Day 17: Thank you to Pittsburgh Area Byzantine Churches, Round Hill Presbyterian Church, West Hills Baptist Church, and Individual Volunteers!

…But although her mind may say one thing, her emotional life and her body cells say another. If she has the abortion, the very cells of her body remember the pregnancy and know that the process of change that had been going on was stopped in an unnatural manner. Her body and her emotions tell her that she is a mother who has lost a child. And so it is not surprising that after the abortion, a pain begins to emerge from the depths of her heart. She has a loss to mourn, but cannot allow herself to grieve. Grieving would require admitting to herself that a child was killed in the abortion and that she shares responsibility for her child’s death. This is a very heavy burden to bear, and so, she resorts to denial in order to cope: denial of the baby’s humanity—”it wasn’t a baby so I have nothing to grieve or feel guilty about”—and denial of her emotional pain. “I should feel okay about this,” she reasons. “Everyone else does. I must not feel this way or think about the abortion.”

Abortion is an extremely unnatural experience for a woman’s body and her maternal instinct. Negative reactions are to be expected… 

…In a study done by Anne Speckhard, Ph.D, 85% of the women reported that they were surprised at the intensity of their emotional reaction to the abortion. These reactions included discomfort with children, feelings of low self-worth, guilt, feelings of anger, depression, grief, increased alcohol use, crying, inability to communicate and feeling suicidal…

Taken from “After the Abortion” by Sr. Paula Vandegaer. Sr. Paula is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Executive Director of International Life Services, and editor of Living World magazine. The entire article can be found here:

Abortion hurts women and kills children. Our presence on the sidewalk at Planned Parenthood may spare some of our sisters and brothers from this brutality. Even when we are unable to stop someone from going through those doors, we can still be the first sign of mercy for them when they come back through without their child. We pray that God will grant repose to the souls of the innocent, along with healing and forgiveness to all who were involved.


Today’s Sidewalk Reports

7-9 AM, Nikki & Amy:

 I was very grateful that sidewalk advocate Amy was there with me for the entire 7 to 9 shift. It was just the two of us, it was very quiet and peaceful, much time for prayer. It did seem busy with a few couples going in who looked abortion bound, sadly. One young woman really let me have it. I had tried to offer her information three times, she never told me to leave her alone, so I wasn’t sure if  she heard me or not, she started screaming in a very loud, high-pitched voice. I am sure she got everyone on liberty Avenue’s attention! She screamed that she is pregnant and is keeping the baby but that she had one abortion and it was her right and her choice, and that she was just here to support her friend, who I am assuming is having an abortion. Anyway, I couldn’t really get a word in, but I told her that I wasn’t judging her, just that we wanted to help, and all she had to do was tell me to leave her alone.  I pray that she will be healed from the hurt that is obviously under the surface. I was very happy to see the 9 to 11 shift arrive, with Kathy and Mary. 

Amy and Nikki

9-11 AM, Kathy & Mary:

During my shift, prayers were offered individually and in group.  Deacon Dan led a beautiful prayer service asking for God’s mercy upon all.  A few passersby commented that they were glad we were there.  Only one young man accepted resources out of the several couples who entered pp. 
A pp employee changed the pledge-a-picketer amount to $52,000.

Kathy and Mary
Gerry, Pat, shift buddy Mary, and Deacon Dan from the Nativity Church of the Mother of God in Dubois.  Friday regular Priscilla was present but didn’t want to be photographed.

11 AM-1 PM, Sheila & Lori:

So, for the 11-1 shift, it was the normal business as usual. There was a woman who was in and out of the clinic a few times to smoke. I asked if her daughter was having an abortion. She said it was a friend who is homeless, a drug addict and was raped, and that abortion was the only choice possible and that “my friend is the only one who can make this decision….there’s nothing I can say or do.” The woman did take a post-abortion healing sheet to share with her friend.

Matt from Round Hill Presbyterian church,  Lori, and Mary
Walt and Dan

1-3 PM, Elaine & Bernie:

Check back soon!

3-5 PM, Pat:

A very pleasant and peaceful evening was a real blessing after a tough shift last Friday.  I was blessed also to once again have the company of Pastor Larry, his wife Karen, David, and his wife Sarah Jane – all from West Hills Baptist Church.  It seems that as long as I’ve been a SM, they’ve been coming down to the vigil on a Friday.  Thank you so much guys – and especially to David who does a great job passing out literature.  Thanks also to Bill H. who was there for the first part of my shift, and for SB Anthony who was there for nearly all of my shift.

Anthony, Bill, David, and Sarah Jane
Karen and Pastor Larry

5-7 PM, Missy & Bill:

It was relatively quiet for Friday night 5-7. Many thanks to Bill E., Bill D., Anthony, Mary and Thao for their prayers.  With God’s help we can be there for Him. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 God Bless!


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