News from the Trenches
About 20 prayer warriors plus three sidewalk counselors came to Family Planning Associates on Miramar Road, and about 25 to 30 prayer warriors plus two sidewalk counselors came for the First Saturday Rosary procession to Planned Parenthood at First and Grape.
At FPA, the first counselor arrived at 7:15 am and approached the lone vehicle in the lot with two people sleeping under blankets. Introducing herself, the counselor asked for their first names. “D” was a 38-year-old woman came with her brother. Most of the conversation was through the brother until the counselor showed him a picture of a six-week-old pre-born baby, as well as the graphic details of an abortion.
The counselor told the brother, “This baby your sister is carrying is no different from you or me, just smaller. Every person has a purpose in this life, no matter how small, no matter how different. The brother told the counselor he was a Christian and that he agreed. When the woman emerged from underneath the blanket, her face showed she had been crying. The counselor described all of the possible psychological and physical consequences of an abortion, as well as the development of the pre-born child D. was carrying at approximately 13 weeks.
While she had many financial problems, her main concern was that she previously had cancer, and was concerned that the radiation would harm the child causing disabilities. The counselor shared her own battle with cancer and that she understood her fears, but that as a mother, she understood the importance of protecting children. D. told the counselor that she had the laminaria sticks put in on Friday at the abortionist’s office on Fourth St. in Hillcrest. The counselor explained that she knew a doctor who could remove the lamanaria sticks without any harm to the pre-born child, and that any previous radiation she had would not harm this baby.
She told the woman that she really needed to get a good ultra-sound and speak to a competent doctor, and asked her to let her phone the doctor so she could speak to her. The counselor shared with D. that every one of her concerns could be addressed, and most, if not all, were solvable. She reiterated that if D. was already the mother of five, she could never let anyone harm her pre-born child.
The counselor shared with D. that abortion increases the chance of developing cancer, and why. With tears streaming down her face, D. told the counselor she would like to think about it. D.’s brother did not want her to have the abortion and tried to get her to let the counselor phone Culture of Life Family Services. D. asked the counselor to back away while she thought about it. They sat in the car for a good 15 plus minutes. They eventually came out of the car and went into FPA. She did not come out again.
Around 8:15, another car pulled into the lot. In this car was a woman in her late 20s who had four children, a bad marriage, and a lot of financial problems. “M” was accompanied by a male friend “from the neighborhood” and a female friend. Separating M. from her companions, the counselor showed her a picture of the six-week-old pre-born baby, explaining as best she could in limited Spanish, that she didn’t have to have the abortion, that there was a lot of help available for her, while handing her the COLFS flier. She told M. that she knew she must be a good mother. She had to be to have raised four children. The counselor told the young mother that she knew she was scared and promised there was help for her and her pre-born child, as well as for her other children. She asked the young woman to trust her.
With tears running down her face, M. began to walk toward the stairs. The counselor handed her a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Rosary she had been praying on, clutching the young woman’s hand for quite awhile promising help for her and begging her not to have the abortion, not to let anyone hurt the child she was carrying. The young woman smiled, but went upstairs to FPA and went inside. Within five minutes she came back out and approached her friends. She spoke to them with intensity, and then slowly began to walk back toward the stairs. M. looked down at the counselor. The counselor smiled at her and beckoned her to come down.
As soon as M. reached the bottom of the stairs, the abortionist arrived and parked very close to the bottom of the stairs. The counselor asked the young woman to walk away from the stairs for privacy so they could continue talking. M. told the counselor she decided she would not have the abortion, and that she would keep this baby. While they were standing near the front of the stairs, the abortionist who was now up on the middle landing of the stairs going up to FPA, stopped and faced them.
Never having had any negative confrontation with the abortionist before, the counselor said “Hello, and God bless you”. The abortionist, however, began to yell at the counselor “Blasphemer!” for no apparent reason several times. Then, he began sneering and laughing in a sinister manner. Ignoring him, the counselor continued to speak to the young woman. The abortionist, again, said in a louder voice, “Blasphemer!”
Startled, M. asked the counselor if he was talking to her. The counselor told her, “No. He is the baby killer. He is talking to me.” The counselor silently prayed to the Holy Mother of God for her interception. Right at the very moment the counselor was done with her silent prayers, the Spanish-speaking counselor pulled into the main driveway. As he began to go in another direction, the counselor waved him over to her so he could communicate better with M.
The counselor continued to talk with M., who by now seemed committed to keeping this baby. The Spanish-speaking counselor drove right over and told M. all the information the counselor did, but this time in Spanish. M. told both counselors that before she contacted COLFS or any of the pregnancy resource centers, she had to pick up her children from a baby sitter. She said she could not go to COLFS today, but intends to call them. Before she left, the first counselor exchanged telephone numbers with M. Clutching the Rosary and the picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe that the counselor had given her, she smiled and walked away with her friends and left.
Shortly thereafter, the Spanish-speaking counselor spoke with a couple from Tijuana bringing their 16-year-old daughter J. to have an abortion. When he spoke to the parents of the 16-year-old, he assumed that they were going to abort their child, not their grandchild. He told them about the abortionist’s history and how they could check it out at the California Medical Board site. He told about a Finland study that indicates that women who have abortions have a six times higher rate of suicide and other negative psychological side effects.
He encouraged them to call COLFS right away, but they began to walk toward the elevator. Another counselor intercepted them. They told the other counselor that the abortion was for their 16-year-old daughter. The first counselor walked back to them so he could translate, and a third counselor joined in. After a few minutes, the girl’s father said that that he was definitely going to call COLFS, and they drove off.
One of the counselors intercepted a car with a mother and young daughter in the car. Before the counselor could say a word, the mother held up a bible and said “My daughter was raped”. Expressing sorrow for the pain and grief they must feel, the counselor tried to let them know that this was not the place to receive the counseling her young daughter needed. Holding up the Bible, again, the mother said, “This is my answer”. The counselor said “I understand your feelings of pain and anger, but please know there will be two victims now if she has the abortion. It won’t make her pain or the anger go away. Please leave here to receive the counseling you both need. I have someone you can call to get that counseling”.
The mother held up her Bible, again, and said “I am going up there (to FPA) to get counseling”. By the anger and tone in the mother’s voice, and the tears in the very young girl’s eyes, the counselor took the mother’s inference to mean she was going to FPA to have the abortion. She then parked, and with her young daughter who was crying the entire time, walked upstairs into the abortion mill.
Another counselor got on her knees to speak with a couple in their car who had just arrived, about why she comes here on Saturday. She told the woman it was not just because of the doctor’s record, but that she believed women are damaged physically and emotionally through abortion, and that it was wrong. She told the couple that they may think this was an answer to a problem, but in the long run it would just be the beginning.
The woman at first seemed angry, but then after a while she firmly stated she was not going into FPA, and then she began to tear up. It was clear that this couple were hit with the Holy Spirit, as the father also began to tear up. The counselor gave them information about COLFS and as she looked into the woman’s eyes, she told her she was beautiful, and that she could tell that the woman did not want to be here, she just needed confirmation. As this brave couple began to leave, the counselor could see a stained glass image of Our Lady of Guadalupe hanging from her rear view mirror. The counselor handed her a special Rosary and they left.
Soon after, the counselor noticed that two girls whom she had previously given information to, but was unable to talk to, were now leaving FPA, and waving to the counselor. Thankfully the counselor had previously given them enough information about the abortionist and about COLFS. They left for COLFS and the woman had an ultra-sound but left unsure as to what she will do.
As the counselor was getting ready to leave, she noticed a nice car pull into the lot. For at least 20 minutes a young couple sat in their car. As soon as they made their way out, the counselor talked to both of them about the abortionist. She noticed the girl had on a familiar sweatshirt, and it turned out the girl was from the counselor’s neighborhood.
The couple were still in high school. She asked her how far along she was, and she said 12 weeks. The counselor showed her a model of what her baby looked like. The young man said “Yeah, that’s why we have to get it done today.” The counselor told them stories of girls younger than this girl was, who either gave their baby up for adoption, or with help, decided raise their child.
The counselor then talked to the girl alone, and the girl confided that she did not want to do it. The counselor told her she could see a wonderful heart in this girl and that she needed to do the right thing. The counselor handed her a Rosary and noticed that the girl had a medal of Jesus, telling the girl how much she liked it. The girl said she would talk it over with her boyfriend, and within minutes they both left.
At Planned Parenthood at First and Grape, a long line of prayer warriors rimmed the sidewalk, while a full sized image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was propped up against the tree facing the entrance. Hymns could be heard echoing off the buildings between decades of the Rosary. The sidewalk counselors gave out many fliers, but no one was willing to talk.
Just after the procession left around 10:00 am, the remaining counselor and another counselor who had recently arrived, saw a couple come out to sit on the bench, and were deliberating. She was in tears, and he was talking to her. After a few minutes, one of the counselor’s called out to them and asked if they needed someone to talk to. The man was pleasant, but said “No, we’re good. Thanks”. The counselor replied, “Take care. We are praying for you”.
After about 10 or 15 minutes, they were still out there talking, and the counselor again asked if there was anything he could do. The man replied “No thank you”. Eventually, they stood up, and walked away from Planned Parenthood without going back inside, while telling the counselors that they knew this was the wrong thing to do. However, the woman said she really didn’t want to talk. The counselor gave her a flier on COLFS, and told them that someone was there for them right now if they wanted to go talk to them.
-The sidewalk counselors of Helpers of God’s Precious Infants San Diego
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