an After abortion

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Friday, January 14, 2005

Beloiters lend voices to 'Silent No More'

The first statewide Silent No More Awareness gathering this January took place yesterday in Wisconsin, resulting in this newspaper article and significant additional radio publicity:

Campaign intended to raise awareness of emotional pain after abortion

Terri White has a secret. So does Renee Scrivano. The two, like thousands of women in America, live with a past that includes abortion.

But both are tired of living with the secret. They've spent the past few years speaking out about the emotional damage abortions leave women.

"It's such a quiet and private thing. Most husbands and families don't even know a woman has had an abortion," Scrivano said.

Now, the two will join women from across the state in giving a voice to those impacted by abortion. White and Scrivano will attend a gathering today at the state capitol in Madison. Scrivano is executive director at the Stateline Pregnancy Center in Beloit, while White serves the center as the abortion recovery facilitator.

At the event, women will be allowed to speak publicly about the impact abortion has had on their lives. The event is one of many occurring nationwide in January as part of the National "Silent No More" Awareness campaign.

The event is intended to help those who have had abortions raise awareness of the emotional pain and damage of abortion, and to reach out to people who are hurting after abortion.

White became involved with the Stateline Pregnancy Center as a volunteer nine years ago. Today she works as the abortion recovery facilitator for the center, a job that has helped heal her own emotional scars of abortion.

"Today I just reach out to others," White said, adding she'll be attending her second National Silent No More Awareness event. "The experience is amazing and overwhelming. Last year there were 17 people who shared their stories. There was a lot of pain, a lot of grief, and a lot of healing."

Scrivano has been involved with the Stateline Pregnancy Center for the last four years. She began talking publicly about an abortion she had years ago after receiving a positive response after carrying a sign that reads "I regret my abortion" at last year's Silent No More national event in Washington, D.C.

After getting a positive response in Washington, D.C., Scrivano decided to talk about her abortion when she returned to Beloit. After going public with her emotional struggle, Scrivano said she was surprised by the number of people who approach her with their own stories of emotional turmoil after having an abortion.

"I have people who stop me in the grocery store. They need someone to talk to," she said.

Scrivano has also created a Web site to encourage women to find ways to heal emotionally after an abortion. The Web site can be found on the Internet at Beyond The Past.

Scrivano and White, along with other women who have had abortions, hope the emotional state of women after they've had an abortion will be brought to light.

"We are the voice that hasn't been heard," said Georgette Forney, President of NOEL and a co-founder of the Silent No More event.

Forney had an abortion at age 16.

"Many people believe abortion is something women need and freely choose, but it is actually an experience many of us come to regret. After 32 years it's time for us to be silent no more about the problems we've dealt with after having abortions," she said.

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