This week took quite an unexpected turn on Thursday when, at around 10am, another group turned up to Planned Parenthood on Bleeker Street. This 'prolife' group had some questionable tactics; reading from the bible and shouting at the women as they walked in to PP. One woman walked alongside the women making all sorts of distressing comments about the day of judgement etc. Their approach was less than helpful, and encouraged the women to run into the clinic with no chance of hearing the truth.
We always try to stand at a clear distance from the door, and offer information or a listening ear, which couples often respond well to, but as soon as this group turned up, our hard work was undermined and we had no chance of helping the women. Instead, we stood away from the group and prayed the rosary.
For me, this situation really highlighted the difference between being 'prolife' and 'anitabortion'. We can't expect women to consider keeping their babies, unless we are truly willing to listen to them and offer real alternatives to abortion. Yes, we believe that abortion is wrong - it hurts women and kills children - but we also care for the women. Just preventing them from getting an abortion isn't 'prolife'. Walking with them through difficult times, listening for hours on end to their stories and their hardships, and getting real help for them - that's prolife.
The unfortunate thing about the other day was that we felt completely helpless and unable to offer any alternatives to the women, but I was reminded of these words by Congressman Henry Hyde:
"When the time comes as it surely will, when we face that awesome moment, the final judgment, I've often thought, as Fulton Sheen wrote, that it is a terrible moment of loneliness. You have no advocates, you are there alone standing before God and a terror will rip through your soul like nothing you can imagine. But I really think that those in the pro-life movement will not be alone. I think there will be a chorus of voices that have never been heard in this world but are heard beautifully and clearly in the next world and they will plead for everyone who has been in this movement. They will say to God, "Spare him because he loved us," and God will look at you and say not, "Did you succeed?" but "Did you try?"'
God bless, Vx
Our Lady of Gaudalupe, pray for us.
St Michael the Archangel, pray for us.