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Theatre at its best explores the depth of the human experience, showcasing both tragedy and triumph in well-chosen words and spellbinding performances. But it is a rare thing indeed for a modern play to accurately portray the trauma that is abortion.

The Vitae Monologues does just that, piecing together the real-life testimonies of women and men who have gone through the agony of the abortion experience. It’s hard not to be moved, seeing the anguish of a woman doubled over in emotional pain, or a man cradling an invisible baby.

I had a chance to view the Vitae Monologues for the first time in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania as part of the play’s current East Coast tour.

The cast consists of just two people — Jeremy and Sarah Stanbary, a husband-and-wife team who brilliantly capture the heartache that comes with abortion. Jeremy and Sarah manage to create a number of entirely believable characters who are trying to deal with the emotional fallout from their abortions.

The biggest on-stage prop is a projection screen on which scenes are played out which further aid the playgoer in vicariously experiencing the aftermath of abortion.

As one playgoer states on the production company’s web site:

“This is wrenching and powerful stuff. I walked out of the auditorium feeling like I’d been turned inside out. Several people were sniffling. I was wiping tears away…I would never use the word ‘play’ in referring to ‘The Vitae Monologues’. ‘Play’ doesn’t fit. This is drama – and even that word seems weak. These are real stories. You will hear them. They will speak to you. It’s real.”

The production is like a dramatic representation of post-abortive research — all the long-lasting consequences of abortion are there, including drug and alcohol abuse, broken relationships, difficulty bonding with subsequent children, eating disorders, self-hatred, overwhelming guilt, and shame.

Anyone who has spent any time with women and men who regret their participation in abortion will hear echoes of familiar, emotionally gripping experiences.

It was heartening to see the young people in the audience. Certainly it’s uncommon for them to see a drama which captures the true Hell that is the post-abortion experience.

Perhaps, by seeing this drama, they’ll be better prepared to counsel against abortion — or to console friends who have already gone through abortion.

It would be wonderful if the Vitae Monologues played every college campus in the nation.

Students, who are a top audience for the abortion industry, need to know that abortion is far from an easy, simple procedure.

The full impact of a single abortion may not be recognized until decades later, when a woman and man discover that they lost not only a baby — as if that weren’t enough — but also a piece of their hearts, back at the abortion facility.

While these monologues can be gut-wrenching at times, they also offer the hope of post-abortion healing. In fact, the production company encourages women and men trying to deal with the devastation from abortion to seek recovery through a post-abortion ministry.

Faith-based colleges have been criticized for playing host to the sexually explicit Vagina Monologues.

Those that made the mistake of staging that production should consider giving equal time to the Vitae Monologues, a drama which expertly depicts the confusion and chaos that can attack the human heart when abortion is sought as a solution to an unexpected pregnancy.

[Maria Vitale, Editorial Columnist
November 2, 2009; Note: Maria Vitale is an editorial opinion columnist for She is the Public Relations Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and Vitale has written and reported for various broadcast and print media outlets, including National Public Radio, CBS Radio, and AP Radio.]