January 22, 2010

Change of Heart

This post has been saved as a "draft" for months. I will never get it "just right" so I may as well post it. Today is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade so I figured it was a good day to hit "publish". Sometime last year I heard about Gianna Jessen, if you have not heard her story it is compelling. She survived a late term abortion and was put up for adoption. I googled her name and that led to a little research rabbit trail.

There is a book about Gianna's life (up through age 17). The book is "Gianna: Aborted and Lived to Tell About It" by Jessica Shaver. I was able to check it out from my local library. Actually, I was shocked my library had it! They have very little on the subject of abortion and even less about the pro-life side. This book won't win any literary awards, but the story was very interesting.

The book mentions a short documentary called "The Silent Scream" about abortion. They now have the whole movie available in short segments online. I had never heard of this movie. It is a bit dated but the footage is amazing and has changed many minds about abortion (including the doctor and ultrasound technician that helped film it). The movie is not terribly graphic like some other abortion films. However, the most disturbing part of the film uses ultrasound to show the abortion of an 11 week old baby.

The director and narrator is a doctor (Dr. Bernard Nathanson) that was one of the founders of NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League originally the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws). He worked hard, admittedly lying, to make abortion legal during the Roe v. Wade time frame and performed many abortions, including one on his own unwanted child. However, after the invention of ultrasound, he changed his mind about abortion. In 1996, he became a Catholic. He has written a couple books that I have yet to read, Aborting America and The Hand of God, and made another documentary called the Eclipse of Reason about late-term abortions.

Next, I wanted to read a bit more about Roe v. Wade. I was curious, who exactly was Roe anyway? "Roe" was really a woman named Norma L. McCorvey that had said she was raped and became pregnant. She wanted an abortion and since they were illegal at that time, she sued to get it. Of course, we all know the results. However, she never got her abortion. The court case went on too long, she ended up having her baby and giving it up for adoption. Years later, she admitted she had lied and that she was not raped. She too has changed her mind and is now an advocate of the pro-life movement and campaigns to try and overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling. Ms. McCorvey has also written two books, I am Roe and Won by Love, and in recent years has become a Christian. She has petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the case again "in light of evidence" to no avail.

The abortion rate seems to be dropping a bit in recent years but there are still over one million babies aborted each year (less than 1% of those are due to rape). While I'm sure there are many more, here are two people that worked very hard to make abortion possible who have now changed their minds. More/better/improved birth control or even education isn't going to eliminate abortions. I truly believe that the end to abortion will come through changing the hearts of people. People like Norma McCorvey and Dr. Bernard Nathanson. One heart at a time.

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