Tuesday I kicked off my autumn speaking schedule at the annual fundraising banquet for the New Life Pregnancy Center in Decatur, IL, with over 500 people attending.
A reporter from the Decatur Herald & Review covered the event (reprinted on page 2).
Some pro-lifers are afraid to speak with the press. My experience is that reporters, particularly young ones, are not biased on our issue, just perhaps untaught. They really want to cover our issue fairly.
Some pro-lifers also obsess about being misquoted. But it is our responsibility to confine our words into soundbites and not ramble, and to keep repeating the message we want printed.
Decatur Herald & Review
Nurse speaks of fight against abortion at New Life Pregnancy Center’s annual banquet
By Bethany Carson – H&R Staff Writer
September 21, 2005
DECATUR – Jill Stanek, a registered nurse from the Chicago area, said holding a live, aborted baby in her arms until it died 45 minutes later led her to not care whether the public knew her stance on abortion.
She held the baby in the labor and delivery department of Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, where she continued to work for two-and-a-half years to fight the method of abortion being used. Women were induced into labor in the second and third trimesters, causing the babies to be born prematurely. It has also been called “live birth abortion.”
Stanek said she continued to work at the hospital because the scripture charged her to rescue those who had unjustly died.
Now a professional speaker, she shared her story with at least 530 supporters of the New Life Pregnancy Center at its annual Banquet for Life on Tuesday evening.
“The abortion issue is huge,” Stanek said before the event. “It’s an urgent matter.”
At least 1.3 million abortions have occurred each year since 1980, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet, Stanek said, the issue remains unseen by the general public.
“This is not a political issue,” she said. “This is not a religious issue. It’s a moral issue. It’s a constitutional issue. It’s a matter of innocent people being killed.”
In August 2002, President Bush signed into law the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, for which Stanek was called upon to testify before Congress. The law defines a legal person. Any baby born alive is considered protected under the Constitution.
Since then, Stanek said a corner has been turned because people are speaking out about abortion, even if it polarizes opinions.
“I don’t mind the polarizing,” she said. “It’s better than people not talking about it.”
Penny Weaver, New Life Pregnancy Center executive director, said she invited Stanek to speak because her testimony has such an effect, and information can be empowering. She said in addition to sharing the Gospel with more than 400 women this year, 98 percent of the clients chose to continue their pregnancies.
“I believe that’s because they are given the opportunity to make an informed decision,” Weaver said.
Sharon Dunn of Oreana, a pediatric nurse for 36 years, said the mission of the center is one of compassion.
“We all unite in our common goal that when those girls walk through that door, they have felt the love of Christ,” Dunn said, “how he can forgive and heal.”
Bethany Carson can be reached at bcarson@;herald-review.com or 421-6968.