IN THIS ISSUE
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Point Of View: A Look at Life in a "Post-Roe" America
Grant Writing - Part IV
The Myths and Marvel of Forgiveness
The Link Between Abortion and Breast Cancer: What the Public Health Establishment and the Abortion Industry Won't Tell You
Understanding Parenting Teenage Mothers
The Gift of Closure: Memorials for the Unborn
What the New Genetic Technologies Mean for the Pro-Life Movement
After I came to terms with what I had done, I found healing and peace. But I wanted finally to give "life" to the baby I had denied for so long. This memorial provided me with that opportunity. My baby now has a name, and I have closure -- at last.
Most memorials provide a place where we lay to rest those whose lives have ended, a place where we remember the good times and ask for forgiveness for the bad, a place where we say good-bye. The National Memorial for the Unborn is a place where life begins. For those of us who have been through abortion, it is a place where those babies become real, alive in our minds and hearts for the first time.
The National Memorial was born out of a tremendous amount of pain. Located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the memorial is housed in a former abortion clinic. For eight years a small group of devoted Christians prayed for God to intervene in the operation of the clinic. When the building's owners died, the property ended up in bankruptcy court.
The abortionist made an offer on the building. His offer was subject to the court's approval. A pro-life group, ProMaCC, found out about the proposed transaction on a Thursday. By the following Monday, it had enough funds to file an objection. The court arranged for the building to be auctioned that Friday. The group had only their prayers and tremendous faith that enough money would come in to outbid the doctor.
The money poured in, mostly unsolicited. By the auction date they had $301,000! Bidding was allowed in $5,000 increments. ProMaCC was committed to bid no more than God had provided. The bidding went back and forth. Finally, the abortionist stopped bidding after ProMaCC bid $294,000. Little did he know that this would have been their last bid! The building was theirs!
Now, in this place where 35,000 babies lost their lives, there is a pregnancy care center called AAA Women's Services. And in the very room where the abortions were performed is the "Wall of Names." Anyone who has lost a baby to abortion can grieve the loss and honor that child with a brass plate that is placed on the granite wall. These plates carry personal messages from mothers, fathers, grandparents, and siblings.
Many others have caught the vision of establishing affiliated regional memorials for the unborn. One such affiliate is the Mid-Atlantic Memorial for the Unborn located in Berlin, Maryland. Serving the six-state area of Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Washington, DC, the Mid-Atlantic Memorial has been open for more than a year and has the same mission of offering love, acceptance, healing, and forgiveness. It has received many referrals from Rita Sigler, business manager for the National Memorial. At the request of visitors, local pastors officiate over memorial services. These services have helped single mothers, couples, and even PAS (Post-Abortion Stress) support groups who have chosen to continue their healing process together.
Laura (not her real name) recently came to the Mid-Atlantic Memorial and requested a service. Her husband accompanied her. Although he was not the father of the baby, he had helped her through the very painful process of healing.
Ending the denial, admitting the sin, facing the pain, and experiencing God's forgiveness are all steps along the long path to healing. But those who have had abortions often find it hard to forgive themselves. That was Laura's situation when she came to us that Saturday morning in March. "I know that God has forgiven me, but I can't forgive myself!" she admitted. "How could I have been so stupid to believe the lie that it was just a 'blob of cells'? I have been through the PAS group, and I know the truth about what I did, but I can't put it behind me."
I gently led Laura to our copy of "I Will Hold You In Heaven," a beautiful portrait of a mother holding her child. (The original hangs in the National Memorial.) The service that followed walked her through the Scripture of God's forgiveness and explained her need to forgive herself. A volunteer sang Kathy Troccoli's "A Baby's Prayer" while Laura placed her brass name plate on our wall. We explained to her that a duplicate plate would also be placed on the National Memorial wall and that one would be sent to her at home. For the first time, she could call her baby by name and make him a tangible part of her life.
We may never know the impact that these memorials to the unborn have on the families of babies lost to abortion. Some have made decisions for Christ, some have restored their families, some have sought counseling for dysfunctional lifestyles, and some have turned from depression and thoughts of suicide to optimism and hope. There is no way to know how many people have been helped, but we do know that God knows and cares about every one of them.
For additional information about the National Memorial, please write to The National Memorial for the Unborn, Attn: Rita Sigler, 6230 Vance Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421 or call 1-800-505-5565 . If you are in the regional area for The Mid-Atlantic Memorial, please write to The Mid-Atlantic Memorial for the Unborn, 10031 Old Ocean City Blvd., Berlin, MD 21811 or call 1-410-629-1686 .
Leslie Dean is the founder and a member of the Board of Directors of The Informed Woman's Clinic and serves as the public relations contact person. She can be reached at (410) 860-6996 .