By Deborah A. Papalia of North Andover, Mass.
"Being prolife is more than just saying you're prolife… you must take action." Seeing these words on a t-shirt has changed my life.
I took baby steps at first by saying a few prayers then I began taking part in an international pro-life movement called 40 Days for Life. I found myself praying outside an abortion clinic in Haverhill. Seeing the doctor arrive at 10am in his shiny Mercedes to perform abortions caused me to take another step toward ending abortion by going to the 38th Annual March for Life in Washington, DC. It started in 1974 with about 20,000 people and on January 24, 2011 in the bitter cold an estimated 400,000 came to march for the 50 million aborted babies since Roe v Wade legalized abortion in the U.S. in 1973.
While in DC, my friend and co-patriot Tove Muller attended the March for Life Convention to get information on the growing pro-life movement. A 2009 Gallup Poll revealed that 51% of Americans call themselves "pro-life" and 42% "pro-choice." This is the first time a majority of U.S. adults consider themselves pro-life since Gallup first asked this question in 1995.
We also went to a screening of BloodMoney, a documentary exposing the abortion industry. The film’s most eery part is when a former owner of clinics in Texas hauntingly says, "We would give them [young girls] a low-dose birth control pill they would get pregnant on or a defective condom. Our goal was 3-5 abortions for every girl between the ages of thirteen and eighteen."
In BloodMoney, Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who had two abortions and is now a pro-life advocate, reveals how African Americans have suffered disproportionately; making up just 12 percent of the population, African Americans account for 36 percent of abortions.
I met many women carrying signs saying "I regret my abortion.” 5,000 of these brave women are a part of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. They give courageous testimonies about how they regret their abortion so other women won't fall into the trap of believing that abortion is their only choice.
It was amazing to meet Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood Employee of the Year who assisted with an ultrasound guided abortion and saw how a 13 week baby in the womb was trying to escape the probe. She recently wrote a book called Unplanned and speaks out on how this abortion giant has hoodwinked the taxpayers into thinking that they help women when in fact they only profit from them; in 2009, they received $350 million from government grants/contracts.
I attended a Mass, along with 11,000 young people at the Basilica of the National Shrine where Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life, encouraged the youth: “you have been, have become and remain the genuine leaders and pioneers of the March for Life…we your elders become exhausted just watching you! May you never cease to give your beautiful witness to the gift of human life.”
On the day of the March at the Rally on the Mall, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) rallied the crowds by saying, “ the new Republicans are the biggest and the most pro-life freshman class in memory." Just last week, they introduced the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act." As Neil Armstrong put it, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
Once the March started we proceeded to the U.S. Supreme Court. The major networks were no where to be found. Yet at a 1963 march with 250,000 people, CBS aired it live and millions watched Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech. EWTN carried the March for Life live and had a 40 percent increase in visits to their website proving that people want pro-life news coverage.
Taking that first baby step has started me on a journey that will last a life time.