We were in the office in Detroit and had just had one of the sad visits where the young mother will not be moved by anything we can offer her—love, help, information, etc.—to keep her baby when two more women arrived. They were a mother I’ll call Anne and her pregnant daughter I’ll call Mary and as is most common, they arrived at our office believing it was an abortion clinic. Both struck me immediately as kind loving women and I knew right away that they didn’t want to do this terrible thing. We began the appointment as always with love—just giving them whatever kind friendly words we could to make them feel at ease and understand that we were there to help. We showed them a movie depicting abortion procedures and describing their risks, explained fetal development and presented them with a model comparable to Mary’s current week of gestation, and gave her a pregnancy test. Two members from another pro-life organization were present in the office building and one—who has years of experience counseling women contemplating abortion—did the main counseling session. It was such a blessing to see the change! As is not uncommon, Anne and Mary were feeling pressured by their circumstances to rid themselves forever of their child/grandchild. With the offers of help—real, practical, substantial, immediate help—they were incredulous and Anne was upset to realize that we would not be providing the expected abortion. Then slowly you could see the doubt slipping away and a hesitant but hopeful trust emerging that maybe—just maybe—there really were people in the world who truly cared and could truly help.
One of our interns accompanied them as Mary was taken to her ultrasound appointment. I was needed to remain behind for other office appointments, but I heard that the ultrasound could not have been better: a healthy little 12 week baby jumping up and down and sucking his/her little thumb for all to see! I was blessed to see some of the images the next day and they were beautiful (the baby looked right at the ”camera” in one of them! Almost like he knew he was the center of attention and was lovin’ it). Well everything seemed complete: Anne had a new refrigerator, Mary was already hearing of assistance that would be given to her to complete her goal of becoming a nurse, smiles were all around, yet the next day we received a blow: a call suggesting the baby (and mother) might be in danger.
No time to waste. Our friends from the neighboring pro-life organization asked us to pick up Mary and her boyfriend I’ll call Zacharias. We took them to an art fair to relax and over the course of the afternoon had plenty of opportunities to reassure them of the help available and encourage the “connection” to be made between this abstract concept of abortion vs pregnancy and the real, living, present baby of their OWN they carried around the art fair with them.
Today we heard the good news: Mary has decided to love her baby and after profuse words of sincere gratitude, Anne has already provided the number of another mother she knows who is in need.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of Life, pray for us who have recourse to thee.