The following comes from an Aug. 29 email sent by Helpers of God’s Precious Infants about their work at Family Planning Associates on Miramar Rd., San Diego.

At shortly before 8 a.m. the parking lot became busy, with numerous cars coming to the clinic.  The security guards were new, and doing their best to keep us from talking to the women going in.  The “yellow shirt” pro-abortion escorts were also busy trying to keep us from talking to anyone. Within 30 minutes the guards called the police. After listening to the guards’ complaints, the police politely informed them that we had a right to be there, and then left. At around 9 a.m. a second wave of patients began arriving at FPA and things got busy again. All of the counselors were trying to intercept the people coming into the lot before the yellow shirts could interfere.

Two women pulled up near the front of the building and parked. The passenger was a woman, probably in her 20s, and an older woman was driving her.  One counselor approached the young woman sitting in her car, while several yellow shirts tailed closely behind. The young woman listened briefly to the counselor from her seat as best she could while the pro-abortion escorts purposely interrupted the conversation, asking if she wanted an escort to the clinic, and telling her she could just tell us to go away. She then exited the car and seemed uncomfortable and distressed. The counselor offered her information that she took but did not read.  She seemed distracted and annoyed at so many people surrounding the vehicle and talking at once. She sidled up next to several yellow shirts and headed up to FPA. The counselor spoke briefly to the driver (her aunt) and gave her the same material, which she took, encouraging her to at least read it as she followed the parade of yellow shirts up to the mill.  Both women entered the mill and were inside for about 30 minutes before they came out. At that time another counselor saw them come down the elevator and head back toward their car.

The counselor told them how wonderful it was that they were leaving.  The woman was well past the first trimester and had come for the second part of a two-day procedure.  She had come the previous day for the insertion of a laminaria to dilate the cervix.  Today would have been the actual abortion. The aunt told the counselor they wanted to go to Culture of Life Family Services to get the laminaria removed.  The counselor offered to follow them to COLFS and they accepted.

At COLFS, she said she was 19 weeks pregnant.  When she had gone to FPA the previous day to have the laminaria put in, she did not tell anyone. This girl recounted how at FPA there was no one there to explain what was happening, or talk to her about other choices.  She said the workers were unkind and rough with her.   Once her aunt and grandmother found out, they tried to talk her out of the abortion.  This young girl is only 18 and already has a five-month-old baby at home.  She became pregnant almost immediately after the baby was born.  Upon seeing the baby on ultrasound, her aunt began to tear up, and the girl said she felt so much better that the lamanaria was taken out.  She is in need of our prayers as the next 48 hours are crucial, and there is a risk of miscarriage.

A short time after these women and the counselor had left for COLFS, it was providential that both security guards and all of the pro-abortion escorts were occupied at one point surrounding three counselors who were speaking to a couple, allowing another counselor to stop a van right in front of the clinic and speak with them.  It was a very polite Spanish-speaking family of six.  The Spanish-speaking counselor began in the usual way, warning them of the doctor’s history of probation and such.  The father was alarmed by the danger, and listened as the counselor told him about COLFS and the services they could provide.  The dad handed his phone to the counselor, saying, “Can you put the address in my GPS?”  This degree of cooperation is unusual, so after entering COLFS into the GPS, the counselor wanted to be sure they weren’t expecting COLFS to do an abortion for them.  So he asked, “What brings you here today, did you want to have an abortion?” The father replied that they do, because they already have four kids, and since the youngest is still a baby, it would be too much to handle.  The counselor acknowledged the difficulty, and gave an example of twins, how it is hard for a little while, but then the twins become best friends, etc.  He then explained that when we go to COLFS, they’ll do a free ultrasound and consultation, but not abortion.  He stressed that there is no pressure to make a decision right away, and it is important to see the ultrasound and speak to a good doctor who cares about his family.  Without ever leaving their van, the family headed down to the COLFS office in Mission Valley.

When they arrived, one of the other counselors who had followed the young woman and her aunt to COLFS was already there to meet them, and the Spanish-speaking counselor came to meet them at the office.  The whole family was in the counseling room with the other counselor and an advocate from COLFS.  The mother was abortion intent, saying “no mas.” She seemed overwhelmed with her four young children, and didn’t think she could handle another, especially so close together.  The advocate decided it might be better to talk to each of the parents separately, so a Spanish-speaking nurse translated for one counselor with the mother, while the Spanish-speaking counselor stayed with the father and kids in the waiting room.

Here the Spanish-speaking counselor was able to get a better idea of where the father stood.  He was going along with his wife, and said he would be OK with whatever she decided to do.  Then the counselor began speaking about family life, trying to awaken his love for his unborn son or daughter, and to see beyond the present difficulty into the future.  He said that it would be hard for them to love the children they have now, knowing that they had killed one. He told the father to imagine what their family photo would look like in ten years; who is there, who is missing? He told the dad that if they have the abortion, he will always look at that picture and imagine who could have been there too.  On the other hand, if they keep the baby, they will see their family and think: “How could we have even considered abortion?”  The father repeated a few things his wife had said about how hard it would be.  The counselor didn’t diminish or dismiss the difficulty of having another baby, but stressed the increase in love and joy that each new baby brings.  “When you hold this new baby in your arms, you will not regret it.”

After much more conversation about family life and the dangers of abortion, the father said that he would be happy if his wife changed her mind. The counselor told him that she needs to hear this from him, and encouraged him to discuss the same things we were talking about. When they were all set for the ultrasound, the father wanted to stay with his kids, who were getting restless.  He said that he didn’t want to see it because it would make him feel bad.  The counselor told him this means he has to see it and be there with his wife to encourage her.

The husband and wife wanted to make sure the baby was healthy, since she had taken an herbal tea and put on a birth control patch to induce miscarriage.  FPA told them the baby would have Down syndrome.  The ultrasound showed a totally healthy baby.  One could see clearly the hands, feet and beating heart of this little baby.  The baby was even sucking its thumb.  This made an impact on the parents, and one could see the face of the father soften. The mother seemed still to be overwhelmed and a bit “shell shocked,” but the father was transformed and committed to protecting his family.  COLFS set them up with a follow-up appointment for their Escondido office, which is closer to their house.  The counselors walked them to their van, and the father said how happy he was that God brought us together that day, and how he looked forward to working with us and keeping the baby.

Please keep this family in your prayers, especially the mother.  And please pray for the 18 year-old girl that her pregnancy continue.