Leslie Brunolli serves as San Diego regional coordinator of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. A project of Anglicans for Life and Priests for Life, the campaign seeks to expose the long-lasting and harmful effects of abortion – physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual. It accomplishes this task by inviting those who regret their abortions to share their stories publicly at churches and other public venues. The campaign also educates the general public about the harm caused by abortion and connects post-abortive women and men with resources that will help them overcome their guilt.
In the late 1970s, Brunolli had an unplanned pregnancy. As a 22-year-old college student, she simply “wanted out of the situation,” and she sought a means of escape at Planned Parenthood. In terms of dollars and cents, her abortion cost only $95. But the procedure exacted a terrible emotional cost, which remains unpaid three decades later.
At the time of her abortion, Brunolli had no religious affiliation and subscribed to the pro-choice philosophy. However, after her abortion had been performed, she began to cry and the abortionist’s words – “You’ll be okay, tiger” – provided no consolation. When she left the clinic, she resolved to block that day forever from her memory. But the aftereffects of that abortion rippled through her life. She dropped out of college and, attempting to purge herself of a painful memory, turned to alcohol.
In 1983, she got married and realized she was pregnant once again. But she could not bear to look at the sonogram and, upon learning that an emergency Caesarean section was necessary, became convinced that an angry God would claim the life of her new child as punishment for her abortion. She would still require therapy to heal the wounds caused by decades of repressed guilt.
Brunolli joined the Catholic Church in the mid-1980s. But she still wrestled with guilt until 2005, when she attended a post-abortion healing retreat sponsored by Rachel’s Hope, a San Diego-based Catholic outreach to those troubled by an experience with abortion.
Her own abortion experience has made Brunolli passionate about the pro-life cause. She works to spare other women of the pain with which she and so many others have been burdened.