Monday, August 31, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
So many times in our work, the women will tell us that they want a child eventually but just not right now. "I'm not ready," plays in our counseling rooms on a near-constant loop. This is also an argument often evoked politically by those who call themselves pro-choice.
As a Christian, of course I believe every life has a purpose, a plan, unlimited potential and promise. If the woman is pregnant, if the child is here, then this is the right time. God's ways are higher than ours. This child is a blessing, given to this woman to enrich her life in ways unimagined.
I do understand that sometimes this could look like tension here, the difficulty in certain situations [and we see these worst-case scenarios on a regular basis] in reconciling these two concepts -- how could a child possibly make this woman's life better, some might reason, when she's so young, or when she needs to finish school, or when her family situation is so volatile? Often we need to remind ourselves that God is in control, that He can see ahead and inside hearts in ways we never will.
But occasionally He allows us to see a bit of His workings and greater plan as well.
A few weeks ago I met a young woman, abortion bound. She left her family in Virginia when she was 16 and came to New York. The father of the child, she admitted, is a complete loser -- unemployed, sleeps with her but does not love her, immediately told her to get an abortion upon hearing news of his fatherhood. She makes her money working as a stripper in Long Island.
Liz and I spoke with her, not just about her pregnancy but also about the other things going on in her life -- her family, the boyfriend, her job. And as we talked, I watched this amazing change come over her attitude and her outlook. At first she had been proudly defiant of working as a stripper, but then she admitted she was ashamed and wanted to do something else. At first she had said she didn't care about the father, but she it become clear she wished she had chosen a better man to share herself with. At first she wanted an abortion, but when she left she was happily clutching a sonogram appointment and promising to keep in touch with Liz and me as she gave us parting hugs.
Yesterday I got an email from her, and she's seven weeks along, and so excited about this pregnancy and this new phase of her life. This baby will be more than her first child; it will reorient her entire life. She dumped that guy. She has thought about moving back to Virginia to be near her family. And of course no pregnant woman can be a stripper. This so-called crisis pregnancy, instead of weighing her down even more, has liberated her from a damaging lifestyle and jolted her into a better future.
God never makes mistakes. Each pregnancy, each child conceived, is here for a reason. And who knows but that this child is the answer to a woman's problems, not the cause?
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Simply put, he gets it. As he put it, it stops with abortion. Folks, here we have a liberal with an honest to goodness conscience. If only all liberals were like Victor the world would be a happier place.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I came to the realization, however, that although I am no longer physically working with EMC, I am still a very important part of this mission. Through prayer, I can continue to serve in communion with those still working for EMC. I would of course encourage any readers of this blog to consider this internship themselves. But if that isn't feasible, I ask that you join me in prayer for EMC and its work, so that a constant stream of supplication may be offered to God for the lives of the children we seek to protect.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
As I filled out the intake form it all started to come out. She had grown up without a father, the child of a single mother in the ghettos of New York City. But unlike a lot of other girls in the same situation, her older brother had become her father figure. No one ever told her to save sex for marriage, what they instead told her was to just wait until she was 18. There was a very high chance that she was pregnant, and the thought of her mom and brother finding out that she was sexually active at 16, was one that brought fear and shame to her heart. What would they think of her? She couldn't bear the idea that she might dissappoint them.
Well she took a pregnancy test and it was positive. She was pregnant.
I asked her how that made her feel and what her boyfriend wanted her to do. And of course her mom and brother, what would their reactions be? These were the things flying through her mind and aching to get out! These were the most important questions at this moment in her short life! As it turns out, her boyfriend wanted to parent. Her mother is Pro-life, and her brother had recently told her to never be ashamed to tell him anything and to never do anything that she would be ashamed of.
I told her about the various risks and complications of the surgery and showed her a video of what abortion acctually is, and what it does to the woman and child. Education coupled with the hope of familial support, and she began to weigh the decisions. Embarressment and shame of her families knoweledge of her sexual activity versus her health and safety, and the life of her child. She chose LIFE! Less than a week later we spoke of her Ultrasound results on the phone, she is 5 months pregnant and having a girl! She is very excited!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
It is important to stay always faithful in this work because lives DO get saved. While working at Linda's on my last weekday of the summer with EMC I met a young lady who was 21 weeks pregnant. She had an appointment for a two day procedure at the abortion clinic on the sixth floor of 44 Court Street and stopped by our office on the 12th floor just one half hour prior.
She was crying as she explained that the father of the baby was getting back together with his wife and five children and did not want the young lady to have her baby. Linda then shared all of the complications that could occur and how it would do harm to her in the future through the guilt. Linda then discussed the services we provide as a crisis pregnancy center: that we could giver her a place to live, help her find a job, and support her during this stressful time of her life.
She thought for a second, but then began to panic and told us she had to go to her appointment. I asked her what her heart was saying. I told her to not listen to all the obstacles and what-ifs in her head and just to listen to what her heart was saying. Linda added that she knew the young lady didn't want to kill her baby and that NO mother wants to kill her baby.
The young lady then told us she wasn't going to do it but that she needed us to remember her. Linda and I were overjoyed by this and assured her we would keep in contact and help her every step of the way as much as possible. The young lady then left our office and went back home, still 21 weeks pregnant.
Linda and I then discussed the seriousness of abortion and what it does to the women. I remember hearing multiple counselors explain having to pick up the peices of post-abortive women. I then made the connection that when a woman tears the baby in her womb to peices in the act of abortion, she too would have to pick up the peices of her life: emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I believe that time heals all wounds, all battles take time to win, and that you must pray in order to win them. It is important to try to get this information to mothers BEFORE they have to pick up the peices of their life after an abortion.
This summer has been an amazing learning experience for me and the rest of the EMC interns and I thank all of you who supported us with donations. I also hope that you continue to support this organization throughout the year so that services are available to women who are in a crisis because of an unplanned pregnancy. We have to pick up the peices of this wounded culture. A society bruised and beaten by poor choices and lack of knowledge of the truth. EMC has brought the truth to many women and men of all ages. A crisis is an excellant time to evagelize and teach truth for as the old war saying goes, there are no athiests in foxholes.
This summer I have seen babies saved and babies aborted. I have seen people bear witness to the truth and people throw the truth to the wind. I have seen people discover the light and rejoice in it and I have also seen people deny the light and leave empty. This work is real and the stakes are high. I just want to thank God for his intercession in bringing reality to people in a time of emergency and I want to thank you, the donators, for helping this become possible.
May God's blessing be upon you and your loved ones during our pilgrimage in this life and in His mercy may He grant you a share in the Life to come.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
The Sisters of Life welcome pregnant women to live with them in their convent. They assist pregnant women in need with practical assistance such as spiritual and emotional support. The Sisters host retreats such as post-abortive healing retreats.
The EMC works closely with the Sisters of Life to bring Christ's hope to these women and their seemingly helpless situations.
During my first visitation with the Sisters of Life, I brought in a woman named Autumn to see how the Sisters could help with her situation. Autumn was a 28 year old woman and approx. 10 weeks along in her pregnancy. Autumn was desperate. She didn't have anywhere to live.
After working with the Sisters, we got Autumn all set up in staying with the Missionaries of Charity, the same order Mother Teresa belonged to, until she left for Virginia a few days later to a maternity home. Autumn was extremely excited to have the opportunity to move to Virginia, a place more like her home [she was originally from Pennsylvania] and closer to her mother and her 7 year old son there.
Just over a week ago, I had the opportunity, along with four other interns, to go with Chris to a small parish in Connecticut. Here, we witnessed the first profession of vows of three sisters and perpetual profession of vows of two sisters. There was a beautiful reception afterward where we had a change to mingle with the sisters. They are such beautiful, glorious women of God and we're extremely blessed to have them in our midst.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
She explained that the father of her baby won't get her baby back from the Dominican Republic (where she is from) unless she aborts the baby she is pregnant with now. I told her that we could find another way to get her baby back from the DR and that she didn't have to do this. She didn't listen. She went into the abortion clinic even after we talked to the Sisters of Life.
We must not be discouraged though. There are still women out there who do get "turned around" and decide to have their baby. Lives are being saved but until we get these abortion clinics shut down there will continue to be a national disaster on our hands.
There was one mother I was especially happy to see turnaround. I saw her earlier that week at our Manhattan office in the waiting room. I remember feeling for her very much as I could clearly see the pain and worry on her face. She turned up at the Manhattan office a few days later for a sonogram. She only spoke Spanish and since I was the only counselor who could speak with her I sat down with her right away and made sure she was doing alright.
Her situation was hard, she was only twenty two years old supporting two children in Mexico on her own after the father had left them. She kept saying there was no way she could keep her baby. She was eighteen weeks and dead set on the abortion. I did not feel very hopeful but I could see she had such a loving soul I knew there was a chance. I asked her what God thought about it. She smiled and said she knew he did not like the idea of her abortion. Well then, I said...you should start talking to him about it, he loves you more than I do. I continued to check on her as she waited for the sonogram asking her how her conversation with God was going.
By the time it was her turn for the sonogram I did not really think she would turn around...THANKS BE TO GOD I WAS WRONG! She changed her mind out of nowhere and seemed to be completely at peace with her new path in life. I asked her if she was happy afterwards- she smiled and said of course she was very happy, how could she not be? A friend who was with her and did not want her to get the abortion was also very relieved. He said it is much better to have a mother with a baby than a mother without a baby and only with regret.
She called me today and she is doing wonderfully!
Of course that's not her real name. And of course you will never meet her. But God let me meet her.
Yesterday, as He planned since before time, a girl from Chicago and a girl from New Jersey crossed paths in the South Bronx. And next spring a child will be born who was otherwise scheduled for death.
Simone came to our center all the way from New Jersey. She googled us one day, came pushing one child in a stroller and asking for an abortion for the one she held in her womb. That morning we had been slammed by walk-ins, and by the time I started counseling her, she had waited 40 minutes. After filling out the intake form and talking with her a bit, I didn't have much hope. She wouldn't even watch the informational film we have concerning the different types of abortion procedures. "It's my choice and I've already made up my mind," she kept repeating, cutting me off as I entreated her to reconsider.
Simone's daughter is beautiful, a laughing, smiling, silly little girl, nearly three years old. As we talked, Simone and I figured out that she was about 9 weeks along in her pregnancy, and I brought out a model we have of what her child looks like at that stage -- just a few inches long, but formed exactly as you would expect, tiny hands and feet, eyes and nose. And though Simone didn't even want to look at it, her daughter loved the little baby, giggling and reaching for it when I showed it to her.
I'll never know what exactly changed Simone's mind; I was saying so many different things and approaching her situation from every angle I could think of . . . but I suspect it was this miniature child, lifeless but mirroring the life within.
Suddenly the walls broke down. Through her tears, she told me so much she had been holding back -- the controlling boyfriend who routinely beats her and her daughter, how much she misses her mom who died a few years ago, that she stopped going to church after her mom died because her boyfriend gets jealous everytime she leaves the apartment.
Trapped. That's the word she used. She didn't want to get an abortion. She couldn't see any other way out.
And God let me be there. I was blessed to cross her path at that moment, to be in a position to offer help. EMC has connections to many organizations and social services throughout the city, and one of the best is the Sisters of Life, an order of nuns specifically entrusted with protecting the sanctity of life. They offer more help than you could imagine, and I told Simone that they could help her escape, could help her get away from this man, could help her start over. "Please come with me," I said, "Please come with me right now to Manhattan and you can start over today. You can keep your baby, we will help you." I promised.
And amazingly, she agreed to come with me to Manhattan. She had known me for less than an hour, but she trusted me and and that we could help her. And I am so grateful, so incredibly glad, to have been there, to have been connected to the resources, to have been able to keep that promise.
Five hours, four subway lines, and three different convents later, Simone and her daughter and I reached her new home. We had to visit two locations of the Sisters of Life before being able to place her that evening with a home run by the Missionaries of Charity. She can stay there until after the baby is born. She wants to keep her baby; she always had. She kept asking her daughter questions if she was excited about shopping for new baby clothes and picking out a name. She wants to start fresh.
Not only did Simone and her daughter reach a safe place, away from the abuse and pain they had known for so long. Not only is she keeping her baby, and thrilled about it. But while we were at the Sisters of Life, trying to figure out where she would go, we had a moment to step into the chapel. We knelt down on the benches, Simone in the bench in front of me and the Mother Superior in the bench behind me. Silence and peace, and as Simone prayed the tears ran down her face. She turned around and told me, "It feels like I've come home."
Welcome home, Simone. We have such joy to meet you here.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
My Mom used to say that good experiences never end if there is something that reminds you about them. In a few days well go back to Spain and this is going to be our last blog post. But, although we are leaving, we take with us all those wonderful things we have learnt this summer and all those babies we have saved.
This last post is not about what we have learnt, nor about the babies we have saved, but about who made our internship possible. Us, the interns, are the ones that write posts on the blog every week talking about what we are doing, and we are the ones that say every day after work “I saved a baby’s life today”, we are the ones being thanked by the people in the street when giving out pamphlets, and we are the ones being thanked by those Moms when their babies are born, we are the ones called… ‘heroes’. But we are not. The true heroes hide behind the scenes. With their day to day work, and their smiling face, they make our internship possible. They are the ones that should be called heroes, not just because of what they do, but because they do it without asking for anything in return. That’s the reason we are writing this post. We want to thank those heroes. Thank you Chris, Liz, Carmen, Kathy, Linda, Kathy, Wadiya for making all this possible
Monday, August 10, 2009
The Interns of EMC showed our support for the Sisters of Life last Thursday, when we attended their Profession of Vows. I have never seen so many nuns in one place at one time! Their faces radiated joy, peace, and love! The ceremony was very moving. Three Sisters said their Temporary Vows and two more Sisters made their Permanent Vows.
From the Sisters of Life website, "The Sisters of Life is a contemplative / active religious community of women founded in 1991 by John Cardinal O’Connor for the protection and enhancement of the sacredness of every human life. Like all religious communities, we take the three traditional vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. We also are consecrated under a special, fourth vow to protect and enhance the sacredness of human life."
We work with the Sisters on a regular basis, referring clients in need to live with them in 'Holy Respite', in one of their Convents. We were honored to prayerfully cheer the Sisters on, as they followed the path that God had set out for them!
Sunday, August 9, 2009
One of the young ladies simply did not yet realize that she was indeed pregnant, which of course does come as a surprise to some. But that's what happens when you lay down, take off your clothes, and have the most intimate contact you'll ever have here on earth with another human being. Every time you have sex you can get pregnant.
She just kept laughing and saying something like, "I can't be having a baby". Which Liz, the director of the office, said, "Than what is it, a fish"
Her boyfriend understood and wants her to have the baby while she didn't seem to know what to do yet. He did his best to comfort her while she just tried to understand what was going on. Laughter was her way of escape.
I had another young lady that had just lost her virginity three weeks before. She's 15 and only here for the summer. Her parents are divorced and she is with her father for the summer.
Unfortunately, they also believe that abortion should be included. As if to say that abortion is a needed surgery. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Recently, I got the chance, along with four of my fellow interns, to go to Washington D.C. and attempt to let Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office know how we at EMC feel about that idea. Of course, I don't really think we were well received. Especially, when the Capitol Police were more or less told to keep an eye on us. Some how being peaceful just isn't enough. But then again, Martin Luther King Jr. and his marchers had the same problem. No wonder Alveda King is on our side.
The Capitol Police ended up warning us and the three people that layed down to symbolize the tiny babies that we are trying to protect; that there is a statute that makes a person subject to arrest if they are inhibiting the free traffic of pedestrians going by. These 3 people left plenty of room for people to go by and in fact the police were taking up more area and were more prohibitive than these three prolifers, but of course Nancy didn't like what was going on.
Freedom of Speech is apparently an elective for prolifers. Imagine that. What will we see next?
Saturday, August 8, 2009
I was getting even more discouraged when suddenly, I looked down the sidewalk and saw two men in gray robes walking toward us. Immediately, I grabbed a nearby intern's arm and exclaimed, "The monks are here!" The Capuchin Franciscans of the Renewal had arrived at Dr. Emily's! Immediately, the brothers introduced themselves to the lead escort, but she was very rude to them in return. They then walked over to us, and we began talking. It wasn't long before the lead escort came up behind us, and said to one of the brothers, "You are in my way. You are blocking the sidewalk. You need to move." The brother looked around. The sidewalk was huge and we were not blocking the path so the brother replied, "We are not blocking the path. You can go around us." The escort repeated herself, "You need to move. You are blocking my path." The brother repeated, "No, I am not. You can go around us." The escort seemed to get even angrier and said, "I need to get through!" as if we were blocking the sidewalk. The brother moved perhaps a few inches, leaving enough space between us so she could walk through us. "You are still blocking my path!"" The brother then said in an authoritative voice, "Be gone!" Immediately, the escort walked away, leaving us be! I was so surprised that she had obeyed. What a sense of authority the brothers had! This scene encouraged me greatly, and I was able to better counsel for the rest of the day.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
We told the girl if she didn't think if that pregnancy was an opportunity that life brought to them to be parents at last. We also told her that maybe there wouldn't be another chance after that one.
After some time talking with her, he finally decided to think about it and talk with his boyfriend. Hopefully he will be happy about the new because he didn't know that when the girl came to us.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
One of these girls I had originally seen a month ago. We had lost touch, and I had no clue what was going on with her. Then she showed up at another one of our offices a few days ago, thinking we were an abortion clinic. I had actually seen her name in the appointment book, and made sure I was there. For the second time in a month, she had stumbled into the truth. And such a powerful truth—while watching a video we routinely show the girls, she suddenly fainted and vomited. I was shocked, because I’d never seen anyone react to this video so strongly. All of us quickly gathered around to make sure she was okay. Even as she had to deal with these strong emotions, there were loving people supporting her. She later called me to tell me that she was going to keep her baby. God made sure that she was exposed to a truth she could not ignore.
I saw another such miracle last week outside of Dr. Emily’s. After giving a girl a sonogram and talking with her for awhile, she left without making a decision. Then out of the blue she called me back to thank me, saying that she was keeping the baby. She told me that the night before her appointment at the abortion clinic, God had told her in a dream not to kill her baby. Up until this dream, she hadn’t even believed in God. But between hearing His voice in the dream and running into me at the abortion clinic, she knew God was sending her a message.
It is for this reason that I always tell the girls that it is God who brings them to us. Just as He put the baby inside their womb for a specific reason, He brings them into contact with us for a reason. These everyday miracles are the work of God in the lives of these women.
One day at Lizz's office I counseled a girl who already had three abortions. She was pregnant for the fifth time and was anticipating a forth abortion. I continued taking her information and then proceeded to show her a DVD titled "Abortion Procedures".
After the video I began to ask her questions. I first asked how she felt after learning about all the risks. I also asked what she thought about the act of abortion. She responded in a broken way, confused by stress and fear, explaining that she just couldn't have the baby. She continued stating the reasons for having an abortion: she was financially unstable, her living conditions were less than ideal, her boyfriend didn't think it was the "right time" to have a baby, etc...
I then asked her why she thought she was in such a panic about this and why there were so many risks. She didn't have an answer so I told her why I thought there was so much that could go wrong. I told her that it was because having an abortion is unnatural. I asked her if she thought it was natural to have someone open you up and take the baby growing inside your womb out. She then began to cry.
I was sorry to see her suffer in the position she was in but glad to see that she was looking at the problem in the face and seeing what abortion truely is, possibley for the first time. I then asked her to reflect on her life since 16 years old, when she was first impregnated. I told her the reality of her life right now is that she has been going around having multiple sex partners, and when the natural occurence of becoming pregnant happens, she goes and has the babies killed in an effort to keep her life manageable.
I then continued to tell her that she could have this baby and that she can stop this vicious cycle. I told her that she should now stop having sex until she was stable enough to have a child. She agreed to come in for a sonogram but never showed. I will continue to try to get in touch with her and I asked that all who have read this will keep this woman, the father, and the baby in your prayers. I also ask for your prayers for forgiveness for the abortion clinic workers and that God may have mercy on them.
EMC took part in Operation Rescue/Operation Save America's Annual Event which took place in Las Vegas, NV this year. Imagine a week of Pro-life Activism in Sin City of all places! It was Great! Hundreds of Pro-lifers descended on the desert and what we had in store, they were not prepared for. We peacefully and compassionately let the City of Las Vegas see the victims of abortion.
I had the privilege of working at the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) display. We were stationed in the middle of the Fremont Street Experience: Summer of 69 Celebration. We were on the sidewalk between dozens of Casinos and underneath an overhead canopy that extended the length of five football fields. The temperature in Vegas that week was probably a sweltering 113 degrees, but underneath the canopy it felt at least 20 degrees cooler! So you can imagine where all the people were! That's right, they were walking right by us and our giant GAP display that showed the horror of what abortion does to a helpless child!
We handed out fliers to passers by and had many, many great conversations. The kind of conversations that get people thinking, thinking about subjects like right and wrong, justice and injustice, human rights, the dignity of the human person, fetal development, logic, and what exactly abortion does. Most people rarely think about these things, or they tend to compartmentalize such subjects to make themselves more comfortable. Because after all, it is written on the human heart and in the conscience that once we see injustice, we have the responsibility to do something about it.
Quite often people would stop and stare at the pictures. In one instance a young man looked for a very long time, left, and came back. As tourists walked up to our display one after another, I would ask them if they had ever seen pictures like these before, or what they thought of the images. Sadly, more often than not I would hear, "No, I have never seen such sights." As I write this now, I think to myself, that there is this major debate going on in our nation and in our world. So many people (our popular media are particularly guilty of this) take the "Pro-choice" side of the argument, without ever really knowing what abortion is, what abortion looks like, and without ever seeing the victims of this so called right. Because as we know, abortion not only kills one, but it also harms the other.
It is true that not everyone was happy seeing these images. In fact there were so many complaints about our display that The Fremont Street Experience put up a sign apologizing for our presence. But we were not there to make people feel all warm and fuzzy inside, while children are brutally ripped from their mother's wombs at the rate of 3,500 abortions per day in America.
At the end of the day, if you think that showing these pictures, is wrong, or uncharitable, or even just plain gross, I would offer you the story of Emmett Till. The effect that pictures of his open casket had on the Civil Rights Movement in America was no small deed. Emmett was a young, African American boy of 14 years old from Chicago. While visiting cousins in Mississippi he spoke to a white woman. An innocent enough act. Four days later he was dragged out of his uncle's house in the middle of the night by two men, the woman's husband included. Till was forced into their car, beaten, shot, and lynched. Three days later his body was found in the Tallahatchie River. A 75 pound cotton gin fan tied around his neck with barbed wire, weighted his body down. His face was so mutilated that the body could only be identified based on the ring that Till was wearing. His mother chose to be courageous, she chose to have an open casket funeral to let "the world see what they did to my boy." Pictures were published in magazines and newspapers and the people were outraged. Simlpy showing the victim helped spark, and some say started the Civil Rights Movement in America. The effect is undeniable.
It was so sad to hear that because we knew that the where lied in the way they came to the States.
Also, both of them where unemployed but the problem is that they weren´t actively looking for a job.
We also said to them that we could help them finding a job or clothes and so on.....
At the end they told us that they where going to think about it and that the following week would be coming to the office again.
Hope they come back soon.
Here in NYC, EMC is doing a number of things to reach out to pregnant young ladies that don't think they want to keep their baby.
We set up tables at busy intersections, we operate a number of centers in four of the five burroughs, we show DVD's of an actual abortion, and counsel women in front of abortion clinics as well as when they come out of the abortion clinic.
After speaking and giving her some information, she didn't go in the mill, and turned around to call to one of our phone numbers later! :)
One more thought on our trip to Washington DC earlier this week --
Until interning this summer with EMC, all my pro-life work had been on the political side -- activism, educational outreach, lobbying, opinions articles. I tend to approach problems this way, with a political bent or methodically from an intellectual standpoint. This makes me a fine student, but it doesn't necessarily translate into our work here.
Since my arrival in May, I have learned enormous amounts of information concerning fetal development, abortion procedures, and the help available in New York City to pregnant mothers. But mostly my time and thoughts have been concerned with the chaotic, surprising, and often heartbreaking situations of the women and girls we see.
This is real life. These people aren't ideas or abstractions. They are not here to back up mine or yours or anyone else's ideology. Half these women don't even know what the labels pro-life and pro-choice mean.
So standing in Washington DC in front of Nancy Pelosi's office and trying to get members of the US House of Representatives to listen to our demands seemed almost surreal. Holding a banner, declaring that 'Abortion is not Healthcare,' listening to the empassioned words of Alveda King on the steps of the Cannon building, I marveled at how distant these two aspects of our fight can seem.
Which matters more? The woman sitting right in front of me, not convinced the life inside her is precious and unique? Or the bill sitting on the desk of every US Representative, mandating that every taxpayer pays into a fund which will enable women across the country to get abortions that much easier?
And the question for me becomes, for whom are we fighting? It might be easy enough for those who are pro-choice to use rhetoric and weak statistical evidence to make their case on Capitol Hill, but on the streets of the Bronx their case falters pretty quickly. In the face of the women we see, the politics of abortion seem irrelevant, and oftentimes purposefully ignorant. After working for EMC this summer, the arguments concerning why taxpayer-funded abortions constitute a public good have become barely comprehensible to me -- do policy makers even attempt to understand the people and situations they are supposedly trying to help?
Inside the Beltway or out, I'm grateful for the different opportunities I've had to fight this fight, grateful for the chances I've been given and the perspectives I've seen. After this summer, it is likely that I will return to more political pro-life activity, but I will never forget the faces of the real women I've met, the lives I've been blessed to impact and those who've blessed me, and just how high these stakes really are.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Abortion is not health care!
We went down to Washington D.C. last week, and joined a demonstration outside the office of Nancy Pelosi. Health care, for who? For the unborn means the unmerciful destruction of its life. For the woman, medical studies all over the world, shows us how abortion do profundly affect women: incresing the risk for breast cancer, risk of becoming sterile, depression, to mention just few of them. What does it mean to provide health care? Women deserve better than this.
Even if there were not so many other reasons to be pro-life, the experiences of so many of these women would be reason enough. Just this past week, two girls shared with us the the story of a sister and a friend, both of whom attempted suicide after an abortion and were committed to psychiatric wards. In a culture where abortion has become an "easy solution," such cases are frighteningly common. Even women who have hardened their hearts against the pain, and come to our offices seeking yet another abortion, will often be unable to discuss their prior abortions without a great deal of emotional pain. Sometimes it is not until I begin listing the symptoms of post-abortion syndrome, such as depression or anxiety attacks, that they finally begin to realize just how many of their problems over the years stem from their abortions.
Healing from an abortion is obviously difficult and complicated. Yet one of the great joys in this work is offering these suffering women a hopeful future. When a post-abortive woman turns around in our clinics, the decision is especially powerful. Although the babies lost can never be brought back, there is great redemption in choosing to protect and love the baby they hold within their womb.
However, this part of the deal can be full of much beauty and grace. Many times the women are open to us approaching them and comforting them. We tell them if they are hurting there are people they can contact and there are places they can go for healing. We have had beautiful moving moments with the women on the sidewalk where we were able to embrace them and say I am sorry they had to come here and I hope they never have to go through this again. Sean once asked a girl if she believed in God and she nodded. He replied as far as the heavens are from the earth so are our since once God forgives us. He told the girl God was ready to forgive her right then and heal her right then. She nodded and we knew she understood and it meant a great deal to her.
You can see it on their faces. These women don't have hope. When these women walk past us toward the clinic, it is so important within those few short moments to share the ways that we can support them. We can give them information helping them with morning sickness, prenatal care, adoption options, financial aid, housing, jobs, counseling, anything. We're tring to make it as easy as we can for them to keep their baby. We're trying to give them hope and a confiedence that they had lacked before.
Pro-aborts rag on the pro-life movement saying that we don't truly care about the women and aren't compassionate toward their situations, and sure, some pro-lifers are only concerned about the unborn. But we're here to say that there are two human beings involved, and two souls. You cannot save the baby without first saving the mother.
They were 27, 17, and 23 years old. The last one wasn't so decided, but at the same time she was the one with the most advanced pregnancy (almost 20 weeks), and the abortion was going to cost about 2.000 $, and even not being a reason about conviction but of money, it will be very helpful to realize her that it would be even more expensive the abortion than keeping the baby (her main reason for abortion was the lack of money).
Tomorrow we'll meet the 17 years old girl, whose mother was talking with Laura while we were with the girl. This was very helpful because the mother was encouraging the girl to keep the baby after our counseling.
We'll continue writing this about these stories. We need your prayers!
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Please continue to help us reach the general population through education in a cost effective manner. It says in Hosea 4:6 that "my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge".
If we are to win the abortion issue, we must properly educate the people about it.