Saturday, September 29, 2012

40 Days for Life Has Begun!

As you probably know, the 40 Days for Life fall campaign began on Wednesday! I went to Dr. Emily's this morning, as I have been on Saturdays for the last 6 weeks or so. Around 9 am, three Fordham students arrived. They joined myself and Mary, a woman who is always there on Saturday mornings, for a rosary. A group of Spanish-speakers had already begun a rosary at the other end of the gate, and soon we had more than ten individuals sending prayers up to the Blessed Virgin. And that was just at the back of the building! As we got to the middle of a decade, we heard the other group singing Ave Maria. As we finished our decade, we did the same. We continued this for the entire Rosary.

Eventually, another small group came around back and began another rosary! Each time more people arrived, the "escorts" (I like to call them deathscorts) got more and more agitated. First they were putting up their little signs saying "Keep Abortion Legal" and were taking pictures of us and looking very annoyed. However, as our soft strains of Ave Maria continued to surround them, they really didn't know what to do with themselves. Nothing they did could provoke us, and that bothered them more than anything.

I often imagine a little bubble of evil and Satan surrounding Dr. Emily's. When I am there alone or only with one or two other people, it seems almost impenetrable, this invisible wall of death. When there are more prolifers there, I can see and feel that wall shake just a little, maybe a little mortar falls from a crack, or a tiny chink appears in what was, just the day before, so solid.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"I have never cried so much in my life."

A young woman I'll call Jane came into the Brooklyn office on Monday undecided about what she wanted to do with her pregnancy. She had had an abortion 2 years earlier, and she absolutely did not want to go through that again, but she also knew that if her family knew she was pregnant they would push her to get another abortion and she didn't know who could help her. She was trying very hard to keep her emotions together, and she actually did a good job even through the sonogram.

There was another young woman there at the office that had also had an abortion about two years ago. She was able to share her story with Jane and that's when her mental guard finally came down and she allowed herself to feel. The young woman asked Jane how she felt right after the abortion, and without any hesitation whatsoever, Jane said "I have never cried so much in my life. It didn't matter what my family had been telling me, I knew deep inside that what I had done was absolutely wrong. It is my only regret in my life."

These two young women continued to share with each other and with Jane's boyfriend and myself. It was another step in the healing process for them and another step in the learning process for me.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Counseling also means think

Last weekend we went to visit the Brooklyn Bridge, where we saw a man selling some posters. I founded one very interesting, with this sentence written on it: 'Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups'.

I don't know who said that, but it's exactly what I can see in some on the appointments I have in the Bronx office. One problem is called ignorance, but other different is called be wrong inform.

I have many teenagers asking for Birth Control and abortions though they don't have any idea about how is the procedure or the risks they are choosing. They only know the rumors they listen in Sexual Lesson at the High School, where they learn how to use condoms and prevent pregnancies and STD.

But let me ask you, reader, what do you think this teenagers are going to do after school? Maybe a comparison help. If you want to show young boys how dangerous violence is, I guess you are not show them how to use a gun if you don't want them to try it. The same situation happens with sex. These girls coming to the office are scared because they knew what could happen to them if they have sex with their boyfriends, but the problem is they were also excited about trying all things they learned at school (about condoms, 'love', relationships). They really go home and tell their moms : 'I am having sex with my boyfriend but don't worry, the social worker (o teacher o whoever make this lesson) told us we don't have to worry if we use contraceptives'.

There are many nice places to visit in NYC, but you should not only go there to have fun but also use your mind to realized and think about problem within the society.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The women need you here to save their lifes

Today I saw a woman in the Bronx office who just wanted to figure out if she was pregnant or not. Before taking the pregnancy test we had a little talk about her situation and the signs that make her think she could be pregnant. She suddenly saw the fetal development books and my table and asked me about the information inside. We talk for a long time about the specific development in every pregnancy week, and I showed her also the real size-babies from 7 upon 30 weeks.

She was excited with all I was telling her, but at the same time she was facing sad for something I didn't know. She has a cute 3 years old son, but she had an abortion some years before.

This woman, as she told me this morning, was conduced as most of the pregnancy women we see every week to have the abortion not because she really wanted but for the social and familiar pressure and the fear about being a single mom.

The conversation with this wonderful woman was the best class of humility, forgiveness and maturity I have ever heard.

As she told me, the months after the abortion were hard moments for her, trying to deal with the decision she already made, but she learned the lesson after that, and never again wanted to have another abortion.

She was completely excited and thankful to EMC for giving her all the information about the baby development, the abortion procedure and the potential complications after that. She said she would never have had and abortion before if she had known our offices, where she has found today someone to talk, express her fears and worries, and someone who supports women more than money of success.

I was completely scared when she told me how she lived her abortion, when she described me the building and the rooms of the abortion clinic, and specially when she confess me what the nurse and doctors of the abortion clinic told her while she was waiting 'her turn'.

I may not write this horrible things, because what I pretend with this testimony is encourage all interns at EMC, presents and futures, to be motivated with the 'work' we do, if we can even call a work, with the help we provide women.

The woman I saw today in the Bronx office is the prove that we need to be there every day, because there are too many women waiting for someone they can talk with, someone that explains them the reality of the abortion procedure, the real potential complications, and specially someone to be with them, give them help, love them.

So Very Young

Yesterday I counseled a girl in Queens who is only 14. I'll call her Tammi. She came with her friend, and they were very talkative and open. She said she was undecided mostly because she's so young and her boyfriend, who is 15, wants her to have an abortion. She said "But, he's really confusing me cause, I would be killing my baby, and I don't know if I can do that, but he does have a point, we are really young and I don't know if we can do this." So, we talked about the side effects that can happen from having an abortion. After talking through it all, she said "So what you're saying is, abortion is pretty horrible and it's not really worth it." Yes, that's what I'm saying.
She came back today for a sonogram.

Strange Things Overheard On the Sidewalk

Last week, Yesenia and I spent a morning sidewalk counseling at Dr. Emily's in the South Bronx. We were able to talk to several girls, and even some of their boyfriends and one of their mothers! It was actually a pretty busy morning, but the "conversation" that made the biggest impression on me was actually just a comment that was directed toward me by a passerby. Yesenia was a few yards away counseling someone when a woman walked by pushing a stroller. When she got a little past me she said loudly, to no one in particular, "Either these b****** can't get pregnant or no one wants to get them pregnant." And she kept walking. At first all I could do was laugh, because honestly it was pretty hilarious. But then as I thought about it more I couldn't help but think how strange it was that she assumed such an extreme about us just by looking at us for five seconds.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Special turnaround in the Bronx office

This is the story of a woman asking help in the Bronx office. She camed stressed and worried becase of her situation, but she left the office happier than ever, she said.
We will call her C. She is natural from Africa, ans she has been in Nyc only for a year. She was living with a boy, and everything was going excellent until she had the worst experience in her life. When she came to the office she wanted to have an abortion. We talked a long time about all things were not going well in her life. The exwife of his boyfriend had destroyed all C's clothes, by entering the house where she was living with the guy. Now, C is living with her aunt, but the condition is she cannot stay there if she is pregnant. After talking the test, we realized the result was positive. The situation was getting worse for C. but she was in the corect place to find the help she needs.

All she was worried about was because her uncle will kick out of the house where they were living together, and because hr boyfriend was not searching a place for her to live if she keep the baby.
But after she talked and cry her feelings, and after she saw the truth of the abortion in the video, she knew she didn't want to have an aborion, but sje had to assume that the decision of keeping the baby may carry problems to her.  She stayed for an hour in a room, thinking and how to be strong to tell her boyfriend and her uncle her decision of parent the baby. meanwhile, I call the Home counsel to ask a place for C. where she can stay during her pregnancy. The day after our talk in the office she called me early in the morning. she had alredy talked with the Home Counsel and she will go there next week to visit her new home!
She also asked me for a job or something to do during this 9months, so I tries to help her by making some calls. Finally, we made an appointment with C. and another EMC's counseler who is helping C. with the job searching. C. was so excited and thankful for the help we gave her and for save her of having the abortion. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

First Encounter at EMC

My first encounter at EMC was a very special one. She is a 20 year old girl that looked like one of my good friends back at home. She came in seeking a abortion for numerous reasons. As time passed and I asked the questions I came to have compassion for her and her story. She was currently just working and trying to save up for college courses. Her mother and father were unemployed. Sometimes she would go without eating since her money went towards paying for the rent money. She told me "if you help me find a place to stay I will keep this baby because I honesty don't want to have an abortion especially after watching that video". She needed a place since her mother was going to kick her out as soon as she found out and her boyfriend wanted the abortion. So in reality to she had no one to lean on not even friends since she didn't feel they would understand. So I told her I would help her and so we stayed in touch. I found her some help with Home Counsel in New Jersey and Missionaries of Charity. She hopes that I come back to see her newborn some day and I really can't wait. She texts me randomly about silly things like that her feet hurt, or how hungry she gets or how she sees children and gets overwhelmed etc and I feel like she really trusts me now. I will be leaving soon so we will meet one last time and I really feel like I am going to miss a new friend that God put in my path. Can't wait to come back to meet her little angel some day.

New! Pregnancy Test dispenser

On july 17, Jody Allen Crowe, 56, founder of the nonprofit Healthy Brains for Children, which aims to reduce the occurrence of fetal alcohol syndrome, installed the first pregnancy test dispenser in the women’s restroom of Pub 500 in Mankato, Minn.

 Two days later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a survey showing that one in 13 pregnant women reported consuming alcohol. That's why Mr. Crowe wants to prevent, or at least minimize, the amount of prenatal exposure to alcohol.

In accordance with Mr. Crowe's intention, the dispenser on a bar may help women to make sure if their are pregnant or not, so they can protect the child. In addition, the pregnancy test costs a fraction of the price many drug stores charge. Even though the initial benefits, do you really think potentially pregnant women are waiting to 3a.m party bar to figure if their are pregnant or not? Moreover, where are they going after leaving the women's restroom if the prove the test is positive? Taking the test in a bar probably means you don't care and you're going to drink anyway.

The propietor of Pub 500 quickly emphasized that the dispenser is the best option to "high-profile community members, who may appreciate the discretion". I guess they can buy a test for their wifes can take in a most private place.

On the other hand, the risks of noticing you're pregnant when it was unplanned increases when you are alone, because your mind is completely shocked. The propietor of the bar said he fielded one inquiry from a 14-year-old from a neighboring town. But what we don't know is where this girl run after the result of the test, or if she was in troubles, or if incidentially, if she is still under the umbrella of stress and confusion.

Therefore, would you recommend take a pregnancy test in a bar?