Unheard Voices in the Abortion Debate
On January 22, 2013, the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide, students at Benedictine College gathered to hear three women share personal testimonies about their previous abortions in a program sponsored by the college’s Department of Sociology and Criminology and organized by Karen Wood. The three speakers from the Pregnancy Resource Center in St. Joseph, Missouri, are part of the “Her Choice to Heal” program. They discussed the reasons why they had their abortions, the lies they were told prior to the abortion, and how their lives have personally been affected following their abortions.
The Benedictine student body was motivated to hear the testimony as nearly one out of every five students would depart the next day for the 2013 March for Life in Washington D.C. That event was scheduled for Friday, January 25, and the college was sending seven buses.
During the evening’s program, all three women challenged the students in attendance to be a face in the crowd at the March for Life, to defend the dignity of human life, and to overturn Roe v. Wade. With these three proposed challenges, the women began to share the trials they faced prior to their abortion and how they have dealt with their decision afterward.
Though each woman had a different personal story, they all shared common ideas. First, they were told that they wouldn’t think about the abortion after it had been committed.
“As if to say a woman will walk out of the abortion clinic with no concern that she has just killed her child,” said one of the speakers.
Another speaker described her existence after the abortion as “life from the pit of hell.”
All of the women said they had their abortions outside of marriage and two out of three women had divorced their first husbands. Divorce was just one example of how abortion had impacted people beyond the woman and the unborn child.
The three speakers said it is a challenge for each of them every day, but they were able to see the power of forgiveness. They said they now devote their lives to educating the next generation about the effects of abortion.
The women urged all Benedictine students to be a voice for those that do no have one, to be voices of truth for the women who hear time and time again it will all be okay. They said that people need to realize that having a baby, regardless of the circumstance, is a joy and not a burden. They said both men and women need hear to this more often. Counselors are available for anyone impacted by pregnancy or abortion at the Pregnancy Resource Center and more information is available through their website at www.stjoeprc.org. The group maintains a hotline at 816-244-7824.
Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.