"Today, May 17, 2009, is the day I decided to come out about my so-called 'silent' abortions caused by artificial contraception," says Juliana Davis, co-founder of The Leaven for Humanae Vitae, an organization in defense of the 1968 encyclical of the Catholic Church.
"I had abortions that I never realized I had until I learned how several methods of birth control I used in the early 70's worked; that is, they caused the tiny babies (embryos) growing within my womb to abort without my knowing it because they were unable to implant in my uterine wall."
Alton and Juliana Davis purposely chose the day that President Obama was honored at the prestigious Notre Dame University for public revelation of their own failure to abide by Church teaching in their early marriage. "Humanae Vitae is a prophetic document, and its truth is not only for Catholics, but for all people for all time," said Alton Davis.
"This is my first public acknowledgement of my abortions by contraception, and of course, it is embarrassing to reveal past sins publicly, " Juliana Davis said. "God has forgiven me and I have forgiven myself, but now I think I must let other women know, especially young women, that many forms of birth control, such as Plan B emergency contraception RU-486 as well as the Pill cause early abortion that has damaging psychological side effects as real as any surgical abortion."
Davis feels that Fr. Jenkins of Notre Dame left her no choice. She said that she has had the benefit of many holy Catholic priests in her lifetime, and her grassroots initiative is as much in honor of them as it is in honor of the children she lost before she and her husband had a conversion of heart to the Church's' teaching regarding contraception in 1974. She credits Fr. Paul Marx, OSB, founder of Human Life International with her conversion. She credits Bishop Emeritas John W. Yanta of Amarillo, TX, Bishop W. Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, NE and Fr. Frank Pavone, founder of Priests for Life as several others of the Catholic clergy who have shaped her decision to speak out. "The number of bishops coming forward in the past few weeks has given us courage, so we offer back to them our lay witness to encourage them in their efforts to fight against forces of darkness in our times," said Alton Davis.
Alton and Juliana Davis are co-founders of The Leaven for Humanae Vitae, whose sole purpose is to defend and support the Church's long-held view that all life, no matter how small or weak, is sacred. The Davises began The Leaven in 1987 in protest of the forced sterilization of the wife member of a handicapped couple with whom they were acquainted. It was only years later that Juliana Davis became aware that she had had an abortion through contraception, and the scope of their mission broadened to include their highly personal protest against all forms of contraception and abortion.
Juliana Davis is also a Regional Co-ordinator for the internationally known Silent No More Awareness Campaign, a project of Priests for Life and Anglicans for Life. She and her husband reside in Lincoln, NE. She can be contacted at Lincoln@SilentNoMoreAwareness.org.