Abortion Survivor Inspires New Hampshire Pro-lifers
It was 30 years ago that abortion was legalized by the arbitrary and
capricious judicial decree of the United States Supreme Court. Roe vs. Wade
ignited this pandemic plague in which there seems to be no cure, yet the
Pro-Life movement remains strong and has not given up hope that this horrific
decision will one day be overturned.
The Bishop of Manchester, NH, John B. McCormack evidently cares for the
unborn. To celebrate life, His Excellency called for a Triduum for Life
Celebration. Deacon Robert Anderson organized the 3-day event at St. Joseph’s
Cathedral. Friday, Jan. 17 was declared a voluntary day of prayer and fasting,
along with veneration of the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. That the
diocese of Manchester was granted guardianship of this image for a 2nd
time in less than a year is remarkable. To be able to have it specifically for
this special weekend, Deacon Anderson said, "Obviously the Holy Spirit had a
hand in it."
Despite the below-normal freezing temperatures, a March for Life occurred in
Concord, the state’s capital, on Saturday morning. The members of New Hampshire
Teenage Life Association participated in the march and had a display at the
rally for all 3 days. Spokesman for the group, Valerie Sharp, said, "We promote
the sanctity of life, we encourage chastity, and our members are even taught
side-walk counseling." The 30 active members reside in all parts of NH. Their
newsletter has 60 subscribers.
A 4 PM Mass for Life preceded the rally. The Knights of Columbus led the
procession with their usual dignity, discipline and majesty. A turkey dinner
followed. Tables were set up alongside the diners with displays pertaining to
the celebration of life. Books, tapes, and bumper stickers were among the items
available for purchase.
A trio of talented singers from St. Kathryn’s Church in Hudson, NH
entertained the attendees, numbering around 300 for the Sat. evening rally, with
contemporary Christian songs. They performed 4 times during the Triduum , with
each concert lasting about an hour.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Protectres of the Unborn, due to the fact that
Mary appears as an expectant mother in the picture. A brief overview of the
Missionary Image was given by Mary Ann DiSasio. The traveling image is an exact
replica of the one on Juan Diego’s tilma, preserved in Mexico City. Miraculous
healings have been attributed to the replica. The faithful stood in line at the
rally for a turn to venerate the image. Free rosaries, scapulars, and literature
were also made available.
The next speaker for the evening was singer/author Nancy Nadeau, founder of
Gems of God, Inc. Nadeau gave testimony of the power of the Holy Spirit in her
life. Her detailed account of her poems and songs just coming to her mind were
inspiring to say the least. Her work is dedicated to Pro-life. She read samples
of her poetry and sang a few songs. One song was about an unborn child speaking
to his mother. With her angelic voice, and innocent, rather child-like demeanor,
Nadeau sang, " I’m real, I’m here. I’m alive."
Before announcing the Keynote speaker, Deacon Anderson again attributed the
organization of the Rally to the power of the Holy Spirit. When he was asked to
schedule the 3-day event, he immediately thought of the beautiful young woman,
Gianna Jessen, who was aborted and lived to tell about it. He did not know how
to contact her. As luck would have it, soon afterward, he received information
about her in the mail from her manager. Deacon Anderson hoped that Jessen would
be free for the weekend of the Triduum, but with her busy schedule and celebrity
status, he doubted success. Obviously she was free because she did come to the
Diocese of Manchester and was, without a doubt, the highlight of the entire
I have had the honor of interviewing Miss Jessen over the phone, in the early
90’s, for the Pro-life newsletter I was then editor of. But to finally meet this
woman who was aborted and lived, is an honor that I will always treasure. The
focus of her speech was not one of tears and sorrow. She told a lot of jokes,
was happy, spirit-filled, and serious when it came to family and moral values.
She captivated the audience and had a message for each person there.
Looking into the eyes of the teenage girls, she challenged them to dress
modestly, "And when you see a good-looking guy, walk away and see if he follows
you." To the teenage boys she offered, "When you see a girl ½ dressed, I
challenge you to look away and respect the girl who is not respecting herself
and doesn’t know it." Even the fathers in the crowd were pleaded with, "Don’t
leave your families. Children are resilient, Children are resilient. Children
For the readers who are unfamiliar with Gianna Jessen, she was born in an
abortion clinic on April 6,1977. Her biological mother was 17 years old. When
she was 7 ½ months pregnant, she went to Planned Parenthood, who convinced her
that she was too young to have a baby. Saline was injected into her womb. This
type of abortion burns the unborn child inside and out and hours later, the
woman delivers a dead baby. Gianna says that the hand of God protected her,
because after 18 hours of being in the saline solution, which should have killed
her, she came out alive, "And if I had a voice then, I would have been SCEAMING,
‘No! You will NOT do this to me. I will not die!"
If the abortionist had been around, he would have ended her life either by
strangulation or neglect. The nurse who was working that day called an ambulance
to take the 2-pound child to the hospital where she was put into an incubator.
Gianna is certain that the other teenage girls who were there, feeling their own
babies die inside of them, will never forget that day.
No one expected her to live. Gianna said, "But after months on not dying, I
was placed into a foster home. That was when I met my Queen, Penny, who says
that right at that first meeting we bonded for life."
Gianna has Cerebal Palsy as a result of the lack of oxygen to her brain
during the abortion. The doctors predicted that she would never be able to do
anything but just lie there. Gianna’s "Queen" did physical therapy with her 3
times a day, and against all odds, not only did she learn to hold her head up,
sit, crawl, and even walk, today she also sings. Residing in Tennessee, it comes
at not surprise that her songs have a "country" flare to them. She entertained
the audience with 3 of her songs, one of which is titled "Penny".
At the age of 3 ½ Gianna was adopted by Penny’s daughter, which made her
foster mother now her grandmother. Her mother didn’t tell her that she aborted
until she was 12 years old. She was young, but a true Evangelical Christian.
Moreover, she felt called to stand up to proclaim the sanctity of life. During
the early 90’s she traveled with Fr. Paul Marx, founder of Human Life
International. Their travels took her to other countries, including Ireland,
where she was presented with an Irish wedding band. She said, "It symbolizes
that, at the age of 25, I am still, unashamedly a virgin. This ring will one day
become my future husband’s wedding band."
Not a single person at the Rally yawned during this incredible young woman’s
talk. She gave testimony of how her Cerebral Palsy was once the object of her
social humiliation. But after a venting session with the Lord, "He took away my
desire to be healed." When asked if she has ever met her biological mother she
said, "No, and I don’t want to. I don’t know her and she’s not my mom, but I
have forgiven her completely." The biological mother would, however, like to
Before answering questions from the crowd, Gianna excitedly told us of her
meeting with President George W. Bush. After testifying in front of Congress,
she was invited to witness the President sign the Born-Alive Infants Protection
Act. It was August 5, 2002. She exclaimed, "Oh, my word! What an amazing
individual. What an amazing man!" She was so nervous, that for the first time in
her life, "I was speechless. He gave me a hug and then later he said, ‘I’m not
gonna let you down.’"
Gianna Jessen spoke again on Sunday at the Triduum for Life Celebration,
which ended at 3 PM. The attendance was a mixture of young and old, families,
couples, teens and singles.The Sisters of the Presentation of Mary were at the
rally. William and Jeanne Byrne, of Concord, attended on Saturday evening with
their 3 daughters, ages 7, 5, and 4. Parishioners of the Melkite Catholic
Church, in Manchester, NH, attended Sunday’s rally. John Mulrey, of Merrimack,
brought his 13-year-old son, Jake.
Mulrey admitted to being a lapsed Catholic, but when he heard about the
rally, he felt inspired to get back into it. He comes from a family of Operation
Rescuers, some of which have gone to jail for the unborn. One of his aunts even
went to "The Big House" in Cape Cod for 6 months. She is just one of many who
have sacrificed much to proclaim the message that life is scared, especially
innocent life. Mulrey says, "It’s important. The life issue."