Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Road Goes Ever on and on

Even today, New Years Eve, when we should all be home, writing our resolutions, drinking our hot cocoa, enjoying the last few hours of 2009: women, girls will seek abortions.

I only spoke with one girl today, a fourteen year-old in a pregnancy scare. I couldn’t help thinking, my little sister is 14. My little sister is a freshman in high school. She’s my kid sister. She loves drawing and painting and dragons and cats and plays trumpet and goes to sleep by 9 o’clock. How strikingly different is this young lady. At fourteen, experiencing a pregnancy scare. We spoke about abstinence, second virginity, recommitting to purity. We discussed abortion and all that entails. She left with the results of her pregnancy test, negative, and a better understanding of her worth. She was thoroughly convinced abortion is something she will never seek.

Education, information, caring, consulting, sharing, this is an endless circle that is begun anew each time a woman comes to call at the EMC Center. So each day, a fresh, smiling face is needed to greet whatever comes our way: only God can give reasons for such smiles.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Today at Linda's

Today, a girl came in wanting a pregnancy test. Linda automatically said,"Ok Jennie, shes yours, handle it." I asked God to help me since I didn't know where to start. So the first question I asked her was, "So, where do you go to school?" She answered only for me to realize that we had the same circle of friends! I was quite suprised about what she knew. Right then and there I knew that was what I needed to feel comfortable. I told her about the different procedures and everything she shuld know. She started crying and said I was very understanding, and that I was the person she needed to convince her. I'm proud to say that she will not be having the abortion. I end this with, "You never know who you run into, you might just make a big difference in one's life." In this case, it was a HUGE DIFFERENCE.

The Power of the Mind

Today I was in the Bronx office, the others were doing some counseling with a couple.

The man was reacting to what was said, but the woman was unresponsive. She seemed unmoved, no sound, no word, she sat as if frozen, only occasionally glancing at her man..I admit, it made my blood boil to see this behavior, so I began to quietly talk to her, and she started to answer my questions, and show some emotion. In the end she realized what was my purpose and was open to continuing the session.

It is amazing how humans can block their feelings and behave as if it were nothing to get an abortion..

Monday, December 28, 2009

Of Course

The day dawned dark, lightning and thunder broke across the sky! Well, the weather wasn’t that ominous…but the air was cold and unforgiving. The wind snuck into the small gaps between my gloves and jacket, nipping my wrists ruthlessly. I walked out of the subway station, across the street and into the Pregnancy Center. ‘It will be a busy day,’ I thought.

One young lady came in who seemed to know everything I or Liz would say, “Have you thought of baby names?” “Of course.” “Abortion is unsafe and dangerous for women and children.” “Of course.” She was a chorus of “Yes, I know”s and “Of course”s…she knew it all. We had nothing to teach her. Her heart was hard and her mind closed. I was disheartened by conversation with her.

And then God sent a little angel wrapped in the womb of her scared mother. This mother was a caring woman, with a daughter at home and two in heaven, victims of previous abortions. She herself, was intent on getting another. The mother spoke for a time, and gradually God opened her eyes to the love and opportunity for her child in the womb. She recounted a dream she had had a week before: snarling abortionists at the mill dangling an aborted fetus above the receptionist desk and gleefully smiling at her, beckoning her forward for her abortion. God brought her to the Pregnancy Center for a reason.

Does God love her?

Did she decide for life?

Of course.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Parties

The interns and I spent last week preparing for three major parties; one in Queens, one in Brooklyn, and one in the Bronx. We spent time wrapping presents and preparing for these parties. The first party was held in Queens. The party started off with food being served. Then a lovely musician entertained us with music in Spanish. The night was full of smiles, picture taking and laughter. I even got to meet some of the babies that were saved from abortion. It’s a blessing to know that these beautiful babies were saved from the knife of the doctor. Later on presents were given out and I was pleased and satisfied to see the smiles of the kids. They are such humble kids. They really loved their presents.
The second party was held in Brooklyn which was the biggest of all the partie being thrown. There was music, food courtesy of Court Order, and lots of presents. Once again I looked forward to present time because the smiles of the kids gave me joy. That was all I needed to see that night.
The third party was on Monday night in the Bronx. The Franciscan Friars gave us the use of their hall at St Crispin´s friary. Again we had many happy moms and kids and great fried chicken, too! And, of course, Santa made an appearance to give presents to the delighted children (the basketballs were a big hit with the older boys!)
I am happy to that all parties were a success. Teamwork was what we need to make the parties a success.

The wonder of twins

A woman of the age of 18 came to our Brooklyn Center in hopes for an abortion. She was bent on getting the abortion when Linda offered to give her a free sonogram. The girl found out that she was having twins, boys I might add. I could see one sucking his thumb and the other moving around. Linda quickly asked, “Do you want to see a miracle?” the woman answered “yes”. So Linda asked her to put her had on her belly and both babies reached for the mothers had. The mother started crying and said, “NO! I can’t kill these babies, not these ones. They know I’m here!” I myself was amazed at what I saw. I quickly thanked God for saving those babies from the knife of the doctor.

Watch Your Step!

It’s a bit chilly outside, and a bit rainy. It’s the day after Christmas and the abortion mill is open and we’re there. We’re there. Pacing, praying, helping, A beautiful rosary said, and continuous prayer throughout the morning. And I notice something.

Among the sloshy snow, the wet ground and the damp sky- there’s a few messes on the line of the fence of the abortion mill. A few messes left by four-footed passerby. Little presents for the mill. Little, very appropriate presents. It struck me as ironically humorous that little dogs know what to think of an abortion mill and people do not. Little dogs know the proper regard to give the mill and people defend and even cherish its existence.

Compared to people, dogs are simple creatures. Simple needs. Simple minds. And they’ve got abortion mills figured out. When are people going to regard the abortion facility the same way?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Best Christmas Gift

While one may think that society is casting aside its religious values because of materialism, counseling abortion-minded women shows me that Christmas is not merely about consumerism, but still has a strong spiritual foundation. Most mothers honor this holy season and will strive toward the union of their families and, at least by my experience in EMC’s offices, feel uncomfortable planning abortions at Christmas time.

It is notable that people who could arrange for an abortion at any other time of the year are reluctant to do so during the Christmas season. This attitude can be explained by the spiritual dimension of life still actively present in humanity. Although there are many attempts to belittle it, Christmas is another example of the importance of faith in our lives; its meaning goes far deeper than the gifts, the Christmas tree, the Santa Claus. This celebration represents unity, hope, and peace. Regardless of the cultural or historical aspects of Christmas, the deepest meaning is very much alive.

Most people welcome this yearly opportunity to hold family gatherings and give presents to their loved ones, making themselves “present” in their gifts. The usefulness of the gift is not what matters, the authentic value of a gift is the measure of presence of the giver that it provides to the receipent. This gives sense to the useless gift, like the ring that the husband gives to her wife. Whatever the value of a gift, the best present that anyone can receive for Christmas is life; and we should be very happy to know that many mothers at this time are giving that present, preferring life over death.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Bit of Information Brings Awareness

Last Friday, while witnessing on the street near one of the abortion clinics in the Bronx, I watched as a woman walked uncertainly toward the entrance. Her face was flushed from the cold, and she already wore an expression of grief and loss.

I approached to speak with her. She told me that she was there to get an abortion; she did not know what else she could do since her economic situation was not good, and the father did not want to have the baby. We talked a while and I explained about the risks and consequences of an abortion, what the abortionist would do to her body and her baby. She was surprised and concerned by all physical and psychological risks that could occur; she thought it was “just a simple operation”.

Before she entered the clinic, I offered all the help of our organization and gave her the contact information for our centers. I saw in her eyes that something had changed. She said goodbye tearfully, and I was deeply touched by her emotion. I pray that it was genuine and sustained her in making a decision for life.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Man Acknowledges his Child in the Womb

It is common to see men dragging in their girlfriends. I see it all the time, in fact, every time I go out to the abortion mill I witness to that. It's sad when men do not acknowledge their child's existence in the womb. It's even sadder when he thinks he had nothing to do with the child while biology proves that he had half of everything to do with that child. Although this is common, it is not entirely true for with all men who come in to the abortion mill with their girlfriend.

I particularly remember speaking to a young man whom at first tried to justify abortion in his case. "She's sick, the baby might have autism or something, and you know... having the baby is not healthy for her, and plus... economy is bad" is what he repeatedly told me. After giving him some time to justify the decision to abort, I begin to inquire a series of questions. "Doesn't it suck, to know that we have to make a decision to kill our child when it comes to money? Is money worth any value, when people are dying because of it? It doesn't make sense, and that's something to think about. If you are going to let economy and our society be the decider of your child's life, than you are not doing your job as a father and a man," are some of the things I would say to him. Of course, I didn't ask these questions one after the other, but I asked these questions to help guide his thoughts and decisions. In the end, I learned that he did desire to play a role as man, a provider and protector, but giving his girlfriend "support" in abortion does not entitle his role as a man at all. When he realized this, he also realized that abortion was not what he really wanted. He only felt that it was the best thing to do, but it's not at all what he wanted. As our conversation came to an end, I offered him the services we provide, and we said our goodbyes.

I left the abortion mill, and prayed for him. While waiting at the metro bus, I receive a phone call from a sidewalk counselor that stayed behind. I heard his voice over the phone, and he told me "Tina, I tried. I came back and told her everything you told me. I even told her to put our child up for adoption, but she made up her mind. I don't know what to do..." My heart broke for him, for his girlfriend, and most importantly, for that unborn child.

Although that innocent unborn baby did not get the chance to be born, I do not feel as if all of the time I spent with this young man was a waste. Though it hurts, he can no longer justify abortion, because he knows the truth.

"True love causes pain.
Jesus, in order to give us the proof of his love, died on the cross.
A mother, in order to give birth to her baby, has to suffer.
If you really love one another, you will not be able to avoid making sacrifices." -Mother Teresa

Happy Faces at Christmas Time

During this past week we've had Christmas celebrations in our centers. Women and their children whom we have been blessed to help were invited to come to the parties.
All the children had happy faces. They lunched, played and waited patiently for Santa to arrive. When he appeared, the children's faces lit up with a great expression of joy. All received Christmas presents, but we, the staff and volunteers, got the best gift of all, in seeing the result of our daily effort. To see these children fills us with pride and give us greater desire to fight for the lives of the unborn for the coming year when we will have many more children in our party.
At this season of Christmas, we give thanks to God and ask him to continue to guide us in our daily tasks.

What Most Surprised Me About Abortion

I have been Pro-life for as long as I can remember. I was blessed to have parents that taught me a sense of right and wrong and taught me to think logically from an early age. When I think back to my childhood, I can remember many a Saturday afternoon spent with one of my parents praying the Rosary outside of the local abortion clinic. In the past I've given pro-life presentations and even been involved in grassroots efforts to pass legislature that would protect young girls from being prayed upon by the big buisness of the Abortion Industry coupled with statutory rapist boyfriends. Even after all of these experiences, the thing that most surprised me once I came to do this pro-life work with EMC, is exactly how many women submit to abortions under pressure.
Quite often it happens that her boyfriend has told her that she has to get an abortion, sometimes threatening to leave her, telling her that she is selfish is she doesn't abort, or using other emotionally manipulative behavior. If he doesn't directly tell her to have an abortion, he may apply a more indirect pressure by telling her that it's up to her. The heart of a woman however would rather hear the man that she loves, profess his love and support for her than put everything on her shoulders. When a woman hears "It's up to you." she feels alone, and that is the last thing that she needs when facing a crisis pregnancy. A man is meant to protect and support his family, forsaking his wants and desires for the safety and well being of his loved ones. She is pregnant, therefore she is a mother and he is a father and this child is their family. There is a sense of violation involved when she is pressured into ending the life of her baby. This is just another reason why women deserve better than abortion.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Honoring the Miracle Babies

Many of our clients came to us considering abortion. Often they felt trapped because of tough financial circumstances. During this season, when money can get even tighter, parents start to worry about just how to make their children’s Christmas special. The heart of the Christmas season is spending time with the people whom you love, and giving back to those that are less fortunate than you, and honoring God for the miracle that was the baby Jesus.

Here at EMC, we are fortunate to maintain lasting relationships with the women that we counsel. Quite often our past clients will bring their children by the Pregnancy Center on a whim, just to visit and show us how much the kids have grown! We receive pictures in the mail and invitations to baby showers, and often see the moms when they come to the center for resources like winter coats for the kids! Every year at this time we host our Annual Christmas Parties, the guests of honor are the mothers and their children! Over the next few days the other interns and I will spend our free time wrapping gifts for these miracle babies. Hoping to make theIr Chistmas, that much brighter.

¨Good Job!¨

We were standing near the abortion clinic on Southern Boulevard when two young Latina women arrived, one, it turns out, was there for an abortion; the other was post-abortive. Right away, Heather began to talk with them and they spoke together for quite a while. Than a third woman came along, Julie took over for Heather. She spoke with the two girls and convinced them to go to our office in the Bronx. I accompanied them to the center; while we rode in the taxi, I also had a chance to speak with them.

Liz, the office director, began to talk with the woman who was seeking an abortion and I with the other woman who had an abortion just last month. After they both watched a non-graphic computer animated video about the abortion procedure, we continued our conversation.

Thank God for Heather, Julie, and Liz. I know the women were touched and realized their mistakes, because they were moved to tears.

I just wanted to acknowledge the great work done by Heather, Julie, and Liz, and say, ¨Good job!¨

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hard Reality

Today a Mexican woman came into the office. She was very poor and desperate, and had had horrific experiences which she shared with me. She has 3 children, but they were left behind in Mexico. She was 11 weeks pregnant and seeking an abortion; her rationale was that she is alone and her partner has left her, telling her he already has a family in the U.S.!
I felt so sorry for her, and yet could not comprehend how a woman who has gone through such hell could think of adding to that by aborting her own child. I let her know what help was available for her various problems, and scheduled her for a sonogram. God bless her and keep her close.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Innocent Blood

Something happened last night in the South Bronx. We don´t know exactly what, but the evidence was there this morning. In front of the façade door of Dr. Emily’s Abortion Clinic was a puddle of blood. I don’t know what that blood was coming from. But that made me think. Of course that blood was coming from someone else but in my head that blood was the blood of the children that are killed by abortion. Are these murders legal? Yes they are. On the contrary, if we put a foot over the line for sure we will be six month in jail. What’s wrong here? But that’s not my point; my point is how many babies are going to be killed before we stop this, before we make abortion illegal? When are we going to realise that we can´t be indifferent when the life of a child hangs in the balance? Come on, guys! we have to change this, and we have to change it now.

The Power of Prayer

This time I am not telling you a story about a specific person, but about the women that we see in general.

When we go to the abortion mill and we try to talk to the women that are going in, sometimes they don´t listen to us. Or if they do, they don't have the time to understand what are we trying to say. In these moments, prayer is the only means we can rely on.

Well , SOMEHOW some of these girls that don´t want to talk to us end up come out of the abortion clinic keeping their baby. Why? Yes, they changed their minds about having the abortion, but, the real question is, what changed their minds when we can't reach them and no one is else trying to help them as we do?

The only answer is that God touches them through our prayers; He can reach what we can´t, the inside of the clinic and the inside of their hearts. When our words and presence fail to help them choose life, God makes a way and somehow our prayers and yours play a part in this.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lives Saved and Hearts Changed

Looking back on our time here with EMC, we are filled with great memories.
We have been blessed to work along side many wonderful pro-life people from a variety of different backgrounds. We have forged lifelong friendships with people who have greatly encouraged us on our prolife mission.

My fellow interns come from many different cultures, but we all have the same goal in mind; to save the lives of children and help women in need. Seeing this goal come to fruition has been the most rewarding experience of our stay in New York City.
To see lives saved and hearts changed, how beautiful!

The Pro-lifers of Tomorrow

Ray and I were invited to speak to a group of High School students at St. Raymond´s school for boys in the Bronx. I was very impressed with these young, dedicated pro-lifers. There was a basketball game being played in the gym at the same time as our talk. These boys could have easily been enjoying the game, but instead they chose to help tackle the issue of abortion and its assault on human dignity.

Ray spoke about his calling from God to switch from Real Estate Agent to full time Pro-life Activist. He also told us about the many ways that the Lord has blessed him for answering this call. I brought Fetal Development Models to share with the students, and told them about my experiences in the Pro-life movement, but especially about my work with EMC. We talked about the mindset of an abortion-minded girl, as well as the many pressures she is under. The whole evening culminated in a beautiful prayer vigil at Dr. Emily’s Abortion Clinic. As we stood in the cold, our rosaries in hand and prayers on our lips, the candles flickering in the wind, I thanked God for the courage of these young men. These students are the pro-lifers of tomorrow.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

When a Child Lives

We love talking with many people. This aspect of our work here comes naturally. Consulting with a woman in a crisis pregnancy, on the other hand, is a different matter, because it is so difficult and important. It is not easy at all. They are most often in the middle of a serious situation, such as an unexpected pregnancy, feeling unprepared for parenthood, or being pressured by a boyfriend or family member to abort her baby. Many are already suffering from a previous abortion.

We have learned here how to approach and talk with these troubled women. Yes, it is difficult, but it is so incredibly rewarding when a child lives because of something we said, it makes the long hours and disappointments fade in comparison. That is why it is so important to listen to the woman and pray and ask God to speak through us. There is so much at stake.

We are very grateful to have had this opportunity to come to New York city, to learn how to share the truth about abortion and help women make a better choice.

Encouraged to Keep Up the Fight

This past week, I have been counseling women in crisis pregnancy. The first of these was a woman from Santo Domingo. I was assigned to advise her since she did not speak English. At first she was a little hesitant about talking to a man, but gradually a very positive connection was made between us as she grew confident and opened her heart to me.

Her situation was very difficult; she gave birth to a son 6 months ago, and there were a series of medical problems during her pregnancy that nearly caused her to miscarry. She told me with tears in her eyes that she could not have another baby at this time. We talked for a while about the physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences of abortion, and,gradually, she realized that what she was planning to do was not the right answer. Already she was suffering thinking about what she had intended to do, knowing it was against her beliefs. She felt this separated her from the Lord. We spoke about God´s love and mercy, and after our conversation she knew she had to resume her relationship with God, asking His forgiveness.

It was a deeply emotional experience for me when she decided to change her mind and not have an abortion. I felt great inner satisfaction and I am even more encouraged to continue fighting for the unborn and their precious mothers.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Satisfaction in My Soul

Never in my life have I been so proud of my work as I have been over these past four and a half months! I won’t lie, it´s a tough job. Everyday I know that there will be a young lady sitting in my office, basically telling me that she wants to kill her child. However, the good far outweighs the bad. The joy that comes from helping a mother to choose LIFE for her unborn child is almost beyond belief! The knowledge that I have helped a woman walk from the emotional trauma that comes with an abortion, gives me a satisfaction that I think will never go away.

Yesterday while following up with some of my clients I received some fantastic news!!! I couldn´t help but smile! Two of my girls have decided to keep their children! To get this news that not just one but two of these beautiful young ladies are keeping, and all in the same day was great! Only one more thing could add to the joy, and it happened! A girl who weeks earlier abortion minded, returned with a sonogram picture for me and the gift of life for her child.

A Mother and Daughter

Today I went to do sidewalk counseling at the abortion mill. It was busy, and we helped a girl keep her baby.

She was 17 years old and was there with her mother. The girl didn´t want an abortion, but the mother was pressuring her to have it.

I asked her if she regretted having her daughter and she started talking about the usual justifications: she is so young, she is not prepared, etc…

I listen to her for a while and tried to convince her to let her daughter keep the baby, but it is so difficult to convince a mother not to tell her daughter to have an abortion.

So I finally got a little angry and said firmly, ¨A mom should take care of her family and what you are doing is pushing your daughter to do something she will regret forever! Forever!¨

Her eyes started to tear up, then she started crying and said, ¨Help me, help me please. I don´t know what I am doing.¨ So I talked for an hour with her after that and she finally decided to let her daughter keep the baby.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Divided Decision, Divided Heart

Everyday as a prolife person I learn something new. Today I realised how the decision of having an abortion affects not only the baby and mother, but the mom and dad as a couple.

On the one hand, there was a dad pushing a stroller outside the clinic, giving his born child a ride. But inside was the mother having an abortion. We stopped the guy and started talking to him about that. Did he want this? No, he didn’t. This was his girlfriend´s choice. And that was when I realised that the father is affected by the abortion decision as much as a woman is. I saw him broken, he was glum. I felt sorry for him. The girl didn’t think about his wanting the baby, she just thought of herself.

On the other hand, there was a couple that passed by and went inside the clinic not stopping to listen to us. They just said that they made a decision and that was it. But the surprise was when we saw them coming out the clinic door saying that they are having the baby after all. Coincidence? I don´t think so. God worked through us, just by us being there as witnesses.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Teaching a lesson

Today I went to our center in Brooklyn. It was my first time there and I didn't know how they work there because (although they do pretty much the same job) there are little differences between the offices. I walked into the office and there she was: Linda, the woman in charge of the office. The minute I went in she was giving instructions to everybody and going from one room to another.

She told me to go into one the sonogram room to see a miracle. She asked a pregnant woman to hold her baby´s hand. So the woman, trying to understand what that ment, put her hand on her own belly and told her preborn baby several times, "Hold mommy´s hand".

We saw in the sonogram how the baby, instead of putting his hand up to meet the mother´s hand, raised his foot and held his foot against her hand! We all thought that was funny and we started laughing. The mom was so happy and she said her baby was going to be a soccer player :)

After a whole day of work at the Brooklyn office I could say that Linda is a strong woman who knows what she wants and how to get it. A good leader I thought. As good leaders do, she shared her enthusiasm with me and I learned a new lesson: the only way to touch the hearts of women is to have empathy for their pain and troubles; then you can talk to them heart to heart.