Thursday, March 30, 2006

As I drove by the clinic this morning to park in my usual place in front of the condo complex, I saw a young hispanic girl try to open the abortion clinic door. It was before 9 AM, too early to get inside. I parked and then walked towards the clinic. I found the young girl sitting on steps in front of one of the condos. I asked her if she was going to the clinic for an abortion. She said no, her friend is having an abortion today, and she is just waiting for her. I doubt that. I sat down next to her, and asked her name. It is Maria. She said I can't understand English well. I said, "Yes you can, right?" She laughed and said, "Right!" She has a two year old child, and she is only twenty one years old. She works in a restaurant in Mexican Village, and told me how hard it is to work and support her child. She said her mother is very angry with her for having a child. I asked her what her mother would think about her having an abortion. She said she would be more angry. We talked more about mothers and motherhood. We talked about God and her soul. Finally, I asked her if she made up the story about a friend coming here. She said no. I still doubt it. I think she was dropped off, their is no friend, and the abortion is for her. I told her I could take her to a place for help with her child, schooling, work, and her health situation. She knew what I meant. But, she would not go with me to the crisis pregnancy center. I continued to try to convince her, but she walked over to the clinic "looking for her friend", and went inside. Before she was completely inside I told her that this place will hurt her, and she will not come out as the same Maria she is right now. She gave me a pathetically sad look, but went inside. I wondered what else I could have said to turn her away from this horrible place!

Stan was there. Two men and a young woman came down the sidewalk. I talked with them, but they would not take the referral card. One man is black, one hispanic, and she is a very pretty red haired white girl. I continued to talk with them at the door. The hispanic man said, "I don't want to hear any more about this from you." I told him that I speak the truth when I say this abortion will hurt her, and he knows it IS the truth.

As they were standing at the door, Connie came by. She lives in the neighborhood, has some problems, and is very lonely. She uses my cell phone to call her case worker. A bus is suppose to take her to Salvation Army. I think Connie has difficulties with time. She was crying because she said no one cares about her. Stan suggested she bring out a lawn chair, her coffee, and hang out with us. Well, I thought, why not? The hispanic man was watching us interact with Connie. He was very quiet suddenly, and temporarily dropped his bad attitude.

The two men and red haired girl went inside. The men soon came out to let her wait alone. Later, she came out to get the money. When she returned to the door, I asked her why she is doing this awful thing to her baby and to herself. I told her that those men do not care about her. She said one of them is her husband, and they have a child and can't afford another. I told her she knows very well that she can love this child too, and one more child doesn't make a big difference financially. The abortion cost alone would pay for much of the babies needs. I talked to her about adoption, and she laughed and said she could never to that. I asked her which she thought her baby would pick, death or adoption. For the first time, she stopped smiling, she put her head down and went inside. That was a little harsh for me to say, but I felt she needed a reality check.

Kathy and her mother-in-law, Katie, arrived. The four of us began our prayers. We pray for about thirty minutes together with a very nice cadence, that can be heard inside. I am the "talker" today. A white man in his sixties went inside the clinic. I had a feeling that I should not approach him. He came out immediately with the red haired girl, his daughter. The black and hispanic men suddenly appeared. The father was trying to get her away from the clinic, he was not agreeable to the abortion. She told him that she is married now, and it is no longer his business. She kissed her hispanic husband, apparently as a solidarity sign. The father was upset, and he went in to the parking lot with the two men. Chris showed up and talked with them and showed them his aborted baby signs. I could not hear them, but I watched because I was concerned for Chris. The red haired girl stayed in the clinic.

As the drama in the parking lot continued, a white couple stepped on to the sidewalk. She looked under eighteen, he was in his late twenties, at least. I approached him and he said that she really thought hard about coming here. As I suspected, they were picking up the paperwork for an abortion. She ducked inside. I told him about the cisis pregnancy center and how he could take her there now. I told him that it would be worth the short drive, and he should do it if he is her friend and cares. I explained that if they do not like it at the CPC, they can always leave, but he must give it a chance, for her sake. He said he doesn't agree with abortion. I asked him to have conviction enough to help her so that she does not make the mistake of her life. She came out with the tell-tale white envelope, and they left. I gave him directions to the CPC.

Our prayers were almost finished when a van pulled right behind me at the curb. We heard more crude and rude remarks this morning than usual, so I was startled. I turned around to speak with the driver. Kathy joined me. He asked what we were doing. Kathy spoke to him since I continued talking with people coming and going from the clinic as Stan and Katie prayed. Kathy said he is Muslim. I heard her tell him that this is an abortion clinic and it is worse than the terror going on in the Mid East, and it is happening in his own backyard. He said he drives by every day, sees us, and had no idea what we were doing. He thanked and affirmed our work, and gave us his homemade kibbie to eat. Sure beats rude comments! We gave the kibbie to Chris, and he loved them! There you go, sidewalk counseling is NOT a thankless job! I left thinking about and praying for Maria. No friend is coming.

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