Published: September 23, 2011
“I'm keeping the baby!"
Family Planning Associates, Miramar Road, San Diego, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011
News from the Trenches
There were three sidewalk counselors and about a dozen prayer warriors throughout the morning. We arrived about 7:30 a.m., and by 11a.m., through the grace of God, there were four turnarounds.
Early in the morning, one of the sidewalk counselors met a mother who drove in with her small son in the back seat. She was dropping off her cousin for an abortion. Upon hearing of the doctor’s record at FPA, they both became concerned. But the woman going for the abortion was less concerned, and seemed as though she were in a hurry. The counselor talked to them for some time, and then showed them pictures of how an abortion takes place. This was enough for the abortion-intent woman and she said she was going to be late and went inside.
After she went in, her cousin told the counselor she previously had an abortion and regrets it. The counselor told her she should not have allowed her cousin to go into FPA, and that she had a duty to talk to her. She said it was her choice but she would go and talk with her. She went into the clinic, but sadly came out alone.
Shortly after, we noticed an SUV drive slowly by the entry on Miramar Road. The driver was looking at the prayer warriors and one of the sidewalk counselors standing in the driveway. Instead of pulling into the main driveway, the car drove to the far entrance and pulled into the lot. The passenger door opened, but no one exited the car for several minutes. This is a typical sight when the couple is arguing about whether or not to go ahead with the abortion.
After several minutes a young man got out of the car and stood as if waiting for the woman driver to follow him. After another couple of minutes, he got back in the car and they left. The sidewalk counselors never had a chance to talk to the couple. This turnaround exemplifies the importance of having prayer warriors in front of the abortion mill for their physical and spiritual presence.
After this, a couple pulled up, both looking sad and worried. The counselor told them about the doctor’s record as the young woman smoked a cigarette. The young man was concerned, and they sat in their car for some time. Another counselor went to talk with them. However, once another car pulled up nearby and its occupants went into FPA, they, too, went in. When the man came out, the counselor saw from the look on his face that he did not want his girlfriend to take the life of their child. The counselor told him she wished she could have talked to them more about life, and was overcome with tears because of his sadness. He said there was nothing we could have done because she made up her mind. The man had a face of despair, reflecting the sad state of a nation that allows innocent life to be taken so easily.
Soon after this, a young man who had just dropped off this girlfriend was met by a counselor who told him about the doctor’s record. He immediately went into FPA and got his girlfriend out. After some hesitancy, they came down and the counselor talked with them. The man said he was going back up there to demand his money back. The woman, "J," told the counselor she was 11 weeks along and needed to get this done in a week, or they could not do it. She began to cry because she said they did not want to do this, but had no choice because of the state of life they are in.
The counselor told her this would only make matters worse, and could see she was a good mother who wanted to protect her child. The counselor related to her how hard it was for her after her twins were born and then became pregnant again. Yet, she related, her son was a joy and that the things in life that are hard can be turned into greater joys. When her boyfriend came back they left, but said they had no reason to go to COLFS because they already saw the baby.
Another counselor spoke with a Hispanic couple that already had three children. When asked, the man said his wife was 6 weeks along. The counselor showed them both a picture of a 6-week-old unborn baby, and gave the man a rubber model of a 12-week-old unborn baby. The counselor asked why they felt they needed an abortion. He said he was unemployed, and financially they could not have another baby. As the counselor was telling them about the various resources that could help them, the wife seemed distant and said, "The doctor said it was not good to have this baby."
The counselor asked her how old she was, and she replied, "42." Because her story did not match her husband's explanation, the counselor thought she might be lying. He told her that doctors sometimes are overly cautious and recommend abortions when there is no real reason, and that she could have a free exam and a second opinion by a competent doctor at COLFS. The woman looked the other way, while her husband, who appeared as if he did not want her to have the abortion, politely said they had to go. They drove in and went up into FPA without stopping to talk about it.
While this was happening, an SUV with Mexican plates drove into the far driveway, and hesitated, stopping and going. The car began to drive back toward the entry, but stopped at an angle facing toward the prayer warriors. This morning when we first arrived, we attached a full-size image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to a tree where the prayer warriors congregate, and the two women in the car were facing in the direction of the image. The car pulled into the exit driveway, and before the counselor could talk to them, they left.
The woman in the passenger seat looked very worried. About an hour later, the car returned and parked near the far end of the lot. The sidewalk counselor slowly walked toward the car, but they started the car and left again. The car came back again a third time, about a half-hour later. The car again stopped at the far end of the parking lot, and parked at an angle, facing the prayer warriors and the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the distance. The woman was obviously struggling with a decision she knew was wrong, and the presence of the prayer warriors and the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe were guarding the life of her unborn baby. The sidewalk counselor very slowly walked toward the car, which was some distance away, but they pulled out of the lot and never returned.
One of the counselors spoke with another Hispanic couple. When asked about children, the man indicated he had two, ages 3 and 6. The counselor gave them information about the abortionist, pictures of what their baby looked like, and how they would love this child as much as the others. The woman looked troubled, but said nothing. The counselor told them that family was the most important thing, and that their decision would either result in a lifetime of happiness watching their children grow up together, or a lifetime of sorrow and regret, wondering about the child that should have been born.
The man seemed to be feeling that abortion was not the answer, but the woman had despair on her face. The counselor gave them two Rosaries, and told them to pray about this, and that we would be praying for them. The man was not wearing a wedding ring. They drove in and parked right in front of the abortion center, but stayed in their car for about 5 to 10 minutes. Finally his door opened, then she followed and they went upstairs.
Sometime during the morning, one of the counselors was approached by a young man, "H," who worked for one of the a furniture stores in the complex. He asked what we were doing there. The counselor explained that there was an abortion mill upstairs and then thoroughly explained how horrific abortion is and how much help there is for anyone who finds herself in an unplanned pregnancy. The young man then asked the counselor, "How do you know if your girlfriend is pregnant?” After giving a brief explanation, the counselor asked if he thought his girlfriend was pregnant and he shared that he thought she might be.
He was then told that to be sure, he should go to a reputable doctor's office where this can be confirmed and then whatever was needed would be discussed; that he shouldn't be concerned about cost. The counselor let him know that going to an abortion clinic is never the place to find out if you are pregnant, because they will talk you into an abortion, as these clinics are in it for the money, no matter what else they say. After getting the information about COLFS, he said he would phone. Thanks be to almighty God and your prayers, "H" phoned that morning and his girlfriend made an appointment for the coming week at COLFS.
One of the counselors spoke with a young couple (16 and 18 years old) who were headed into the abortion clinic. The counselor implored them not to have the abortion, offering alternative help, but the young couple went in because her mother told her she must. Her mother had an abortion herself and this was the deciding factor for this young girl who was contemplating going to COLFS. Her 18-year-old boyfriend wasn't as sure and was very willing to listen and to consider the offer of help, but sadly, her mother's phone message won out.
While this was happening, another counselor was speaking to a young woman who looked worried. When told about the doctor, she became even more worried and called her boyfriend over to talk. The boyfriend said he was pro-life, but right now was not a good time for them to have a baby because of money issues. The counselor told him that he would be blessed if he did the right thing. The counselor called over the other counselor who had just finished talking to the 16- and 18-year-old couple, and they talked as a group. After starting to get deeper into two very intense discussions, the counselors each took one of them aside and talked separately. After each counselor had persuaded the one they were speaking to on the merits of going to COLFS rather than going into FPA for the abortion, the young couple readily agreed to go to COLFS right then.
Before they left, one of the counselors handed the young woman two rosaries (one pink and one blue) saying, "I don't know if you are having a boy or a girl. So please take both." With this, the young girl, "C," smiled. After arriving at COLFS, they saw their baby on the ultra-sound and left in joy after receiving a baby basket. Approximately three hours later, both of the counselors received a separate text message: "Thank you for being there this morning. I'm keeping the baby!"
We praise God for the courage this couple was given, and for all of the prayers given to them and the other women contemplating an abortion this morning. Amidst the sadness, joy was found for the lives spared today. Please continue to pray for "J," the woman with the 11-week preborn baby who left, but remains in a crisis, as well as the other women who left and chose life this morning, that they have the courage to keep with their decisions for life. It is the prayers that save lives. Please remember to come out to FPA on Saturday mornings, especially during 40 Days for Life. These young people need to see you to know that what they are about to do is wrong. Your prayerful presence makes so much difference for those who are abortion-intent, and to the counselors who are trying to convert hearts. We cannot do it without your prayers.
-- The counselors of Helpers of God's Precious Infants
Friday, September 23, 2011
NEWS FROM THE TRENCHES: