Westmont Magazine A Commitment for Life
Linda Jones Perry ’63 never thought about abortion until she got pregnant. At the time, she taught education classes at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and her husband, Dennis ’64, did postdoctoral
work in nuclear chemistry at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Much to her surprise, some feminist faculty members criticized her for having a child.
“They considered it unconscionable for an intelligent woman to have a baby and said it would ruin my career,” she recalls. “They regarded pregnancy as demeaning and abortion as the solution. Then I remembered what Francis Schaeffer said when we studied at L’Abri. He predicted that abortion would become legal and called Christians to stand up for life. That’s when I became an activist.”
Linda has devoted 34 years to the pro-life movement. Despite hostility, lawsuits and threats, she has persisted. “I felt a call from the Lord to speak out even though it has been uncomfortable,” she says. Dennis works with her and counsels men enraged by the abortion of their children and their lack of rights in the matter.
When Dennis went to work for the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Linda got involved in the pro-life movement . Eventually she became president of New Mexico Right to Life and a delegate to the National Right to Life Committee. She spoke extensively and wrote pro-life publications. As vice president of education for Ramah International, she taught the advanced track for post-abortion counselor training. She also served as director of education and research for the national Christian Action Council/CareNet.
Linda moved her ministry to Virginia when Dennis took a job with Defense Advance Research Project Agency. In 1990, she founded Assist Crisis Pregnancy Center in Annandale and has served as the executive director ever since.
When Ann Spechardt conducted the first post-abortion research at the University of Minnesota, Linda edited her manuscript. She has also written post-abortion Bible studies. Her book, “How to Survive Your Teen’s Pregnancy: A Practical Guide for Parents,” is available through ChalfontHouse.com. She continues to write and speak on post-abortion healing.
“Holding a new baby is a very exciting thing,” she says. “It’s incredible to see how Christ heals and restores broken women who have been traumatized by their abortion experience.
“Women deserve better than abortion,” she adds. “Abortion harms women, but there is no venue in our culture for that message. Having lived through the feminist revolution, I can’t understand women who take advantage of and betray other women by keeping them from being fully informed about abortion.”
Teaching and speaking come naturally to Linda, who started her career as an elementary school teacher and librarian. She earned a master’s degree in education at the University of Washington and has taught everything from kindergarten to graduate school.
The Perrys have two married daughters who studied computer science at Wheaton College and have earned graduate degrees. While she respects their accomplishments, Linda is most proud of their commitment to their faith. ”They represent the next generation of pro-life activists,” she says.