Kelly Clinger

My experiences as the ‘celebrity spokesperson’ for Silent No More at the March for Life

Kelly Clinger
By Kelly Clinger
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Note: Kelly Clinger, a performer and former backup singer for the pop star Britney Spears, had two abortions when she was in her early twenties. She recently connected with the pro-life organization Silent No More Awareness, and gave her testimony on the steps of the Supreme Court during this year’s March for Life. She blogs about her pro-life activities here.

February 9, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - We arrived in D.C. with a chill in the air but Hope resting closely beside us.

I was introduced as the celebrity spokesperson for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign at the March For Life. I still can’t say that without giggling and using air quotes when I say “celebrity.” I mean, really, who am I? And as cliché as it sounds, I really just want to make Jesus and all that He’s done for me the most poignant part of my message, not my past “accolades.”  Also, every time I may feel my ego rising up, I can remind myself of the reason I am here … because I had an abortion. I killed my own children. That will very quickly return me to humility and plant my feet firmly on the ground.

I love my Silent No More brothers and sisters, headed by co-founders Georgette Forney and Janet Morana. This is such a powerful group … the picture of beauty for ashes. Their website contains almost 3000 testimonies of women who regret their abortions and of men who regret lost fatherhood.  Every year at the March for Life they are the first to arrive at the Supreme Court, and they begin giving their testimonies while the marchers walk by. This year there were almost 100 of us who came to speak.

I was completely blown away at the wisdom of men and women who, through their brokenness, operated in such love and meekness.  It was a beautiful example of poor in spirit … people who, because of the struggle, got a part of the Lord that perhaps others never attain.

I met people like Jackie whose boyfriend had a gun under the seat of his car and drove her to an abortion clinic where he told her it would either be her or the baby, but one of them was going to die. She is now 45 and has never been able to have children because of complications she experienced after her abortion. I met a lady who had 7 abortions, and it has taken her several decades to even be able to admit that.  Then there was Jody who had giving her testimony about abortion at the March For Life on her bucket list.  There’s something that joins your heart to another’s when you share the most painful part of your past, and they say “me too”.

And I realized that every time I tell my story, another piece of my heart heals.

As we gathered near the Capital to listen to Senators, Congressional leaders, Representatives and more tell of their pro-life stances, I felt so much hope. When you look out into a sea of tens of thousands of mostly young adults who have gathered in the freezing cold to stand for a culture of life, you feel a spirit of joy rise within. And, let me tell you, it was cold … the kind of cold that pierces through 4 layers of clothing, 2 pairs of gloves, earmuffs, hat and a scarf!

We formed lines with our “I Regret My Abortion” and “I Regret Lost Fatherhood” signs and prepared to march to the Supreme Court. We were called to the front of the line to walk alongside Janet, Georgette and Father Frank Pavone. I looked around to take it all in and began to cry. As we started walking, people would applaud and yell “thank you”. Many were taking pictures of us and I started to imagine what it would be like if every woman who has had an abortion grabbed a sign and started to march. Can you imagine what that army would look like? There would be millions of us.

We arrived at the Supreme Court and after Father Frank prayed, I was asked to sing the new song written for Silent No More…appropriately called “Silent No More”. It says, “Made a choice thinking I’d be free. But that choice, it imprisoned me and my shame until I stepped in to the light of God’s love, the healing began.” Such power in those words, I wonder if people were listening. After the song, I was the first to give my testimony. I cried. I knew I would.

We stood there for 3 hours while the hundreds of thousands of marchers came by and listened to story after story of shame, pain and an overall feeling of being incomplete. It was heartbreaking and hopeful all at the same time.

We were freezing so we headed back to the hotel for a reception with our Silent No More brothers and sisters. It was a beautiful conclusion to our time in D.C.

The next day I turned on the TV anticipating all that the news channels would say about the event. Politicians gave speeches, hundreds of thousands of people flocked to DC, so I was excited to see what parts of the march they would focus on. I channel surfed every channel and found nothing. I googled “March For Life” and found a few very small mentions of the event on local channels and pro-life websites, but that was it.

The sad reality is that many people rely on the media to get truth and therefore don’t get the whole picture. The March for Life 2011 is was an example of this.

I am so grateful to my husband, Matt, for always standing by my side and for being a voice for the fathers who’ve participated in abortions. I am also forever grateful to have been a part of the March for Life, and I look forward to the years ahead when I will continue to march and be a voice for our precious babies in heaven. If you’d like to add your voice to mine, please go here.

Also, if you’d like to read more about the event, you can see pictures on this website here.


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Michelle Kaufman, New Zealand Correspondent

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Abortion group targets pro-life doctors, nurses with new website: New Zealand

Michelle Kaufman, New Zealand Correspondent
By Michelle Kaufman

Pro-life health practitioners and crisis pregnancy centres in New Zealand are the target of a new website designed to intimidate those who choose not to refer for abortion or prescribe contraception.

The website, My Decision, is created by the Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand (ALRANZ). 

The site lists health practitioners and crisis pregnancy centres which they believe women should avoid.  The incomplete list includes the names of individuals or organisations, the region and town, and whether they are a doctor, nurse or other provider. 

Women are asked to submit their stories of “hostile or unhelpful health professionals.”  The stories are non-identifying and can be edited for length or clarity.  At the time of writing only two stories had been posted.

In an earlier blog post, ALRANZ mentioned that the new website, which was still under construction at the time, is “aimed at shining the light on ‘conscientious objectors’… who deny people the reproductive healthcare they want or need.”

Right to Life NZ says they believe the site is “denigrating the good name and reputations of health professionals who believe that abortion is a harmful choice.”

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

Under New Zealand law, health practitioners can object to providing reproductive health services according to their conscience.  However, there is one caveat – they “must inform the person who requests the service that he or she can obtain the service from another health practitioner or from a family planning clinic.”

 “Sonscientious objection is a fundamental right and one that must be preserved if we are to continue to live in a free and civil society,” said Chris O’Brien, Vice President of Right to Life NZ. “We risk tyranny if this right is taken away.”

“There are very good doctors that appear on that website” said Dame Colleen Bayer, whose Dunedin Family Life Crisis Pregnancy Centre is also named.  “These doctors speak truthfully and have real care and concern for their patients.  Women do themselves a disservice to discount them based on this information.”

The resource section on the My Decision website links to ALRANZ, Family Planning (an affiliate of International Planned Parenthood Federation and an abortion provider), and the website Abortion Services in New Zealand. 

The Abortion Services website is sponsored by ISTAR Ltd, a registered Charitable Trust which is the sole importer of mifepristone into New Zealand.  ISTAR also provides Manual Vacuum Aspiration equipment for early surgical abortions.

ALRANZ, was instrumental in the writing of the Greens abortion policy, which was unveiled earlier this year.  That policy aims to take abortion out of the Crimes Act making it more accessible.  The policy also targets health professionals who may conscientiously object to ensure they refer patients on to a “neutral practitioner”.

More information about freedom of conscience in healthcare 


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The government is proposing allowing the killing of pre-born babies suspected of being disabled and those conceived through rape or incest.
Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

Northern Ireland considers allowing killing disabled unborn babies: pro-lifers condemn

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

Northern Ireland’s leading pro-life group, Precious Life, has condemned this week's announcement by Justice Minister David Ford that a consultation on changing the abortion law will be "ready by autumn." The government is considering allowing the killing of pre-born babies suspected of being disabled and those conceived through rape or incest.

“Abortion is a serious criminal offence in Northern Ireland,” said the director of Precious Life, Bernadette Smyth. “The law here protects unborn babies, and David Ford as Minister for Justice must ensure that all children are legally protected."

Last December, Ford revealed he would be undertaking a consultation to consider changes to the law after he heard the stories of two women, who complained that they had not been allowed to abort their babies who had been diagnosed with anencephaly. Instead, they said, they had traveled to Britain for abortions.

Abortion was refused under Northern Ireland’s laws because the diagnosis of anencephaly for the child poses no medical threat to the mother.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

On Monday Ford told the BBC that the Department of Justice would bring forward its consultation paper on changing Northern Ireland's abortion laws by the fall.

However, Smyth warned that “the core ethical principle which must underpin this discussion is that every child deserves the right to life regardless of how short their life may be, and regardless of the circumstances of their conception."

She vowed that Precious Life will launch a public campaign in support of the life of all unborn babies.

“We all feel enormous sympathy for parents in these traumatic and distressing cases," Precious Life stressed in a statement. "But parents in these difficult situations deserve much more than our sympathy – they need a professional support system in place, which will provide them with help, support and resources.

"Precious Life are resolved to work towards a solution that loves and protects both mother and baby. Once again we call on the Health Minister to immediately establish perinatal hospice services for parents who have received a poor or difficult prenatal diagnosis for their baby,” said Smyth.

 

Contact:

Justice Minister David Ford
Department of Justice
Stormont Estate
Belfast, Northern Ireland
BT4 3SG
Phone:(028) 9076 3000
Email: via website (http://www.dojni.gov.uk/contact-us.htm)


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80% of parents who have an unborn child with spina bifida choose abortion. But Chad Judice (pictured with Eli) knows that life is worth it.
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

Abortion? No way. Dad says son with spina bifida is a ‘gift’ to the family.

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

What is the most pro-life, pro-God influence in your life? According to Catholic author and speaker Chad Judice, his five-year old, disabled son has been a tremendous source of happiness and faith for even the hardest of hearts.

In an op-ed published in The New York Post, Judice writes that when he and his wife found out their unborn son Elijah had spina bifida, they were offered the option of abortion. While they chose life, it didn't stop them from fearing the worst for their careers, eldest child, and Eli.

"That evening...Ashley cried as she read to me from the literature we’d been given," writes Judice. "It said 80 percent of parents who receive a spina bifida diagnosis choose abortion."

"And it told us that our son might have learning disabilities and be paralyzed from the waist down, unable to ever walk."

According to WemMD.com, the two most common forms of spina bifida have few, if any effects, on those who have them. However, the most rare and most aggressive form of the disability can result in significant problems for life:

  • Little or no feeling in their legs, feet, or arms, so they may not be able to move those parts of the body.
  • Bladder or bowel problems, such as leaking urine or having a hard time passing stools.
  • Fluid buildup in the brain (hydrocephalus). Even when it is treated, this may cause seizures, learning problems, or vision problems.
  • A curve in their spine, such as scoliosis.

Eli's form of spina bifida was severe, but -- as it turned out -- manageable, writes Judice. Despite surgeries and "medical challenges," he was out of the hospital within thirty days, though seizures and surgeries would continue to challenge the family. At five-and-a-half, he is entering kindergarten, learning to walk with modern technology, and "his intelligence is at or above average, and he's very talkative."

But perhaps the greatest miracle of all, Judice says, is the effect Eli has had on those who are outside of the family. His story has helped "some pregnant mothers...to reject abortion," and "rekindle the dormant faith of some...drawing them into a life with more room for God and family."

One of those rekindled Christians was a man who, after years in prison, prayed for Eli "as he recited The Lord's Prayer." According to Judice, "it was the first time he’d prayed in 30 years."

Since Eli's birth, Judice has written two books about his son and their family. "Waiting for Eli: A Father's Journey from Fear to Faith" was the first, and has received praise from Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life. According to Pavone, it is "an inspiring story of faith, hope, love, and the power of prayer."

"The world judges the value of human life by physical perfection, but God sees things differently. To Him, we are perfectly lovable in our imperfection. Uplifting in its reverence for human life in its most fragile stages, WAITING FOR ELI will encourage pro-life activists everywhere, from the most seasoned to the newly initiated."

Also unstinting in praise was the Chair of the Committee for Pro-Life Activities, Archbishop Daniel Cardinal Dinardo, who writes for Judice's website that the book "chronicles [Judice's] spiritual journey from fear of one’s personal limitations to self-abandonment to the divine mercy of God’s providence."

The second book, "Eli's Reach: On the Value of Human Life and the Power of Prayer," received the "Best Book by Small Publisher" award in 2013 by the Catholic Press Association.

"I think of Eli as God’s special gift to my family," Judice wrote in the Post. "And as I share about him, Eli’s story softens hearts and brings people to a greater appreciation of the beauty and sacredness of life."


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