The Silent No More Awareness Campaign, a joint project of Priests for Life and Anglicans for Life, has filed an amicus brief in support of the state of Texas in Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt.
The case concerns legislation enacted in Texas in 2013 that call for abortionists to have admitting rights in hospitals within 30 miles of their abortion clinics, and for those clinics to be regulated as ambulatory surgical centers.
Last month, female attorneys signed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs, who seek to have the law overturned on the claim that it interferes with a woman’s right to have an abortion. The attorneys said they would not have been able to pursue their educations and careers if they had not aborted their children.
But the approach of using personal testimonies in the abortion battle has for a much longer time marked the efforts of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, the world' largest mobilization of those who have had abortions and speak about it. The brief which the Campaign submitted includes samples of the thousands of testimonies that it has disseminated around the world from those who were harmed, physically and emotionally, by their abortions.
According to the brief: “It is imperative that this Court hear their voices because these testimonies demonstrate that what is needed is more regulations like those enacted by Texas, not less. Striking down Texas’s regulations will make it harder to protect women such as these. Make no mistake, abortion is not only fatal to the unborn; it is exceedingly harmful to women, as these testimonies vividly illustrate.”
One woman describes the clinic where her child was aborted: “The walls behind the privacy screen were splattered with blood. There were pools of blood on the floor.”
Another woman describes an abortion that left her hemorrhaging, with clinic personnel instructing her to go to the hospital. They wouldn’t even call an ambulance.
“These are the real-life experiences that women are having every day,” said Georgette Forney, co-founder of Silent No More and president of Anglicans for Life. “People need to know the truth about abortion and how it impacts us, the mothers, for the rest of our lives.”
Janet Morana, executive director of Priests for Life and co-founder of Silent No More, noted that the testimonies clearly show many abortion clinics are unregulated and sub-standard, and that places women’s lives in jeopardy.
“Kermit Gosnell’s ‘house of horrors’ in Philadelphia was far from the only example of the kind of shoddy care that women find at abortion clinics,” she said. “And by the time Jennifer Morbelli was rushed to the hospital after the third-trimester abortion that would kill her, her abortionist was on a plane and off to another state. A physician who can’t get hospital admitting privileges should not be performing an invasive procedure on any woman.”
“As I have been saying for decades, what happened when abortion was legalized was that back-alley abortionists took their name off the back door and put it on the front door,” said Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life. “But they remained unscrupulous and dangerous people. States have both the right and the duty to protect women from substandard practices in any aspect of their health care. That's what this case is about -- meeting basic health and safety standards.”
The Silent No More Awareness Campaign began November 11, 2002. As of January 2016, the Campaign has held 1,582 gatherings in 17 countries and 48 states, with 5,978 women and men sharing their abortion testimonies. Testimonies have also been shared at 117 high schools and universities in the last five years. There are 2,411 testimonies posted on the Campaign website, with 395 that are shared via video, Currently there are 17,049 people registered with the Campaign representing 77 countries. People who are not ready to join the Campaign are invited to register their regret. So far, 5,123 women and 604 men have said they regret their abortion or lost fatherhood, and 597 women and men have posted memorials to their lost children.