I recently had dinner with a friend who was telling me about his journey of conversion towards the Catholic faith. He was still on the fence about abortion, he said, in the late 1990’s when he was going through his conversion in the RCIA classes offered by the church.
As he left his class one evening, he walked with a woman who was his classmate. She was a single mother. Her son had waited for her in the church parking lot, knocking around on his skateboard.
The woman gestured to her son. “I went to an abortion clinic when I was pregnant with my son,” she confided. “After my boyfriend and I backpacked through Europe, we discovered that I was pregnant. He told me to ‘take care of it.’” She continued as they watched her son ride the skateboard: “I was in the clinic, and they were about to begin. But I just couldn’t do it. I ran out of there. And now I cannot imagine life without my son.”
It was this young mother’s first-hand testimony that changed my friend’s mind about abortion. How important are the voices of women who have somehow survived all the pressures to terminate a pregnancy…a child, who could grow up to play on a skateboard like the kid in the church parking lot. Telling our powerful real-life stories is an effective way to move beyond headline-length quips and shallow debate on abortion to the profound truths we defend when we advocate for life-affirming public policy.
Many of our leaders on Capitol Hill have been moved by the first-hand testimony of nurses like Cathy DiCarlo, who was coerced into performing a late-term abortion against her deeply-held beliefs. Her story, told on Capitol Hill, resounds still in the halls of Congress where the effort to pass conscience protections for health care providers continues. Her personal experience, together with those recounted by other medical professionals and those who provide health care coverage quickly and clearly expose the need for stronger conscience protection legislation to be signed into law this year.
The Conscience Protection Act of 2017 is needed in part because current protections under law, that are intended to help medical professionals from being forced to participate in abortion against their will, are insufficient and have not been enforced in the manner intended by current law. Read more here about the Conscience Protection Act of 2017, and be sure to raise your voice for the nurses and doctors who object to this violent “procedure.”
Do you have a firsthand story that will reveal the light of truth and help Americans understand the need to defend the freedom of conscience of those who provide health care or health care coverage and who do not wish to participate in abortion? If so, please share it with us by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together we will be heard!