It was the first Saturday of the Spring 40 Days for Life campaign, and there was a steady supply of people praying on the sidewalk throughout the morning.

One of the first cars to arrive at Family Planning Associates was a young African American woman who came with her aunt. The young woman was courteous and open to what the counselor had to say. The counselor told her about the horrible record of the doctor and they both seemed concerned.  The counselor then asked how far along she was, and the young woman said 13 weeks. The counselor showed her a model of what her baby looked like, and the young woman told the counselor that she was not ready to have a baby.

At that point the aunt was coaxing her away from the counselor, and then the counselor told them how our group was trying to give information to the doctor about adoption, and the doctor said there were too many Africans and Indians in the world. This was enough to stop the two, and they began to ponder. The aunt then opened up to the counselor that her friend had an abortion years ago and wanted her to be in the room with her. The woman told the counselor she could not believe what she saw, and could not understand how abortion doctors can do what they do.  Still, she told the young woman it was her choice. The counselor assured them they would get attention and care at Culture of Life Family Services and urged them to go.  They went into FPA and came out about 15 minutes later.  The young woman hugged the counselor and said she was going to think it over.  Please pray for them.

Soon after a young couple walked towards FPA and the counselor began to tell them about the conditions at FPA. Both became troubled. The young woman told the counselor she took the abortion pill but was still bleeding after 28 days. The counselor assured them that FPA was not the place to be.  Both were very grateful for the information and they immediately left to go to COLFS to get better medical attention.  Please pray for this couple who plan on marrying someday that they always remain open to life.

Soon after that a cab pulled up with a young woman in the back. She looked scared.  She spoke no English. The counselor tried to convey the information about the horrible practices at FPA. The cab driver who was from Somalia, was horrified and tried to tell the young woman to leave. At that point another counselor brought two of the prayer warriors over to translate in Spanish. During their conversation the counselor called a Hispanic-speaking counselor at COLFS and the two began to talk.

After much discussion the young woman agreed to follow the counselor to COLFS.  It was there that she saw her 8-week-old baby. After much thought, she decided to choose life!  However, this young woman is from Cancun and was staying in Tijuana with untrustworthy friends.  It was agreed that Y. would stay at a home in San Diego County until there could be a more permanent house for her to reside in.  Y. has agreed to place her baby for adoption but she faces hurdles and temptations, and  needs our prayers.

Another counselor spoke with two women who were standing by their car, apparently early for their appointment. The counselor, not knowing which one was going into the abortion mill, spoke to them both about the abortionist, and the risks involved in having an abortion. Both of the women seemed concerned, and finally one of them asked to see a flyer and admitted she was going in, and that she was four months pregnant.  They were urged to go to COLFS, and the woman said she would think about it but went up the stairs.

At the top of the stairs another woman who was walking in the other direction told the women who had just climbed the stairs, “You better get in there quick, the waiting room is packed”.  About an hour later, another counselor saw them leave, still holding the flyers.  The woman who was pregnant told the counselor she was considering going to COLFS, but it was difficult to tell if she changed had her mind or not.

A counselor spoke with a 19-year-old woman, G., who came with her boyfriend and another friend. G. already had an infant, and felt that it was too soon to have another child, and they were not financially prepared for it.  The girl was about nine weeks pregnant, and was surprised when she saw the picture of a six-week pre-born baby the counselor showed her. The counselor asked her to consider how much she loved her other child, and that she would feel the same way about this one.  After talking a while, the counselor told her “You don’t really want to do this, I can tell.”

The girl nodded and said “No, I don’t want to do this.  I need to talk with my boyfriend about it.” The counselor advised her that no matter what anyone else said, she was the one that would have to live with her decision the rest of her life.  The counselor gave her a Rosary and picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The girl was tearing up and thanked the counselor.  They drove away a short while later while the counselor was speaking to another couple.

A car with two women, a man, and a young child pulled up in front of the building.  As the woman in the passenger seat started to get out, the counselor gave her a flyer and warned her of the litigation history of the abortionist.  She seemed shocked.  The counselor continued telling her about the side effects of having an abortion, particularly the emotional trauma.

The counselor asked her if the young child in the back seat was hers, and she said it was her sister’s.  When asked if she had any children of her own, she replied, “I have six children, and I’m no longer in a relationship”.  The counselor asked her to think about her other children, and how important each one was to her, and how devastated she would be if she lost one, and that the one she carried now would be just as important.  She sat in the front seat, in no hurry to get out, letting all of this sink in. The counselor advised her to go to COLFS, and she finally said she needed to go upstairs and find out about things. The counselor told her that it was never to late to get up and leave, and that we would pray for her. She thanked the counselor and went inside.

The counselor then talked to a young couple who were just getting out of their car.  O. said she already had two small children under the age of four, and when asked if the reason for the abortion was because it would be difficult to have another child, she nodded in agreement. The counselor told her about how many women still live with emotional scars from having abortions 20 and 30 years ago, and that this was something she would always regret. The counselor showed her a life-size rubber model of a twelve-week old pre-born baby, as well as a six-week old pre-born baby, and her face was worried. The boyfriend came closer and listened intently as the counselor told him that this might be the only son he would ever have.

The counselor asked them if they knew what the abortionist was going to do to their baby, and they slowly shook they heads indicating “no.” The counselor said, “I’m sorry if this will upset you, but you will be 50 times more upset if you go through with this, and have to live with it later.” The counselor quickly showed them a small picture of an aborted fetus, and then covered it up. Their faces were troubled.  The counselor told them that they were a family, and that his child would be there for her when she was an old lady, because she will be there for this child now, and that only she could protect the baby. By now she was weeping and the boyfriend was holding her.

The counselor gave her a Rosary and a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and then pointed out the large picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe hanging from a tree by the sidewalk, and pointed out the people praying on the sidewalk, and said “Those people are praying for you right now.  I know you don’t want to do this”. Handing them a card, the counselor said, “Please leave and go to COLFS, they will see you for free and help you get through this.”  The got into their car, and as they started to pull away, the young man stopped the car, opened the door, and walked over to the counselor.  He wanted to know what the counselor’s name was. He shook the counselor’s hand and said, “God bless you,” and then they drove away. We later heard they went straight to COLFS.

A few minutes later the woman with six children came out of FPA and entered her car.  The counselor asked her if she changed her mind.  She said, “I decided not to do it,” and they drove away.

Late in the morning when the last counselor was about to leave, a couple drove up to the front of the building.  They looked to be in their late 30s.  The woman stood outside of their pick-up truck smoking a cigarette, looking very nervous.  The counselor walked toward her with a flyer, and she put up her hand and politely said “No thank you.”  The counselor nodded and walked back to a position farther away in the parking lot.  The man walked over to the woman and kissed her, trying to reassure her that everything would be OK.  Before she could finish her cigarette, she got back into the truck and they drove away.