Leslie Davis Blackwell was once a poster girl for pro-abortion feminism. The bumper sticker on her minivan read: “Pro-Women, Pro-Family, Pro-Choice.” She is now radically pro-life, working to counteract her former politics and healing from two abortions. But becoming pro-life caused many of her friends and family to think she had lost her mind.
In 1980, at only 20 years old, Blackwell was pregnant when she landed a job as a morning talk-show host on a local TV station. She quickly ended her unplanned pregnancy rather than turn down such an opportunity. The celebrity status went to her head. Partying and sleeping around led to another abortion.
“The second one really got me,” Blackwell said. “I was hollowed out; I hated me.” A string of media jobs, fast living and belief in a New Age version of God kept her guilt at bay.
In 1987, Blackwell married in the Episcopal Church (she had ditched her Catholic roots years earlier) and had two children. She loved motherhood, even finding work to do from home, but rather than face the pain from her abortions, she immersed herself in pro-abortion politics.
After the death of her father in 2008, Blackwell’s beloved Aunt Betty comforted her and gradually helped transform the anti-Catholic bitterness into an understanding of the beauty and truth of the Faith. Beginning with the Blessed Mother and the Divine Mercy devotion, Blackwell was drawn back into the Church.
“The second one really got me. I was hollowed out; I hated me.”
— Leslie Davis Blackwell
At this time, a personal encounter with God made her realize that she had taken away two lives.
“I went to Rachel’s Vineyard and sought healing,” Blackwell said of the post-abortion ministry. “It took me three years.”
Meanwhile, she became passionately pro-life. Those around Blackwell thought something must be wrong with her.
“My family thought I was having a breakdown,” she said. “They thought I was wacko and blamed my Aunt Betty. All hell was breaking loose around me. The first year after my conversion was brutal.”
Blackwell credits God’s grace and the Blessed Mother with leading her through healing from her abortions — and from 30 years of destructive behavior such as substance abuse.
She now shares her story through the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.
“Now I speak the truth,” Blackwell said. “The gifts of the Holy Spirit have radically changed me.”
Many of her old friends don’t keep in touch, and much of her family still does not understand her. Blackwell said that four out of five old friends had abortions.
“They are uncomfortable around me, but some have quietly come to talk with me about it,” Blackwell said. “The truth has set me free.”