On Thursday, N. and I were on the sidewalk, from 8:45 to 12:15. As the women started trickling in, we approached them with words of encouragement to choose life and offered them our information pamphlets. It was like talking to a brick wall. They ignored us as they walked past, only a few accepting our brochures.
During the first hours we were there, there were a few lone prayer warriors on the opposite side of the street. At one point, a couple went in. She was wearing a sweatshirt, and I could see the bulge in her belly. She was already showing. This one would probably be a "dilation and extraction". I caught the eye of the vigiler praying across the street and signaled to her to pray hard. I spent the early part of the morning praying with more urgency as each woman walked past us with a firm resolve to "get it over with".
Later in the morning, as the women started coming out, the group of vigilers had grown to about five. We noticed a difference in the attitude of the women as they left the abortuary. They were more open to us. One young woman, obviously shaken from the experience, stood there for a while. N. went over to talk to her. The young woman said she was waiting for her husband. N. told her about Rachel's Vineyard and gave her a brochure. She told the young woman that Jesus loves her. The young woman replied that she had accepted Jesus the night before. Then tears welled up in her eyes. N. offered her a hug, which she accepted. Then she sighed and said "I guess it just wasn't meant to be".
This young woman was obviously conflicted about her abortion. I have to wonder how much of the "choice" was hers. "I guess it just wasn't meant to be"... She sounded so passive, so resigned. as if she felt powerless to have made another choice. We know of many other women who have felt the same way. Many have abortions because they simply cannot rely on the father of the child to come through for them. ( see http://www.theunchoice.com/News/FatherPlaysKeyRole.htm)
A few minutes later, the young woman in the sweatshirt came out, only this time, the sweatshirt fell flat on her belly. No bulge, no baby. N. offered her a Rachel's Vineyard leaftlet which she refused. I went over and offered her a rosary, saying "If you start praying, you won't have to come back here again." With an emphatic "yeah", she took the rosary, put it in her pocket and then left. I pray that she will indeed start praying and turn her life over to Christ, who loves her more than she can know.
Please pray for these women. A special thank you goes out to the prayer warriors who came out on Thursday and to the spiritual helpers who prayed even if they couldn't be physically present.