FREDERICTON LEGISLATURE, MAY 14, 2015| The following transcript is the personal testimony of Darlene Pawlik given at the 2015 March for Life
I just want to thank you all for being here, to be able to stand up and advocate for someone else who has no voice, who are being dismissed by most of the world. You are the most wonderful people in the world, and I think you should give yourselves a big hand. And I feel great to be here.
There are lots of people who say, “I am pro-life except in certain cases, except in the case of rape. Or, except if the child is going to grow up poor into a broken home; or except if that child is going to grow up in an abusive situation; or if they will be molested; or if they are going to get pregnant as kids; or if they are going to be used for sex-trafficking. These would usually be reasons to have an abortion, right? That would be okay?” And I usually stand in front of them and say: “Now you can say, ‘It’s not okay, because I met someone who was conceived and lived through those exact circumstances.’ That would be me.”
I was conceived during a very violent rape when my Mom was only fifteen years old, and she did not speak of it for two years, because it was so brutal. She didn’t have anybody. When she found out she was pregnant she said, “Well, we’re in it together.” She found me as a second victim. I think a lot of people have a confused compassion; they feel badly towards the woman for having to carry this child, but it’s just a second victim that we need to consider. Yes, she has had a hard time; she needs help; she needs compassion; she needs comfort; she’s going to need some support, but she doesn’t need to kill her baby, she really doesn’t. She says that I am the joy of her life, now.
It wasn’t always that way; when we were young she had a lot of issues. I had a lot of issues. I was abused by my natural father because she didn’t imagine that he would do that to small children. He molested us from toddlerhood, it was a very brutal time, and it was really awful. By the time I was thirteen, I was set up for sex trafficking. I was sold on my fourteenth birthday, also a brutal time. I spent four years living in my sneakers, gang-raped, abused, really bad stuff happened. I sold up-and-down the eastern seaboard and different places. On the street, I used to sleep on the church foyer before the doors opened in the morning. But still, I wouldn’t have traded that—I don’t want to die because I have had a hard life. How many of you have hard things that have gone on in your life? Let’s see a show of hands. Really, everybody has hard things that go on in their lives. Everyone! Life is not easy. God never promised us that life would be easy. Life is tough for everyone. And just because someone has had a bad start doesn’t mean they’re going to have a bad ending. So let me tell you where all of that is culminated…
At seventeen, I was sold to one man as a house pet. And during that time, he said that if I got pregnant, I would have to have an abortion. He threatened my life. He said, “If you don’t have an abortion, I’m going to kill you.” When I got pregnant, I knew for sure he was going to kill me. He had a flunky; he was a small time organized crime boss; there was no question in my mind that he was going to kill me. But God, in his mercy, gave me a supernatural dream. He gave me a dream of the abortion procedure in living colour from the perspective of the womb. So I saw that little hand; I saw that little face; I saw a ribcage. When I woke up, I said, “God if you are real, I need you to tell me what to do. I need you to tell me what to do!”
Then, I remembered an old social worker, and she found a home for me for unwed mothers. And, so I faked an abortion and got free from my trafficker. Saving my baby from rape, saved my life. That was an awesome thing that God did for me, but he does that same thing through each one of you. When you hand out a pamphlet, when you say something, when you post something on social media, when you tell your friends that ‘every life matters,’ that’s exactly how he works through you. The same way he gave me that supernatural dream that I was able to fake an abortion and get away from my captor; you each help women to be able to get out of their circumstances by giving them hope. Every life matters. And I’m not just speaking about the preborn, here. There are children in wheelchairs, teenagers, middle-aged people, and others who are disabled. Even if they are not as functional as some other people, they have their own abilities and their lives matter, too. And they shouldn’t be killed just because they can’t do everything that everybody else can do. (Applause)
And then we think about the elderly infirm, and especially those who get a little confused at times, “Do they deserve to be killed because they aren’t as functional as the rest of us?” I disagree, I disagree completely. They have value; they are still somebody’s grandparent, or somebody’s aunt, or somebody’s uncle. They are still a person and that’s the crux of the matter. From the time we are conceived until the time we die, we are the same person. My daughter, who was conceived by that trafficking situation, she now has her own business and has a few employees. She’s a wonderful person, but she always was that person, and she always will be that person. My elderly mother-in-law, who is in the hospital right now with a broken leg, she is still the same person she was when she was caring for her young people. She does not deserve to be put to death any more than anyone else deserves to be put to death, because she is a person. (Applause)
I am here today to declare that “Every Life Matters,” and also just to encourage you to keep on, keeping on. In New Hampshire, our situation is very similar to yours. We have virtually no restrictions on abortion. We have no oversight, ‘the fox is watching the henhouse’ and it is just a free-for-all. It is completely shrouded in mystery; we can’t get any bills through that protect women and children. It has been very difficult. But we must keep on, keeping on. We must keep being the light, and shining it out there. You and I are the ones who can save these other people from imposed death, wherever we are within our circle of influence. Yes, we keep on working on our legislators, but they are not the be-all and end-all. Sometimes it’s your next door neighbour, sometimes it’s your cousin. We need to be pro-life one hundred percent, all around our own circle of influence. That’s what we need to do, and I encourage you to keep on keeping on, because you do make a difference−you do make a difference. (Applause)
Back to my story real quick, my really bad beginning, just so you have something out of your back pocket when somebody says to you, “What about in case of rape?” Right now, I have been married almost twenty-five years to a wonderful husband. I have five children and two grandchildren. They are a wonderful heritage, an entire heritage that would have been halted had my Mom not realized that we were victims together, if she hadn’t had the support to get through the pregnancy. So, if you have someone who comes to you and sticks their finger in your face−and they do−asking, “What about rape?” You can say, “Well, it’s still a person, and you can get through that. It’s a temporary situation. Don’t choose a permanent solution to a temporary situation.” I’d like to expand that to the elderly, or perhaps to someone like a seventeen-year-old who was involved in a car accident and now he’s disabled, or he can’t walk. Maybe, he has the use of only one arm, or none, and he is depressed. This is still a temporary situation. God can still show him what abilities he does have. Please, ask that person not to choose a permanent solution for a temporary situation! (Applause)
Again, I want to thank Peter (Ryan), and the Knights (of Columbus) and all of you wonderful people for being here, thank you so much, God, for all of your blessings. We ask you to pray for each and everyone of us as we go, in Jesus’ name, AMEN.
Darling Princess is author of Testimony: The Dark Side of Christianity © 2012 , available at www.savethe1.com This transcript is used with permission by the author.