breast cancer, at the early age of 31, caused by her abortion. Stomachs turned. Hearts broke.
An amazed man passed by, staring, just as I said, “If you love a woman, a daughter, a friend who is experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, please don't suggest an abortion. Instead, promise and provide unconditional love and support.”
A 70+-year-old woman asked to complete an affidavit about her illegal abortion 40 years ago. Her eyes shone as she spoke of how Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat helped her live again.
A dozen men and women completed Friend of the Court forms, a way to stand up and speak out as a post-abortive woman.
Will you? It takes two minutes, NO notary and a 37-cent stamp. For these affidavits from post-abortive women, the notary public need only see you sign it. No one must appear in court and while your name should go on all forms, write that you want only initials or first name used, and it will be done.
One of our signs read, “The Mother and Child Reunion Is Only A Motion Away.” Paul Simon claimed it wasn't about abortion, but the lyrics seem so clearly about a man's post-abortive sorrow:
“Oh, little darling of mine, I can't for the life of me / remember a sadder day. / I know they say let it be / But it just don't work out that way / And the course of a lifetime runs / over and over again/… I just can't believe it's so / and though it seems strange to say, / I never been laid so low / in such a mysterious way.”
It's several motions away, actually, as the Supreme Court added Doe v. Bolton and other pro-abortion decisions. In states like Connecticut, we still must repeal laws legalizing abortion even once the high court's are overturned.
Will you be one of the 100,000 or more affidavits we hope to present when this victory for life, for women, for children, for our Lord, is at last won? Please join me. Not a single soul in your life ever need know.
The hymn at Mass that Tuesday morning was “Sing, People of God.” As I sang, I realized God's call: “Enter the Court of the Lord with a heart full of love / A heart that speaks out the greatness of God who has saved us from all harm!” Truer words were never written for that day, and for us, now.
© 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]: “In a recent switch of browser/O.S. software, I lost one or two email addresses of people who subscribed to my newsletter list. If you subscribed but are NOT receiving it, please re-contact me. Thanks.”)