Kelly Stauffer, who underwent a late-term abortion at 14, will be a featured speaker today as pro-life protests continue outside the Maryland office of late-term abortion practitioner LeRoy Carhart.
Stauffer is a member of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, a mobilization of men and women who speak out about their abortion experience. In her testimony, she will describe her experience as a young, pregnant teenager whose parents turned to the late-term abortionist George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas, to end her five-month pregnancy.
Her ordeal lasted five days, and immediately after the abortion, she said during an earlier protest outside Carhart’s office, “I knew I had killed my own child.” A downward spiral followed, with countless visits to therapists and prescriptions for anti-depressants that did not help. Ten years after the abortion, she found a therapist who diagnosed the source of her pain and recommended she attend a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat to find healing.
Now 29, married and the mother of a toddler, Stauffer said her abortion experience “still hurts.”
“Many defend legal abortion using the slogan ‘freedom of choice,’ ” said Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and pastoral director of Rachel’s Vineyard and of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. “The irony of course is that women seeking abortions do not do so because of freedom of choice. They do so precisely because they feel they have no freedom and no choice. Kelly Stauffer’s story is a poignant example of that.”
Father Pavone, who delivered the keynote address on the opening night of the Summer of Mercy 2.0, urged anyone who is able to attend the remaining days of the rally to make plans to do so. Carhart closed his office this week to avoid the protests, and organizers are hoping to keep the abortion mill shut for another week at least. Large turnouts over the weekend can help make that a reality.
Summer of Mercy 2.0 participants gather outside Carhart’s clinic at 8 a.m., noon and 7 p.m. for formal prayer and worship, and to hear from nationally known speakers. Smaller groups maintain vigil throughout the day.
“We are really encouraged by the participation from the local churches. Men and women who have never stood outside an abortion clinic before are bringing their families to the streets to stand for life,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, a key organizer of the event. “It is great to see so many new people being brought into the movement and activated.”
To see a video of Ms. Stauffer’s Silent No More testimony, go to www.silentnomoreawareness.org/video/video.aspx?testimonyid=5116