A Message of Hope: Be There on April 23rd

Angelina Steenstra at the 40 Days for Life Closing Celebration

Angelina Steenstra became involved in the pro-life movement after her own painful experience of abortion.  Since then she has done so much to expose the truth about the harmful emotional and physical effects of abortion.  Angelina is the National Coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign in Canada, which works to make the public aware of the devastating effects of abortion and provides opportunities for women and men to share their abortion testimonies.

Angelina Steenstra

Angelina Steenstra of Silent No More Awareness

On their website there are over 2000 stories of abortion regret.  The very real experiences of these women – and men – are a stark contrast to pro-abortion claims that abortion is just another medical procedure, and that the child is just a ‘bunch of cells’.  Abortion regret is something that women may hold on to for decades.  Silent No More recently found that more than half of the women who had contributed testimonies did not begin to seek healing until more than 20 years after the abortion.  However, healing can happen whether it begins 20 weeks or 20 years after an abortion.

The stories from those who are Silent No More are not just of regret, but also of healing; the act of sharing these stories is a step in the healing process.

Angelina, drawing on the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech, writes:

“I dreamt of a day when men and women, who have experienced abortion in their lives, would stand up across this nation and tell the truth about what abortion had done to their lives.  I believed that in telling the truth, people would discover freedom, and in doing so would reach others who were isolated and alone, giving them hope.”

As much as there is sadness in recounting these stories of loss, Angelina is right: there is hope.  The truth is a powerful tool, and it is boldly displayed in every Silent No More sign that reads “I regret my abortion.”  It has the power to bring about change, in one person and in entire communities.

On Wednesday, April 23rd, this message will be the central focus of our 40 Days for Life Closing Celebration.  Admission is free (a goodwill offering will be received).  Join us in the lower hall of St. Joseph’s Parish (409 Paisley Rd, Guelph) at 7:00pm.

Please do not miss this chance to hear Angelina’s message of hope and healing.

Gendercide Awareness 2013: Avengers Assemble – Day 2

Anyone who was at this year’s March for Life in Ottawa saw them.  They were on the hill, they were marching with us: The Avengers.  Thor, Iron Man, The Hulk and Captain America were there, in full gear.  And thank goodness — Abortion is a huge issue.  It’s unpopular to be pro-life right now; in Canada, a staggering number of babies – over 100,000 – are aborted every year.  It’s hard to imagine all the faces of cousins, nephews, and daughters who we will never get to know.  Who better than larger-than-life heroes to deal with this overwhelming injustice?

avengers

Avengers4Life at the March for Life in Ottawa

The truth is, the Avengers4Life, who came up all the way from New York to “support their Canadian brethren” are a symbol of what we all must do.  They chose to dress as The Avengers, because superheroes like that exist to protect humanity, regardless of whether those humans are born or preborn.

Among the adults, 20-somethings, teenagers and families marching this year, there were young men and women who wore out their voices chanting:  “We are here to save the life, of the child who silent cries.”  There is no better task for a superhero than to come to the rescue of those who are entirely helpless.  And believe me, you don’t need a pro-life-emblazoned hammer like Thor’s in order to advocate for the voiceless.  Among the 25,000 participants at this year’s march, there were people who defend life every day of the year.

The Avengers served as a reminder of something: Superheroes do not take a day off.  We need to take every opportunity we are given to spread the truth about abortion.  It seems simple, but it can mean the difference between life and death, quite literally.

Janet Morana illustrated the astonishing impact of simple actions when she spoke on behalf of Silent No More Awareness after the march.   The group consists of post-abortive women who courageously speak about the pain caused by their abortions.  Janet emphasized that the stories of pain and healing being shared that day should not stay on Parliament Hill: “We need to bring these stories into our communities.”

A woman named Margarita was the first to give her testimony.  She had an appointment for an abortion, but that day the friend who was supposed to pick her up from the abortion heard a presentation by Silent No More in Richmond Hill, Toronto.  That friend called Margarita, telling her, “there are women who regret their abortions.”  As she told her story, Margarita held her 5-month-old daughter in her arms – she did not go through with the abortion.   As Janet said, “When these women share their stories, lives are saved.”

Lives are saved because people speak up.  Lisa, a student at the University of Guelph, was at the march this year because she believes that we need to pray, to stand up, and not be silent.  She wants to create change by making small differences, producing a chain reaction.

Sarah, Jess, and Hannah, high school students from the London area, are involved with local pro-life groups, helping to educate, and collect baby clothes.  They participated in London’s Defund Abortion Rally.  They are not afraid to stand up and be heard.

Celine, another University of Guelph student, believes education is the pathway to success for the pro-life movement.  She believes that if people are educated, they can spread information and truth to others.

It seems like these young women are already following the advice of Archbishop Lacroix of Quebec City, who said at the Youth Banquet, “My friends, let us continue to march for life every day of the year.”

March for Life 2013

The crowd at this year’s March for Life numbered 25,000

Brad Trost, one of 21 MPs who joined the crowd on the hill, was right on the mark when he said, “We are here because we believe in justice.”  If we want to see justice for the unborn in our country, we must be tireless.  Every time there is a chance to speak the truth about abortion, anytime there is someone who will listen, say something.  Anytime there is a woman facing an unexpected pregnancy, be there for her.  Educate, advocate, illuminate, and know that all of your fellow defenders of life will be doing the same thing until respect for all life is the status quo in Canada.

We were lucky to have The Avengers with us at this year’s successful March for Life, but the rest of the year, that’s your job.  The evil here is indifference and silence, the victims are the thousands upon thousands of children aborted, and you can make yourself their hero be refusing to be silent.