Today, Congressman Diane Black (R-TN) and Pro-Life Caucus Chairmen Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL) hosted a press conference marking the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion legal and paved the way for 55 million abortions. The Congressmen were joined by victims of abortion who spoke from the heart about their private experiences.
"Since I entered the working world as a nurse over forty years ago, women have broken through unthinkable barriers. While we have made significant progress towards gender equality, a new form of injustice has taken root in our society -- injustice masked by the façade of empowerment and freedom," said Black. "Forty years after Roe v. Wade, the reality is, one third of my daughters and granddaughters' peers are not here to benefit from the progress we have made and share in our hopes and dreams for the future. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,'" said Congressman Black.
"The pro-life movement is not only on the side of compassion, justice, and inclusion; we are on the right side of responsible science and of history," Smith said. "Someday future generations will look back on America and wonder how and why such a seemingly enlightened society, so blessed and endowed with education, advanced science, information, wealth and opportunity could have failed to protect the innocent and inconvenient."
"The 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade is a sad occasion. In that time more than 55 million babies were denied the right to life," said Lipinski. "While we mourn for the babies and their mothers, we in the pro-life movement must rededicate ourselves to prayer and action to protect life. In Washington we must continue to focus on changing our nation's laws. But we all must also be committed to changing hearts and minds, along with caring for expectant mothers and their babies."
In addition to the members of Congress, victims of abortion also spoke about the legacy of the Roe v. Wade decision and the true impact of abortion:
Marcia Carroll experienced the impact of Roe v. Wade when her daughter was secretly taken across state lines for an abortion without parental knowledge or consent: "As a result of this legal abortion that was completed unbeknownst to me, my daughter suffered years of depression, intense grief, post-traumatic stress disorder, nightmares, thoughts and even attempts of suicide. Only with years of counseling are we able to cope with the affects and consequences of that day."
Olivia Gans Turner, the director of American Victims of Abortion who helped organize one of the nation's first peer-to-peer post-abortion groups after suffering an acute emotional reaction to her own abortion experience, said: "Legalized abortion has created an industry which denies women information and support to have their children. Women need better options than the death of their baby, when facing abuse, poverty, lack of education, or health risks. Abortion never solves those problems and often makes things much worse. Forty years after Roe v. Wade women still find themselves struggling to find answers and support when pregnant that respect both mother and child. Abortion is promoted as the only answer to a complex life situation without regard for what comes after."
Linda Shrewsbury is a founding member of American Victims of Abortion (AVA) and Black Americans for Life (BAF) who shared her own abortion experience: "I was shocked to discover the racist, elitist's roots of abortion, and further to learn that the philosophy underpinning the U.S. pro-abortion movement is also the grounds of the Jewish Holocaust in Germany. Eugenicists closely associated with Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, in fact exported U.S. eugenics to the Third Reich Margaret Sanger's contempt and disdain for people she deemed inferior was no secret. Her writing conveyed it openly. Eugenics viewed abortion as a preferred strategy for population control, but individual women and men--the procreators have to be persuaded. How convenient to pose their compliance with destroying their offspring as their choice and their right. For Planned Parenthood--mission accomplished. Thirty percent of all abortions in America are on Black women and children."
Irene Beltrain, California regional director of Silent No More Awareness Campaign, whose life was changed after she aborted her daughter, stated: "I felt deep anguish in the core of my soul when I ended the life of my own child for the sake of convenience. At the clinic I was treated like livestock being herded from one step to the next. I felt like I had a number on my back and a dollar sign on my face. I was inconsolable the entire time at the clinic and didn't have the strength to engage in simple conversation with staff. When the abortionist administered the poison in my stomach I was mortified and shocked because I felt my child kick and turn very hastily. Years later I found out she was being burned and could feel the pain."
Kelly Stauffer had a second trimester abortion when she was just 14 years old and spoke to the pain and suffering she experienced as a result: "I can still, 17 years later, vividly remember the five-day process of being slowly and painfully dilated, of laying on an examination table and feeling the baby inside me frantically demand my attention right before the abortionists needle ended her life, and feeling utterly alone as I was forced into labor, delivering my baby's lifeless body. No, life sadly was never the same. I hated myself. I tried to numb my pain in any way I could find, drugs, alcohol, food, meaningless relationships, but nothing took away the deep darkness that overwhelmed my soul."