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