Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Part III: From Bleecker St. to a Miracle on Court St.

We arrived at Planned Parenthood on Bleecker St., Manhattan by 7.30am.  I had  various degrees of interaction with a few women before they went in.  After 10am, I approached a couple coming toward P.P. at about 50ft from the premises and gently launched into counselling mode.

We talked. I explained. They listened. And asked me some questions. There was a discussion of a range of issues, which, this morning, included abortion procedures and risks, post-abortion syndrome, factors underlying Angela's decision to abort the baby, their financial situation, housing needs,  background, relationship, family, fears and hopes.

Through God's grace, they listened and engaged with me. The expectant mum, 'Angela' was afraid that there was something wrong with baby because of certain pregnancy symptoms she had. She also had financial concerns, was unemployed and didn't feel she was in a position - financially or otherwise - to have a baby, which lead her to P.P on that fateful Wednesday morning. Her boyfriend, 'Theo', had been reluctant to come to the abortuary. He recounted how he had cried when she told him what her intention was and he had initially refused to accompany her. When I asked him how he felt about all this, he said, "I want to be a father", with an expression of tangible anguish on his face.

I counselled them there on the sidewalk, in view of - but at a distance from - the P.P. facility and the P.P. escort, for about 25 minutes. They agreed to come to our Brooklyn centre for a free sonogram and consultation. At this stage, I estimated that they had been 75% turned around in favour of life. I offered to accompany them and they accepted, while Hannah remained at the abortuary for a while longer. We took a no. 6 train followed by a no. 5 train. It was a slightly bizarre situation! On the first train, we scrambled to get seats ,  resulting in me being flanked by Angela & Theo, African immigrants and strangers who I'd just met on the street in downtown Manhattan and who were now taking the subway to Brooklyn with me!! I part- counselled and we part-chatted en route.

Photo: Claire and J., a man we met praying outside The Planned Parenthood in Bleecker St., Manhattan.

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