CHARLESTON—Silent No More, a group of women and men who have experienced firsthand the physical and emotional pain of abortion, convened on the steps of the U.S. Customs House to tell their stories Sept. 18.
With an estimated 43 million babies lost since the legalization of abortion 30 years ago, members of the group speak out in an effort to save lives and to find their own healing.
Silent No More is a national campaign effort “to make the public aware of the devastation abortion brings,” according to its mission statement.
The members who attended the third annual rally in Charleston displayed signs emblazoned with the message “I Regret My Abortion.” The speakers’ personal experiences were unique, but the same vein of pain and regret ran through their testimonies.
Dawn McGuire told of the abortions she had during college, the third of which nearly took her life.
“I almost hemorrhaged to death, and it was then that I was forced to come clean with my mother,” she said. “I have since learned that I could be set free from the guilt and shame. Please don’t let these innocent children die.”
Steven Grgach explained that abortion affects men as well as women, relating the experience he had as a 15-year-old.
“I was just a boy, but I had no choice whether my child would live or die,” he said. “I felt anger, frustration, and sadness. This choice has a huge impact on the life of the father. This is something I will live with for the rest of my life.”
Teresa Byas, this year’s rally sponsor, spoke of her years of depression and guilt following her abortion. She has since made it her mission to speak out. Her church, Cathedral of Praise on Ashley Phosphate Road, sponsors a post-abortion class called “Forgiven and Set Free,” also available in most cities nationwide.
“After the class I began to see how so many of my emotional problems stemmed from my abortion in the ’70s,” she said. “I had attempted suicide four times, and I was in lots of denial about the cause for my depression.”
“It is these rallies that have changed the overall response to women who have had abortions,” Byas said. “People are not as judgmental as they once were. It is now understood that we have seen pain and are admitting what we did was wrong.”
Byas encourages anyone seeking help following an abortion to contact her through Cathedral of Praise at (843) 760-2626 or the Lowcountry Crisis Pregnancy Center at (843) 553-3505.