Jacquie Stalnaker's boyfriend drove her to an abortion clinic with a gun on the floor of the car. He told her their baby would die that day, or that both she and the baby would. When she came out of the clinic afterward, he was nowhere to be found and she never saw him again. She collapsed on the street, lost half the blood in her body, and subsequently survived recurring stage-four uterine cancer and a 25-pound tumor.
She had aborted the only child she would ever conceive, and she lived with her secret for decades.
But now this former Miss West Virginia, former national spokeswoman for the American Heart Association and current executive director for Ignatius Productions is Silent No More, and she is an invited speaker at today's West Coast Walk for Life in San Francisco.
"It took me 22 years to be able to speak out about it," said Stalnaker, a former Elkins resident who now lives in Birmingham, Ala. She is a regional coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. "Now I talk about it everywhere I go."
The eighth annual Walk for Life West Coast will begin at 11 a.m. at the Civic Center Plaza, when Georgette Forney, co-founder of Silent No More, and 14 women and men who are part of the campaign will share their testimonies.
Stalnaker will be one of the speakers at a rally today, before the group takes part in an awareness walk.
"What we often say is that experience trumps rhetoric," said Forney, a Pennsylvania resident. "People can talk about the right to choose but it is time to hear about the real consequences of the choice. We also want others who are hurting after abortion to know they are not alone, help is available. That is why we are Silent No More."
Since the launch of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign in 2003, 4,845 women and men have shared their testimonies publicly at more than 865 gatherings in 48 states and 10 countries. Raising awareness about the hurtful aftermath of abortion and the help that is available to cope with the pain are two of the campaign's goals.
The Silent No More Awareness Campaign is a joint project of Anglicans for Life and Priests for Life. More information is available at http://www.silentnomoreawareness.org/.