It was inevitable that some women who had secretly suffered after an abortion would become leaders of an energetic and powerful pro-life campaign. Denise Mountenay is the founder and president of Silent No More (Canada). She was interviewed by Luke McCormack, Victorian State Vice-President of the Australian Family Association, during her visit to Melbourne in May.
Denise recounts her personal story, which included three abortions, in her book 'Forgiven for Murder: A True Story', which recently became a national best-seller in Canada. Her website is at www.canadasilentnomore.com
At the time of your abortions were you offered any counselling or health warnings?
I don't remember signing anything the first time and was given no information at all. The second time at the clinic their so-called counselling involved one question, 'Do you know why you are here?' I answered, 'Well É yeah.' She said, 'Good come with me.' The third time was the same, no real counselling, no risk information, and no post-abortion support.
What changed your view on abortion?
My pregnant sister-in-law had a pregnancy book that I began reading. In it I discovered the truth about in-utero development. I was shocked to learn how much development there was after only three weeks! A beating heart! Little arms, legs and toes are distinct within ten weeks. I started to accept that I had aborted a child not a clump of tissue.
The final confrontation with truth occurred when I was thirty while attending an interdenomin- ational retreat. There I personally accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour and Lord, and repented of my sins. At the retreat I totally accepted the whole truth, 'I was responsible for killing my own children', and a deep grief emerged as I wept and accepted the truth of abortion. Today these children would be 35, 25 and 24 years old.
God called me to be a voice for the voiceless and it is through the Holy Spirit that I gained the courage and boldness to speak out despite harsh ridicule. The reason I can handle the venom and criticism is because I know there is a bigger picture. We must get the truth out and expose the lies.
What can post-abortive women suffer?
It is horrible for women who are suffering in silence because they have never told anyone about their abortions mainly due to the intense shame, guilt and pain. I know several women who now realise they aborted the only child they would ever have. Post-abortive women have a greater incidence of mental illness and depression; are six times more likely to attempt suicide; six times more likely to develop substance abuse; and more likely to have eating disorders, anxiety disorders and even emotional problems with normal sexual intercourse (for such women, sex is now linked to abortion).
Even as future mothers of born children, they find it difficult having both alive and dead children. One friend of mine had four born children after multiple abortions. For her, Mother's Day was the worst day of the year. While she was being honoured by her children with gifts she would recall how unworthy she felt and grieved her missing children.
How does faith in God help these women?
I don't know any post-abortive women who have accepted the truth of abortion and don't know the love and forgiveness offered by God through Jesus. The good news allows women to fully accept the truth and receive healing for the pain though a scar always remains.
What does Silent No More do?
It started in 2003 to reach the two million post-abortive women across Canada who have been hurt by legal abortion. We want these women to know they're not alone and help is available.
We believe Christians have the best news for their guilt and shame: forgiveness and hope through Christ's death and resurrection. We proclaim to them that healing and hope after abortion is possible. Post- abortive women never completely 'get over it'. Yet God can turn to good what was intended for evil. Our ministry stands on the Scripture from Rev 12:11, 'We defeat Satan by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony'. I believe God is raising an army of witnesses to warn women and teenagers about the dangers of abortion.
Silent No More uses billboards, a toll-free number and a website to attract inquiries. We receive between one and five calls per week, which dramatically increases after a TV appearance. We just conducted our first 'Healing & Equipping' conference aimed at training new leaders. As a result we now have representatives in each province. We also offer presentations for schools, run public events and collect formal testimonials (100 so far).
Abortion is really a covenant with murder. It has become an accepted, violent form of 'birth- control'. It is quite simply child- sacrifice. We sacrifice the unborn so we can live the life we prefer.
Do you have any final comments?
I believe the most effective strategy is when God reaches women like me to offer healing and we in turn are reaching and warning others. Ultimately, this must lead to lawsuits against abortionists, and will bring down goliath. Abortion is currently our greatest crime against humanity. It is time for the churches to do more and we would like to start Silent No More in Australia.