No pro-life witnesses are more credible than those who have experienced the drama of abortion first hand. That includes the doctor, of course, but even more importantly, the mother. Because even the woman who rejected motherhood is, objectively, the mother of a child who has not seen the light of day. And women who become aware of this fact are given an even greater responsibility: that mistake can in fact become the starting point for saving countless other lives.
So it was for Carola Profeta, now 45 years old, who had an abortion at 23, and later gave birth to three children a few years apart. When asked how many children she has, Carola replies, “Four.” Today she holds important positions: she is a member of the Commission for Equal Opportunities of the Province of Pescara, head of the Department of Equal Opportunities, Family and Non-Negotiable Values of Fratelli d’Italia, as well as a founder of the association Family, Life and Values. Profeta has passed a motion in some municipalities of the Province of Pescara to allow for economic support to be granted to women in difficulties, in order to avoid abortion. It was she who advised the Councilor for Health of the Abruzzo Region, Nicoletta Verì, to issue a circular which, in contrast to the guidelines of the Minister of Health Roberto Speranza, recommends the Abruzzo Local Health Authorities to limit the use of the RU-486 pill in hospitals, and avoid to administer it in health advisory centers.
You had an abortion at 23. What was your life like back then and what difficulties did you go through?
Back then, I already lived in Pescara, where I shared a room with another girl. At the time I was not in a stable situation; in fact, I actually didn’t have a job. My boyfriend had also recently been laid off and was going through a deep crisis. In a moment of fragility, I made some bad choices. When I got pregnant, he took it very hard. He got scared and said, “I don’t want it, I don’t want it…” And since I depended on him so much, I let myself be convinced.
What is left of that abortion?
I had to hurry because I was already almost at the end of the third month. The procedure began, and a few days later I went back to the hospital. I don’t want to relieve myself of any responsibility: I made a free choice. But I must say one thing: during those several days, I did not meet anyone, either a doctor, or a nurse, or a psychologist, or a volunteer of the counselling center, who could have instilled a slightest doubt in me. Like, “Why are you doing this?”, “Are you sure?”, “Why don’t we try something else?” My parents lived, and still do, in Sicily. Even then they were divorced, each preoccupied with their own lives. I didn’t say anything to them for several years, and I still don’t think they could have helped me in any way.
So much indifference and so little empathy…
I didn’t encounter any empathy at all, only utter indifference. The doctor was well known in Pescara because he was the only one who performed abortions: not even he deigned to tell me anything different. I still remember that long, cold hospital corridor, the bed on which I stretched my legs… In that trance-like state, it’s as if I had convinced myself that having an abortion was the right thing to do.
How was life afterwards?
I married that same man and three more children were born, who are now 20, 18 and 16 years old. Unfortunately, it was a difficult marriage, I would say almost hellish. In 2015, I got the annulment. I’ve got over it all now. And forgiven it all. Despite the violence and the wrongs, I never tried to take my children away from their father. Today, the boys have an affectionate relationship with him: they go to see him, they hear from him every day. I’ve always wanted it to be that way, because I know from experience that even if we were talking about the worst man in the world, fatherhood should always be preserved.
What was the turning point?
About a year after my abortion I began a journey of faith in the Neocatechumenal Way. The time came to reckon with certain choices, which today I call grave sins. I became aware of what I had committed and, at the same time, I became aware that I had been forgiven. I had been forgiven to the point that God had given me three more children. I fully matured in my conviction years later by attending the Family Day in 2016. That’s when I decided to make an active contribution to the world… pro-life and pro-family, a world in which it is not enough to say: “abortion is a crime”, but in which there is a moral, ethical and political discussion that made me open my eyes and realize that even from an act of evil something good could be born. I don’t have to “atone” for anything, but I do realize that I need to continue to make sense of that experience I had 22 years ago. Sometimes mistakes are also useful. Being there may make me more credible.
What detail strikes you the most about pro-life activism?
Surely welcoming life and giving it is not just about helping mothers, but also fathers. In the dramatic choice between abortion and life, fathers are very little involved. I happened to hear the testimony of a young man who said: “I never thought I would have to accept an abortion, but my partner wanted to do it and I couldn’t open my mouth. Yet my parents and I begged her not to have an abortion, saying that we would take care of the baby…” In short, the right of a father to welcome life has disappeared. Some women say, “It’s my body and I decide,” but it’s not. A child has a father and a mother. This is why I consider law 194 unconstitutional: because it totally infringes on the right of the father.