Interview with Janet Morana
PLM: Today I am very honored to have with me Janet Morana, and we will be talking about her new book titled “Recall Abortion: Ending the Abortion Industry’s Exploitation of Women”.
Janet, your new book is a very powerful book. I’d like to start with the title and subtitle of the book, both of which I found very intriguing.
Could you comment on why you chose this title and subtitle?
Janet Morana: “Recall Abortion” has a dual meaning. The first meaning is for the women who have had abortions, even if they’ve gone through healing. They remember the fact that they destroyed the life of that child, and they “recall” the abortion. They recall different things that happened the day of the abortion. They will even recall the day of the abortion when that calendar date comes around every year. It’s a very difficult day for them. They’ll recall the date that their child would have been born. And so it’s a recall of their memory no matter how much healing they’ve gone through. I know this by experience because of the women I work with through the “Silent No More” Awareness Campaign.
The second thing about the title is that I make a case in the book why we should demand a recall of the medical procedure called abortion because it is damaging women both physically and psychologically. If any product, or medical procedure, did what abortion does to women it would have already been recalled.
You might ask do they really recall medical procedures? And in fact, they do. For example, in the last century, lobotomies in the psychiatric field were a very popular procedure that they did quite frequently for people with severe mental illness. Yet, it was a very cruel operation where they literally destroyed part of their brains.
Of course, as medical science progressed they discovered other medications and therapies to deal with mental illness. Therefore, the American Psychiatric Association banned lobotomies from being done any longer.
In the book I trace the physical damage done by abortions. Women still die from abortions. I talk about the psychological damage. I paint a case for why we should demand a government recall of the procedure called abortion because it doesn’t benefit women. Any product that would do to women what abortion does would be long gone.
And the exploitation part is that the abortion industry claims that this is great, and the buzzwords they use now like “reproductive freedom” and “reproductive rights for women”. But in fact, the abortion industry really exploits women.
First of all it doesn’t give them a freedom of choice. When women are coming into an abortion clinic or a Planned Parenthood clinic, the only thing they are selling women is an abortion. They give them the positive pregnancy test and then they offer to schedule them for an abortion. That’s not freedom of choice.
Why aren’t they saying to them, “Do you want to continue this pregnancy or terminate?” They don’t even use those words. It’s only sell abortion, sell abortion. And then in the abortion clinic the day of the abortion all they care about is cash, insurance, or Medicaid. That’s all. How am I getting paid?
From the testimonies of the women in my book, and on our website at SilentNoMore.com, you can read the treatment they got in these abortion clinics. It’s despicable. It doesn’t follow any procedure, like for example, if you went in for ambulatory surgery. Just mirror them side by side. What happens in an abortion clinic is quite shocking and I don’t think people really realize that.
The first time they meet the doctor is on the table with their feet in the stirrups. And when the procedure is over they never see the doctor. It’s not like he’s visiting them in post-op. They are taken down the hall, sat in a recliner, given some cookies and juice, and in an hour they’re told to dress and leave. And they’ll never see that doctor again unless they come back for a repeat abortion.
When you think about ambulatory surgery, you see a doctor way in advance, he determines that you have to have an operation, you go to the hospital days ahead, and you get all kinds of tests. The day of the surgery you show up at the hospital with a family member usually. You sign all kinds of paperwork. You meet again with the doctor and the anesthesiologist before going into the operating room. Then when you come out you’re in recovery for a while, and then you get post-op instructions on discharge papers. And then you get prescriptions for pain meds and antibiotics, and a follow-up visit to your doctor.
Now that’s good medical care, but does that happen in an abortion clinic? Absolutely not.
PLM: It’s very powerful that you spread throughout the book many testimonies from post-abortive women, and even from some former abortion clinic workers. What was your motivation for putting so many testimonies in the book?
Janet Morana: I wanted the testimonies to have a purpose. So the testimonies are carefully placed in the different chapters. For example, there’s a chapter on rape and incest. So in that chapter those are women who were raped and then decided to abort, and then I have other women who were raped and either made an adoption plan or raised the child.
And you see that the women who were raped and then chose abortion were traumatized. They said they got over the rape, but not the abortion.
As far as interviewing people who were former abortion clinic workers or doctors, they know better than anyone else. Dr. Levatino, one of the people I quoted, he admits openly that when he was doing abortions that he did perforate a uterus occasionally, that he did nick a bowel occasionally.
These mistakes happen every day in abortion clinics. As a matter of fact, just yesterday, there was an abortionist in Detroit, and a woman left his clinic in an ambulance. And this same doctor has already killed other women, has had ambulances come to his clinic, and he’s still practicing.
So I feel the testimonies of the women and medical experts are the things that help people put on new glasses when they look at abortion, and help them look at it from a new perspective. Forget the political rhetoric.
And the pro-aborts have a hard time with this because they were the ones in the feminist movement who were yelling, “Listen to the voices of women!” So now what are they going to do with these women? Oh, “Listen to the voices of some women, but not those women over there.” So it puts the other side in a quandary. These are real stories. What are they going to say? That that’s not so? So I think the voices of experience trump the rhetoric that’s out there.
PLM: I found the feminist movement topic that you covered in your book to be fascinating. Please talk about what the feminist movement originally was supposed to do for women, and in your view how it got off track and what the results of that have been.
Janet Morana: I traced the early feminists of the turn of the last century, like Susan B. Anthony, for example, and how they were pro-life. They were about women having certain rights like the right to own property and other rights. So it was about getting women some equal footing.
And then in the sixties and seventies, the later feminists kind of hijacked the original feminists. They said that women had to have sexual freedom, contraception, and abortion, that this is what’s good for them. And of course, they were trying to fight for equal pay and positions in the workforce.
When you analyze it, as I do in the book, they really didn’t do that much for women as far as equal pay. If you look side by side at certain positions out there in the secular world, the men are still making more than the women even in the top corporations. So they haven’t done that great a job of breaking the glass ceiling so to speak.
And then in this day and age, so many of the women when they marry and decide to have a family, they’re trying to do it all. They have to take care of everything at home, plus the kids, and a full-time job. So I don’t think this is very empowering for women. This whole concept of you can have your career and your family too, and at the end of the night you crash into bed exhausted because of everything you’re doing. And I point out in the book how much a stay-at-home mom would make if you had to hire people to do everything a stay-at-home mom does, from the laundry to the grocery shopping to cleaning the house.
So the feminists of the sixties and seventies didn’t really accomplish for women what they were trying to do with birth control and abortion. If anything, abortion is empowering for men. It gets them off the hook with no responsibility. Have sex with as many women as you want and don’t worry if you happen to get her pregnant, just give her some money and tell her to take care of it, and you’re out of it.
PLM: You have a very interesting quote in your book by Dr. Alveda King. She said, “Women never forget the babies they gave up no matter how compelling the reason seemed at the time.” Please talk about that quote in the context of the psychological damage that abortion has on women and contrast it the pro-abortion supporter’s view on this issue.
Janet Morana: What Alveda is referring to is that it’s in a woman’s nature to have the child. And even if a woman is coerced into an abortion, at the end women still feel guilty because they say they still acquiesced and gave in. They didn’t defend the life of their child.
So there’s the guilt of “I was responsible no matter what the circumstances because I didn’t stand up for the life of my child.” So there’s a deep psychological wound there because the mother’s nature is supposed to be nurturing.
And the same thing happens for men. Men also come to regret abortions too, and their lost fatherhood. It usually it hits men when they become a dad for the first time. Maybe they got a girl pregnant in high school or college, and told her to take care of it. Now maybe they’re in their thirties and married and having their first child, or they think it’s their first child, then boom, it hits them, flashback. Oh, this isn’t my first child. And they start feeling guilt too. They weren’t a protector for that child. For men, the natural nature is to be a protector of the family.
So what an abortion does psychologically is it totally reverses and turns upside down what it is in our nature to be a man and a woman, and to nurture and love a child.
As far as psychological complications after abortion, they are enormous. Because of the psychological problems many women end up with eating disorders, they abuse drugs and alcohol just to numb the pain that they feel not just physically but psychologically. Some women have nightmares and difficulty sleeping. Many women will remember the sound, they call it the vacuum sound, which is the sound of the suction machine used during a first trimester abortion.
So the psychological damage to them is very deep. And that’s why many women spend a long period of time before they make the connection that all the things going wrong in their lives are related to the abortion. They almost have to hit rock bottom before they seek help and get some sort of healing.
And that’s one of the motivations for the women of the Silent No More awareness campaign. They speak out because they want to reach other women who are like them in this dark abyss of not being able to forgive themselves, and all these problems about destroying the life of a child. They want to let them know that there’s hope and there’s healing.
PLM: Why doesn’t the pro-abortion side acknowledge that all of this data exists about the real psychological impact that abortion has on women?
Janet Morana: Very simply, they don’t want to paint abortion in a bad way, no matter what. If you noticed in the Kermit Gosnell case earlier this year, the pro-abortion side ignored it. They tried to say that it was a rare case. Meanwhile, we in the pro-life movement can say that there are plenty of Gosnells all around the country.
So to them, abortion is like a sacred cow. You can’t touch it. You can’t say anything bad about it. They don’t want to admit what’s out there because for the people involved in the abortion business it’s an industry. It’s a billion dollar industry and they don’t want to paint it in a negative way because it’s all about the bottom line, from Planned Parenthood to the independent abortion clinics around the country.
By the way, the good news is that there used to be closed to 2,500 abortion clinics, that was the figure back in 1992, and now there are less than 625 abortion clinics left in our country. And in 2013, we’re in October now, and so far 44 more clinics have closed just this year. So when you have a corrupt industry like abortion, sooner or later it’s going to undo itself.
PLM: At the end of your book you have a call to action which is “Let’s recall abortion.” How can people help you in that call to action?
Janet Morana: They can go to our website RecallAbortion.com. That’s where they can order the book if they would like to get the book, and I will personally autograph it for them. And then on that website I have a petition they can sign. And I’ve already spoken to some of our pro-life members in Congress and they said that if I can get a ground swell of support for the petition, where people are saying, yes, let’s recall this bad product, then they could probably use that to get some hearings on abortion, and on the damage that’s being done. It’s like having Congress investigate this like they investigate other problems in society, and they could demand an investigation of abortion and the abortion industry. So it’s my hope that people will go there to sign the petition.
I wrote the book for two audiences. I wrote it for people who are already pro-life to give you good arguments so that you can discuss this issue with your circle of influence, people that you come in contact with, your family and friends, who claim to be pro-choice, to let them put on a new pair of glasses and see what abortion is really doing to men, women and society.
The other group I wrote the book for is people in the conflicted middle. And we all know them out there, for example, good people in the churches. If everyone who professed belief in Jesus Christ said that they wouldn’t tolerate abortion, then we wouldn’t have abortion. There are people in the churches who cling to “choice”. The book is written also for them because many of them say that they wouldn’t personally have an abortion, but that we need to keep abortion available because women really need abortion.
The book takes them down the road to show them that abortion is damaging for women, it’s bad for society, and it’s not helping us. Therefore, we don’t need to have it available. We should get rid of the procedure altogether.
So it’s my hope that the book will give those who are pro-life new tools in their toolbox to debate the issue and discuss it, and change hearts and minds, and then for those in the conflicted middle to push them into the pro-life camp. By the way, once people become pro-life they never go back. You never get pro-lifers to become pro-choice. They only go from pro-choice to pro-life.
PLM: I’ve never thought about that but I think you’re absolutely right. Janet, it’s a very powerful book, and I thank you for taking the time to pull all of your experience together to write this book which, as you said, can serve as a tool to help people understand the reality of abortion. I wish you the best of luck.
For our listeners please go to the website RecallAbortion.com, sign the petition, and let’s get things moving.
Janet, are there other websites where our subscribers can find out more?
Janet Morana: Yes, you can order the book and sign the petition at RecallAbortion.com. Then if you want to read more of the testimonies of women, I even have them in video form, you can go to SilentNoMore.com. There are over a thousand testimonies in written form, over 200 in video form, and testimonies of men. There are healing resources there if you know someone who has had an abortion, and how to get them to healing. There’s a lot of information there where you can delve into this information even further.
About Janet Morana
Janet Morana serves as the Executive Director of Priests for Life and is the Co-Founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, the world’s largest mobilization of women and men who have lost children to abortion. Since 1989, Janet has held various local and national leadership roles in the pro-life movement. She has assisted Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, since his ordination in 1988. She has traveled extensively throughout the country and the world, giving pro-life training seminars for clergy and laity, including at Pontifical universities in Rome, and representing Priests for Life at national and international pro-life conferences. Janet has helped coordinate relationships between pro-life organizations and the Vatican as well as the White House. She is featured on Fr. Pavone’s Defending Life television series on EWTN. She is the Co-host and Producer of the Gospel of Life series seen on Sky Angel Network. Janet is a weekly guest on EWTN Global Catholic Radio with Teresa Tomeo and numerous other media outlets. She is also the co-host of “The Catholic View for Women,” on EWTN. In 2009 the international Legatus organization bestowed upon Janet the Cardinal John O’Connor Pro-life Hall of Fame Award.
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