Vantage Point

The Effects of ‘Choice’


A college student doing research for her senior thesis a few years ago ended up making a book, and also making a great contribution to the pro-life cause. Her work deserves notice, especially as we mark the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which made abortion legal throughout the United States.

The damage done by that decision goes beyond the destruction of the 53 million babies aborted since Jan. 22, 1973. The emotional carnage that resulted has scarred the expectant mothers who themselves were victims of abortion, and their families and others. It was their suffering that inspired Martina Marie Parisi’s book.

Ms. Parisi is a graduate of the State University of New York at Purchase, where she majored in graphic design. She took classes in the making of books, and decided to write and make a book for her senior thesis. Seeking a topic, she researched anxiety disorders and discovered postabortion syndrome. She had never heard of it.

“I realized I didn’t know much about abortion at all,” Ms. Parisi told me. “Even though we hear a lot about abortion on the news, I started wondering how much my peers knew about it.” She also wondered about people who give an opinion on abortion without citing facts to back it up. It made her want to make a book that would cover every aspect of abortion, including medical, historical and legal information.

She began to do research at a local library.

“I had a really difficult time finding facts, especially online,” she said. Most sources took a position on abortion, and she decided that her book would not. Ms. Parisi is a Catholic, and she said that she has always been pro-life, but she did not want to alienate any readers, especially those who might be “on the fence, or pro-choice.”

“I didn’t want people to read this and feel that I was attacking their point of view,” she said, “because then they would put it down and stop reading it…I just made sure I stuck to facts.”

Ms. Parisi titled her book “Choice.” The noncommittal title contrasts sharply with the evidence of the damage that a choice for abortion causes. The book contains meticulously detailed information on the development of embryo and fetus; court decisions that made abortion legal in the United States; and abortion statistics. The section on abortion methods contains a warning to readers about the graphic photos of aborted babies. Even the photos of abortion instruments are sickening.

I asked Ms. Parisi whether she ever felt discouraged while making the book.

“All the time,” she said. Encouragement from her paternal grandmother and a close friend kept her going. “I felt like this was what God wanted me to do,” she said. “I definitely prayed about it all the time.”

Ms. Parisi made her book by hand and submitted it to her professors. It was displayed with other students’ projects.

“It was received very well by all of my peers at school…They were looking at it and wanted to learn,” she said.

She finished the book in 2008, two months before the death of her grandmother, who had wanted her to publish it. Ms. Parisi was able to do so with help from the publishing company where she worked at the time. She published 1,000 copies and has only about 150 left. She remarked that Chris Slattery, founder of Expectant Mother Care, bought many copies to use as training manuals.

Ms. Parisi, now 30 and recently married, runs her own graphics business. She is unable to publish a new edition of “Choice” because of the cost of publication. What this extraordinary book needs is a patron who could underwrite the project.

Ms. Parisi ends the book with a list of thank-yous to her family, friends and the professionals who helped her. Heading the list is God, whom she thanks for helping her overcome obstacles throughout the project.

“I know it was because of You that I got through them all,” she writes.

I hope there will be a second edition of this extraordinary book.

To purchase a copy, including shipping: Cost is $18, including shipping.


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