ROME — Gianna Jessen, an American survivor of a failed saline abortion, delivered a powerful testimony in the Eternal City on Saturday, May 20, at the 7th annual Rome March for Life.
The March began it Piazza Repubblica and made its way through the streets of Rome to Piazza Venezia, where crowds listened to several testimonies.
A young woman who had an abortion spoke of how she found healing. Professor Stephane Mercier, of the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, testified to standing up for life, after almost losing his teaching post after calling abortion “murder” in one of his classes. And a young man who survived a car crash but was left for dead by doctors, spoke out against euthanasia.
In her testimony, Gianna Jessen delivered a courageous witness to faith. She also posed a “gentle” question to feminists, offered a heartfelt message to women who have had an abortion, gave wise advice to young people, and had a powerful message for men.
Speaking in Rome’s Piazza Venezia, Gianna told the crowds:
I’ll give you a brief summary of my life. It’s been complicated. But first I want to thank the brave presenters that spoke before me. I have great admiration for what you are doing and what you did. I have cerebral palsy because I survived an abortion. I didn’t have an abortion; I lived through one. My biological mother was seven and a half months pregnant and she had a saline abortion. This burns the baby. It burns the baby inside and out and blinds and suffocates the child, and then the baby is born dead within 24 hours. But instead of arriving dead, I arrived alive, and in an abortion clinic, not a hospital.
So I love to say this: I am alive by the power of Jesus Christ. I am not ashamed of Jesus and I shout his Name in the streets of Rome, so everyone can hear: Gesu, Gesu, Gesu [i.e. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus]. I know that’s not popular. Sometimes pro-life people don’t even like to speak about Jesus, but I’m telling you: I’m not ashamed of the God who saved my life. How could I be? This is a battle between life and death, and we need God’s help. It’s a broken world, and broken people need real answers that come from God.
So it says on my medical records: born during saline abortion, 6:00 am, April 6, 1977. It went on to record that she was 29 ½ weeks pregnant, and I was only two pounds. The nurse called an ambulance because the abortionist wasn’t at work yet. Had he been there, he would have ended my life with strangulation, suffocation, or leaving me there to die.
You may wonder why I have no burns on my body or why I am not blind, and it’s just a simple answer: Jesus. But I do have cerebral palsy, and I was never supposed to leave the bed; I was never supposed to hold up my head. It was caused by a lack of oxygen to my brain while surviving an abortion. So I would like to gently ask the feminists that are listening, whether online, Facebook live, in the audience: if abortion is merely about women’s rights, then what were mine?
I just have a few things to say in conclusion, and they are these: I was later adopted. As I just told you, I was told that I would never walk. But what I want to tell you is that no human being can ever tell you what your destiny is. Only God can. Also, I want to tell you: I have met my biological mother, and I have said, “I am a Christian and I forgive you.”
I want to also say to anyone who has had an abortion, or more than one abortion, or any man who has paid for one or more abortions, and to anyone who doesn’t believe in God or Jesus: The only freedom any of us will ever find from our sin is Jesus. So just give him that abortion; tell him that you’re sorry, and ask him to forgive you, and he will set you free. And if you don’t believe in Jesus, tell him you don’t believe in Jesus and he will answer you. Just talk to Jesus and he will change your life.
And the last thing, to the young people listening: listen to me, there is great honor in honoring the marriage bed. Women, young women: you are made to be loved and respected. We are not meant to be used and have the men walk away.
Men: you are made to be courageous and honorable. You are meant to be faithful and kind. And guess what: I think men are wonderful. I love men. I don’t hate men like feminists do. I think men are great. God bless the men! Men: you can only be courageous if you know who you are, and you are made in the image of God, just as women are. So stand up and be who you are born to be: protectors of women and children, and be honorable.
God bless you! Ciao, ciao.
Watch powerful moments from Gianna’s testimony here. (Video courtesy of Edward Pentin.)
Marching for Life
Young families, the elderly, doctors, priests and seminarians, religious sisters, came out in defense of life and the family. The daughter for whom St. Gianna Berretta Molla gave up her life, Gianna Emanuela Molla, was among the marchers. US Cardinal Raymond Burke, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former apostolic nuncio to the United States, and the Monks of Norcia also came out in support. (View photos from the 7th annual Rome March for Life in the slideshow here below.)