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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 event.

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 are resilient."

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 meet her.

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."

Submitted by:

Jeanine Notter

 

 

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