Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Weighing the Choices

They were on their way into the abortion clinic when I spoke with them. A beautiful young couple, both of them just 17 years old. They were in a tough situation, she was pregnant, and she was scared. They hadn't even spoken of it to their parents. What would she tell her mom? Would they kick her out of the house? She had a toddler at home, how would she be able to handle two children? The thought of another child was enough to make her run for the nearest abortion clinic! This would be the answer to her problem, or so she thought.

She was eight weeks pregnant, her baby’s heart was already beating and brain waves were already detectable. I showed her the fetal development model of a tiny child just eight weeks from conception. She was surprised, her baby had a face, feet, hands, fingers and toes, her baby was already formed! We talked about the procedure and the behavior that the clinic workers would exhibit if she were to enter. We spoke of the women, lined up for abortions and it was not a pleasant thought. We weighed the choices. Would life be easier after the abortion or harder? Was the sacrifice of the impending struggle worth it for the life of another human being, the life of her baby? Most importantly we talked about the risks and complications involved with the surgery and we talked about the humanity and dignity of her tiny child.
It was very important for her to know that the abortion would not make the baby go away and it would not stop her from being a mother, or he a father. All it would do, would be to make them the parents of a dead baby. A mother never forgets when she loses a child. She could be ninety years old and even after she is finished mourning, she will still remember. There is an added pain when it comes to abortion, not only does the mother have to deal with the fact that her child died, but she feels guilt because she chose for her child to die, and in many instances she paid for her child to die. Needless to say, we also spoke about Post Abortion Syndrome as well.
We hugged a lot. She really needed a hug. I invited them to accompany me to the nearest EMC Pregnancy Center where we spoke for 2 more hours. The end result was the choice of life!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Proof is in the Pudding

The Time was 11:30 am, the scene was Dr. Emily Women's Health Pavilion in New York City... the South Bronx. It was time for the interns to leave the abortion clinic and head over to Cardinal Hayes Highschool for the Viva La Vida Pro-life Conference. As we prepared to leave, two young ladies from inside the clinic, quickly walked out of the parking lot, past the 'clinic escorts' and down the sidewalk. A 40 Days for Life Volunteer who was right behind them on her way out, handed them a brochure. I walked up and joined the conversation, asking the girl a couple of questions. Had she gotten an abortion? How far along was she? Had she had a sonogram? Had she been allowed to see her sonogram? They had just been in the clinic very briefly and were told that it was to late in the day for the doctor to perform the abortion. Praise the Lord!

I offered her a free sonogram appointment and began to tell her about fetal development. She was so surprised to find out that her babies heart started to beat at 17 to 21 days! She thought that would’nt happen until the 6th month! I asked her what she knew about the abortion procedure, what had they told her in the clinic? She knew nothing, and so I started to explain the Suction and Curettage Abortion.

The next few minuets went by so fast! She said she was not feeling well, entered a nearby store for something to drink and when she returned I suggested that I buy the girls lunch at the hamburger joint across the street, where she could sit down. As we made our way down the sidewalk, the younger sister and I holding her up as she walked, a funny thing happened. The ‘clinic escorts', on their way to the front entrance of the abortion clinic, passed us! They saw what was going on, they saw a girl in obvious distress who had just come out of the clinic, the same clinic where they volunteered to ‘escort women’ in other words, keep them from talking to what they call ‘anti choice’ people. They just didn’t seem to care! If they were there to help women, why were they just walking by and doing nothing? Why didn’t they stop to help? They offered no help! When she was throwing up on the sidewalk, where were they? You see, we tell the women going into the clinic that we are there to help them, and of course the 'clinic escorts' scoff at the idea, but when it counts the proof is in the pudding. You can believe that you help women, but when a woman is right in front of you and she needs your help, what course will you take? I chose to help her because I am pro-woman, I am pro-life.

Needless to say I didn't make it to the pro-life conference that day. We sat in that restaurant talking for a long time, almost two hours. She started to feel better. In the end, she decided not to abort her baby! She knew that any hardships or sacrifice that she would have to make, would wholeheartedly be worth the life of her child.

Viva la Vida Pro-life Conference in the Bronx

This past Saturday we were given the opportunity as EMC Interns, to meet many Spanish Speaking Pro-lifers at the Viva La Vida Pro-life Conference in the Bronx. Joy seemed to fill the air during the whole event as people danced and gave praise to God! There were so many different speakers giving testimony and talks about the pro-life cause. In the early afternoon Archbishop Timothy Dolan Concelebrated Holy Mass with many other priests, and the people prayed fervently. we were so impressed by the care that he showed for the many people in his Archdiocese and the sight of how much they loved him was so beautiful!

Our primary reasons for attending the conference were to promote Expectant Mothers Care as well as 40 Days for Life. We manned a booth alongside other pro-life and pro-family groups. It was very exciting for me to be in New York City of all places and among such great pro-life people, and the best part was being able to explain the many different aspects of what we do every day in the Bronx with EMC and 40 Days For Life. In the end there was a lot of interest for both programs! What really surprised me was that there were so many different pro-life organizations in NYC, all concentrating on different parts of the movement but all fighting the good fight. Everyday is a new adventure for me, an adventure to learn something about LIFE.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

EMC Interns Honor 50th Ordination Anniversary of Fr. Benedict Groeschel

Sunday October the 18th Fr. Benedict Groeschel CFR celebrated the 50th Anniversary of his Ordination to the Priesthood of Jesus Christ, with a beautiful Mass at Holy Family Church in Nutley, NJ! The mass was concelebrated by Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Apostolic Nuncio to the United Nations and Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark, New Jersey, Diocesan priests and many Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. Three EMC Interns, myself included, were given the opportunity to attending the Mass.

Fr. Groeshal is well known for his work as the host of popular television show, 'Sunday Night Live with Fr. Benedict Groeshal' on EWTN and as a prolific author of books like 'Why Do We Believe' and 'There Are No Accidents'. He is also the co-founder of Good Counsel Homes. "Good Counsel is a private Catholic agency whose primary mission is to help homeless pregnant women by providing a loving family environment in a safe and secure shelter. Begun in 1985 by Fr. Benedict Groeschel and Chris Bell, both leaders in the pro-life movement, Good Counsel has grown to five homes in the New York greater metropolitan area." says their website.

With all of this under his belt, Fr. Groeshal is perhaps most well known by his role as one of the founders of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, a vibrant and quickly growing religious congregation dedicated to the renewal of the church and Christian communities.

We were truly honored to attend this beautiful mass!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Pro-life Mission

Marcela Soriano and I are visitors from Mexico City. We see the great values that this nation is founded upon, and that God’s hand is placed upon it.

The defense of life is an example of how this nation put all it´s soul and it´s whole heart to fight for what the Founding Fathers of this Country believed.

Seeing the hard work of interns like Heather and Philip has inspired us, to keep working hard in this mission to which God has called us.

The Pro-life mission requires that we give of the soul and the heart.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

EMC Interns Participate in Silent No More Awareness Event

This past Tuesday, the EMC interns had the privilege of taking part in a 'Silent No More Awareness' event. "Silent No More Awareness is a Campaign whereby Christians make the public aware of the devastation abortion brings to women and men. The campaign seeks to expose and heal the secrecy and silence surrounding the emotional and physical pain of abortion." says their website.

With this great organization, women who have had abortions find a vehicle to let their experiences, be known. They proclaim "I regret my abortion". Many post-abortive women gave testimonies about their abortion experiences and the subsequent effects that they had on their lives. The event was led by Janet Morana, Executive Director of Priests for Life and the Co-Founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and Dr. Alveda King, Director of African American Outreach and niece of the late civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Members and leaders of many different groups were in attendance including the Sisters of Life, Fr. Juniper Mary Sistare, C.F.R , Chris Slattey, President l and Founder of EMC Frontline Crisis Pregnancy Centers and Patrick Langrell, Director of Young Adult Outreach for the Catholic Archdiocese of New York. All of this took place in midtown Manhattan in front of Fox News' Cable Studios. Businessmen and businesswomen, tourists and executives alike were given the opportunity, so often denied by the media and their own culture. The opportunity was a glimpse at the truth, the truth that abortion hurts women.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Post Abortion Counseling at 40 Days For Life

We are on the sidewalk everyday for 40 Days for Life, counseling girls and giving them options, so that they don't feel like they have to choose abortion. It is true we save many lives, and save many women from the possible emotional and physical, and psychological traumas of abortion. But we also have the great privilege of helping women to heal from Post Abortion Syndrome.

Last Thursday a young lady with two friends approached our table and were handed information about the truth concerning abortion. She looked for a long time, and asked many questions. I invited them into the Sonogram Bus where we could talk with more privacy. I answered her questions and described the two most common abortion procedures to her as well as the morning after pill. Then her eyes caught my attention, there was a pain in them. After asking her male friend to give me a few minutes with the girls, I quietly asked her if she had taken the morning after pill. As tears rolled down her face she told me of her experience, how she had been so sad and depressed after taking it, and how her boyfriend was giving her no emotional support. I gave her a long hug. We spoke about post abortion healing, she thanked me for caring and promised to come back the next day to see me and talk some more.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Day 16 an Update on 40 Days For Life in the Abortion Capitol

On Wednesday September 23, the EMC Interns pulled out of the Crisis Pregnancy Centers and moved on to the side walk, for the 40 Days For Life Fall 2009 Campaign! Normally splitting their time between the two, the interns are focusing all of their attention for these forty days, on praying for an end to abortion. This year 40 Days in NYC is taking place at two sites; Dr, Emily's Women's Health Pavilion in the South Bronx and Abortion Row in Queens,Ny.

"Dr. Emily's": Don't be fooled by the name, there is no Dr. Emily. In fact, from what I understand, all of the abortionists are men that usually come from out of state to perform these deadly surgeries! We are present at this site on 'killing days' Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. On Saturdays, Pro-choice protesters under the guise of 'Clinic Escorts' chant slogans ("Hay Hay Ho Ho 40 Days has Got To Go" and "Not the Church, not the State, Women must decide their fate" or "Bigots go home, bigots go home!"), they taunt us, mock our prayers, and interrupt our conversations with women going into the clinic.

We have had a good turnout for our Peaceful Prayer Vigil, especially on Saturdays with many religious as well as lay people in attendance. Most recently the Sisters of Life and the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal came to pray with us! We have even had media attention, last Saturday News12 the Bronx did a story on us, capturing video of peaceful prayer amidst loud chants of "Bigots go home, bigots go home".

Abortion Row: This site gets it's name from the travesty that is two abortion clinics almost side by side, separated only by a Dunkin Doughnuts restaurant! This unique neighborhood allows us the opportunity to take a much more educational approach to our presence. We set up a table on the sidewalk with Fetal Development Models, brochures, and a television playing educational videos about abortion and fetal development! We hand out pro-life literature and have taken part in many good conversations! Twice a week our Mobile Sonogram Unit is present and we are able to show abortion vulnerable women their child in utero and allow them to hear the heartbeat!

So many great things have taken place while we have been on the sidewalk! From praying for an end to abortion, to counseling post-abortive and abortion minded women, to comforting women in need of emotional support to choose life, to meeting the fruit of our hard work in the form of a beautiful baby boy saved by one of our sidewalk counselors! Our 40 Days For Life is successful already... and we are only on Day 16!

Friday, October 2, 2009

40 Days For Life in Photos

40 Days for Life in Queens, NY!

Marcela explaining a Dialation and Evacuation Abortion to a crowd of passers by at 40 Days for Life in Queens

Wadiya and Carmen in the Sonogram Bus!

With the Sisters Of Life at 40 Days For Life in the Bronx!