an After abortion

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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Australia's The Age includes this in its March for Life coverage:

During the rally dozens of women stood on the podium, each bearing a sign that said "I Regret My Abortion".

I don't think we knew that we would be asked to be present on the raised stage during the hour of talks that precedes the March until sometime on Sunday. It's hard to coordinate large-scale events, of course, and a staccato method of communication kicks in. I ran into one of the SNM organizers at some point on Sunday, and she said, "okay, go to the Ellipse early on Monday, go to the VIP area, say you're with Silent No More, they'll let you in, and we'll all be on stage holding our signs."

My state's group stayed at the Capital Hyatt--which was good, since that's the hotel that's an unofficial headquarters. The March for Life organization held a short conference there in the evening on Saturday and the afternoon on Sunday, attended by perhaps 600 people. Several of the meeting rooms were used as an exhibition hall, with booths by all the major pro-life groups. Rock for Life held a day-long conference there throughout the day on Sunday and other groups held shorter meetings. As a result, all the well-known leaders of the pro-life movement regularly drifted in and out of the Hyatt.

I ate dinner on Sunday with a national pro-life leader, who shared with me some reservations about those of us who are speaking out in public about post-abortion regrets and trauma. I know her to be a rather hard-edged person in general. What she said was, "Not you, but I think some of these women are just seeking attention. What are we supposed to do when we see a woman holding one of these signs? Applaud? Tell her how wonderful she is?"

And I thought, "Huh. Then I wonder what you'll think tomorrow when you see the way the event has been arranged."

What I said was that the great majority of us are private people [who write blogs?--Ed.] who are speaking out at considerable personal cost only because we feel it is our moral duty to reach out to others who hurt, and to raise awareness that for many women, abortion is very far from a convenient quick fix. It creates more problems than it solves.

Nevertheless, her comment stayed with me and as we stood on the stage looking down into the vast sea of faces, I wondered how many people in the audience shared her perspective.

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