Life-changing moments can come at unexpected times. Georgette Forney will never forget that heart-wrenching conversation begun at a family dinner in a restaurant 14 years ago.
“Mom, were you married when you were 16?” asked Rebecca who was 8 years old at the time.
“Of course not, what kind of a crazy question is that?” Forney replied.
“Rebecca asked, “Well, were you pregnant when you were 16?”
Forney’s heart sank, as she answered, “Yes, why?”
Her daughter replied, “I thought you had to be married to get pregnant.”
The truth is, Forney had an abortion when she was 16, a decision she had never ceased to regret, and she has only recently begun to speak openly in opposition to the taking of innocent human life.
Rebecca found a note in her mother’s Bible, alluding to this brother or sister who was never born.
She looked at her mother, and asked, “Where is the baby?”
“That was the moment when God touched something in my heart that said, ‘No more,’” said Forney, who was the speaker at the recent Celebrate Life Banquet sponsored by Pennsylvanians for Human Life. She is now is entering her 14th year as president of the global organization, Anglicans for Life, and a co-founder of Silent No More, the pro-life group for women and men who are post-abortion.
“Where were the people who are so busy worrying about protecting women’s rights when I had to explain to my 8-year-old daughter what an abortion was?” she asked. “I did not know how to tell an 8-year-old her mother had killed a baby. Her mother was no longer a good mom; her mom was a monster who had taken the life of a baby. I remember her looking at me with terror in her eyes, and I could tell what she was thinking, ‘Would she do that to me; why didn’t she do that to me?’ At that moment an 8-year-old’s life changed, and my life changed forever and nobody was there from NARAL or NOW who could make it OK.”
Forney spoke passionately about abortion and how she was guilt-ridden until she finally came to understand that “the Gospel applied to my abortion and Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sin of abortion. Hopefully I am a changed woman, but there is not a day in my life that I don’t regret what I did.”
The PHL banquet, which was held at the Springfield Country Club with 400 guests, also saw the presentation of the group’s annual Margaret Way Hoffner Award which this year was split between two winners.
Kenneth David Kropp, who is moderator of the Pro Life Club at Archmere Academy in Claymont, Del., and been a lifelong supporter of the pro-life movement. This conviction was tested when he and his wife, Denise, were expecting a child who was almost certainly going to be born with a very serious birth defect. They resisted repeated suggestions that the child be aborted, and through prayer, their son, David, was born perfectly healthy and is now a high school senior and athlete.
The other awardee was Kevin Madison, who has been a teacher in Philadelphia Catholic schools for 30 years and for the past 10 years at Our Lady of Good Counsel School in Southampton where he is coordinator for religion, moderator for altar servers, moderator of numerous outreach programs and a consistent advocate for life.