On September 10, 2016, Rachel's Hope - Escondido/San Diego, San Diego Silent No More and North County 40 Days for Life, co-sponsored the fourth annual National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children. It was held at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Carlsbad, CA, and officiated by Father Michael Robinson who gave a touching homily and led us all in song. Joanne Strantz did a wonderful job as emcee and Rosemary Benefield and Tony DePaola provided valuable insights and information in our fight for life.
As with planning any event, there were "bumps in the road" (video camera and computer malfunctions), but God answered our prayers and the ceremony went forward beautifully.It was an honor to give testimony and wanted to share my words with you....
We are gathered here to mourn the innocent children lost to abortion and to raise our voices to heaven assuring them they will never be forgotten and proclaiming their precious lives matter.
It’s also an opportunity for me to share the truth of what abortion does. You see, two of the innocent children we mourn today are Matthew Thomas and Sarah Catherine - my precious son and daughter.
We all are aware abortion takes the life of a child, but did you know there are life-long consequences for the mother and those around her?
I didn’t. It took many years for me to understand that “To choose is to lose”. Through choice, my children lost their life. Through choice, I lost the chance to be a biological mother because I had a tubal ligation at the age of thirty. I was punishing myself for the abortions … I didn’t deserve to be a mother. I eventually adopted, but through choice, my adopted son lost the opportunity to have a brother and sister, my parents lost two grandchildren, my sister a niece and nephew, two men lost fatherhood and my husband two more step-children he would have loved as much as he loves my living son.
My choice resulted other consequences as well. I tried to ignore the loss through obsessive behavior, negative attention seeking and substance abuse which grew over time, culminating into self-loathing, a loss of self-worth and depression – which eventually led to my becoming suicidal and being committed to a psychiatric facility.
Sadly, my experience is more of the rule than the exception and does not limit itself to mothers but to all involved in the choice to abort. Whether the choice was made out of fear, embarrassment or intimidation, the loss is there … sometimes not surfacing for months, years or decades later but always brewing in the dark recesses of the soul.
Spiritually-speaking, I and countless others hid from God and some still do, convinced we committed, “the unforgivable sin,” believing He could never love, let alone forgive someone who had or encouraged an abortion. The shame and remorse is immeasurable.
Statistics show that approximately one-third of American women have had at least one abortion by age 45. Yes, my friends, one-third. Other studies have shown about 1 in 10 of these women continue to attend church and many of them, as well as those complicit in the abortion decision, are still suffering in silence. They are our neighbors, co-workers, friends and fellow parishioners.
Which brings me to another reason I’m here…..to assure those suffering in silence all is not lost. We have a merciful God who loves all of His children. Nothing, absolutely nothing is unforgivable in God’s eyes if we go to Him with humble and repentant hearts. I pray their wounded souls can embrace His mercy and forgiveness and reach out for healing thus receive what has been missing for quite some time …. Peace and Hope.
At this time, I ask you to stand and pray with me the Prayer for the Unborn:
Although our video camera malfunctioned, we were blessed to have a volunteer who recorded the majority of the service via cell phone.