Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Friday's child.

Having landed in NYC last Thursday, July 2nd, Friday was my first day's lifesaving. The morning was spent sidewalk counselling outside "Choices" abortuary in Queens - one of five abortion centres that EMC volunteers covered that morning, as well as supplementing staff in our own centres.

The commute took us an hour and a quarter on the bus. We partook in incidental, tourism en route - driving past Trump Links golf course and Mets Stadium, viewing the panoramic profile of Manhattan when crossing the Whitestone Bridge - tourism turned terrible when our trip terminated in the appalling sight of the abortion centre.

There were 6 of us - four EMC interns and  two pro-lifers from other organisations. At any one time, three prayed on the sidewalk while three of us counselled. Although not a novice, I found it a bit surreal, standing in the sun, approaching women on their way to do the unspeakable, having just alighted the "bus tour".

Life went on all around us. The mundane. The traffic building up. The hustle and bustle; the comings and goings. People doing errands and going about their business. People making their way to work. Policemen going to the deli at the end of the street for take-away coffee.  Families strolling past. Daily LIFE. Normality. But then, abortion is ironically as much part of daily LIFE in New York as the afore-mentioned tourism. Killing is routine, and big business.

Vehicles pulled up dropping off women to the abortion centre. Delivering them to it. Sacrificial mothers and lambs on that altar of "Choices": the operating table with stirrups and other accoutrements. Some drivers went to park and then accompanied or followed the women in. Others paced on the sidewalk -one man spoke loudly on the phone, "Yeah, I'm at the abortion clinic..."  and scoffed at us as he passed. Another was parked directly outside the abortion centre and lay sprawled across a reclined front seat in his shiny white SUV.  His demeanour and posture were so out of place! I was struck by the strange juxtaposition of it and by the irony of the scene: men waiting for their expectant women, waiting for their abortion ("to expect" is from the Latin 'expectare', meaning 'to wait for' but obviously, in current usage, it can mean to expect a baby).

A good proportion did take leaflets and others accepted rosaries from a co-prolifer who volunteers with the Sisters for Life. This encouraged us, despite the fact that it wasn't one of the better mornings at an abortion centre. This the reality of sidewalk counselling. And, when we moved to a new area in the afternoon for street outreach and in-centre counselling, we hoped and prayed that the mothers's hearts would be opened to our fleeting words of kindness and truth, to our entreaties to them,  to our silent prayers, and that they would be receptive to our offers of practical assistance, real choice and hope. In short, we prayed that they, through the grace of a God, would walk out of the abortion centre. That Friday's child would be saved. It was now in HIS hands.

That afternoon and days to follow would yield more good news stories :)


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