.- A billboard campaign in the Diocese of Madison has proven its effectiveness in assisting women in their decision not to have an abortion and in reaching out to women who have.
The Knights of Columbus launched the campaign in October 2003, with the encouragement of Bishop Robert Morlino. The campaign began in conjunction with the opening of the Madison Planned Parenthood abortion center located on Madison's east side.
According to an article in the local Catholic Herald, this billboard was placed directly across the street from, and overlooking, the abortion center. The billboard reads: “I regret my abortion — and if you do too, there is hope …”
According to the Knights, Leslie Graves, a counselor with Rachel's Vineyard, reported that a young lady called her office and said she drove to the clinic every day to see that billboard.
"She drove there every day just to see that billboard. It was her lifeline. She said that after the abortion her despair was so deep that she had taken a couple of overdoses of pills,” Graves reportedly said. “I think that billboard probably saved her life."
The Knights received another report from a young lady who’s friend was headed to the Planned Parenthood center for an abortion. But when her friend saw the billboard, she returned home and made an appointment at the local crisis pregnancy center instead. She carried her baby to term.
Amy Hying, a sidewalk counselor, says she sometimes points up to the billboard to share the 'Silent No More' message of how abortion hurts women.
“It is truly a great way to reach out to many women, and also many men, as they drive by on Highway 51," she said.
The Knights said they would like to see this campaign expand.
The diocese’s seminarians have also become involved in the project. Last summer they participated in a 24-hour prayer vigil, organized by the Knights, in front of the clinic.