Monday, April 11, 2011

Abortion Clinic Sidewalk Counseling

One thing we know how to do here in College Station, TX is train pro-lifers.
  • The Coalition for Life is now a model for community organizations in the pro-life movement. 
  • 40 Days For Life started here. 
  • We have Aggies throughout the nation leading pro-life movements.
With this kind of success and history, when one of our Former Students, Heather Gardner, recently moved to Austin to help with the Austin Coalition for Life, I knew it was only a matter of time before she started saving babies there. Heather happens to be one of the prime reasons that Abby Johnson walked out of Planned Parenthood and Heather has many "saves" under her belt already while working and volunteering here in town. The following story is about one of her recent experiences on the sidewalk:
Yesterday I went to the sidewalk at the North I-35 prayer vigil outside "Whole Woman's Health," (an abortion clinic in Austin, TX). As I was praying I looked up and saw a very young petite woman walk out of the clinic. I reached out to her and she did not respond. I persisted. She was on her cell phone, which sometimes can discourage a sidewalk counselor from talking to a client. But I kept trying anyway. She walked all the way across the parking lot and down the driveway.

She kept walking down the street and I almost gave up. Then I thought, "no, keep trying." I proceeded once more. "Hi ma'am, I would really like to talk with you and share some information with you." She stopped and turned around. "Hang on" she said to the person on the phone. She walked toward me. "I'm sorry to interrupt your conversation," I went on, "but I was hoping to talk with you for a moment."

I asked her what brought her to the clinic today. She was there for a pregnancy test. She had hung up the phone by this point. "What did you find out?" I asked. Her expression changed to a disheartening look. "I'm pregnant."

"Oh? And how do you feel about that?" I asked. She said she was worried and didn't know what to think. She didn't expect this at all. "But I'm going to get it taken care of." "What are you going to do?" I asked. "I'm gonna take the pill while it's still early enough. I have to go to the Medicaid office right now though so I can pay for the abortion."

I offered her a ride, and she was very grateful. I told her to wait for a few moments so I could go tell Christine, another Sidewalk Counselor, that I was leaving. As I started walking toward Christine, she motioned for me to come over to talk with some other clients. She had two women that walked over to her from the clinic parking lot. They were Spanish speakers and Christine wanted me to talk to them. I speak little Spanish, but I can usually get by on the sidewalk. It was a mother and her 18-yr-old daughter. They were there for a pregnancy test but they hadn't gone inside yet. I explained to her that she could go to a pregnancy resource center (PRC) nearby for free services including a pregnancy test.

I glanced back over to the other girl that I talked to, making sure she was still there. The Spanish speaking mother told me they wanted to get the pregnancy test here. I explained that this was an abortion clinic and they didn't have to be here. At first she didn't understand, she kept saying that they weren't there for an abortion, just a pregnancy test. I encouraged Christine to call Austin Life Care (the nearby PRC) and ask for a spanish speaker to talk to these two women. Christine did just that, and I left so that I could go take the other girl to the Medicaid office.

I walked back over to her, told her my name and asked her for hers. We'll call her "D." I started asking D about the appointment she just had in the clinic. She said that the worker that "helped her" told D that she was "very proud" of her for coming as early as she did so that she could "take care of this." Those words always make me cringe.

The clinic told D she was 3 weeks along, so it was early enough to take the abortion pill "since it's not a baby yet, it's just an embryo." D said they scheduled an appointment for her for next Wednesday to get the abortion pill. "Did they even ask you if that's what you wanted?" "No," she replied. "I didn't even know what to think." GAAHH!!! I maintained my composure (by the grace of God).

"D, did you know that it actually is a baby? You're pregnant with a baby!" I told her that technically it's true, it is an embryo, but that's a word they use to confuse women to make us think it's not a baby. Embryo is just a stage of development, just like toddler, teenager, and adult. It's still a baby, a very tiny baby. Since she looked so young I asked her how old she was and she said 19.

We got in my car and talked for about 15 more minutes about fetal development, abortion procedures, and about how abortion clinics deceive women because abortions are their biggest money maker. "They didn't tell me any of this! I can't believe this!" Then she told me that she should have just gone to Planned Parenthood because she's heard they are better. Oh girl, don't even get me started on Planned Parenthood! I told her about Planned Parenthood and how they are the largest abortion chain in the world. I reassured her that I knew this information because I have friends who have had abortions, and that a close friend of mine had actually worked at a Planned Parenthood for 8 years. She was even more shocked!

We drove to the Medicaid office. The line was too long so she picked up an application to take home and fill out. I wasn't sure if she was completely against abortion at this point, so I asked her if she'd like me to take her to Austin Life Care to get another pregnancy test, just to make sure. She told me that she was looking for a job and she wasn't with her boyfriend any more. I explained that Austin Life Care could help her with a pregnancy test, ultrasound, more information about abortion (and of course about her other options), help with her pregnancy, help finding affordable healthcare, and help finding a job - all for free!

She was thrilled! On the way to Austin Life Care she revealed that her mother had her when she was 15! "Wow!" I said. "Think about that...your mother was very young, four years younger than you are now, and she must have been so scared! But she chose life for you!" D raised her eyebrows. "Yeah, you're right. I know I know. My mom even finished high school, and got a college degree!" "See, you can do this!" I reassured her. "No matter how tough things are, there is help for you!! No mother looks at her kids and thinks, I wish I would have aborted them, but sooooo many women regret having abortions." D agreed, saying that she has friends who have had abortions and have suffered a lot because of them. But she never knew what abortion really was until now.

Austin Life Care received D right away. While I was waiting, the two Spanish speakers that I had spoken with earlier on the sidewalk walked in, smiling. Awesome.D's pregnancy test said positive, and we discovered that she was actually about 5 or 6 weeks along. D scheduled an ultrasound for about 3 weeks from now. She was a bit overwhelmed with all the information and help she was given, but she was very very thankful. She said she couldn't wait to get home and read it all! I gave her a ride home, and gave her my phone number. She thanked me again, seemed relieved, and smiled.

Nice try, Whole Woman's Health.


Please pray for D and her baby and her family.


Brandon Vogt said...

This. Is. Awesome. Reading this just made my day.

Fr. Dismas said...

You. Guys. Rock!

God bless Texas!

The Okvist Family said...

This post makes me so happy to see results, but sad to see the misinformation being spewed out there to those that don't know any better. Abortion physically and emotionally wrecks me up when I think about how pride and vanity results in a loss of life. I'm so happy and proud of the volunteers out there that do these things and I hope some day I can also at least sidewalk pray to help. It's tough as a dad with two babies at home and more on the way. Somehow I'll find a way. Deo Gratias!

Jamie said...

AMAZING. Praise the Lord!