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Mrs. WAGNER. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, it is with heavy heart that I stand here today on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a decision that has done so much harm to the moral landscape of our Nation.
Since that dreadful day 40 years ago, there have been more than 55 million abortions in this country. That is roughly one-fifth of the United States population whom we will never know. We will never derive the contributions to society that these nameless angels could have brought to the world. And even worse is the emotional pain that millions of women have endured in the days, months, and years after their abortion.
It's my honor to put in the Record today the story of Joyce Zounis, who joins us today. It's compelling testimony, and it's an honor to put her testimony forward.
Since I was sworn into Congress nearly 3 weeks ago, I have had the opportunity to sign on to pieces of pro-life legislation. I believe that it is important that we prevent any taxpayer dollars from going to abortions or organizations that perform abortions.
I believe in the sanctity of life, that life is truly a gift, from conception to natural death, and I am dedicated to protecting the rights of the unborn. I support the efforts to reduce the number of abortions in this country, and will work not only to make abortion illegal, but to make abortion unthinkable.
You see, as a mother of three beautiful children, the sanctity of life is very cherished and very personal to me. In fact, it was exactly 23 years ago that I came to Washington, D.C., on a bus from St. Louis, Missouri, to participate in the March for Life. I know it was exactly 23 years ago because I was 6 weeks pregnant at the time with my second son, Stephen. Taking a 14-hour bus ride while experiencing morning sickness is generally not advisable, but I knew actively participating in the pro-life movement at a time when I was carrying my unborn child was so very important.
As a mother, I want to raise my children in a world that values life at all stages. I do not want to raise them in a world that exhibits a flagrant disregard for human life. And at that moment 23 years ago, I knew that it was not enough to simply say that I was pro-life; I had to, indeed, walk the walk.
On the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in this country, I am heartbroken for the pain this decision has caused over the last 40 years, but I am hopeful, hopeful and inspired by the many young people I have seen today who will be marching side by side with me for life this Friday. I encourage my colleagues to join me and show support for human life at all stages.
Joyce Zounis--TV and Radio Producer and Host, Living Beyond the Bandaide of Abortion
``We will not speak of this again'' were the words spoken to me as my mom and I, a 15-teen-year old high school sophomore, walked into the abortion facility. I too wanted to forget this problem. I was determined to be the one who decided when I became a mom; NOT a positive reading on a stick. Already disconnected, my mind was not on what was about to happen, but of missing cheerleading practice.
The room was filled with many girls and to my mom's dismay we saw someone we knew. Our secret was blown. I sat in a room waiting for my name to be called just like any other doctor's appointment but this was like no other. They said it won't hurt; it did! They said it would be over real quick; it has lasted 35 years!
Eleven years after my first abortion, I was having my seventh. I was in the same waiting room, walking the same hall, wearing the same gown, taking the same pill, and laying on the same table. To this abortionist's disgust, my pregnancy was further along and required more of his time.
Several hours later the vacuum-like noise broke a decade-old trance--``what have I done?'' I began to weep uncontrollably, and this enraged the abortionist. His gestures were rough, and he was morbidly pleased to have me see his bloody garments when he was finished. The nurse quickly moved me to the recovery room and gave me crackers. Within 10 minutes I was rushed out the back door and nauseous on my way home.
Eleven years, three clinics, two states, seven abortions, and not once was I told of the physical risks I would suffer later: the necessity of bi-lateral mammograms and fear of breast cancer; ovarian cysts; being bed ridden for five months in my last pregnancy and having to explain the possibly of ``mommy dying'' to my four young children due to placenta previa, which resulted in my losing all but two pints of blood; and, a partial hysterectomy at delivery.
Not once was I told of the emotional trauma I would suffer: uncontrollable anger flamed by betrayal, deafening seclusion, and the inability to trust. That child loss through choice would devour my dignity as I justified the twisted truth. Or that deception would slowly creep into all areas of my life including the need to discretely reveal several of my abortions as miscarriages.
I was never told I would feel like I was the only one going crazy. Everyone talks about their ``right to choose;'' but no one talks about the choice. In my case this led to sabotaging many life joys. I will never forget hearing my firstborn's heartbeat. Instead of joy, I was in shock, terrified that the nurses could see right through me and what I had done to my other children.
I was never told you would need to grieve and cry for your unborn; that your life would be forever altered by the horrors of your `chosen' loss, tormented by the innate longing to hold and know your dead children and their dreams. Or that my five living children would suffer with an impossible mom; trapped by the hidden sadness of her gullible past.
Through divine intervention in 1990, I had participated in an abortion recovery program. The tears so long forgotten had begun to form and fall together with the bandaides covering my shameful sorrows. With grateful relief I was able to acknowledge, name, and mourn my seven babies and rightfully publically position them among their siblings.
For over two decades, my now deceased mom joined me in telling others that abortion hurts everyone: family, friends, and future generations. We were wrong. Abortion was not the right answer for my untimely pregnancies.
I now know that you are forever a mom regardless of the age of your child; 6 seconds, 6 days or 60 years. I was blind to this but now I see. This momma of 12 children chooses to be a voice of truth. In pregnancy you carry the baby for only nine months but in abortion you carry it for a lifetime just with empty arms.
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