Janet Morana, Northern New Jersey Chapter
Janet Morana has been a pro-life leader on the local and national stages since 1989. She co-founded the Silent No More Awareness Campaign — the world’s largest mobilization of women who have had abortions. She is a weekly guest on EWTN Global Catholic Radio with Teresa Tomeo, is seen on EWTN’s Defending Life television series, and she co-hosts The Catholic View for Women, also on EWTN.
Morana’s 2013 book Recall Abortion: Ending the Abortion Industry’s Exploitation of Women exposes the myriad ways in which abortion harms women and calls for a national recall of the procedure. She spoke with Legatus magazine staff writer Brian Fraga.
How did you get involved in the pro-life movement?
Basically, it was through Fr. Frank Pavone. He was my parish priest and it was his involvement that made me aware of how bad the problem is — and it gave me the desire to get involved. I started assisting him with activities in Staten Island, N.Y. Then when he went off to be the national director of Priests for Life, I continued to help him while I worked full time as a teacher and a mother. In 2000, I decided to leave public school teaching. Later I became the executive director at Priests for Life.
What did Fr. Pavone say that got you interested in the pro-life apostolate?
As a parish priest, he would preach often on the subject, so we got to learn a lot about it, and he invited everyone in the parish to be involved. I was a participant in life chains and praying in front of abortion clinics. It was praying in front of an abortion clinic for the first time that opened my eyes. Seeing women with noticeable baby bumps going in to destroy their child, it became a harsh reality for me.
Is there enough societal support for women in crisis pregnancies?
The pro-life movement has really stepped up to the plate and has expanded its outreach to women. There are more than 2,500 pregnancy health centers nationwide, but the sad thing is that not all women know the health care and support that’s available.
If you can, visit your local pregnancy center and see how you can help. The more we can be ambassadors of the good news to let women know that we’re here for them and here to help them, the better we can do at spreading the good news of the pro-life message.
Do you think Roe v. Wade will ever be overturned?
For me, it’s not just whether abortion is illegal or legal. My goal is to make it an unthinkable choice for any woman in an unexpected pregnancy. Having abortion legal gives permission. Some women would never have an abortion if it was illegal, but let’s face it, many would.
The goal is to absolutely overturn Roe v. Wade, but at the same time we have to work to change hearts and minds. It doesn’t matter what the law is if nobody will want to do it. Yes, abortion is an evil. It’s bad for your health. We’re going to work to make it illegal, but my basic goal is to make it unthinkable so nobody would ever want an abortion.
How can pro-life voters discern their choices in this election year?
The first thing I challenge them to do is go to our special website: PoliticalResponsibility.com. We have a comparison of the party platforms. If you look at the Democratic and Republican platforms on a whole host of issues, it’s a stark difference. To me, it makes it crystal clear how to vote when you look at the platform because the party does matter.