By Anne Marie Amacher
BETTENDORF – Cardboard testimonials sharing women’s personal statements about abortion, contemplating abortion and dealing with an unplanned pregnancy made a big impact on the pro-life community Jan. 21.
The Women’s Choice Center in Bettendorf sponsored an evening that featured the cardboard testimonials, recitation of the rosary, praise and worship music and other prayers to mark the 39th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion in the United States.
During the service at Heritage Church, just up the hill from the Women’s Choice Center, women stepped forward with statements written on a piece of white cardboard. The flip side revealed their final decision: forgiveness, adoption or giving birth to an unplanned child.
The crowd clapped and cheered at each person’s final decision. Some of the young mothers who walked off the stage cried as they felt the audience support them.
“Had an abortion … Forgiven and set free.” “15 and pregnant … chose adoption. Dustin born 9/14/2009.” “Walked out of Planned Parenthood … came across to the Women’s Choice Center. Epic was born 2-10-10.” “Pressured by her parents to abort … chose life instead. Paris born 9-17-2009.”
The evening of life began with recitation of the rosary in the upper level of the Women’s Choice Center. Following the rosary the participants walked up the hill to Heritage Church.
Vicki Tyler, executive director of the pro-life center, welcomed them. “This is a year to commemorate – 39 years of Roe v. Wade making abortion legal.
“We come here to pray as a pro-life community to end abortion. It’s time. But this is also to celebrate life.”
She noted that the Women’s Choice Center will celebrate its 10th year of operation this summer and that through the center’s efforts 220 babies have been saved and women have been transformed.
Lynn Karwoski of the Good News Center led the group in prayer for a change of hearts and transformation of hearts. Members of Heritage Church led the group in praise and worship songs.
Jenny Farrell, a sonographer at Crisis Pregnancy Centers in the Quad-Cities, sang a song based on Psalm 139. Prior to singing she told the audience it is critical for a woman in a crisis pregnancy to know that SHE is precious in God’s eyes.
Following the cardboard testimonies, participants bundled up, took a flashlight in the shape of a candle and moved in procession down the hill in silence. They formed a single-file line along the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood and prayed before moving in procession to the Women’s Choice Center for a reception.