The women of Roe: 'Silent No More'
by David Reinhard, from the January 1 Portland Oregonian.
And what O'Neill discussed in her after-dinner remarks had personal and cultural consequence, for she discussed her own abortion, and the pain and shame abortion has visited on millions of American women.
Some 25 million women have had the 40 million abortions since the Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973. "They're the walking wounded," said O'Neill who now is a spokeswoman for "Silent No More," a campaign begun last year to raise awareness about the after-effects of abortion.
Her life as a film star and model "looked so good on the outside." "But on the inside," she said, " I had this big hole in my heart, and I was bumping into life really hard."
This was not some practiced conversion story, though a conversion story it ultimately is. She experienced "the amazing, saving, patient grace of Jesus Christ" at 38. This night, however, the 55-year-old O'Neill talked mainly about her abortion. "It's a difficult story for me to tell," she says, "because it is the greatest shame in my life."
She was in love and had been engaged for two years. "I was really so excited," she said. "I thought I would spend the rest of my life with this man."
She became pregnant. "I was very excited about having this baby . . . ," O'Neill said. "And I went down to Wall Street and . . . said, 'We're going to have a baby.' And all of a sudden I was looking at this person that I didn't even recognize, and he said, 'I'm not going to have a baby with you. You're going to have an abortion.' "