"I was told a lie from the pit of hell --
that my baby was just a blob of tissue."
Washington, DC -- Actress Jennifer O'Neill shared the painful memories of her abortion with more than sixty-five House and Senate staff members at a Capitol Hill briefing Monday afternoon.
"I had the abortion and paid for it all my life until I healed and am now able to help other women," O'Neill tearfully told the audience.
In an effort to overcome the emotional despair, O'Neill turned to shock therapy. Unable to cure her depression, she set her sights towards Heaven and eventually came to her present-day Christian faith. Now, she finds solace in the forgiveness God provides.
Like O'Neill, some 43 percent of women who have reached the age of 45 have had an abortion -- approximately 25 million women total. However, women who have abortions don't celebrate the decision and the truth rarely makes it past immediate family and close confidants.
"If it's such a good idea, why is it shrouded in secrecy," O'Neill asked the audience.
O'Neill urged the passage of laws that would make information about the emotional and physical complications following an abortion available to women prior to her abortion decision. "I was told a lie from the pit of hell -- that my baby was just a blob of tissue."
A former "Cover Girl" model for an unprecedented 30 years, O'Neill spoke at the Senate briefing on behalf of the Women Deserve Better campaign. The outreach is an effort of a group of pro-life organizations dedicated to advancing the pro-woman aspects of the pro-life message. Their goal: highlight how abortion hurts women and provide women with practical resources to choose alternatives to abortion.
"Of course the protection of the unborn child is at the center of my heart," O'Neill explained. "However, the aftermath of abortion can be equally deadly for both mother and unborn child. [A woman who has an abortion] is sentenced to bear that for the rest of her life."
O'Neill discussed the pattern of coercion that sometimes compels a young woman to have an abortion. Such pressured abortions can be caused by schools that lack adequate resources for pregnant college students or parents who don't want to help a teen mother raise a child.
"There is no quick fix for an unplanned pregnancy," O'Neill said. "But where do teens go when told they are going to be kicked out of the house if they have the child?"