Monday, May 15, 2006

I have been away for two weeks, spending most of that time at our annual trade show in Las Vegas. I notice on this trip that the Strip looks more disturbing than ever! Or maybe after all this sidewalk counseling, I am just more aware of how perverted the culture there really is. What about all that exploitation of women? Where are the feminist? Do they think men have the "right to choose" people as sex objects? Hmm...maybe sidewalk counseling to stop prostitution would be a good thing...the strategy would be the same as at abortion centers....offer better options (oh, and some clothes too!)

I started my first day back praying very earnestly during Mass at St. Martha's before going to the aborion clinic. I especially prayed to the Holy Spirit to diminish me so that He can use me as His instrument... His work, His disposition, His Words.

I was immediately met at the clinic by very hostile mothers seeking abortions for their pregnant teenage daughters. A few stopped to talk and took the referral cards to the CPCs, but most had some harsh words that they felt compelled to rifle at Stan and me. OUCH! When Kathy came our mood lightened up as it always does with her cheerful personality. We prayed, and then left. Chris took over. What a tough morning....maybe tomorrow the Spirit will diminish some of those hard hearts!

This morning, now May 16, I was alone for the first forty-five minutes because Stan was working for the Sisters of Charity. A young Hispanic girl pulled in to the parking lot driving a red Element. I approached her and she stopped to talk with me. She told me that she thinks she is pregnant. I asked her if she is here to arrange an abortion. Her face fell and she asked me if it is still an abortion if she is only two or three weeks pregnant. When I told her yes, and showed her how her baby looks at three weeks, her eyes filled with tears. She told me she could not ever have an abortion. We talked about it, and I gave her the information for the CPC, including directions. She said she would go there immediately, but when she left the parking lot, she went in the opposite direction. I suspected that she went to pick someone up to accompany her.

There are a lot of men today. I feel like telling them, "Hey a MAN, take responsibility for what happened and protect her and YOUR child!" But I don't say that because if they are willing to hurt their girlfriend and child, they might hurt me too. I do tell the woman, right in front of him, that by bringing her to an abortion clinic he obviously does not love her or care about her. Most men take off leaving her all alone, and then when it is all over, she calls on her cell phone to be picked up. His problem is gone, her's is just beginning.

I was approaching another young Hispanic girl just as Kathy arrived. She stopped and we talked while standing part way in the driveway. She is considering an abortion; she is confused and frightened. She wants a pregnancy test and ultrasound. Her name is Sandy. She said she cannot embarrass her parents with this pregnancy. I assured her as a parent myself, that after they go ballistic, they will get over it and help her. Clearly, she does not want an abortion. We talked about how easy it is to rationalize doing something that is obviously wrong when we are trying to get out of a tough situation. I told her about a good CPC that will help her. They will even council her on how to approach her parents about this big news. She asked me to tell her everything that would happen to her inside the abortion clinic. I told her in detail. She looked at me and said, "I am going to cry." I asked Kathy to join us. Kathy was very good with her. She is kind and gentle, but very matter-of-fact. Sandy listened intently, and asked questions. She believes in God, and Kathy told her if she does God's will, He will help her. We talked more about help available for her.

Suddenly, we were startled by a loud honking horn. Sandy commented how rude that was. I told her that the rude person in the huge silver Lincoln Continental honking at us is the abortionist. She looked at Kathy and me in disgust and said, "he must really hate you." Then Sandy noticed Chris with his gigantic pictures and asked me what they were. I told her they were gruesome aborted baby pictures. Sandy asked me if she could see them. That surprised me, so I called Chris over and he showed her the pictures and he spoke to her as well. Sandy agreed to go to the CPC. I called the director, Laura, and she said she would take care of our Sandy. Sandy left to meet with Laura. The abortionist, Dr. Ann, called the police to report that we were blocking his driveway. He does hate us.

A red van pulled in to the parking lot by the bar. I waited for them to come out of the car, but they just sat there. It was obvious that they were coming to the abortion clinic. Kathy and I started praying, and after a few minutes, the red van left. Thanks be to God. Hopefully, they will never come back here.

As Kathy and I finished our Rosary, and started the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy on our knees, the young Hispanic girl who drove the red Element returned. I was very disappointed that she came back to the abortion clinic. My hunch that she went to pick someone up was right. Her young Hispanic BOYfriend came towards me. I told him that I talked with his girlfriend and that she does not want an abortion. He smiled and told me that they are having the baby. I told him that I know he is lying to me because I can see the guilt written all over his face....and of course because he is here! I showed him where to get help, and sternly told him not to force her to have an abortion. I told him that she is scared and that they will hurt her here. He stopped smiling. He went back to the car and she came to the sidewalk. I approached her and she put her head down and ran past to me to the door. After Kathy and I finished praying we walked to our cars and looked back to see her with the white folder, which is the twenty-four hour notice packet to prepare for the abortion. Hopefully, Kathy or I will be there if she comes back for the abortion. He is pressuring her.

It is now Wednesday morning, May 17. Laura said she is counseling Sandy. She is twenty weeks pregnant! Laura is the real counselor, she is the expert. I don't like the term sidewalk counselor, we are really more like sidewalk intercessors.

The Hispanic girl in the red Element did not come back for an abortion. That is such good news. The people in the red van did not come back either. Today is a slow day for the abortionist. Most everyone that came took our referral card to a CPC. Some left without having an abortion, and some left without the dreaded white 24 hour notice folder.

I should be elated about Sandy. But instead I am troubled about how difficult it is to talk with a girl/woman who arrives at the abortion clinic with her mother, boyfriend, or husband. I can see that she does not want the abortion. But she is in a position where she has no control. She is not treated like a person, she is an object someone owns. I suppose that is similar to a prostitute in Vegas. She is not treated like a person either; she is rented out by an owner as a product to use. If grown up walking, talking, thinking, persons can so easily be treated like objects, what chance does an unwanted unborn baby have?

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