Saturday, January 30, 2010

My Time Volunteering for EMC

The end of my time with EMC is here. Next week, I return to my home in Madrid, Spain. Working here in New York to save the lives of unborn babies has been an absolutely unforgettable experience. I am so grateful to Chris for the opportunity to reach out to pregnant mothers with the truth that aborting their babies is wrong.
I have learned so much from the people that I have lived and worked with here. To Liz, I am especially grateful for what you have taught me.
I have lived in the Lifehouse with some exceptional colleagues (Trisha, leader of the house, Tina, Julie, Amy, Tomás, Javi…) where I felt supported at all times. To all of the interns who are still here and to those who have already left, thank you.
Thank you, Dave, for that enjoyable week that we worked together building the new Queens office.
Thank you, Ray, for your kindness and humble nature.
I’m going to miss you all.

True Information Makes for True Choice part I

Beautiful, inquisitive, and vibrant is how I would describe the mother of four that I met with at our Pregnancy Center in the South Bronx. But she also had a sadness about her, and that was evident when she spoke of her abortion. It was something that she very much regretted, but she was pregnant again and felt like abortion was her only option. So we sat down and we talked about it.

The first step was to find out how far along she was. Than we spoke about the development of her tiny baby. Heartbeat and brain waves already present as well as itty bitty fingers and toes. I showed her pictures and fetal models of a baby at the same stage of development as hers, and the look of surprise on her face is not something I will soon forget.

I asked her what she knew about the abortion procedure. Admittedly she didn't know much, so I began an education in the two most common abortion procedures as well as the various risks and complications involved. She was so happy to be taking in all of this new information.

To be continued...

I counseled a girl 2 weeks ago who came into my office,sat in the chair opposite of me, and said, "I'm pretty sure I want to have an abortion...I'm just too young. Yeah.....I do...I want an abortion". So, we talked for the next few hours hours about her exact situations and what all of her options were. She's a beautiful girl; athletic and very intelligent. I set her up an appointment for a sonogram the following week.
I see her TODAY and she brought her boyfriend with her. I asked how the sonogram went and she said well. But the 3rd thing they both said to me when they first sat down was "we think we still want to get the abortion". I asked why. They pretty much said because they are too young. They are both still in Highschool. That they want to go to college and do all these other things that they can't do if they have a kid. I got what they were saying. It made sense. It really did. Other than the fact that it would be KILLING A HUMAN BEING. I tried my hardest to emphasize that to them. That even though it would be challenging, do you want to live with that guilt? DO you want to live knowing that you killed an innocent person?
Throughout the discussion, I really wasn't getting anywhere. Finally, I decided to tell the boyfriend to go in another room where I set up a video titled "ABORTION PROCEDURES". The video is exactly what it's title is. I let him do this while I talked with her in the original room.
A miracle happened. Literally. After I talked with her and after the video was over for him, he came back into the room, sat down in a chair, and said this, "I don't want you to have an abortion. After watching that video...I don't want you to have an abortion".
Just 20 minutes prior, he said he wanted the abortion. It's interesting how the TRUTH has it's way of being POWER.
She has my number. I told both of them to come back next week. And they both left deciding that they were going to put their child up for adoption with their heads held high.
Again, it's amazing how the TRUTH has it's way of being POWER. The thing is, it's got to be put out there. And that's what I am attempting to do.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Miracle Turn Around

A couple weeks ago, I was in the Bronx office counseling a young woman. She was a college student, back home for the Christmas break. And she had discovered that she was pregnant. She came to us with abortion in her mind.

So we counseled her. We told her everything we could tell her about the dangers to her, the pain and suffering it would cause her baby, and the lasting scars it would leave on her heart and body. But after an hour, she still wanted an abortion. We were at a loss. This young woman had had an abortion before, had suffered at the memories of her lost child. She new what a horror it was. She knew they horrible effects that she would later face. But she still wanted an abortion.

There was only one thing left that we had to say to her. She had spoken of wanting to grow up, get her life in order, become more responsible. So we told her: "If you truly want to become more responsible, if you want your life in order, have this baby. If you don't, you will feel even more empty and you will suffer far more than before. We won't force you to do anything. We will, however, be here to help you if you decide to keep your baby."

She told us that she would think about it and talk to us again in a few weeks. I was not sure that we would ever meet again. I was not sure that she would allow her baby to live. So I lifted her up to God and kept her in my prayers.

A few days ago, 2 or so weeks after counseling this woman, I was helping close up the Brooklyn office when she called asking for a free sonogram and help with the carious expenses of raising a baby. She had decided to let her baby live!!! I can say with all sincerity that it was one of the most joyful moments of my life.

Moments like these make the cold hours in front of Dr. Emily's more than worth while. Moments like these pull us through the emotional and mental exhaustion that naturally accompany this job. These moments are the reasons, each and every one it's own complete reason, that I would not have exchanged this month at EMC for anything else in the world.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Motivated for Sidewalk Counseling

While talking last Saturday with a mother outside an abortuary called Dr. Emily's, a volunteer of the abortion mill got close to us and respecfully started to discuss with us why the mother should have an abortion if she wanted. At the end of the dialogue, the mother was reinforced in her decision by that volunteer and, sadly, she went into the abortion clinic. At that moment, I turned to the volunteer and made clear to her that she was responsible for the death of an innocent human being. I did not tell her something new, she just did not care. She believes in "freedom of choice" for women over the life of their children.
As I spoke with her, I realized that she works for free just because of her so-called feminist beliefs. In other words, she wakes up every Saturday willing to suffer the freezing weather (I am convinced that that sidewalk is even colder than any other place in NYC!) because she believes so strongly in her distorted view of "abortion rights". Her attitude brought home to me that we have to be even more strongly dedicated in our work. Her commitment provides us with a heavy dose of motivation: if she is enthusastically going every Saturday in sun or cold to fight for her support of abortion, how can we, even though sometimes tired or cold, hesitate to go there, not to just take a stand for our ideology, but to actually help save lives?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Out in Force

Friday, January 22nd, 2010 dawned rainy and chilly in Washington D.C. Fitting weather, considering that this particular day was the anniversary of the 1973 legislation Roe vs. Wade that legalized abortion, albeit in a round-about way.

It was also fitting as this day was the March for Life. Though we do not have an exact estimate of the attendance, about 500,000 citizens from all around the United States marched from the National Mall to the Supreme Court building, past the Congressional offices.

And they showed up for one goal: to show Washington that the people of the United States value life and want human life protected from conception to natural birth.

The March was easily one of the most memorable experiences of my entire life. One moment in particular is etched in my memory. After several hours of speeches and introductions with amazing pro-lifers, we left the March to get lunch at a nearby restaurant.

As we walked away, I stopped and turned back for a moment to watch my fellow marchers. It was at that moment that I truly understood the sheer enormity of the March. As far as the eye could see, from the Supreme Court back to the National Mall, pro-lifers walked 30 to 50 wide, growing continually larger as more poured into the group from all sides.

I literally gasped aloud.

The tides of this battle for life, for the rights of the unborn, are turning. According to a Gallup poll conducted in May of 2009, 51% of Americans identify themselves as pro-life. Some may see it as a marginal lead. But after seeing the hundreds of thousands who stormed our nations capitol on behalf of the unborn, I cannot say that we have a marginal lead.

We have a lead. A distinctive lead. There are more people in the United States who believe that human life begins at conception and should be protected.

And Washington cannot deny it. Praise God!

Lives Dedicated to the Abolition of Abortion

I went to the Pro Life movement conference down in D. C. I was moved by the people that were there trying to make a difference. I have to admit, I was very ignorant of the fact that these people have dedicated their lives to this movement, literally. It's not just some "good deed" they do once a month. They wake up everyday to it. Inspiring!

It also occurred to me that this whole abortion-thing is an EVIL. It never really struck me till this conference. There is no way that there are hundreds of people at the conference and hundreds of thousands of people at the March for Life there for something minor. This is a MAJOR deal, because it is an evil. An evil that must be stopped. And these people have recognized that and come together to try and stop it.
I think of the people I met: Phyllis Schafly and Chris Smith. Chris is the Congressman from New Jersey. And Phyllis is the most amazing woman ever. These people are sick and tired of it. They are done with the abortions taking place in this country. It's morally, ethically, and should be legally wrong, wrong, wrong.

One of the days down there we went to the Students for Life conferences at a college. It's a prolife movement for college students. I went to many workshops and learned a lot about sidewalk counseling. It was so encouraging seeing all these young people like myself going for the same goal.

Abortion must be stopped. Seriously. And after this week, seeing all those people at the March for Life, it's sure that I am not the only one who thinks so.

It's YOUR choice, no one elses

Today I stood on the sidewalk of an abortion clinic in the Bronx, NY. I saw and spoke to many girls that walked into the clinic. One of them responded differently.

As soon as I extended a pamphlet to her and began to talk about the options she had other than abortion, she didn't turn away. She didn't agree either. What she did, was fight me. She said to me. "No, stop.....don't tell me that!" I continued, however, with the description of what her child looked like at the week she was at. Then she was obviously interested in what I was saying; otherwise, she would have just ignored me like many others and walked on into the clinic.

But there was substance in what I was saying that she understood. She got it, she KNEW what I was implying. She knew that I was giving her the TRUTH. She walked along, close to me, reading the pamphlet over my shoulder. I mentioned the cute baby clothes she could put on her baby; I told her we could provide help for her. Then, abruptly, she said to me, "I can't. I'm sorry. I have to do this." Then she opened the door to the clinic and I never saw her again.

I thought about her last comment. She had said, "I have to do this"......But do you really? WHO is making you do this? Your mom? Your boyfriend? Your girlfriends? In the end, none of the above. It's YOU that is making you do this.

These girls don't realize that it is they, THEMSELVES, who make the decision. Sadly, it is THEY who will have to deal with and live with the consequences.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Our Story

"Where words fail, music speaks." ~ Hans Christian Anderson

As an intern of six months I've had the opportunity to tell you the readers about my many exciting experiences in life saving. Sometimes the best way to tell a story, is through music. I came across 'Jenny Change Your Mind' by L'Angelus a few months ago and have just fallen in love with it. The story they tell, is our story.

Quite often a woman in crisis pregnancy just needs someone to do two things: listen and encourage her to do what is right. Show her the possibilities.
True friendship is what she really needs! Aside from all of the free services that we offer to women in need, we also offer the a fore mentioned. And it's not a rarity for mothers to drop by our Pregnancy Centers with their miracle babies in tow and looks of pride and gratitude in their eyes. That look is just a mark of the friendship that is held in her heart.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Answered Prayers

Saturday morning at Emily's rolled around a great deal warmer than it has been since I arrived 2 weeks ago. It also rolled around with 2 policemen, a security guard, and an escort out in front of the building.

Everything is possible with God and because He is our helper, we have nothing to fear in this life. Though this is true and gives a great peace to my work, I was still a bit nervous on that street corner. At one point I half-jokingly prayed: "Lord, I know that you send an army of angels to protect us every day on this sidewalk....but could you, you know, only if you want to... maybe send an army I can see to calm these quivering, human nerves?"

I was not entirely expecting anyone to come. Not that God can't do something like that. We all know that He can do anything. But I thought that God was building up my trust and courage by allowing me to lean on him alone. I thought that I would simply have to push through those last couple of hours. However, a little while later, I happened to glance northward up the sidewalk and spotted a priest, several brothers, and a gaggle of college-aged prayer warriors walking my way. My jaw dropped. They come out on Saturdays to peacefully protest against abortion and try to turn girls around before they enter the abortion mill.

I was completely overwhelmed with gratitude both to God and the army I could now see. There are scores of people standing in the ranks beside us in this battle for life that we never see. And we don't need to see them to know that we have support. But that day, seeing others made all the difference in the world. Thank God for answered prayers.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

What Does Pro-Choice Mean?

Today I began really considering the phrase "Pro-Choice", living here in the US I've learned a lot of new English terms, but in Spain we call those who are not pro-life, pro-abortion. I suppose the term pro-choice came along as a euphemism because pro-abortion sounds so harsh. But upon consideration, I believe that the abortion decision should be decided upon by all people involved, everyone should be given the choice. I don't know why so many people say it is the choice of the individual woman.

I don't think that anyone has the right to make a decision about whether another human being should live, especially the unborn who cannot defend themselves.

A pregnant woman's baby is not just a part of her body. The baby is a part of her, and her family, and a part of the father and his family. Even if unborn children were only considered parts of the parent's bodies, they would have to be considered a part of BOTH of the parent's bodies. And a woman has no right to destroy the man's body!

But the fetus is not just a part of her body. The fetus is a human person who should be entitled to the same rights as any other member of the human community.

From what I can understand, "pro-choice" signifies the right to be ignorant, the right to be self-centered, and the right to kill an innocent baby.

Truth Women Need

Today I counseled women that came into the center in the Bronx. One of them, lets call her "Addy",came in with her 13 year old brother and said in quote,"I want to get an abortion today".
Addy is 15. Still in Highschool and is almost 7 weeks pregnant. She looked healthy and athletic. When she began talking, her broken spirit became evident. She was terrified. She admitted she made a mistake. And now she wants to correct her mistake by getting an abortion.
We talked for over an hour. We discussed her plans after school. We talked about her boyfriend. Later we got back to the discussion of abortion. I explained to her the 2 main complications that women are susceptible to after an abortion. One being the septic infection and the other being an punctured artery. I warmed her up for the video on the abortion procedures. It was after she saw this video, her mind completely changed. She said to me, "I definitely don't want to do this". I said to her, "why not?" She said, "Cause it's not the right thing. It's not the right thing to do". Amazing. All it took was one video displaying the TRUTH and not the hideous lies our society feeds girls like Addy.
I never said, "I don't think it's a good idea to get an abortion". What I did was present the facts. Present the TRUTH to this girl. And Addy, like many of the rest of them, had enough common sense to say 'no'.
After this, we discussed 2 other options : adoption or keeping the child. She ironically seemed interested in the adoption idea. Ironic because most of these girls say they could never give up their child after having it.
I asked her if she wanted to come back. She said she wanted to do that. I asked if she wanted my cell phone number and she did. She said that she would text me when she wanted to come back so that she would know for sure that I would be in the clinic in Bronx.
Thank God I decided to go to work today!

Friday, January 15, 2010

God Makes Appointments

“I do not see coincidence; I see providence.”-Morpheus Matrix Reloaded

Today, two things happened that I hadn’t seen before. Both firsts came from the same girl. I’ll call her “Isabel.”

She was the youngest girl that I had ever seen come into the EMC. She was fourteen. The second fascinating thing about her was the circumstances under which she arrived at EMC. She came in with some very sophisticated referral paper work saying she had already had a sonogram.

Apparently she had been referred by Dr. Emily’s. I was dumbfounded as to why Dr. Emily’s would have referred her to us until I realized that she had come to us by mistake. She had meant to go to Planned Parenthood across the street.

In the quote above, Morpheus is referring to the three ship captains with their respective roles in a mission to end the war. We fight a very different sort of battle. We know how that battle turns out though.

With God, there is no such thing as a random chance. That young girl was meant to come to us. As a result of the mother’s location mix up, a baby lives. Who knows what he or she will grow up to do?

I’m glad that the child’s life potential wasn’t cut short across the street today. Rather the mother and the baby have a unique chance to live, love, and carry out God’s providential plan for their lives.

Last Day on the Job

Today was my last day interning with EMC for this winter break, but it ended on a great note. At the center on Jerome and Fordham, we had two beautiful turn-arounds. The second one, a young woman named “Maria” came in to the office and told me that she wanted an abortion because she has an eight month old baby and is not ready for another baby. She is also post-abortive, however, and she quickly opened up to me about the difficulties that she is experiencing right now. Within minutes, I could tell that no part of her actually wanted the abortion, but she felt trapped, as many women feel when they find themselves in similar situations. As we continued to talk, I asked her to think of the love she has for her first baby and how she knew that she would not give up that baby for the world, regardless of the hardships she faces. As a mother, Maria knew the special love that a mother has for a child, born or unborn, and quickly admitted that she knew that having an abortion would be a permanent decision that she would regret for the rest of her life. She left with a determination to keep her a baby and with a huge smile on her face. It was a perfect end to an amazing two weeks working with EMC.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Society as so

I stood outside of the abortion clinic in the Bronx today, handing out informative literature about what to do if you are pregnant. It discusses the options that you have in this country. Adoption and keeping the baby are the 2 broad options it discusses. The Center that I represent helps women figure out the details in her specific situation regarding the keeping of her child.
As I was doing this today, 2 girls were about to walk into the clinic. I stopped them before they went in, to tell them the other options offered to them. Their response created a sadness over me. What caused me grief was the fact that they seemed more uninformed about keeping their child, than abortion. In other words, the society in which they live in today has taught them more about abortion and what it has to offer, than any other option including keeping the baby and adoption.
In this moment, I felt so needed in their lives. They were simply uninformed. They did not know the alternatives they had right at their finger tips. Obviously, they were aware of adoption and keeping their baby prior to today. But not the same as it being encouraged. They are encouraged to abort their child. They are encouraged to kill another human being. That is the society they live in.

A Humbling Moment

Today was a slower day at the center on Fordham Road. The last woman that I spoke to, “Laura”, came into the office with her mind set on having an abortion. She opened up to me about her life: she has three young children and has had three abortions in between these children. Her last two babies were almost abortions, but, of course, she would not take back her decision to keep the children for anything. I showed her a video on the abortion procedure and she said “I wish I had not seen that. That makes me think.” She told me that no one had ever told her about the risks of abortion or how she would feel after. She suffers with dreams about her aborted babies and constant feelings of guilt, but did not know that this is a “normal” reaction for post-abortive women. In her heart, she did not want to abort this child, just as she never wanted her first three abortions. She enthusiastically took information from me on post-abortion healing and contact information for the Sisters of Life, and agreed to go in for a sonogram and to keep in touch with EMC to continue with her decision to keep her child.

Of course we are all aware that when doing God’s work, we are only God’s instruments and ultimately His will is done. But moments like this reinforce for me another, almost as important lesson about pro-life work: when we are counseling women, we are not there to persuade, convince, or manipulate women into keeping their babies. Rather, our role is simply to help women realize that deep down, no one actually wants to have their baby killed, and there is always another choice that respects the life of the baby and the soul of the mother.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In Need of Prayer

This morning I was sidewalk counseling out in front of Dr. Emily’s abortion clinic. I stopped a Hispanic woman in front of the clinic and was trying to explain to her how terrible it would be for her if she went inside. At that moment, one of the clinic workers returned from some small store across the street.
In passing, the worker said: “You need to back up. You’re not allowed to stand there. If you don’t move away, I’m going to call the cops because you’re blocking the door to the clinic…are you listening to me?”

My initial response was to point out her apparent lack of geometrical reasoning (as I was over a foot away from the property line and therefore easily seven feet away from their door). I then felt that perhaps I should ask her to provide me with a way to teleport if she was in favor of me moving at the very instant that she spoke.

But God stopped me. It was in that moment (well, in the moments of quiet following that encounter) that He gently spoke.
It is the workers in the abortion clinics who need to see love as much as the women who enter the building. The office workers, the “counselors”, the nurses, and the doctors are in desperate need of prayer. They face an eternity separated from God because of the veil of deception covering their eyes. And though I remember them in my prayers most of the time, they need to be on an equal tier of importance as the mothers seeking abortions.

Decision Time

Sidewalk counseling was extreme today. Most women walked by, maybe about two of every three stopped to listen and take some literature. One woman flipped me off. But the most interesting encounter of all today was with a woman named “Clara.”

Clara was walking into Dr. Emily’s pretty slowly, and as soon as I spoke to her, she stopped. It was obvious that she didn’t want to have the abortion. It didn’t take much convincing. But then a worker (who I think was the abortionist herself) came out to start talking to Clara. She said that she worked there, and that Clara could come in.

Clara had a very clear decision to make. The words of Deuteronomy struck me at that moment: “I have set before you life and death.” Clara chose life. She took the pamphlet, put the number of the 149th street center in her phone, and walked away from the abortion clinic.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Real freedom to choose

An important percentage of women that have abortions do not know what it means. Of course, most of them do not know the application of ethics to abortion, nor the biological meaning and consequences of it. But on an even more basic level, they really know nothing about abortion. They are ignorant about how the abortion procedure is done and how it will affect them, and they do not acknowledge that they have a human being in their womb.
It is easy to talk about freedom of speech and fight for personal liberty. Everybody loves those concepts. But freedom and liberty are empty concepts if people use them ignoring what they are choosing. A slave is one who cannot choose; is there much of a difference between "cannot choose “ and “choose without knowing the meaning of the option that I have?” However, the politically correct “right to choose” does not take into consideration that nobody is really free if in choosing, one is ignorant of the alternatives.
Obviously , the polices against life contradict the main principles of the common good. And who is teaching girls the truth about abortion in this "death culture"?
This is another wonderful aspect of EMC’s ministry.

New Center in Queens

New Center opening soon in Queens!

This week I have been doing work in the new pregnancy center that is opening in Queens. Three of us had to make over the entire office on the second floor, building walls, hanging doors, and painting. We have been working very hard and enthusiastically to be able to open the doors as soon as possible. Every day we had more hope because we saw we had made progress. The center has a room for sonograms and 2 rooms for counselling, a bathroom, and waiting room.

We are all helping to make this new office operational. We are excited that soon we will be able to begin working there, to save unborn babies with the help of God.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Ray of Hope

Today was a difficult day at the center at Jerome and Fordham. Of the six women who came in for consultations, four were completely abortion minded coming in and were completely abortion minded as they left. One was undecided coming in and undecided as she left. Each of these women had different reasons as to why they absolutely could not keep the child, regardless of the risks that we discussed and the development of the child in their womb. While many women are responsive to the things that we discuss with them, it is inevitable that we will be disappointed by the ones who seem to block out any potential reason to keep their child.

At the end of the day, however, a young woman came in and told me that she was “50/50” about keeping her child. She quickly revealed that she actually really wanted the child and the only hesitation she had was because of her boyfriend who did not want the baby. Throughout the course of our discussion, I was impressed by her composure, strength, and motherly instincts. She plans to talk to her boyfriend tonight and tell him that she wants to keep her baby instead of going through with a decision that she will regret forever. She made an appointment for a sonogram this coming week and is determined to be a great mother to her baby. Please keep her in your prayers.

Friday, January 8, 2010

First Day on the Job

Tuesday, I began working for the first time since arriving in New York. That day I stood outside Doctor Emily’s in the morning and spent the afternoon at Liz’s. And God blessed me with a wonderful, miraculous first day. One of the most memorable moments was at the end of a counseling session that I had the privilege of sitting in on.

A young lady came in to Liz’s on her 20th birthday for a pregnancy test. The young woman was abortion minded and completely misinformed about what abortion is. We showed her an educational video about abortion procedures and a more graphic video showing an actual abortion in process. By the end of the videos the young lady was upset about the prospect of losing her child but still debating between allowing the baby to live and die. She was scared that she wasn’t ready for motherhood, but she didn’t want to kill her baby. Liz allowed me to help her counsel this woman for awhile. Finally, after this lady had been in Bronx Center for a couple hours, Liz posed the final question:

“So honey, what’re you going to do?”

The girl took a deep breath and said:

“I’m keeping it.”

Praise and glory to God for these moments that send us home flying in the clouds. He is good and without Him, our work would not be nearly as successful.

New York Manliness

The best lesson I’ve learned so far being here is the importance of fathers. I have a great Dad, so the things I saw today were really far from my own experience. One woman I’ll call Allie has three kids, the oldest of which is headed to college next year; she came in for an abortion. The father of this newest baby refused to work, despite job opportunities she had found for him. Her boyfriend’s lack of virtue (laziness, lack of love, etc) was pushing her towards getting an abortion.

It struck me that though society has assigned the “choice” of abortion to women, men have a big part to play. Some men pressure their pregnant girlfriends to get abortions. Other men are totally passive, like “Diego” yesterday. His girlfriend “Maria” obviously didn’t want the abortion, but when she asked his opinion he just said “whatever you want.” That is not respectful deference, it’s just cowardice. Despite their reputation for being tough, the men that I’ve met in these centers seriously lack fortitude.

It takes real fortitude to be a man, propose, and take responsibility for the child you helped create. As my own Dad once put it, talking about the epidemic of fatherlessness, “It’s not about how many children you can sire, but about how many you can raise.”

A Lesson in Trust

As all active pro-lifers know, being involved in pro-life work can be a daily roller coaster of emotions. We are ecstatic with joy with every life saved, we are crushed as we are faced with the reality of the culture of death, we are stressed and tired after long, hard days, and we are full of gratitude for the incredible people that we meet in this work.

Today was one of those days. Every woman that we meet has a unique and often tragic story that has brought her into the position of contemplating an abortion that will kill her child and destroy her life. The first young woman that I counseled this morning is 15 years old, pregnant for the second time, and looking to get her second abortion. My heart was full of sadness and compassion as I listened to her tell her story. At the end of our session, she was still on the fence, but is hopefully coming back tomorrow for a sonogram and a second counseling session. Later in the afternoon, I met a woman who had been a turn-around eight years ago in this same center and came in to say hello and show us a picture of her beautiful son who might be dead right now if it were not for the work that EMC does. These were just two of the many beautiful women that I am blessed to meet every day in this work.

At the end of the day, I took away the same lesson that EMC teaches me on a daily basis: as pro-life counselors and activists, we are but instruments of God's work. As Mother Teresa famously said, we are not called to be successful but only to be faithful. With the disappointments and challenges that pro-life work can sometimes bring, it is the greatest comfort to know with conviction that if we put all of our trust in God and all of our energy into this life-saving work, we are doing our small part to bring the light of Christ to this culture that needs it so desparately.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Disappointing Contrast

Many times we tend to think that our reality is shared by all. For example, if global warming is the main topic of my conversation, I will assume that the rest of the world is also discussing climate change; or if all my relatives and friends play football, I will assume that all the people play that and are fans of that sport. But that is not always true; furthermore, in other places the ways of looking at life are pretty different. In the case of abortion, its social acceptance is very diverse depending on the area. Abortion is not legal in all countries; and, furthermore, there are many people all around the world who perceive clearly the horrible crime that it is.
My personal experience is an example. I am from Chile, and I could not imagine a place in which the killing of babies was considered a normal activity. However, when I came to the U.S., I had to recognize the diversity of our world; while in Chile the punishment for the mother, doctor, and accomplices of an abortion is many years in jail, here there are abortuaries in every borough. Despite this disappointing contrast, my country is not an isolated place. I came from South America, and in Central America there are also countries against abortion. Many African countries also prohibit abortion. Islamic countries are completely against abortion, Muslims punish it severely. In Oceania, New Zealand law is also against abortion. That is just a general view; do not think that the "culture of death" is all over the world, because there are many societies that are proud to protect the child and, furthermore, benefit from a prolife attitude.

Even when the skies are gray

I did not write a blog yesterday because it was so sad for me. Two young women came in and refused to acknowledge the humanity of their children. The right of their children to life. Refused to love. I was so disheartened.

And then today, I went to Brooklyn and witnessed prenatal care for expectant mothers. God is GOOD! It was absolutely amazing to see so many women lovingly welcoming the changes in their bodies to accommodate their lovely children. I witnessed the miracle of holding hands for the first time. Mother placed her hands over her womb (while a sonogram technician provided a picture of the whole thing) and asked her child to “Hold Mommy’s hand.” Little child did as was bidden, raising their hands to the inside of the uterus in order to hold Momma’s hand. It was beautiful. It was astonishing. It was God.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Abortion Culture

There is no doubt that the primary reason to reject abortion is the injustified murder that it means. However, nowadays, in the "abortion culture", we are forgetting a factor that plays a principal role in a majority of abortions: that is, responsibility. We put aside our duties, while claiming our rights. Every act has a consequence and the actor (with certain exceptions, of course) is the one responsible for that consequence.

Most women who come to our offices made a conscious choice to commit an act which could result in the conception of a baby; yet they do not want to take responsibility for their action. It is important that our society embrace a culture of life and assume responsibility for our sons and daughters, because they are the fruit of our acts, they are not the result of random acts. The primary argument, of course, is the reality that abortion involves the death of a human being. However, in addition, the culture of life must also be the culture of responsibility.

A New Year's Prayer

I pray to God that this year there is peace in the world ...
I pray to God for all those suffering in this world ....
I pray to God to make people more humane ...
I pray to God for an end to all injustices ...
I pray to God to give strength to all those who devote their lives to help others ...
I pray to God to take care of our planet ...
I pray to God for all mothers who are thinking about abortion ...
I pray to God for all unborn children because our society has hardened its heart ...
I pray to God for you ....

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 -The Year of Life

2010 can be the year of life. It can be the beginning of a change directed toward the protection of innocent lives. Girls and boyfriends, mothers and fathers, judges and politicians, leaders and authorities, all of us are invited this new year to find an opportunity to think about what all of us see, but so many refuse to recognize: that abortion is the murder of pre-born people.

Let's make life our goal this year. It depends on us to show the world what is being done, what will be regreted and shameful in an unknowable number of years. Our attitude must be active, we are in the middle of a fight for life, and no passive or quiet conduct will suffice. We need people going to the March for Life in Washington, D.C. on January 23rd; being the voice of life in class discussions and informal conversations; counseling anxious girls that think that their only option is abortion. Let's believe in life, let’s believe in 2010!