Thursday, March 01, 2007

The snow was heavy this morning as I drove to the abortion center. But then, shortly after I arrived there, it turned to rain. Unfortunately I forgot my umbrella, but it was bearable.

First to pull into the parking lot was a mother and her daughter. The cute little girl jumped out of the car and went for the door. I greeted her with a smile. She smiled back. I handed her the crisis pregnancy center card and she looked it over. Before I could say a word, her mother stormed forward shouting at me to leave her daughter alone. She brushed past me and tried to open the door, but could not get in because it was not yet 9:00 AM. They make people wait outside, as if they were standing in front of a Target store waiting for someone to come with the key.

A rickety old van slowly rolled up the small driveway and parked. I saw two car seats in the van. An Arabic man, and his wife wearing the full black garb and head wear came on the sidewalk. She quickly went inside, but I was able to stop him and ask him to talk with me. He explained to me that he has no job, and can barely feed their two children. He is a former National Guardsman. He said the help they tried to get through Social Services was a nightmare. He is right. I learned that Social Services and government aid is a very difficult process to wade through for help. The system is apparantly a mess.

I never thought I would ever say this, but I have come to understand that sometimes our society drives people to the abortion center. I understand why some women would have an abortion. After talking with so many people in front of the abortion center, with so many different situations, I truly understand why some go there. Of course, it is an abomination to God, and I hate abortion. But when I hear pro-lifers say, "I can't understand how a woman could kill her baby"....I immediately think...then you are clueless! Way too many pro-lifers talk-talk-talk, but they do not listen. I am sick of Christian and Catholic radio hosts and guests make ridiculous comments about people involved in abortions when they do not know the situations.

Project Gabriel puzzles me that program more helpful than a CPC? Will they talk-talk-talk, or will they listen? I don't know. I have talked to the volunteers and read the material. I am concerned that the Project might take women away from the real help they can receive at a crisis pregnancy center. Is "Angel" training realistic? I am sure the volunteers are sincere, good-hearted, and well-meaning people, but can they take the place of professional counselors who can guide women and men through their crisis including the help to get through the complicated government aid? I wonder why they don't partner with a good CPC or two.

It is so easy to be a vocal prolifer from your nice suburban home where your husband takes care of you, and you have a car and go on vacations. I am talking about the prolifers who shout at politicians, the abortion center staff, and the abortionist saying things like, "Hey, why do you kill babies?" Is that helpful? They say, "these women go to abortion centers because of this or that"....and I have heard them say, "they feel like...this or that" I have even heard MANY say "the women feel like they have no other options". Sometimes that is true...but not ALL THE TIME . Take the mothers who bring their little daughters. Oh please, they know about options! It is not about having options. Most often, it is simply about living a selfish life.

The Arabic woman did not have the abortion. Her husband said they are going to The Lennon Center for help. I started praying at 9:30 AM. A man named Gerry came, and he prayed with me. Chris was there too. We prayed in the pouring rain only three feet from the door. I was surprised to find myself fighting back tears today as we prayed the Rosary, and Chaplet of the Divine Mercy. Little girls with pink ribbons in their hair are having abortions. Some say that is "choice", and some even call it "reproductive health". I call it child abuse.

I was thinking about the little girl inside this terrible place, brought here by her mother. She will remember March 1 forever. I thought about how angry her mother was at me, and about this young teen's shy little smile when I approached her. I prayed for her mother (who threw up in the parking lot). The little girl had an abortion. She left in tears; but instead of the CPC card in her hand, she was grasping her birth control pills.


Fredi said...

There is no logical reason for the Gabriel Project to be "dangerous" if it is properly implemented. If it isn't working as it should, it needs to be improved, not eliminated. What this nation needs is a Gabriel Project - properly understood and implemented - in every Christian place of worship.

Patty said...

Maybe you are right. I think I wss too harsh. I changed my thoughts after your comment. I think GP volunteers should work with the CPC's...I base that on what I have read, and what I learned from people in my parish. God willing, it will work out. Thanks for the comment!

Fredi said...

Hi Patty,

I absolutely agree with you that the GP volunteers should work with the CPC's. The moms should be referred to both parties at the time that they call the GP hotline and both parties should engage in their respective roles.

Here's a link to an uplifting story about a GP volunteer's relationship with a mom and a doctor.

Fredi said...

Here's how it's done at Catholic Pro-Life Committee of North Texas

Project Gabriel is a parish outreach to women in crisis pregnancies. A mother-to-be who calls the 972-BABY-DUE hotline from a Project Gabriel parish sign or bumper sticker is paired with a trained volunteer called a "Gabriel Angel." The Angel offers her a listening ear, a caring heart, prayer, and spiritual friendship. Angels have access to local resources and agencies, such as: St. Joseph's Helpers; the White Rose Women's Center, Dallas' only Catholic crisis pregnancy center, with which the CPLC closely networks and financially supports; and Catholic Counseling Maternity and Adoption Services.

As a pro-life declaration to parishioners and the wider community, parishes can erect Project Gabriel signs that bear the tender image of the Madonna of the Street, the message: "Pregnant? Confused? Need Help?" and the 972-BABY-DUE number. To date, 40 parishes in the metroplex have erected these "Signs of Life," with more being added each year.

For more information about the Project Gabriel ministry, please contact Director Patty Sherrod at

Rachael said...

I agree that it is important for pro-lifers to understand why women feel they need abortions. This does not mean condoning the action, but providing compassion, love, and actually listening to the women. And by listening, we can provide better alternatives and better address their needs, which when we empower the women to choose life.

Rachael said...

*And by listening, we can provide better alternatives and better address their needs, which when we empower the women to choose life for their unborn child and can better themselves.

Rachael said...

"The little girl had an abortion. She left in tears; but instead of the CPC card in her hand, she was grasping her birth control pills."

It sure sounds as if she was coerced or at least pressured by her mother to have an abortion. And the clinic preformed the abortion, gave her birth control pills, and hurried her on her way. Now I wonder where they will be when she's grieving...

Diane said...

Patty - I wanted to email you, but did not have an address. Please see the blogpost over at HGPI-Mich for an upcoming retreat, which is open to others who do sidewalk counseling. Fr. Thomas J. Euteneuer is the retreat master. Please let others know about it as well. It is not for people who are simply pro-life, but for those who are actively involved like yourself or seriously considering sidewalk counseling or becoming an HGPI-Mich prayer warrior.

2007 HGPI-Mich Retreat

Fredi said...

What Is the Gabriel Project?

The Gabriel Project is parish based crisis pregnancy intervention. Through the parish acting as the Good Samaritan, Mom receives the love, care, and spiritual, material, and emotional support she needs throughout her pregnancy.

The Gabriel Project is not a referral service. The Central Phone Number posted on the sign is the most crucial element of the Gabriel Project and its key to success. It is not intended to refer callers to pregnancy centers. When a woman calls for help, the Central Phone Line volunteer will directly contact the parish Gabriel Project Coordinator at the Church closest to where Mom lives. The Parish Gabriel Coordinator will contact a trained Angel in her parish. The Angel will call Mom and set up their first visit at the parish.

To learn more about the Gabriel Project and how to best implement it your area click here.