Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 23, 2005
They are silent no more
Women and men tell how abortion impacts their lives
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
Canadian Catholic News
More than 15 women carrying signs that read "I regret my abortion" marched near the front of the annual March for Life in Canada's capital May 12.
The women, who belong to Silent No More, were among almost 6,000 people who took part in the march from Parliament Hill through Ottawa's downtown.
Joining the women was Chantal Wafer of Dunham, Que. She had heard women's testimonies at last year's march and realized God was telling her that he had forgiven her and she must forgive herself.
Carrying a baby, Wafer spoke in French and English about how much she suffered after having an abortion, because she loved children and came from a big family.
At the time she thought she had no other choice. "I had no awareness of the spiritual consequences," she said.
Dale Barr of Cornwall, Ont., spoke of the shame and guilt she experienced after having an abortion at age 16 with her parents' knowledge. "We returned home and we pretended like it never happened," she said.
Barr said she "abandoned the Lord" for the next nine years and drank, smoked, used drugs and led a promiscuous lifestyle.
When she married at age 25, she said the deeply repressed emotions began to surface. She miscarried three times. "I believed I was being punished by God," she said.
Now, she has four children and her family's support to "speak the truth about what abortion does to women."
She found forgiveness when, after receiving prayer at a Lift Jesus Higher conference in Toronto in 1999, one of the ministry leaders announced that there was someone in the room who had had an abortion and God "wants to love you totally and he's healing you."
Men speak up too
Standing with the women were two men-carrying signs saying, "I regret lost fatherhood." Ottawa musician David MacDonald, who led a worship band for the marchers on the steps in front of Centre Block, described how as an actor on Broadway, he helped pay for his girlfriend's abortion, thinking he was being generous and fair.
After the abortion, his girlfriend went into a deep depression, and shortly after that, while touring with the musical Cats, MacDonald said he blew his voice out. "I couldn't talk for three years," he said. "I had to write on a pad."
It was only after a babysitter murdered his 17-month-old nephew that he realized the abortion he'd been involved with "was not that much different from what the babysitter did."
MacDonald found healing in Jesus Christ and is active in Silent No More. He has written several pro-life songs.
Cardinal Marc Ouellet, archbishop of Quebec, picked up the theme of the spiritual, emotional and physical harm abortion poses to women at a dinner following the march.
Ouellet presented a message on behalf of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF), which said Canada should listen to the women who are speaking about the suffering abortion has caused them.
"Children are not the only victims" of abortion, he said.
COLF urges Canadians to listen to women who have suffered "post-abortion syndrome" and other forms of emotional, moral and psychological suffering, including "drug and alcohol abuse, destructive relationships, depression, suicidal thoughts-anything to numb their pain."
Ouellet stressed the portion of the COLF's message referring to women's right to know the impact abortion may have on their health, their right to know the state of fetal development, and their right to be provided with other options.
Letter to the Editor - 06/06/05
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