Family Planning Associates, Miramar Rd, and Planned Parenthood, 1st & Grape (both in San Diego), Saturday June 9
Family Planning Associates
There were about 15 to 20 prayer warriors and two sidewalk counselors throughout the morning. The morning started off slow, but then around 9:00 am a second wave of cars poured into the parking lot. Two cars pulled in at almost the same time near the sidewalk counselors, parking about 20 feet away from each other. The sidewalk counselors waited for the couples to emerge from their cars, but they each stayed in their cars talking. Other cars came in and the counselors spoke to couples, still keeping an eye on the parked cars.
There was the usual mix of responses, with some showing women showing concern, and some completely ignoring the counselors, or politely saying they weren’t interested.
After about 15 minutes, one of the two cars the counselors had been watching drove out of the front parking lot and parked behind the building, where they continued to wait in their car, out of sight from the counselors. They left the parking lot about 10 minutes later and did not return.
After another 10 minutes the other couple emerged from the second parked car that remained in the front parking lot. They were a young Hispanic couple, about 19 to 20 years of age. The young girl seemed worried, and the counselor spoke to them both about what they were about to do, and the trauma that the girl would experience after the abortion. She seemed shocked when shown the picture of a 6-week pre-born baby, which was exactly where she was in her pregnancy.
As the counselor was explaining how developed the baby was, and how this would haunt her the rest of her life, the boyfriend said to her, “See…” as if some previous persuasion he was making to her was being validated. The counselor asked them if they were planning on getting married some day, and they both responded “No”, without any hesitation. The counselor’s heart sunk, because without the future support of her boyfriend, it was going much more difficult to convince her to choose life.
They spoke for a while longer, and then the boyfriend, who seemed to not want her to abort, or was at least indifferent, motioned with his cell phone clock that they had to go upstairs. The counselor offered them a Rosary as they were walking away, and the young man turned back and tugged on something under his shirt, saying, “I already have one”. The counselor said “Then you know how serious this is”. The girl continued to walk away and the young man followed.
About 15 minutes later the man came back out alone, and the counselor asked him if he was able to get her to change her mind. He did not seem very upset said in a matter of fact way “No”, and he quickly got in his car and drove away.
Late in the morning another young couple arrived in a newer pick-up truck and parked in the lot. The man was slouched down in the driver’s seat with his hand on his forehead, looking down, in obvious torment. The woman had been lying down in the back seat, as if hiding while they drove in. The counselor stood by at a distance, ready to walk up and intercept them when they opened the car door. Two cars in the vicinity had their doors open with the men waiting inside, playing rap music that resonated across the parking lot. The counselors had previously spoken to both of them and their girlfriends earlier in the morning. The women were mildly receptive, but the men were curt and ushered the women into the mill.
Now the men were waiting in their cars for their babies to be killed. After about 20 minutes the woman in the pick-up truck opened the door and stood outside, leaning into the truck toward her boyfriend. At this point the counselor walked over and began giving them information. They both got out of the car and starting walking to the mill while the counselor explained the risks and side effects of an abortion. The woman was walking ahead, and did not want to talk.
About 10 minutes later they both came out and got into the truck, and started to leave. The counselor walked over holding up Rosaries as a gift. They started driving forward, but then stopped and rolled down the passenger window. The counselor approached the truck and asked the woman, “Did you change your mind today?” She had tears in her eyes, but smiled and said,”Yes.” The counselor gave them a blue Rosary and a pink Rosary and said, “God bless you. I will pray for you”. They thanked the counselor and drove away.
A couple drove in and parked in the lot for about 15 minutes, and left the motor running with the windows rolled up. As they started to drive away the counselor motioned for the driver to roll down his window to receive a flyer on COLFS, but the driver just raised up his hand with an expression on his face that seemed to say “Oh well…she won’t go through with it.” They drove away and did not return.
We had about 10 or 12 prayer warriors this morning, including Victor and several friends from his parish. This morning a car parked on the street right in front of the main entrance at about 7:05 am. A mom, daughter and boyfriend got out of the car. The counselor approached them and gave them information and said “Please give this to anyone you know is pregnant. We want them to know about options other than abortion.” The mom said, “We know about the options. We are not stupid. This is not the time or the place for this.” It was apparent that the daughter was pregnant, so the counselor responded ” I am not saying anyone is stupid, but there is a human life at stake. God bless you.” They took the information and walked in.
A little while later, the mom and daughter’s boyfriend walked out. The daughter was inside. The counselor said to the mom, “Ma’am, I am praying for you and your family.” She responded, “Don’t talk to me! Take your preaching somewhere else. Grow a uterus! You are rude and insensitive, and have no right to be here.” They walked up the street and were gone for about an hour.
Meanwhile a Hispanic couple arrived in a cab. The counselor gave them information and said, “Please give this to anyone you know is pregnant. We want them to know about options other than abortion.” They took the information and walked up the walkway. The man looked back to the counselor and gave a “thumbs up” sign. They immediately sat down on the bench outside the entrance and looked at the information for a few minutes and then went inside. They came back out about 5 or 10 minutes later and sat on the bench again. The man was talking on his cell phone, and they spent a lot of time talking to each other, and they appeared to be happy, and she was leaning her head on his shoulder. A cab showed up, and they left in the cab.
The mom and daughter’s boyfriend came back, and the mom went inside, and the boyfriend was outside on the sidewalk smoking. The counselor approached him and the man said he felt awful about this. The counselor explained to him about women he has talked to who have had abortions, who are living a lifetime of regret and who just wish someone would have been there that day to give them a reason not to do it. The counselor said ” This is why I am here talking to you today. You can go in and talk to your girlfriend and stop this.”
The mom was irritated at the presence of the prayer warriors, and made a point to blow cigarette smoke in their faces, and turned up her radio loud to drown them out. It was apparent that she was either trying to comfort her daughter’s boyfriend, or convince him that an abortion was the right thing to do. He was in tears.
The counselor told him “Don’t let her make this decision for you.” Not surprisingly, the mom told the counselor to shut up. The boyfriend got up and went inside, and not long after came out and said something to the mom. The mom was in tears, and she pulled the car out back, and they all left. The daughter sitting in the passenger seat was in tears, and the boyfriend was sitting behind her with his hands on her shoulders. This was about 9:45 or so.
Later on, Debbie Bradel told me that the Hispanic couple came to Culture of Life Family Services, the pro-life full-service clinic in the Hillcrest area of San Diego. The woman told Debbie that she had prayed last night for a sign that she should not have an abortion. Her MediCal had been denied.
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