Celebration of Life
This year’s Celebration of Life was held at the Gardens of Park Hills in Park Hills, Kentucky, on Sunday, September 10, 2017.
Music was provided by Tony Beyer, a remarkable Northern Kentucky musician.
The Invocation was offered by Nick Gallo, 4th Degree Knight of Columbus, Archbishop Leibold Assembly, Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Rep. Joseph Fischer of Campbell County, Kentucky. The Benediction was offered by Deacon David A. Shaffer, Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Chaplain to Helpers of God’s Precious Infants, a liturgical ministry that gives prayer witness every Saturday in Cincinnati.
Silent No More Awareness Campaign
We have three goals for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.
#1 One is to reach out to those touched by abortion and then help them find healing, and when they’re ready, to encourage them to share their story, break the silence, and speak the truth about abortion.
#2 To educate society about the emotional, physical, and, most importantly, the spiritual implications of abortion.
#3 Share our personal testimony of the suffering and healing, and to help other women to avoid the pain of abortion.
Since 2003, over 6,000 women and men have shared their stories at nearly 1,700 events in 17 countries and in all 50 states with the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. Our website, silentnomore.com, has over 2,400 testimonies in addition to 400 on video. I encourage you to go and read through those to get more insight into the damage of abortion.
Silent No More has over 17,000 members, who also regret their abortions, their lost fatherhood, or the death of an aborted family member. We share our stories because our personal experiences annihilate the abortion rhetoric, that women actually need abortion, that you’ve never read a story of regret.
I ask you to please listen closely to mine. It will give you insight into the mass destruction that abortion leaves behind, as well as the trauma that can lead a man or a woman to a place of utter desperation.
My story begins here in Cincinnati. I grew up the youngest of four children in a middle class home. I was raised Catholic and Catholic educated through 12th grade. Verbal and physical abuse was prevalent in my home, and I became a survivor of sexual abuse at a very young age. Despite the chaos, God was the one stable force in my life. Even at a young age, I loved Him fiercely, and I was devoted to Him.
At the age of 15, my parents agreed to allow me to go on my first date, and it did not end well. I experienced rape on that date. It was at this age that I developed an eating disorder to try to get control of the chaos in my world. The pain resulting from all of the traumas began eating away at my faith in God and my intent to follow Him, and to live a pure life until marriage.
I felt absolutely worthless as a human being. It is at this age that I also began to abuse alcohol in an effort to numb my pain.
I became a United States Marine at the age of 18. Within months I endured two more sexual assaults in the military – both alcohol related. At this point I pretty much threw in the towel. I decided that because others had stolen my gift of sexuality, I would just give it away to anybody who wanted it. At that time, I wasn’t worth anything, and it wasn’t worth anything.
For the very first time when I did engage with a level of permissiveness, I became pregnant. I lovingly made adoption plans for my son in 1985. Deep in my heart I truly wanted to keep him and be his mother. I did not receive focused counseling or guidance with how to deal with the trauma of losing my child.
By the age of 28, and by the sheer grace of God, I was able to get my life back on track. I went back to school and began a career in television news. I served as a reporter, then a producer and executive producer. I worked all over the country in different markets, eventually landing in Miami, Florida, and it’s there that I met my first husband.
My son Keegan was born in June, 2004. I was overjoyed to learn that I was pregnant again in late 2005, and then devastated to find out we were losing that child in December of that year. I was determined to have another child, so the next pregnancy was twins, and in spring, 2006, I got devastating news again that I was losing the first of the two twins. Two weeks later I would learn that the second child was also dying within me. While I was losing the second of those babies, I was also going through an unexpected painful divorce.
Newly divorced and a single mom, I moved from Florida back to Cincinnati. Months after settling into a new home and a new job, I went right back into the same behaviors that got me into trouble in the first place. I began a relationship with someone at age 41 and found myself pregnant again.
Because I had lost four babies to miscarriage, this pregnancy was great news to me, but it was not to the father. I was told that he would not support me emotionally or financially, and that I had to have an abortion. I felt trapped emotionally, but more than anything, spiritually, knowing that there was a life inside of me. My self-worth at that point in my life was in the high negatives. So instead of fighting those lies, I bought stock in them, and I blocked out the rest of the world, but most importantly, I blocked out God.
At the time I didn’t see my child as a blessing, but rather a challenge. It didn’t matter that I had identified as pro-life my whole life. It didn’t matter that I was a poster child for life for 23 years as a birth mother. It’s very important that you understand that none of that mattered because that is what it feels like to be in that position. I was desperate.
I wished to have the abortion done as soon as I could before I would change my mind. The morning of my abortion in July of 2007, the waiting room at the Women’s Med Center in Clifton was full of women, mostly girls. None of them would look at each other. There was a tremendous amount of shame that blanketed that room. It’s indescribable. The abortion clinic atmosphere was dark and cold, and there was no love there. God didn’t live there.
I had a suction abortion, and my daughter was nearly eight weeks old when the abortionist, Martin Haskell, pulled her body from mine, and it is a sound that I will never forget. As soon as the procedure began, my tears began to fall. I regretted it immediately. I was heartbroken, and I was wounded. My soul was tortured, and I was in such pain – emotional, physical, and spiritual. The physical pain was beyond anything I had experienced before, and I was not warned about that – worse even than natural childbirth. And when I cried out in pain, instead of the “care” they say they give to women, I was told by my abortionist to “shut up.” And I felt I deserved that.
I left that clinic with an empty belly, a hollow cavity once full of life. And I could not stop weeping.
A darkness descended upon me, a complete separation from my God. I can only describe it as the darkest night of my soul. I wandered aimlessly in my life, unable to be present and fully love my son or anyone else. That is the damage abortion does.
After a lifetime of loving God fiercely…I hid my face from Him because He knew my sin. Yet He continued, in His mercy, to call me to Him through His Son, Jesus. You see, I knew God, but I didn’t truly know His Son, and I definitely didn’t understand or comprehend what He did for me on the Cross, that He died for my sin of abortion.
More than five years after my abortion, I had a life-changing encounter at the foot of the Cross of Jesus Christ, where I found mercy, grace, and redemption.
I completed a post-abortive healing program, which is so very, very important for all of us who have been through it. Now I stand here forgiven and set free.
I know that I am freer and am following God’s call on my life, passionately pursuing and sharing the testimony of salvation through Jesus Christ, and the value of all lives, especially those we see as undeserving.
Some will say that abortion is a woman’s right, that abortion is a solution and that it empowers women. That’s an absolute lie. It destroys women, from the inside out. It takes the life of their beautiful child, and it steals their soul. There is nothing empowering about that.
I Am Silent No More
I recently read this somewhere and I found it powerful, profound, and disturbing. There is tremendous sadness, loneliness, in the cry, “A woman’s right to choose.” No one wants an abortion as she wants an icecream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal, caught in a trap, wants to gnaw off its own leg.
And this is why I am silent no more. I am encouraged, emboldened, and strengthened by the fierceness and power of my mighty Savior to help you and the rest of the world understand that we’re fighting for more than a baby here, more than one person. The key to winning this fight is to know and understand God’s heart, that it breaks when one of His children is snatched from this world through abortion, so that the second death is what breaks His heart over and over and over again.
Statistically it used to be 1 in 3 women who had had an abortion by the age of 40. That’s 30% of women. Fifty percent (50%) of those women will have two or more. Nearly 50% of all the women who choose abortion identify as Christian or religious and attend church regularly. It’s a secret that is well hidden. Shame is a powerful tool of the enemy, and it wreaks havoc in so many ways in the lives of these women and these men. They begin the process of a slow suicide once condemned.
How destructive is abortion? Addiction to drugs, alcohol, pornography, abusive relationships, eating disorders…I can go on and on. They’re all a result of it. Ninety-nine percent (99%) of incarcerated women are post-abortive. There is a huge need for abortion healing in our jails and prisons. There are those who just simply can’t live with the guilt and shame, and they take their own lives.
A Challenge to You
I challenge you today to dig deep to find the compassion of Jesus Christ and to love those we deem unlovable, undeserving, or unworthy, to go outside of your comfort zone, to look beyond what is right in front of you. There are women hurting, suffering, abusing themselves through drugs and alcohol. Jesus came for sinners. He didn’t say, “Get back to Me when you’re good with My Father.” He pursued them. He led them to healing with compassion, through words and actions.
If we stop and pick them up and show compassion, their wounds left by abortion, their deep inconsolable grief, can lead them to healing, if we value them as Jesus does. If we do this, we have power. God revealed to me that if we raise up these women, we’re raising up an army of Esthers to speak God’s truth to the world. There is power in these women and these victims whom we haven’t led to healing.
So I encourage you to pray that God gives you a heart like His and that He breaks your heart for what breaks His. Pray from the compassion of Jesus in your heart. You can find many resources to help you on the silentnomore.com website, so that we can all help lead these souls identified as the second victim in abortion to Him. Please help us be silent no more, by sharing our campaign on social media, in your church, among your friends, your groups, your schools. Everyone needs to hear the truth.