Thursday, June 30, 2011
As a follow up to the previous story by Abby on the baby shower, I was blessed to be able to meet this newest miracle baby, Michaela! We had a little reunion at the Brooklyn Clinic when she came with friends to introduce Linda to this little life that was saved as a result of the work of her center. We aren't under illusions that all problems end there though, so as new needs arise we try to assist where we are able so that the beautiful mother and child are able to live healthy, happy lives together from here on out.
Ever since the start if the Expectant Mother Care internship, I have been inspired by countless people. However, I also felt, at times, everyone was against the Pro-Life Movement. However, after attending several conferences, counseling clients and participating in the Movement, I have realized the support is out there. Be it from benefactors, center directors, or clients who have been turned from abortion, I have been given a new armor which, I feel as though, has made me invincible to insult.
This week I have met a girl, she is 37 years old. She came to the center to have her sixth abortion. The other abortions were by surgery and one by pill. She didn’t want to listen to anything about it, or watch the videos.
It took so many tries for us to get her to pay attention to us, and then she said that she was going to think about it and in a few days she would come back and make her choice.
The reason that she wanted to abort was that she couldn’t find a good man for her, a man she could have a good family with. But I don’t really think that it justifies the abortion at all.
I hope she will decide to have her baby.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
She was scared of having a disabled son but a possible disease is not enough reason to kill him and put yourself in danger. You could see it in her eyes, a mother's love is so big that it overcomes every doubt. Even if he had downs syndrome, if he was blind or deaf, he will be her son. Life is an adventure and she's now ready for that. Let's make a toast! Hooray!
The conference lasted three days. First there was a general session with some important American speakers like Abby Johnson, who was formerly a Planned Parenthood employee. Carol Tobias and Burke Balch were others. Then there were many workshops which I enjoyed very much and in which I learned many things. Some of them were for example: "Medical abortion: An Update and Review of the psychological Dangers to Women” and “A Love for Life: Christianity´s Consistent Protection of the Unborn.I recommend everybody see the movie “Doonby: A life Worth Living a Story Worth Telling"; a movie full of intrigue.
I haven´t tell you anything about my studies yet. I study law at the university of Navarra, even thougth I´m from Mallorca, I heard about this internship from two friends of mine that came last year and I recommend everybody to become an active prolife intern. It will be for your own good.
This is a photo of me with my new nephew Tomás.
For the past week , I had the unique experience of interacting with thirty two parishes who participated in EMC's yearly fundraiser. While I was responsible of scheduling the pickup of the donations, I had the opportunity to work with two of EMC's Spanish interns, Maria and Teresa.
Hello! I am Marta and I am studying Fine Arts in Madrid, though my hometown is Pamplona, Navarre. As I grew up I learned that everyone is special, every life is important and different, no matter their disabilities or problems, we have to love them.
But it looks as if the world has forgotten that. Abortion is a growing issue in Spain. In fact, last month they announced the opening of a new abortion clinic in Pamplona.
Thankfully, more people are realizing that abortion not only kills babies, but endangers women too. But being pro-life is not only an adjective, is an action. We have to stop this business and each of us counts.
By coming here I have the opportunity of helping the people who don't know about abortion, and promote the fight against it in Spain.
Growing up in a society where abortion was accepted, I had always assumed there were many Americans who both supported and opposed the "Freedom of Choice" way of thinking. However, since the inception of my internship at EMC, I have realized the widespread opposition of abortion and the culture of death.
They feel that the only option available to them is to have an abortion, because no one tells them that there is help for them. Many women don’t feel like they have a choice at all. No one lets them know that they have somewhere else to turn.
But there is an option, there are so many ways to help these women, counselling them, giving support to them, and also if it is not possible to do all of this, other people give money to finance all this work and this is as important as the other ways.
So now I realize that all the help that everyone can give is important to make it possible. And that is what people did when they donated money with the baby bottles for the mother’s and father’s day.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Thanks to all the people who generously donated to EMC. With your help we are able to provide our services to women in crisis pregnancies.
With a little contribution from each person we are able to help many more!
Monday, June 27, 2011
This is my first week in NYC, in the Bronx and among all these amazing people who saves lives every day. I’ve learnt a lot not only from those who work here but from the mothers that are facing the hard decsion of whether to carry on with the pregnancy, demonstrating that life is a present given by God.
I think that life is really important. In my family and also at school I’ve learned that.
I like staying in the Lifehouse because we fight for the same cause despite our different cultures, traditions and beliefs.
I hope I will be able to help women who need support.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
My little sister has Down Syndrome. She was born one year ago. At the beginning it was hard to accept but now we realize that our own plans are not always the best plans. My sister is the best thing that has happened to me.
A lot of women came to the center saying that they want to abort because a baby wasn’t in their plans. This point reminds me what we thought when my sister was born. In this life there are difficult situations and everybody needs support. I'm going to do my best in this work in the following weeks.
I’m excited about this job because I want to show how important life is. This experience is better than I thought before coming to NYC. It's pretty hard sometimes but it also makes you feel that you're doing good. I'm so happy to be here to lend a hand to this cause. I did not know what to expect at first but I have learned a lot this first week and was amazed at how much good work we are able to do in such a short amount of time.
In this week, I've seen many women, many of them were not sure of getting the abortion, the most common excuse is that there are not prepared to be a mother, the truth is that they are scared.
These past few days have been ones of experience and growth for me. Recently I’ve been in the South Bronx EMC pregnancy center with Liz - the director and sidewalk counseling at Dr. Emily’s with Jowell and Roseanna. These people have given me a real glance at what pro-life work really looks like.
I’ve read books on pro-life work, logical arguments, and statistics and even though they have taught me a lot and enriched my knowledge, these arguments, statistics and logic often don’t “work” on the average person we see coming in to the pregnancy centers.
This is now a culture of relativism. Our mantra is that there are no absolutes. (Except that one - get the irony?). This battle is not just a battle of whether the baby is human or not, but whether life is intrinsically valuable or not. We are taught that a whale’s life and prevention of extinction is more valuable than a baby’s. (Have you seen the pro-life signs “Pretend I’m a tree and save me?”) This is a culture of self. Everything now revolves around the individual.
All these people who work in pregnancy centers, counseling women to turn away from abortion and choose other alternatives are the unsung lawyers. Many times I have watched directors and other interns sitting with women, day in and day out they dedicate themselves to being a voice for the unborn.
I am all for legislation to stop abortion from happening. Even though I am full of hope that some day in the future a law like that will be passed, it’s not something that I see happening in an instant. I think that politics play a tremendously important role in the pro-life movement. Abortion clinics need to be accountable for what’s happening in their clinics. There must be a check. But right now - the reality is - abortion is legal.
The most eloquent lawyers are the brave men and women who sit in the tiny offices in NYC making passionate pleas on behalf of the unborn children growing in the women who come to see us. Every day a life and death decision is made. We passionately argue for life. And we won’t stop.
*Photo courtesy of Live Action
Friday, June 24, 2011
I'm Paz, a Spanish student that has just arrived to work with EMC. I am studying Advertising and Public Relations at the Univeristy of Navarre, in Pamplona, although I am from Madrid.
I am the youngest of a big family, I have 2 brothers and 4 sisters and I already have 2 nieces. I have a theory about life: in this life there are only a few things that are truly important to me and family is one of them. My family gave me all I have, all I am. Since I realized how blessed I am for having this family, I want to spread that understanding to others. Family is the best present life can give you.
I came to New York for the summer, looking for an intership here, in NYC, but I found something much much better! I found an opportunity to work with women who are in great need of help. I am learning lots of things, thanks to all the the people who are a part of EMC. They are teaching me how to manage many different situations...
In the following weeks I will share with you all my experiences. My best regards to all those who follow this blog!!
In the following weeks I will try my best.
Compared to everyone he knew, he was living an exceptionally upstanding life with her. He didn't believe that marriage even exists for our generation. She wasn't getting through to him. She wanted someone who would give her all the love and respect she finally realized she deserved and knew now that she would have to wait for such a man, that it wasn't the one sitting next to her. We encouraged her and supported her as she tried to make her decision clear. We told her that her life would be totally changed if she lived out this decision, but the man she was hoping for would come. We can only pray that she is strong enough to withstand all the opposition she is facing and is able to hold out until she will truly be treasured as the princess she is.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
All morning at Dr. Emily’s abortion clinic I talk to women going in to the abortion clinic; but in the afternoon I see them leave after the abortion is completed. As I stand outside watching them drive or walk off, I often look into their eyes. Sometimes they look sad or in pain, but most of the time they look ashamed and rarely make eye contact with me. If I can talk to them while they wait for a ride, then I will. I want to know if the woman is ok, needs an ambulance, help or just someone to talk to. Many times the woman will walk quickly past saying “You’re too late, I already did it.” But just because a woman has an abortion doesn’t mean that I give up on her and stop caring for her. There are so many complications (physical, psychological, spiritual) that come from abortion. If she needs healing, counseling, advice - anything - I sincerely want to help her find it.
A few days ago I approached one woman who had just come out of the clinic. She stood by the edge of the parking lot smoking a cigarette. I asked her if she was ok, if she had the abortion and how she was feeling. She said she was ok, had the abortion and that she preferred that to being sick all the time (from being pregnant). She said she had several abortions previously. I asked if she had any complications from any of them - and if she knew what the complications were for abortion. She looked at me as her ride drove up and answered me (and I paraphrase) - “I know what they are. I got cervical cancer as a result.”
As she rode off my heart went out to her. I feel deeply sorry for all the pain she’s gone through. All the abortions. Cervical cancer. Her life is drastically changed because of it. What I don't understand is how cervical cancer is better or easier than pregnancy symptoms? A life threatening condition preferred to a baby?
I don’t write this judging her or condemning her. I am broken, just like she is. But there is hope. There is healing. There is a God who loves us.
Who are they really concerned about here: their child or themselves? Their baby's life or theirs? If the baby is not recognized as a human being on some deeper level, it becomes equivalent to the decision of whether or not to buy a dog or paint the house. Even there, there is a difference because they already have it. It's a question of whether they'll keep it. Everything around us tells us to look out for #1, don't worry about anyone else. When we get that wrong, we get everything else wrong too.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
My time here at EMC has been one of both intense growth and personal discovery. I have learned a great many things these past few months since I first arrived in the Big Apple. The women I have seen, have each touched my heart in a profound and tangible way. The abortion issue has completely turned around for me. It was once about ideals and well-thought debates. But it is now about people... real people, in real situations. I came to NYC to lose the fear that seemed to cripple me at the thought of speaking with an abortion-minded individual. This fear still creeps up from time to time, but I now know that God uses the fearful to change the world. The work that God has accomplished during my time here at EMC is beautiful and I am fortunate to have been a part of it! God Bless all that I have worked with... and thank you for being patient with me and for shaping me into the person I am now. Specially thanks to Linda, the Brooklyn Center director for her guidance and friendship. Forever in my heart, you will you stay!
God Bless you all until we meet again!
Saturday, June 18, 2011
The other day while I was working in E.M.C.'s Queens office, I came into contact with a couple who had been previously counseled by a co-worker, Abigail. This young couple had decided to parent their expected child. However, after the sonogram was given, it was discovered that this young woman was if fact not even pregnant.
After receiving the news, the couple's facial expressions went from being taunt and frightened to happy an relieved. However, we preceded in showing them a neutral video regarding abortion and its possible side effects. The happy looks vanished when it was made apparent that abortion is unnatural and unhealthy. The couple realized that abortion was not the easy option out, but rather an emotional and trying path that would remain with them for the rest of their lives.
When asked how they felt after viewing this video, the mutual reply was one of disgust and resolve to do the natural and morally right thing, that is, parent if they were to become pregnant in the future. This is when my co-worker stressed the point of abstinence and made the argument of how this course of action was a physically and spiritually healthy option.
Not only was this couple turned off to abortion, but were convinced to do the morally right thing and express their love in another way. The way of self control may be said to be old fashioned and "dumb" in our day and age. However, when I look at couples who have been together for years, I notice the fact that adhering to morals remains the most healthy option. At the conclusion of the session, Abby and I knew we could finally issue a sigh of relief as well.
Here we are at Father's Day and a reflection on this day can't exclude children. One can't be a father without a child. When we celebrate fathers, we celebrate children. We celebrate family, unity, love, and life. There are many blessed men who will be spending this holiday surrounded by loving children (like my father) and there are many that won't. There are some fathers out there who do not have any living children to celebrate with. They may not even consider themselves fathers, for this reason. And there are those who mourn a lost fatherhood today, because their children never made it to their arms. We mourn with them and pray for them. We all know what it is to lose someone close to us and they are no less worthy of sympathy even if they somehow willed the loss of their children. They are the ones who suffer the most.
May God give us pardon and peace and bless all the fathers of the world!
Many women do not make the abortion decision based on what they want. I’ve heard several women tell me (and other staff) that their boyfriend will break up with them if they do not get an abortion. This is manipulation with a child’s life on the line.
Peer pressure. I know everyone has heard the “talk” about peer pressure. Don’t let your friends or acquaintances pressure you into drinking or taking drugs just because it’s “cool” at the time or because they’ll drop you as a friend if you don’t. Why are women pressured to abort? When did keeping your baby become something your boyfriend will break up with you over? When did killing your baby become something you’ll be accepted for doing?
Between testimonies I’ve heard and women I’ve talked to, parents are a huge reason they abort. Their parents usually think that the unexpected pregnancy will be something that their child’s life will be ruined over. Having children does change your life, but it does not strip you of ambitions and talents. How did getting into a good college make killing your baby rationalized?
What saddens me is seeing this culture of death day after day. Now, a relationship with a man who wants you to abort your baby is worth more than keeping your child. Now, killing your baby is worth getting into college and getting a good job. Now, death is valued over life.
Friday, June 17, 2011
She told me that she was only in the clinic for about five minutes before it was too troubling and she left. While she was still very abortion bound at this time she felt she wasn't ready to get the abortion.
While we talked I found out that she was struggling because she lives in the Bronx but works in Brooklyn and has no one to support her. She also comes from a devout Muslim family that would not support her pregnancy because she is not married.
Happily though, she accepted the invitation of mine to take the bus to one of our pregnancy centers down the street with me. There we talked more and I was able to share with her videos regarding abortion and pregnancy. She left with an appointment for an ultrasound and a firm resolve in keeping her pregnancy even though she knows it will be very hard.
I will keep in touch with this woman to make sure she is helped during her pregnancy and beyond.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
The apparent stigma of being a employee of a Pro-Life organization is one of being a crazy, religious, and over-the-top individual who will go to any length to save a baby, including strapping a pregnant woman down til she gave birth. Everyone involved in the Pro-Life Movement knows this stigma is definitely false despite most of the participants being religious, and willing to embarrass themselves in order to inform women of the various dangers of abortion. The Pro-Choice advocates often paint a picture to abortion minded women that we are protesters, and violators of the rights of women. When I hear such accusations, I have to make an effort not to laugh at the ridiculousness of such claims.
Be it various insults from escorts, the lies of those employed at abortion clinic, or the ignorance of the uniformed public, we know the truth.
This brings me to the episode involving our office in Queens. As I manned a table at which I handed various informational papers to pedestrians, I took notice of a lady handing out cards to the local abortion clinic. As a co-worker was speaking with her, I also noticed she was staring at me. I was then told that she said I was a racist and I actually do not care about women. She furthermore said I was only there because of the fact I was getting paid. I, despite being angry due to false accusations, kept my cool and calmly replied I did this work, not for money or some other gain, but because I care about these women who are troubled and scared.
This blatant display of ignorance surprised me,but after contemplating it, truly didn't shock me. Racism has been an aspect in our society for ages, however I never thought I would experience it while interning at EMC. Logically it can be followed that respect for each race stems from the respect for life. Therefore, it can be followed that from respect for life comes respect for different races.
Regardless of what we have been labeled, the Pro-Life Movement can be confident in the fact we are doing the morally right thing. In fighting for life, insults can be spewed, but they will not injure us. In conclusion, disregard those who are hateful, and appreciate the life and abilities God gave you.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Choices are what make us free and they are a blessing. But sometimes there are too many "choices". Sometimes these "choices" don't increase our freedom, instead they open opportunities for us to distort things and make us slaves to our own convenience and desires. Many clients come to us confessing they feel they have no choice about their abortion, that it is the only option. They feel forced by family, friends, and their own situation.
The abortion option doesn't introduce more freedom, it introduces an unnatural way to force a situation to suit the conveniences those involved. When we take it out of the equation and look at the reality of the pregnancy (a baby is going to be born), we have the freedom of choices that will decide how to incorporate this change into our lives and continue to move forward.
Doctor Emily's Women's Medical Clinic is seemingly a innocent name of practice for the benefit of every woman. However, both you and I know better. To the unpracticed eye, it looks as though it is a general health clinic, but to those who stand outside waiting to inform women of the truth, it is easily recognizable as an abortion mill.
The lies and deceit these women face are immense. Not only are they uniformed of the abortive procedure and its dangers, but also the sign it self is a blatant lie. There is no Doctor Emily, and to say so is false advertising, which misleads many of the girls entering that clinic. The Pro-Choice Movement has pushed their bounds in slandering the Pro-Life Movement, as well as convince the women they serve into thinking of a friendly center where abortion is "just" a procedure done for the benefit of that individual woman.
I have seen women leave that abortion mill crying, angry, ashamed and hurt. Those women are not told of the emotional pain they will endure, nor the physical damages upon their bodies. The truth must be told. Abortion advocates claim that they are "Pro-Choice"; if this is the case, then why the escorts, the barriers and the insults? If it were truly a Pro-Choice stance, then both sides would be able to present their information and let the woman choose.
But, this is not the case. We are impeded at every turn, be it by the government, the barriers, and the escorts. However, this doesn't stop us. We are morally in the right and fight for the most basic right every human has, the right to life.
This is the bill that the New York City Council is trying to pass in order to eventually shut down crisis pregnancy centers in New York cities.
What catches your attention first about this statue, is its statement "Justice is Blind".
When I finally got up to the 11th floor to be present in the room where the Honorable Judge William Pauly was leading his courtroom, I first encountered a woman on the pro bill side pleading her case before the Judge.
Her voice sounded wavering. I heard her repeat the same statement over 6 times. She kept saying over and over again-just using different words- how crisis pregnancy centers are lying to women.
The Judge asked if she would be satisfied if just the centers that blatantly misinformed women were shut down. She wouldn't accept his offer. Her defense was that, "Your Honor, that is not fixing the problem". His response was, " See, I don't see how that is NOT fixing the problem".
She didn't want a few shut down, she wanted all shut down so that Planned Parenthood might have precedence over the future lives of our children, teenagers, and mothers. She's standing up for women. She's helping them receive their list of choices. What she doesn't realize, is that she is blind to the fact that women want to bare children. They want to nurture little ones. They want to have a bond with the father of their child, to watch the child grow.
Her wavering started up again. She repeated teetering again, the fact that these centers lie to women. That's what happens when you go and negate what God has originally intended for his people. And He gives us his Word-the Holy Bible- to help us see what his plan for our lives is.
He sees everything. Unlike this woman and our justice system, he is the onlooker from the seas to the mountains; from the east to the west. Since he left us his words of wisdom in the Great Book, why not follow that?
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
I was told that despite how demoralized I may become in this work, there is always hope. As I think back to that comment, I realize that it is not just the hope to save babies, but also hope for the restoration of a society focused on life.
It is easy, especially in our moral less society, to lose our sense of direction. However, I have realized that the basis of our Christian society is the social unit of the family. Throughout history, civilizations have risen and fallen due to the standing of the family with that particular social structure. It amazes me as to how our American way of life, which is founded in the principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, has given way to the principles of irresponsible behavior, immoral materialism and disregard for the needs of a people. When does pro-death behavior give liberty to Americans? It neither allows for the "socialist equality" of the liberals, or the right to bear a child without being pressured by a massive government funded abortion mill. Where is the defense of the unborn Americans who are to stand up and defend this great nation when our generations have passed away.
The pro-choice liberals have little thought to morals, but also to the future of American independence, for which so many courageous men and women have fought and died for. If we do not defend the most innocent and frail, then when do our morals compel us to do anything else. I realize justice will eventually be served, however, as the great phrase goes, "God helps those who help themselves." And if our nation is to preserve itself, the recognition of the institution of family and the Pro-Life Movement is inevitable. Have the hope we can persevere and the faith the next generation will assist in that, after all hope is a one way street.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Hi! I’m Sarah. The newest of the intern group thus far. So, a little about me. I am from Gaithersburg, MD (which is not far from DC). I love chocolate, have a thing for ancient historians, and know a dead language. I use sarcasm rather abundantly but am learning when to reign it in.
As far as formal education is concerned, I have been home-schooled for most of my life. Throughout high school I mainly took classes outside the home, and had a rather untraditional senior year. I went to “Summit Semester” an organization created by Summit Ministries which takes 30 students out into the gorgeous mountains of Colorado and teaches them how to think. (Not WHAT to think. HOW to think.) We were taught by several amazing professors from all over the country. There’s really nothing quite like pondering some of the greatest questions and ideas on top of a Colorado Mountain. This coming fall I am planning on going to The King’s College NYC to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics.
What in the world do I want to do with a degree like that? Good Question. Let’s start at the very beginning. I am a Christian. And as a Christian I think it can be so easy to stick to your “denominational group”. No offense to denominations (as I do ‘categorize’ myself as Reformed Presbyterian) but there tends to be more conflict between doctrinal differences and not enough unity in being a strong leading force in our culture. This is the beauty of the pro-life movement. Protestants, Catholics, Jews, and Atheists are just some of the religious groups all working together in pro-life organizations.
I am passionate about reforming culture. I think that Christians tend to stick to their little “sub-culture” of Christianity with their “Christian music”, “Christian friends”, “Christian bumper stickers” and “Christian game nights” etc. I want to speak to them - to wake them up to what is really going on in the world. We shouldn’t be hiding from culture but out there reforming it. We need Christians in every area of culture - Christian teachers, lawyers, trapeze artists, politicians, dancers, doctors, musicians, hot air balloon makers - you name it!
As you might be able to tell I get quite passionate about this. Anyway, I am so excited to be in NYC this summer working in the pregnancy centers, and “practicing what I preach” so to speak. So, nice to meet you, and enjoy watching me learn a lot this summer!
P.S. After looking at this picture you might get the impression that I'm gorgeous, serious, and intellectual. (oh. and humble) In which case you would be 100% correct. But I actually do like to smile and laugh. Just so you know.
Hi, I'm Gabrielle! I was born and raised in Lynchburg,VA. I am the middle of three children. My parents instilled in me the value of human life from the time I was very young. However, I only became personally active in the pro-life movement in the past three years. I helped with fundraising at the local pregnancy resource center in my hometown, even helping to organize an annual benefit concert.
Within the course of a few minutes Linda was on the phone and had this young man interviews and appointments with 3 different employment possibilities. The wife was thrilled! Looking at her face, it was as though a ray of light had suddenly penetrated the darkness of her reasoning and illuminated her mind with real understanding and hope for her situation. Abortion was not a "solution" any longer. In the course of about 10 minutes, this couple went from abortion minded to excited... the fastest I have ever seen! If they had walked into an abortion clinic, would they have been asked about their situation? Would anyone have taken the time to help with the real problems in their lives? Praise God that He always gives us what we TRULY need, not what we THINK we need!
The percentage of women that have multiple abortions is anywhere from 33 to 50% (depending on which report you read). This number is too high. It is a cycle that unless something changes will continue. This lovely girl that we meet after her first abortion, will not be one of these statistics. Pro-life is much more than educating those in crisis pregnancies. It must include educating post-abortive women as well to prevent them from falling into the snare of multiple abortions.