Thursday, July 31, 2008

MIRACLES HAPPEN:

Some of the girls that come into our offices already have their minds made up. They have decided that they want to get an abortion and they have hardened their hearts to hearing the truths that we try to tell them. They don’t want to hear about the procedure, or learn about the risks, or even see their baby on the ultrasound screen. There is nothing that we can say that will reach them. When this happens, we have to give the girl over to God and trust in him to get through to her.

A girl like that came into our Brooklyn clinic, completely set on aborting her baby. She wasn’t moved by anything that any of the counselors said, or responsive to their offers of free help. When she had the sonogram, the baby was very active, squirming and turning and sucking her thumb. The girl listened to the heartbeat with a disinterested expression, waiting for the sonogram to be over. As the counselor stood there, she began to pray to God, asking him to tell her what he wanted her to do.

She told us that the thought went through her head like a streak of lightning, “Ask her to hold her baby’s hand”. She didn’t know what that meant or how to accomplish it, but she felt compelled to ask the mother to do so. She asked her to put her hand over her womb and the girl skeptically complied. The instant that she did, the baby stopped it’s movement and those in the room watched in shock as the ultrasound showed the baby lift her tiny hand and place it on the wall of the uterus, right underneath the mother’s own palm. The mother instantly got tears in her eyes, as did everyone else watching the screen. The baby continued to hold it’s hand up, and when the ultrasound was over, the mother and child were still holding hands.

That baby is still alive, not because of anything that we said or did, but because God knew exactly how to touch her heart, and He allowed us to be a part of it.

~Jenna

Monday, July 28, 2008

UNDECIDED:

I was in one of the centers couseling a young girl about 22 years old. She was into her 2nd trimester in her pregnancy and she looked very nervous. As she told me her story I was struck by how she was truly seeking to do what she thought was the best thing--she just had too many voices telling her what to do. She was wringing her hands and I tried to tell her she was strong and going to be ok. At the end of our talk I tried to leave her with encouragement but she was still unsure of her decision.

When it came time for her sonogram she was happy to look at her baby on the screen. The girl doing her sonogram asked her if she was thinking of an abortion, she answered yes. When she was asked why she told her that her boyfriend wanted her to have the abortion and so did his friend etc, etc. The girl doing the sonogram asked her simply, "what do you want?" she said, "I want to keep the baby." Sandra touched the girl's arm and said, "then that's all that matters, no one can tell you what to do with you and your baby." The girl burst into tears because she had finally heard the exact words that she knew all along, only no one had spoken them to her.

No one had cared what she wanted to do, and she had gotten lost always listening to other's advice. I saw the touch of an angel as Sandra touched this woman's arm and the words she spoke were truly from Heaven. The woman left so much brighter, her anxiety was gone and she looked at me and smiled saying, "I'm going to keep the baby, and I'm going to leave my boyfriend." I told her I was so proud of her and gave her a picture of the Blessed Mother.

Again, this is one of many amazing stories where God's grace is poured out to his children through the efforts at Expectant Mother Care. I am so blessed to be an every day witness of His miracles.

~Natalie Oberlin

TWINS:

We want to tell you a story. A story that could be something out of a movie. This really happens, believe it or not.

It was one of those Tuesdays we go to Dr. Emily's abortion mill. There, we usually stand at the front and back doors trying to counsel them (stop women who have appointments there and offer them free information and alternatives to abortion). Our work there is quite hard because we have very little time to call those women's attention and normally they will ignore us and keep walking.


That day, we were standing at the front door with Julie (one of the EMC's full-time employees) when the usual black car stopped. There was a woman sitting in the back seat. When she opened the door and stepped out, Julie went to talk to her but she couldn't arrange to do anything and so we went for the last try.


She almost got into the first door when we could start saying something. We were desperate. In that moment you don't know what you say. Of course you have prepared an speech but words just don't come out. You say what's in your mouth, theres just no time to think. You just...move your mouth hoping the sounds you are pronuncing make sense. What we said was more or less: "Come here to talk to us, we've got free help, abortion is not going to help you, be brave, come here, why do you think this is your last option? Mami come. Don't go through that door, if you talk to us you will lose one minute but if you go in you will lose everything..."


When we were saying that last phrase the woman had already past the first door and was holding the knob at the second one where we couldn't have talked to her anymore. Then, while we were shouting, she looked at us. Then the knob. Then she started crying. And then she looked at us again. And then, to the knob. We couldn't believe it. Ignacio and me were just shouting no sense words for 10 MINUTES to make her come to us. We needed to move that girl out of there, normally there is security. We were "lucky" that no one was there. We were so excited saying the best we could desperately. Then she sudenly started walking towards us crying. We couldn't believe it. She finally turned around. We were so happy and we told her that what just happened it was God's hand that wanted that baby to live, and she smiled. She smiled joy while she was crying. We won't ever forget that.


After she came out, Julie told us that she had already talked to her a few weeks before and she was pregnant with twins. So, our joy was doubled. Afterwards, Julie took that woman to a maternity home because she was homeless and her husband had left her. Julie told us that the woman is going to have the baby.


That is one among the thousands of stories that happened all around this organization. This is just one day in one of the abortion clinics, imagine how much are you helping everyday with your donations.


We could make this possible because YOU make this possible. Thank you.

~Javier and Ignacio

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Cost of Abortion




One of the saddest things about this job is hearing about women who have had past abortions, and are now right back in the same situation that they started in. The reasons that they didn’t want to have a child are still the same, but they still had sex and they still want to be free of the consequences. Almost every woman with a past abortion experience admits that it effected her in some way. Many still think about the baby that they aborted. They know how old he would have been and they grieve each year on what would have been his birthday. They still cry themselves to sleep at night. They wake up at night and think that they can hear the baby crying. Most of them admit that the abortion that was supposed to be a “quick fix” made their lives much worse, and they regretted the decision.
However, many of them put themselves through that pain a second time, desperate to believe societies lies that abortion will make it like there was never a baby in the first place. They want everything to go back to the way that it was, but it can’t. Whether they have an abortion or carry their baby to term, the baby changes things from the moment that it is conceived. Most of the women who have abortions believe that it is wrong; most of them acknowledge that the baby is alive. They cannot lie to themselves, but they choose to ignore the facts.
Almost worse, though, are the horror stories that women tell about the physical complications that accompany abortion. It is easy for some women to dismiss the possibility of emotional trauma, but it is much harder to ignore stories of women who have been there and experienced the horror for themselves. A woman came into the clinic in Brooklyn who had been bleeding heavily all weekend, since her abortion. She kept calling Planned Parenthood, and all they would tell her was to come back in two weeks if the bleeding hadn’t stopped. Our office was in the same building and when she came to us, we got her to call an ambulance and receive emergency care. A woman at the Jerome office told an intern about spending three days in the Emergency room and receiving blood transfusions because the doctors couldn’t stop the hemorrhaging. While sidewalk counseling outside of an abortion clinic, we see girls come out who are shaking so badly they cannot walk, they are in so much pain. One day, the clinic called two ambulances because they had botched a girls abortion. Although we were unable to find out what had happened, we did hear from the ambulance driver that the girl would recover. She was one of the lucky ones.
People want to believe that abortions are safe and quick, but the truth is that woman are being hurt every day. It is not only the babies who are victims of abortions, but the women who are never told what may happen to them when they get on that table. Some of them never get off.

The Freedom to Choose

People say that women should have the freedom to make the choice about what happens to their own bodies. Many women, however, don’t feel like they have a choice at all. They feel that the only option available to them is to have an abortion, because no one tells them that there is help for them. No one lets them know that they have somewhere else to turn. One morning, immediately upon arriving at the abortion clinic, I saw two women walking up to the door. I assumed that the younger girl was the one that was pregnant and she was being escorted by her mother, something that happens often. It turned out that the woman was bringing her young niece so that she could see what abortion was like so that she would never go through it herself. As I talked to the woman, she told me one of the saddest stories I have ever heard. She has four children, all by different fathers, and they are homeless. She didn’t have anyone to turn to, so in desperation, she decided to get an abortion. She can hardly take care of the four kids that she does have; her oldest is only seven. She struggles to find them food and clothes and a place to stay, and she doesn’t want another child born into those conditions. As we talked, I bought her breakfast at a Dunkin’ Doughnut’s, and sat with her until our Bronx clinic opened. She told me that she didn’t know what to do, but that she thought my presence there was a sign. The night before, her young son, Joshua, had come to her and crawled into her lap. He didn’t know that she was pregnant, so the words that came out of his mouth stunned her. He took her palm, and looking at her hand said, “Look mommy, you have five lines on your hand. That means that God wants you to have five babies.” She looked at him with tears in her eyes and told him that she couldn’t take care of five babies, that she could barely feed their family as it was. He told her sweetly, “I’ve been praying for you because I know that God wants you to have five babies. I told God that I would go a whole week without cereal.” Joshua is only seven, but he regularly prays with his little brothers and sisters, gathering them together and telling them about God. She was touched by his words, but didn’t see any way that she could make it work. Outside the clinic, she heard my offer of free help, and knew that God was offering her a way out. Since then, she has come for a free ultrasound, and we are working with her to get her insurance for all of her children and a place for her family to stay. Talking to her at her ultrasound appointment, she was no longer unsure. She had such peace about keeping this baby, now that she knew there were people willing to help her. She went to the abortion clinic because she didn’t see any other options; we helped to open her eyes and tell her that she does has a choice. She chose life.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Marsha

Around two weeks ago, a young mother stepped into one of our offices. She heard about us through the train ads. The young woman's name was Marsha. She was a young black girl studying to be a nurse. When she's not working, she's studying and going to school. The pregnancy to her, was an inconvenience and a financial burden she was not ready to accept. After showing her the Silent Scream, she was moved to tears. After further consolation, Marsha shared she wanted the baby but abortion seemed like her only option. One of the counselors (Julie) was able to reach Sisters of Life and Marsha went to see them that very day. The Sisters were able to find her housing because Marsha was in and out of two Women/Children centers. Because she was such a special girl, Marsha came to eat with us that same night. A week later, before her sonogram, Marsha called Julie in tears, saying she could not go through with the pregnancy. Julie was able to get Marsha to go to her sonogram and Marsha called again the next day happy as ever because she saw her child and heard the baby's heart beat!

Marsha is just one of the many stories of girls coming in wanting and abortion and coming out keeping their child. Many of the girls just need a nudge in the right direction. The resources for them are available, they just never knew they existed.

-Travis