For Many Women, Roe a Painful Walk Down Memory Lane

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WASHINGTON -- President Obama began his second term with a tradition that dates back to George Washington: taking part in a post-inaugural national prayer service.  

Many, including pro-life lawmakers on Capitol Hill, consider it ironic that Jan. 22 is the date the president went to the National Cathedral to seek the Lord's blessing since the day marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, when the U.S. Supreme Court made abortion the law of the land.

Many consider President Obama the most pro-abortion president in American history.

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., has been opposing the Obama administration's pro-abortion initiatives for four years.

"Yesterday when he talked about caring for children, but he doesn't care for all the children," the New Jersey lawmaker noted.

"He is conspicuously leaving out an entire class of children who are yet unborn, and it is discriminatory," he said. "And these children suffer pain and agony by abortion methods, whichever one is used."

Lila Rose, president of Live Action, has become a force for change in the pro-life community. She shared her thoughts on the state of the pro-life movement, on CBN News Channel Morning News, Jan. 23.

Smith brought several women to Capitol Hill to discuss how horrible the abortion experience has been in their lives.

"When the abortionist administered the poison in my stomach, I was mortified and shocked because I felt my child kick and turn hastily. Later I found out she could feel the pain," Irene Beltran told lawmakers.

Beltran said she has been left with years of guilt and having to face her other daughters.

"I've watched them cry and I've watched them huddle in a fetal position, asking why I could do such a thing," she said.

"I have suffered from anxiety, depression, and an eating disorder, just to name a few," she continued. "I felt damaged, humiliated, and hopeless after my abortion." 

Olivia Gans Turner, director of American Victims of Abortion, said she can't shake the impact her 1981 abortion has had on her.

"I aborted my only child. And that to this day is a decision that changed my life forever," Turner said. "It's a day that I remember every moment of. It's a time in my life that altered the person that I am now."

Linda Shrewsbury, a founding member of Black Americans for Life, said she felt much the same.

"I felt so misled," Shrewsbury said. "I felt like I'd been told that abortion was a way to deal with a problem pregnancy, kind of turn back the hands of time. And it doesn't. It just leaves you with a dead baby."

Marcia Carroll's 16-year-old daughter was lured away to another state and badgered into getting an abortion by her boyfriend's family. The after-effects went on for years.

"She faced depression," Carroll said of her daughter. "She suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, woke me up many, many nights with nightmares. She checked herself in a couple of times for suicidal thoughts, even attempts."

On Tuesday, pro-life activists laid some 3,300 flowers in front of the U.S. Supreme Court to remind the justices that 3,300 children have died every day since the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. That's 55 million across the four decades.

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at