An Unusual Day at the Abortion Center
Sidewalk counselors are an unusual lot. Some call them crazy, and I believe they are – a little bit anyway. They stand on the sidewalks outside abortion clinics trying to talk women (and girls) out of aborting their babies and they have only seconds to do this amazing task. The following is a story about an unusual day at one abortion center:
We try to have three sidewalk counselors at the abortion center. One stands near the front door, and the other two stand about 75 feet away. The object is to try to speak to a mother as soon as possible while she is walking to the abortuary. We try to give her literature and information about the help available if she keeps her baby and problems that can occur as a result of the abortion. We try to talk about the woman, not the baby. We place two posters on each side of the abortion center about 40 feet from the door, indicating the number of women killed by legal abortion (the names of many are written on a tombstone). We cannot block or touch a person entering the abortuary. We can only talk and try to offer literature. We offer free help, pregnancy tests, adoption services, etc. We have the local crisis pregnancy center, Birthright, lined up before we start, and their information is on the flyers.
At this abortuary, we have learned the identity of the abortionist and have developed a flyer on him. We even have his picture and accounts of court cases where twice he allowed a woman to bleed to death because he did not know what to do after he punctured the woman’s uterus. This flyer is a big help if we can get them to read it. Even if they won’t take the flyer, we tell them about the abortionist.
Some of our sidewalk counselors are very good. My friend, Dick Retta, has dissuaded many from abortion even before they left their cars. He is fantastic! He counsels at several sites in Washington, D.C. and Montgomery County, Maryland. He has had as many as five “saves” in one day (more than once). Most of us are about one-tenth as good as he is. The entire experience is humiliating as you fail, and fail, and fail, and fail, and frequently you are cursed by the woman and her friends. Sometimes you are threatened by the boyfriend as he does not want to pay child support. These men care not at all what happens to the woman. Ninety-five percent of them drop the girlfriend following the abortion. They don’t want a girl friend who will likely get pregnant.
At this site, we have very few of those we call prayer warriors -- people who pray the Rosary across the street from the center. I think the local people have become discouraged by their lack of success and simply gave up. We have only recently begun our activities at this center and have been successful, so now we are working on getting the prayer warriors to come back. A Catholic school and Church are less than a block away; hopefully, we can get them motivated.
At a recent morning of sidewalk counseling, Dick approached a Hispanic couple coming to the clinic. They brought with them a 17-year-old girl who spoke both English and Spanish. The couple only spoke Spanish. While Dick tried to explain the flyer in his best Spanish, I talked to the girl. She had a child of her own and didn’t want the woman to have an abortion. I gave her a flyer about the abortionist and quickly went through it e.g. the abortionist she would see had already killed two women. I then told her the woman was a beautiful woman (she was) and her baby would be a beautiful child. I showed her a picture of my beautiful adopted granddaughter who I told them was saved from abortion. We spoke of other aspects such as the free help from Birthright, however they said they had an appointment and must go in. I gave them each a Rosary asked them to pray about this. Dick asked them to cancel the appointment and come back out. They went in, but did not come out.
About half an hour later two women in their 30s came down the sidewalk and looked at the tombstone sign. They asked questions, so I explained our mission and described the abortion center and the abortionist. I gave them flyers and even a 12-week-old, life-like fetal model we often give out. They couldn’t believe women would go through with this as they had children of their own. They appeared sympathetic to our cause. Just then, the Hispanic couple came out with their friend and headed across the street to their car. I told the two women, “That is a save!” The women were so excited they ran across the street to tell the couple how happy they were for them. One of the women was crying with joy.
About 30 minutes later, Dick had another save. He talked to a couple before they got out of their car. The man had motioned to Dick to come over to his car to answer a question. The Holy Spirit was there for Dick on this one, and Dick did a good job. They never left the car but drove off, then drove around the block and gave us a big ‘thumbs up’.
We have reached the end of this day. Just before we started packing up our signs, a young man, obviously homosexual, came up to another sidewalk counselor, Chuck Edgar, and began telling him he disagreed with our signs. Then he turned to me and said, “How can the button on your jacket be true?” “It says, ‘You can’t be Christian and Pro-Choice?’” I asked him, “What part of ‘thou shall not kill’ don’t you understand?” He came up with the usual clichés which we quickly refuted. Having run out of clichés, he says, “I bet you hate me because I am homosexual.” Chuck says, “No, we love you as much as anyone else. We just don’t approve of your sin.” I pointed out that a homosexual life style would probably shorten his life by 20 years. I told him it is an illness with a 75 percent cure rate, the same as any other mental illness. He countered by saying the Psychiatric Association says it is not a mental illness. I told him this was political correctness that is killing million of homosexuals. I also informed him about an organization called Courage that helps homosexuals. He seemed very interested and wanted more information. I told him that everything we had told him could be found on the Internet. He thanked us and left. His name is David, and we told him we would pray for him. Please add him to your prayers!
Even when we don’t have verifiable ‘saves’ we are witnesses for Christ. Our large sign “Abortion Kills Children and Harms Women” is seen by about 5,000 people a week as it is on the main route through town. Many people see us praying in front of the abortuary, and we get many ‘thumbs up’ and “Thanks for being there.” Of course we get those gestures telling us we are number one, and we always respond by telling them we will pray for them.
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