Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Woman's Strength

I counseled girls at our crisis pregnancy in the Bronx this past Thursday. Around noon, we got really busy with clients coming in. At one point I was counseling 2 girls in a room while I would run out and try to counsel the woman at the front with her baby, at least until another counselor could step in a help.

I am so glad I did.

The woman who waited patiently in our lobby room is 17 weeks pregnant. She has not had a sonogram or any prenatal care. Her husband lost his job and they are currently homeless. She is such a tenderhearted woman and doesn't believe in abortion.

I have had many clients in her situation justify getting the abortion because "it's just too hard". But this woman did not have that mentality at all whatsoever. I could tell she was very overwhelmed but was choosing to stay strong. It was inspiring to me.

The director referred her to Coalition of the Homeless and we were able to get her on the train to Brooklyn just in time for her to get a sonogram as well as to meet our director there. We are going to give her sonograms up until the point of birth along with prenatal care. We are also helping her and her family with housing.

She was able to stay strong just long enough for help to arrive. Praise God for his grace to allow places like Expectant Mother Care to exist. Thank you for reading.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mommy Visits

It's a regular occurrence in our Pregnancy Centers and it can turn even the most discouraging days, bright. I'm talking about the Mommy Visits! With a knock on the door or a ring of the bell, the whole atmosphere changes, but babies have a way of doing that.

Yesterday I worked in our South Bronx Pregnancy Center and to our great joy we had a surprise visit from one of our former clients! She stopped by to pick up some baby supplies and introduce us to her beautiful baby girl Selma, only14 days old! What a blessing! And you know what, this happens all the time!

EMC Baby Bottle Drive

It's that time of year again, the day the world celebrates mothers. As many pro-life organizations will do, EMC will be having a baby bottle drive fundraiser.

Beginning on Mother's Day and ending on Father's Day, about 32 parishes in the New York City area will support our pro-life centers by displaying our bottles which people can put money into. It's a fantastic way that anyone can support the pro-life cause.

I'll have the pleasure of meeting the wonderful staff of all these parishes as I drive around distributing the bottles. It's a great joy to see how many people are pro-life and want to support us.

The Churches are essential to the pro-life cause spreading the Good News of Life. Now we just need more mobilization to increase the effort! So please pray, join a pro-life group, and support the life centers.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Thank you for being a friend

This is a new friend of mine. She is six years old. She writes the best stories filled with imagination and adventure. Her favorite subject in school is math and she loves to read about people who lived long ago. Someday she wants to grow up to be a doctor so that she can deliver babies.

And you know what else... she was almost aborted 6 years ago!

Her mother found herself in crisis, and by the grace of God she came to our center. Linda, the EMC Brooklyn Center director, worked with her to help her with the situation. "I knew you when you were just a spot!" Linda tells her as she sits upon her lap and looks into the eyes of her life-long friend and advocate. She is beautiful!

What's more is that this little girl is the big sister to a baby now in her mother's womb. This child would have also been at risk for abortion had this mother not come to our EMC Brooklyn center all those years ago.

This mother is a light to the center. She is so lively and friendly, sharing her advice on everything from stretch marks to breast feeding! What a witness to life! She tells the girls that her daughter, the one in this picture, is the light of her life... and you can tell that this is true! I am honored to have heard their story.

Now this little 1st grade girl dreams of becoming a doctor... an instrument of life... healing hands to many... and the voice of comfort and counsel. She already changes lives for the better-- because she changed mine. Her story showed me the importance of every encounter that I make during my time here with EMC. There is no end to the change that one life can make in the world. Sometimes I get bogged down with this work. Sometimes it is more than I can bear. When this happens, I will remember this little girl. I will hold on hope and persevere because of the promise that exists for every human life.

Thanks friend!

My Girl

On Fridays and Saturdays, if I'm lucky I get to work in EMC's South Bronx Pregnancy Center with my sweet, kind, funny friend Eliana. I love working with her. She has such a heart for saving women and children from the horrible pains of abortion.
Ellie is silly, she's always joking around and making me smile! She's also feisty, always ready to give you a piece of her mind if she doesn't agree. You don't cross Eliana!

When there is a rare brake from the constant stream of clients, we take a seat. I pull out the chocolate (my favorite) to share and she shares stories about her adorable daughter Lia; with the the magnificent big brown eyes. Of course Eliana is such a proud mommy that she often tells clients about the joys of motherhood and the inability to imagine her life without Baby Lia. You could say that hearing about the little, cutie is no rarity!

We also hang out, outside of work. She comes over for dinner and we love going for coffee or walking through Central Park. We talk a lot about God, our Catholic faith, Baby Lia, pro-life work, clothes, and of course there is the girl talk! You could say she is my Sister in Christ. I was even there at the hospital the day after Lia was born! Ellie calls me comadre (Spanish for co-mother) and considers me an unofficial godmother to her daughter. It's hard to think that if I had never come to NYC, that I would not have this beautiful friend in my life. It's even harder to think that if I had not come from California to do this work at EMC, that Eliana would not have her beautiful daughter Lia.

You see, our friendship started the day I turned the corner to Dr. Emily's Abortion Clinic and saw Eliana deep in conversation with Laura a sidewalk counselor and former EMC Intern. After speaking for just a few minuets, I heard Eliana say that she was going to go get her mom and tell her. Than Elie rushed away! But Tell her mom? Tell her what? About the risks! That's what she and Laura had been speaking of!

Laura had just finished telling me about the particulars when Eliana returned. She announced that Mom only spoke Spanish, but not to worry, she would translate. Laura encouraged them to go to our South Bronx Pregnancy Center and began to list the various risks and complications to abortion. There was the possible infection caused by fetal tissue left inside the woman's uterus (this was the most common complication and it could lead to death), there was the risk of infertility and an increased risk ectopic pregnancy, there was the possibility of a perforated uterus and there was... just then we were surrounded by clinic escorts (DEATHscorts as we call them)! Their purpose is to stop women from ever speaking with the sidewalk counselors. They began to say the usual things, "They are protesters, you don't have to listen to them! They have no medical information! Just come in the clinic!" They weren't talking TO her, they were talking AT her. I looked in Eliana's eyes and I could see the fear and confusion. She was in shock! She didn't know what to do and what to make of all of this! Then they turned to her mother and started in on her! "I know these people SEEM like they have your daughters best interest at heart, BUT THEY DON'T! I know the doctors here. They are good doctors! They have your daughter's best interest at heart!" As false as his statements were, I wasn't worried... Mom didn't speak a word of English!

I still remember the look in Ellie's eyes that day, over a year ago. Something in me, I didn't know what or why, just told me to hug her. "Do you need a hug? Come here..." I said, motioning her to my shoulder. I beleive that it was that hug that ultimately gave her the courage to walk away from that clinic that day. Even though we were surrounded by escorts and they were all talking at once, there was something powerful about that hug. I took the back of her head in my hand and my other hand was on her back as if I was a mother huging my own child. And as her head met my shoulder it all made sense. With all the noise of the escorts swirling around us, I had her ear. "It's gonna be ok." I whispered. "Just go to the center, it's down the street. We will help you. It's gonna be ok. Go!" and she walked away... just like that.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dr. Dre's First Beats

Beats, a brand of headphones designed in part and endorsed wholeheartedly by Dr. Dre, have become quite popular. In New York City's culture of electronic headphones and earplugs, Beats are king.

Whenever I see someone wearing a pair of Beats, I ask them if they've heard the joke about Dr. Dre's first pair of beats. After they reply that they haven't, I tell the joke. It goes like this:

Dr. Dre was in his mother's womb, in the second trimester of his life, and his mother started singing. Dr. Dre was like, "Oh snap! That's some good surround sound!"

The punchline always brings laughter and a smile, giving me an opportunity to draw extra attention to the fact that the ability to hear comes long before birth, and that newborn children can often recognize the voice of their mother.

Disclaimer: I don't know anything about Dr. Dre; from the ads for Beats, he seems to be an artist who takes pride in the quality of his listening experience.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Universal Lifesaving Skills

Today I worked at our center in Queens where I counsel girls who are pregnant, or think they might be pregnant. I never know what to expect or who might walk through the door.

Perfect example would be today. I am thankful to have life saving skills on pool decks as well as crisis pregnancy centers!

First a girl came in and told us that she was waiting for her friend to arrive. She kept asking us questions about our services and seemed very uneasy. Initially, I thought she wanted the abortion for her friend.

Finally the client arrives. I see her through the little window on our door. She is crying. I open the door, where she proceeds to literally stumble through. She is unable to focus her eyes. She is holding her stomach. She looks like she is about to faint.

The first thing I think to say to her is, "Sweetie are you ok?" She responds, "I'm having a lot of pain". I said, "Well here. Sit down. You look like you're about to pass out. Do you feel like you're going to pass out?" She says, "Yes".

In my Lifeguarding certification, they trained us to perform CPR if the victim is not breathing while unconscious; and to perform "Rescue Breathing" if the victim is breathing, but unconscious. For both, however, call 911 immediately.

Everything was happening so quickly. They started to leave, but the client fell to the floor.

That's when I asked if I could call 911. Both of the girls said yes. I stayed on the line with EMS, told them the address, the symptoms of the client, and what I should do. They came in less than 5 minutes.

My lifeguarding skills kicked in!

You are supposed to talk to the victim about pleasant subjects in attempts to keep them calm. It was essential during this crisis because the girl was telling me about how much she hated the father of her child. I took charge, "You cannot think about that right now. All you need to focus on right now is the health of your body. That's it". She shook her head "yes" in agreement to what I was saying. And so did her friend.

Please pray for this girl. She does not want to get an abortion. She knows we can and will help her choose life for her unborn baby.

I am just so glad that I had my

'life saving training'

to call on when needed.

Genuinely Pro-Life

After Abby was interviewed by CBS on April 8th, I spoke with the reporter briefly, off the record. It was evident that the reporter was interested in helping whoever needed help, with no regard to the person's age, race, etc. I explained to her that I shared her perspective, in that while I was in Cambodia, I worked to help Cambodians get clean water, because the lack of clean water was responsible for approximately 74% of all deaths in Cambodia around that time.

I'd experienced a bit of water-borne disease myself. After walking through the pool of rainwater that remained in a schoolyard, I realized that the school had no bathroom, and that wasn't just water. During my next visit to Cambodia, I helped dig the holes for appropriate-technology bathrooms at various public schools, most of which served over 1,000 students each. Being genuinely pro-life means caring for whatever population's life is most in danger. Quite frankly, being pro-life has much more to do with respecting human life in a general sense, and far less to do with abortion, abortifacient contraceptives, and the abortion industry in a specific sense. Perhaps what I mean when I say that I am genuinely pro-life is that I am WHOLE LIFE.

I can say that, because the day that the abortion industry ends, those who are pro-life will continue to show love to those in need. Some of us will focus our compassion on the victims of other societal ills. Many will continue to offer help and hope to young mothers. I think that those of us who are pro-life activists are very much like the CBS reporter that interviewed Abby, except that we have acknowledged that the abortion industry is the greatest threat to the life and liberty of Americans, and we have chosen to address it.

As other reporters have asked me in the past, she asked some question like, “What got you into the pro-life movement?” I don't remember exactly what words I used, but I'll try to provide a summary of my answer. My answer may seem like an irrelevant rabbit trail. It’s not.

In Cambodia, visits to Choeung Ek and Toul Sleng (S-21) shook me to the core. Decades after a genocide at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, the country's devastation was still visible. In the United States, I read whatever I could about Cambodia's history. While reading, one day it hit me that what the Khmer Rouge had done to Cambodia, Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry were currently doing to America. The two atrocities have their differences, but they also have their similarities. Though passionate about many things related to Cambodia, when it came to the topic of abortion in America, I realized that my apathy was a result of ignorance. I hadn't even prayed about abortion. I had never thought about abortion or its role in American culture. I prayed that God would make abortion bother me.
Since that time, I've read the epitaph given to 16,433 unborn children, whose grave is marked with a single stone. I've stood an arm's length away from cardboard boxes of aborted children who were packaged up inside cardboard boxes, stacked on the street. I've seen a woman's expression after a botched abortion, as she was placed into an ambulance. I've seen the tears of women who've had abortions. I've heard first-hand from women who've been raped by abortionists, and women who've been forced by their fathers or boyfriends into having abortions. I've heard the gruesome details of recurring nightmares that keep returning, a decade after an abortion. I've met people my age, whose parents had considered abortion.
Needless to say, abortion bothers me, and I am genuinely pro-life.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What it's all about

The EMC Pregnancy Center in Brooklyn has become my 'home away from home'. And the people that I work and serve are truly my family now. I have had the honor of watching as couples come in seeking abortions, leave choosing life, and end up parenting lovely children.

The girls are so welcoming to me! They share their ups and downs through out the pregnancy during prenatal care days. And they share their unique stories of how EMC has truly altered the course of their lives for the better.

I have had the distinct pleasure of walking with this particular couple for the past three months. Now they are proud parents to a beautiful, healthy, and happy baby boy! Such inexpressible JOY!

This is the greatest blessing to me! Though I wasn't there from the beginning, I feel I am able to rejoice even more. For you see... their story is the ending that I envision for all of the young ladies that I speak with each day... their baby is the hope in my day! God always gives us what we need, and for me it is in the eyes of a newborn that may not have ever been able to greet the world. This is what it is all about.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hope for a Stripper

Recently I followed up with a girl I had weeks ago and she is now seriously considering an abortion again. Unfortunately, the hope fostered during counseling can be difficult for many girls to hold onto, and it is easy to slip back into despair.

This girl was a special case from the beginning - she has had multiple abortions in the past and has a night job as a stripper. After a very successful counseltation I knew she was in need of healing and referred her to the Sisters of Life. They met once and it went well, but because of the girl's busy schedule it has been difficult to keep face-to-face contact with her. One of the hardest parts emotionally about this job is the trouble it is to maintain contact with somebody no matter how hard you try.

And now unfortunately she is seriously considering abortion again and it may the case that the only thing that will stop her is intense prayer. Of course, hope is not lost yet - and hopefully I will be able to update blog-readers with happy news about this case in the future.

As of now - her baby's heart is stil beating.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Well Timed Guests

Today at our center in the South Bronx some lovely people from the adoption agency stopped by. Recently I was discussing with my friend who works with Bethany Christian Services how it may help to have an available portfolio of a prospective adoptive family. She agreed, and dropped one off today.

One of the saddest realities of our work is the unfortunate fact that women in crisis pregnancies rarely choose to have their children placed. For every one newborn placed in an adoptive family there are dozens of parents waiting in line. With the help of adoption agencies like Bethany - we never have any problem finding a family.

Anyway, as the young women who were representing the adoption agency were in our center I was calling a few clients I had in the past to see how they were doing.

How fortuitous.

One of my girls had gotten discouraged and actually had an abortion scheduled for tomorrow. But thankfully, I was able in the presence of the adoption agency to connect her directly to somebody who could answer very specific questions about adoption and show her that people in adoption agencies are friendly and kind people.

I don't know if this girl will end up choosing adoption, but I do know that she will almost definitely not go to her scheduled appointment for an abortion tomorrow. She just needed to see that she had real options. Check Spelling

Sunday, April 17, 2011

It Wasn't Weed, And He Did Want It

While waiting for my train at a station in Manhattan one night, I heard a couple venting their frustration, and then, with one hand gesturing dramatically, he exclaimed, "Why don't you just abort it?" Walking past them a few feet and setting my bag down, I stated that I had something that he might want.
"If it ain't weed, I don't want it."
Unfazed, I gave an Expectant Mother Care pamphlet to each of them. She had hardly opened it, when she saw the aborted eleven-week old child and burst out crying. We waited together, and got on the train together. Through the next twelve train stops, hope sprang from her desperation, and his frustration.
I spoke with him, explaining that she needed him to love their child because of his love for her. I explained that couples who raised a child together had a closer relationship with each other. I could tell that he cared about her deeply, and told him so. He understood. He was a father now, and they were a family. He would not bow to the pressures of the situation. He would not coerce her into having an abortion.
I also explained that Expectant Mother Care was there to let them know that there are always alternatives to abortion. For starters, after a pregnancy test and counseling, we could provide a free sonogram so that they could see their child. He explained that neither one of them wanted an abortion. With my encouragement, he comforted her, whispering into her ear, perhaps apologizing or assuring her that he would be there for her. She didn't move, but kept her head down to hide the trails of her tears. It wasn't long before he came to me, "She wants you to talk to her." Stepping closer, I could see that, on the EMC brochure's promise that, "We'll Help!," she had made a box around that single word, exclaiming her cry for help. "That's what she wants," he stated.
I exchanged phone numbers with them, and had them go to an EMC center the next morning.

Planned Parenthood Plans On Your Silence

When distributing Human Life Alliance materials in Spanish, I often take the time to encourage the older generation, to let them know how important it is that they educate themselves and those around them on topics related to abortion. What I share with them in rusty Spanish translates into something like this:
"I believe that you (mothers and grandmothers, or the man of the house) have a strength in your voice when you speak the truth to your family, your friends, and the young ones, yes? I believe that when you speak the truth, many people listen, yes?"
Most people agree; nobody denies that this is case.
When I am in front of the Planned Parenthood in South Bronx, I point to the building and explain the importance of the information that I am giving them, saying, "Here, on the second floor, they kill children four days a week. I believe that if you speak the truth to everyone, nobody will want an abortion. If we don't speak the truth, they kill children five days a week."
Horrified, people who initially took the publication to have something to peruse on the bus or train open the pro-life publication immediately and read it intensely.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

40 Days for Life in the Abortion Capitol of America

Sunday marked the last day of the 2011 Lenten 40 Days for Life. Watch the journey in pictures as we work and pray tirelessly to save lives in the Abortion Capitol of America.

And they all lived Happily...

This young lady is truly a blessing in my life!

In February she came to the EMC Brooklyn office with her heart set on abortion. She comes from a single parent home where her mother would not respond well to her pregnancy on a cultural level. Rather than dealing with the shame and disgrace of having a child outside of marriage, she wanted to make the "problem" go away.

However, God brought her to us.

We gave her a sonogram and counseled her about the truth of what abortion really is. She didn't really want the abortion, she just didn't know what else to do about her circumstances. After getting a vision of her situation, we encouraged her to speak with the Sisters of Life. After a lot of discussion with her mother, the Sisters were able to convince her mother that her daughter's baby was not going to be the end of her life.

Now she has a new job and is getting prenatal care. She has come to visit us about every other week or so and is always filled with vivacious joy. The father of the child is supporting her and helping with preparations for the baby. The baby is now 13 weeks old and looking healthy.

She is happy and thriving... in fact, they all are! Mom, Dad and Little Baby!

Her Noisy Fight Was Not as Loud as Our Silence

Today I stood outside of Dr. Emily Abortion Clinic to sidewalk counsel girls going in. My focus was to let them know they have other options, and that I can help them with that. While doing this however, I wasn't alone.

I had the Franciscan friars there praying with me and for me, as well as some others are are not pro life. These people were "escorts" that worked for Dr. Emily.

Their job was to hold the door open for girls coming to get an abortion.

Today at one point, I was standing to the side of the entrance. One of the escorts said to me "Hahaha. Abby. You know you're not suppose to be standing within 15 feet of the entrance." I didn't respond to her, but was flattered that she knew my name! Next, she says to me, "Abby. Are you not going to move? You have to move. You're breaking the law!" I then respond to her with a gentle tone, "Call the cops". She said, "The cop is right over there". (Which he was; sitting in his mini cop car) I said, "Get him to tell me to move and I will".

She didn't know what to say, because she paused for a few seconds. Finally, she said, "Does it really have to be like this Abby?" I replied softly again, "I guess so". And remained standing where I was, continuing praying. Give me a break- I know the law! I know that I am allowed to stand on a public part of the sidewalk.

Unfortunately for her, she decides to go over to the cop and start yelling at him. At this point, everyone is silent. Some of the friars were new and were a little frightened because they didn't understand what was going on. They remain silent. I remain silent. I don't say a word. It reminded me of when Jesus was being questioned before his crucifixion, and yet he remained silent.

Silence has power.

Our silence was loud, cause not only did the cop not tell me to move, but he literally got angry with the escort. They both raised their voices at one another for 5 minutes out on the street. He said to me "Miss, you're breaking the law. (Then to the escort) There. You happy?!"

At this point he was just mocking her. She then decided to make the cop look bad in front of everyone by saying to him, "What kind of a cop are you ? Cause I'm telling you I don't feel safe. She's (meaning me) making me feel threatened. And you're not going to do anything about it? Can I get your cop number?"

He gave it to her and was so irritated by her. After all of this, she seemed embarrassed and went to the back entrance. She never returned to the front. The cop stayed frustrated. I only saw one girl the whole day go in for the abortion. And at the end of the day, the loudest person lost. Her noisy fight was not as loud as our silence.

Thank you for reading.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A save in Spanish

A few days ago at Dr. Emily abortion facility I had an encounter with a woman but figured it would not turn into any success. She spoke Spanish - and I don't. I gave her a Spanish brochure and tried my best to piece together a sentence or two.

Because it was a (unfortunately) busy day at the clinic I had almost forgot about the exchange until I went on our sonogram bus and she was sitting there waiting for an ultrasound!

As I came to find out - she had read the brochure while in the waiting room of the abortion clinic - literally waiting for her name to be called for an abortion - when she found out from the information in the brochure that she had real options. She then stepped outside in the back (I was in the front), and another one of our sidewalk counselors who does speak Spanish was able to counsel her and offer her a free sonogram on our bus.

I was so excited to find out that she changed her mind and her conviction was only reinforced by being able to see her baby on our sonogram. As long as we do our best as prolifers - we will be rewarded by God, even a language barrier can be overcome! I was lucky enough to this in its most satisfying form that day.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Are you for real?

"Is that a video? That has to be fake... no way is that real! Are you serious?" a young lady proclaimed from the sonogram table.

This girl came into our EMC Brooklyn office with her sister and mother. The sister came rushing into the sonogram room to see before her eyes a 20 week-old baby! Ironically, the sister also asked if the ultrasound was a fake... they couldn't fathom that she was THAT far along... she wasn't even beginning to show!

At this moment, Linda the Brooklyn Center director, knew that this woman was going to need some convincing. She proceeded to ask God to work a miracle to show this woman that what she was seeing on the monitor was in fact her child within her womb.

"Do you want to hold your baby's hand? We're going to ask God to allow you to hold the baby's hand, " Linda said after this mother agreed to allow us to pray. Linda dropped to her knees and asked God for a miracle to allow this mother to connect with her baby in a real, and concrete way. As the mother placed her hand on her tummy, the sonogram monitor showed the baby reaching up towards the direction of its mother!

This sonogram photo captured that moment... one that allowed a young lady to face the reality of the child with in her... and it made all the difference.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ultrasound + EMC = Saved Lives

One thing we recognize very much at EMC is the importance of the ultrasound machine. Not only do we recognize it, so does the other side. They know that this powerful technology has the ability to show women the truth of their pregnancy and help them decide to keep their baby.

In my opinion and the opinion of others, the fact that EMC provides ultrasounds and is successful at saving babies caused NARAL and Planned Parenthood to launch their attack on us via bill 371.

Unfortunately however, one of our machines is in need of repair. Today that machine would have been used in our mobile unit that we park in front of Dr Emily.

However we knew the importance of providing this option for women, and we could not take a day off from having the technology available at the abortion facility. So today I awoke a little earlier than usual, drove to queens to pick up another machine that we weren't using today, and drove back to the Bronx where the abortion facility is located.

And wouldn't you know, we were able to provide a few ultrasounds today in that mobile unit.

Sometimes it seems that we as pro-lifers can give it our all to no avail. However, other times God blesses us when we try just try a little harder and are willing to adapt. My hope is that restrictions to access to this technology will one day be lifted - but cruelly, right now NYC Government is going the other direction.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

EMC Interns Speak at Cardinal Spellman High School: Teens Deserve to Know the Truth

Father Peter Pilsner from Cardinal Spellman High School asked Heather and I if we would be willing to be interviewed by some of his students on the work we do at Expectant Mother Care. We fully agreed and to my pleasant surprise, I received 8 phone calls from his students.

Some of their questions were like, "What do you do at EMC? Have you always been pro life? Why do you think pro abortionists are so pro abortion?" I thoroughly enjoyed answering their questions to the best of my ability because here's why : these people are the future generations of our country.

Most of the ones I talked to were 16,17, and 18. These are the times that they are seriously thinking about the college they want to go to . These are the times they are pressured the most to do drugs and smoke cigarettes. These are the times they are most likely to engage in sexual intercourse of some kind. They are at the most impressionable age.

Unlike many people in our society I understand that we have to keep people alive. That sounds silly. But, unfortunately, the majority of our country is under the impression that it's ok to kill over 50,000 people since 1973 through abortions.

I am taking my mission one day at a time. Based on the clients we get, I get to see where teenagers in this state are at with their level of knowledge on sex. It's a knowledge that Planned Parenthood is enforcing and planting. It's a knowledge that teaches teenage girls that it's "ok" to have sex as long as you use protection. That leaves myself and my colleagues left to pick up the broken pieces that follows sex-based relationships from 14,15,16,17,18 yr old teens.

That will soon change with the passionate fire God has planted in my heart to tell these future teachers, lawyers, doctors, and presidents the truth.

Thanks for reading.

She Loved Her Baby Part II

Finally, last week she answered one of my calls. I already knew what she was going to say. After all the counseling, hours of listening, and simply being her friend, I knew that it had all come down to this.

She had too many complications with keeping her baby boy. There were too many problems with the father, the mother of the father, her own career being jeopardized. These are all the reasons as to why she did not keep her baby. Abortion seemed to be the best fit for her situation.


Why is it that when we talked, she told me she was in the deepest depression she has ever been in? Why does she tell me that she has never had suicidal thoughts until now? Why does she tell me that physically, she is experiencing the most excruciating pain she has ever gone through?

I can think of a couple of answers. But one that sticks out the most that brings literal tears to my eyes, is that "Jesus came so that we could have life and have it more abundantly". So when we choose death over life, everything is messed up. It's not how God intended it to be. It's going against God's design for our nature.

That is why her pain was so deep. That is why she had 2 vivid nightmares after her abortion that she said, she'll never be able to get out of her head. And that is why her very words to me were "Abby, I didn't want to do it. But I had to. I had to".

Please understand that as I'm writing this for your reading views, I have tears streaming down my face.

When I finally was able to talk to her after a whole month of trying to call her because she wasn't responding to anyone's phone calls, I couldn't stop crying after she told me she got the abortion. She said things to me like "Abby, you were closer to him than anyone other than me. I wanted you to be his godmother if I were to have kept him. You fought more for him than anyone else. I wanted you to hold my hand when I went to get it done,but I know you don't support that. I'm so sorry Abby. I'm so sorry that I have done this to you ".

We are going to meet up sometime this week. I want to just give her a big hug, and let her know that I am here.

It's hard to get "that day" that she went through out of my head. I can just picture the whole thing. The waking up that morning, the smell of cold outside, the bended knee to tie the shoes, not wanting to go where she went. The sitting in the waiting room, not wanting her name to be called, but thinking "I have to".

God is here somewhere. In the midst of all this pain from the both of us, He is here. I trust it.

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


pac·i·fy v. 1. To ease the anger or agitation of.

A few weeks ago EMC Pregnancy Centers were interviewed for an article in Pavement Pieces, the journalism institute of New York University.

The article may be found at:

This article features our Brooklyn office. It claims that "EMC shows all patients ultrasound images, whether or not they ask for it." This is a falsehood. We never force a woman to do anything, contrary to what this article suggests. They also paint EMC in a poor light by suggesting that because we refer women to other places for help, that we are not able to help. I am a firm believer that if you lead a horse to water-- if he's thirsty, he will drink. We lead these women to the resources they need to be the best parents that they can be. If they need it, help is out there.

The biggest problem I have with this article is that Antonio Tucker, one of our fathers from the Brooklyn center, was misrepresented. The article states that "Tucker lives a transient lifestyle" suggesting that he is impermanent and unstable. Tucker came into our center a few weeks later and asked about the article. Upon reading it he desired to write a reply. However, this man was pacified. The moderator of the comments didn't even have the decency to allow this man... who was quoted in this article... to post a reply. He was silenced and shown that his voice didn't matter... He was Pacified!

Tucker's reply, if they would have posted it, would have included in it... "The meek shall inherit the Earth." So silence this man if you wish. But know that he is now the proud father of an adorable and healthy baby boy!

The Lord hears the cry of the poor... even when the press puts a pacifier in their mouths!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Crying Wolf at 40 Days for Life

This Lenten 40 Days for Life is different than our vigils in past years. Mainly because we have changed the location of one of our vigil sites. While we are still keeping watch and offering options at Dr. Emily's, the largest late term abortion clinic in the Bronx, we are now praying at Planned Parenthood in the South Bronx. This is the same PP that was recently caught on under cover video by Live Action, willing to aid and abet purported sex traffickers of minors. It's also across the street from EMC's South Bronx Pregnancy Center.

We have been out in front of the abortion business for many, many hours! We have had passers by give us the thumbs up and have seen people stop by on a daily basis just to tell us about their children and about their pro-life views. But not everything has been so positive. From the beginning of our 40 Days, the door man of the building (we will call him Tim) has sought to make us go away. By no means does he want us there. He has made it very clear, that our presence is not welcome!

He began calling the police on the very first day, I can only imagine what he said about us. All we were doing was praying peacefully. The cops showed up and told us that we had the right to stand and pray there, turned around and left. This continued several times a day. At one point Tim very rudely asked me to move to the side, in a place where I would not be as visible to patrons of the building. When I told him that I had the right as a tax payer to stand on the public sidewalk, he retorted, "Okay than I'm calling the cops". When they arrived I explained the situation to them. I let them know that he was fully aware that we were allowed to be there, and knew that he was wasting their time. The officers spoke with him and left within ten minuets.

Recently Tim threatened to call the cops again, on our 40 Days participants and a funny thing happened, the police never came. They haven't been back either! I wonder if his mother ever told him about the boy who cried wolf.

Friday, April 8, 2011

CBS News Interviews EMC Intern

On April 8, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by CBS News Channel in the South Bronx, right outside of Planned Parenthood. There are intense decisions that have to be made within the next few hours within our nation's government.

The issue at stake is in regards to the policy fight that is currently threatening to refuse budget negotiations on one of the most controversial topics: abortion.

The nation is very focused on changing its serious amount of debt. The social conservatives are insisting that Planned Parenthood be denied all federal funding in the spending bill for the rest of the current fiscal year.

Pro abortionists, however, are doing everything in their power to fight off the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Congress is in the middle of a fight over how much to spend on less than one-fifth of the federal budget for the next sixth months. President Obama is vetoing the House Republican bill for a one week temporary budget extension. And pro-life republicans are in no way backing down from any of it.

So where does all of that leave us?

We will find out tonight after midnight.

This is huge for our country. Because if there is no compromise reached by midnight, 800,000 government workers will have to take a leave of absence and nonessential federal operations will be forced to shut down.

It airs tonight at 6:30 on channel 2. Go life !

Convincing the Parents is the Hardest

Today in our South Bronx pregnancy center we had the chance to speak to a girl in a very difficult situation. In addition to the tremendous burden that most women that are nineteen face when pregnant, she also had to deal with parents who were pushing for an abortion. Hard.

While pregnancy director Liz was talking to the pregnant woman I had a chance to speak to the mother.

Oftentimes, when young girls are worried about telling their parents about their pregnancy they will come back later and say that they thought that it would be worse than it actually was, and although disappointed, the parents ended up being very supportive. Not this time.

Through hours of conversation one on one and together with the pregnant daughter (who never really wanted an abortion) the mother did begin to soften up at the end. However her husband and the father of the pregnant daughter would not have it.

The daughter wasn't allowed back into the house if she was still pregnant by the end of the day. Period. And this is no bluff, currently the pregnant woman has an older sister who was in a similar situation and she now lives in the shelter system and her father refuses to talk to her.

So tonight the young pregnant girl will sleep at her aunt's, and we're currently working with the Sister's of Life to figure out a solution to this girl's housing problem. I'll be sure to update this family's situation on this blog and based on my short experience I'm confident everything will work out as far as this girl getting the resources she needs to flourish as a mother.

God only knows how many girls in this type of situation end up being forced to get an abortion by their family. We only know it's too many and it causes terrible anguish in most cases. And while the road will be difficult ahead for this girl I'm glad we're here to help her do what she wants to do - keep her baby.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Slowing Down

I tip my hat to whoever came up with the idea for this ad. The ad is part of the New York City Department of Transportation's "That's Why It's 30" anti-speeding ad campaign. So it's a little graphic. So it's a little scary. It might even frighten a few children. The ad will definitely frighten a few speeding drivers, but it will frighten them into driving safely. This ad discourages that which is already illegal.

It's good to see that organizations like Expectant Mother Care aren't alone in reminding NYC that human life is more important than convenience. After reading this ad, a driver has to ask the question, "Is 10 mph more significant than a child's life?" Or maybe the question arises, "How many decades of somebody else's life might be lost because I was trying to gain a few minutes here, a few seconds there?" Fortunately, nobody has any interest in publicly trying to deny that a child hit at 30 mph has a significantly greater chance of survival than a child hit at 40 mph. Fortunately, nobody has any interest in publicly denying that the slower a driver travels, the less likely it is that any pedestrian will be hit in the first place. With the undeniable facts out in the open, hopefully NYC drivers will slow their cars down. Patience is indeed a virtue worth acquiring, and sometimes it only takes a few seconds here and a few minutes there.

When--not if, but when--NYC slows down and examines the evidence, this city will find that the life of a preborn child is more significant than the convenience of an individual or family. Only by denying the personhood of the preborn has NYC legally aborted over 89,000 people each year. It is not the humanity, not the life, and not the DNA that is distinct from both father and mother that have been denied, but the personhood.

Then, after abortion has become illegal, the NYC Health Department might run a similar ad campaign, discouraging that which is illegal. One side might display half of the face of an aborted baby, with some small object for size comparison, with the caption, "Aborted at ## weeks." The other side of the ad might have half of the face of a newborn child, with a much larger object for size comparison, and the caption, "Born." The bottom of the ad might have the name of the new campaign, titled, "That's Why Abortion Is Illegal."

Sadly, abortion is not illegal. That's why Expectant Mother Care ads boldly proclaim, "Free Abortion Alternatives." In fact, there are alternatives to abortion.

WARNING - abortion may result in complications

There are side effects to abortion. It is a serious medical procedure - and the complications that can arise are real. We had a woman in our EMC Brooklyn center. She was scheduled for an ultrasound and she brought her sister and her mother with her. They arrived in the center at the time that we were showing a film about abortion and its consequences to women. The mother was aided by a walker even though she was not that old. The mother said, "Abortion is the reason that I now have a prosthetic leg." About 20 years ago, this woman had decided to have an abortion. It was a D & E (Dilation and Evacuation) procedure involving laminaria (seaweed sticks) to aid in dilation. From this abortion procedure, she had developed a septic infection that went unnoticed. This infection developed into Endocarditis (an infection of the inner lining of the heart) and resulted in subsequent surgeries and eventually the loss of her leg. Her story is real. It is a great testimony to the fact that women need to be informed about all the possible risks and complications associated with abortion prior to their "consent" to undergo this serious operation. Bills like the one recently passed in South Dakota would make this a reality! Despite all of this testimony from her own mother, this daughter was still considering abortion. It is a desperate and lonely place that would lead a woman to abort knowing that it nearly caused the death of her own mother. This is the real cry for mercy that must be heard. And I am happy to say that God did a miracle with this pregnant woman and now she will not run the risk of an abortion procedure ending in the same trauma that her mother endured. She will begin receiving prenatal care, her family will be loved and supported and so will her 19-week old baby girl!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

She Loved Her Baby Part I

A beautiful young woman walked into our Queens Pregnancy Center and into my life. We were so similar; the same age, interests, education levels, religious views, and we had even traveled to the same parts of the world. We both saw a great deal of ourselves in each other; we had an instant connection.

In the beginning, all she ever talked about was her baby boy! She knew she was having a boy, because we had given her a sonogram. She felt so connected with her baby that she said she could feel when he was happy, anxious, and sad. She even said that she could feel his "energy". She had adopted a strong relationship with him. She knew his every move. She was aware of every kick, every push of the hand, every breath he took. He had become a part of her that no thing and no one else ever could be.

Unlike this beautiful relationship that she shared with her preborn child, she had others that were not so positive. She had many problems with the father of her baby, as well as with his mother. He was using emotionally manipulative tactics to pressure her into an abortion. He told her she was selfish to keep her baby. Really he was the selfish one, choosing his career over his child's life. He reminded her of the promising modeling career she had lined up and how that wasn't a lifestyle conducive to babies.

Then there was the weight she would gain from her pregnancy. She had so many plans but, "a child would get in the way of that". So many reasons; so much pressure. Still she wanted her baby.

We met several times and had many phone calls. I encouraged her to be strong and protect her baby. I told her about the help that we could offer her. Then one day I called, but she didn't pick up. I left a voice mail. A few days went by and and I got no call back, than a week went by and no return call. I called again. Finally a month went by and still no response. I could only pray and wait, I was beginning to get worried....

To be continued....

The AP comes to EMC

The Associated Press recently came to visit our EMC centers. They said they wanted to see what we do and maybe interview a client, but unfortunately it looks like they just got caught up in the - high abortion rates are because of lack of access to birth control - crowd. Our founder and president Chris Slattery did have a nice quote in the piece, however.

I've never had a client in a crisis pregnancy say that they didn't have access to birth control. To me, that's ridiculous.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Winter Coat

One of the great things about our work, is the relationships we are able to foster. As a Pregnancy Resource Center, EMC is able to assist our clients with material resources like job placement, baby clothes, and emergency housing. We also help with other needs. Sometimes she is just afraid to tell her parents that she's pregnant, or maybe her boyfriend isn't being supportive, or maybe the people that matter most in her life are pressuring her to abort her baby. In cases like these we are able to support our clients by being present with them as they reveal their pregnancies or by helping to educate those applying the pressure. So it's no wonder that we would have long standing relationships with our past clients.

A particular incident especially comes to mind! I was working at EMC's South Bronx Pregnancy Center when a guest stopped by for a visit. It was one of our clients from the previous year! When she first came to us she was pregnant, scared and had no place to live. She was leaning towards aborting her baby. We were able to help her find housing at a maternity home in the Bronx. This made it easier for her to follow her heart's true desire and choose LIFE for her unborn child!
The Maternity home assisted her in securing employment and she was able to save money in hopes of having an apartment of her own. Life wasn't easy, but she was happy and she had her beautiful baby boy with her.

Winter came and the temperature began to descend, soon the snow would come. Her son was so little and still, he had outgrown last years coat. Mom too, had nothing to keep her warm but a sweatshirt. With all of the saving for an apartment, she just couldn't afford it. She stopped by and we took a look through our resource closet, sure endugh there was a thick, fluffy coat just the right size for Baby David. Sadly we didn't have anything to fit mom. We quickly called up our friends, the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and were able to obtain a winter coat for her. Mom and baby wouldn't go cold after all!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

My Focus? Obedience.

Whenever I go to Dr. Emily abortion clinic, my main focus is sidewalk counseling. It's fairly easy to tell when the girls are going in, what they are going in for.

But when I go to stand outside of Planned Parenthood in the Bronx, my focus is more prayer and holding a sign. Here the objective is more having to do with making a stand. Both are equally important. You can't have one without the other.

One particular day, I prayed the rosary and held a sign that read "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you -God". This is my favorite sign, because it's not being too brash and bold with the New Yorkers walking by. It's got a gentle tone to it. It's from the Bible. How mad could people really get with quoted scripture? It is a very beautiful tactic to get the people's attention in a meek yet effective way.

Most times, I will never know if just by standing there with that sign, a girl decides not to go into the abortion clinic. Maybe while I am praying with my eyes closed, she decides to walk right out the door.

The Bible even talks about it in Hebrews 11, "Yet all these though approved because of their faith did not receive what had been promised. God has forseen something better for us, so that without us they should not be made perfect". Previously in the chapter, it spoke about all the faithful men and women of God; how they were faithful to Him, and their reward is coming.

Their time will come. We just have to be obedient to the cause of the cross. So if you were to ask me my focus and objective on any given day, it would definitely be obedience. I strive to maintain obedience to my great God and King. Thank you for reading.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Changing Culture

I read the nutrition label, made some rough estimates in my head, decided that the small package of sunflower kernels was worth the fifty cent price tag, and began to pull the package off of its hangar, when I was visually assaulted by the cover of a magazine directly above the sunflower seeds. It was so offensive that I let go of the package, leaving it on the hangar, and bolted out of the small store immediately. The next time that model poses for any camera, I hope that she covers up, clothing herself with a stylish modesty that says, “I am intelligent enough to be modest with my beauty,” rather than, “Lust over me, for I get paid to attract attention while discarding my own dignity.” As I raced out, the cashier and I exchanged glances. I was disgusted, and he was confused.

The next day, I went to a corner store in that same area. Instead of having lots of practically pornographic magazine displays, the store had the usual variety of foods. In the environment of this store, it was easier for me to see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil. I showed the cashier a publication from Human Life Alliance, with a baby girl on the cover. Inside were powerful images of life in the womb, undeniable evidence that abortion terminates a distinct, individual, living human being. Information about the stages of fetal development accompanied the images. I pointed out the image of a child smiling during a 4-D ultrasound, then asked him if he would like a few, to give to his patrons. He said that he would, and showed me where they could be placed, directly below the cashier’s counter. I felt like I’d just been given free box-office tickets to a Yankees game. People were going to see these attractive publications, ask about the price, and wonder why they didn’t have to pay for a publication that had better color and more interesting writing than publications people pay good money for. Then when they read it, they would hang on every word. I left two or three publications, and decided to return in a few days.

Traditionally used for news and entertainment, print media like the Human Life Alliance publications that Expectant Mother Care distributes communicate effectively. From handing out these publications on the sidewalks, I’ve watched as people read these publications. Their expressions are nothing like those of people who are reading a newspaper, magazine, novel, or other source of entertainment. These women and men know that they are reading something very significant to the fabric of their culture, something very central to their existence, and essential to the existence of their progeny. On the cover, a yellow label draws attention to an abundance of contact information for Expectant Mother Care’s many resource centers. Yesterday, one young reader was so captivated by what she was reading, that I asked if she would like more for her friends. She made a mental count, and took three. After talking with her a little more, I explained that at an Expectant Mother Care center, she could learn more about prenatal development and abortion.

In the centers, Expectant Mother Care serves the victims of a culture that has saturated itself with entertainment that revolves around sex. On the sidewalks, EMC is using the mediums of entertainment to change culture, and let New York City know that there are alternatives to abortion.

Three Hearses

Three Hearses

While praying outside of Planned Parenthood, a large truck rolled up behind me on the street. The truck read, “Healthcare Waste Solutions.” There cannot be a solution if there is not a problem. For Planned Parenthood, the problem was that they had terminated many preborn children, and if anybody saw these dead children, they would understand the aftermath of abortion. At medical facilities that do not perform abortions, Healthcare Waste Solutions would only be collecting biohazardous waste, and not entire corpses. The Planned Parenthood at 349 149th Street, however, does abortions four days a week, and this truck was their solution. Lacking X-ray vision, I couldn’t see that the three cardboard boxes in front of me were, in fact, crude containers for God only knows how many pre-born children, each of whom He formed in the womb. The driver verified that the boxes were from Planned Parenthood, as he left the boxes sitting on the street. A few minutes later he emerged from Planned Parenthood with three more cardboard boxes. He loaded them into the truck and drove off. Planned Parenthood was just another client, and the contents of these cardboard boxes had been demoted to pathological waste. Yes, there was the risk that among the dead corpses lived a pathogen. What I found to be most pathological was the lie, the deception that acted as though there had never been a living child.

Mourning what I had witnessed makes me want to adopt these children, if only for the sake of naming them, and giving them the dignity of burial. Their lives, however brief, deserve to be recognized. Their deaths deserve at least a line or two in the obituary. Their parents should not be denied the opportunity to go through the grieving process in a natural and healthy way, and to be comforted by those who would gladly help the parents of the deceased child to choose life in the future. When there are alternatives, no financial situation or inconvenience should ever have caused any of these children to wind up in a cardboard box on 149th Street. Yet, here they sat in front of me.

Within the following hour or two, a black hearse drove by, with two black SUVs behind it. The three-vehicle motorcade stood in stark contrast to the Healthcare Waste Solutions trucks that came to Planned Parenthood and Dr. Emily’s abortion clinics that morning.