Youngest sibling saved from abortion at our 40 Days for Life vigil!!!
On this final Wednesday of our fall 40 Days for Life, I would like to focus on giving you the wonderful news of all the lives that we believe have been saved from abortion during these first 36 days. We haven’t been reporting the details of the “saves” because we haven’t wanted to risk revealing the identities of any women who have told us that they changed their minds. So, we decided to wait till the end of the campaign and then safely share the accounts, far enough removed from the actual day that it happened, that the identities will be kept anonymous.
The title of this blog post is from a dramatic story that happened on the sidewalk during these 40 Days. I will let you read the account from our team member who was there, in her own words:
Let’s also pray for another couple who have several children and drove a distance for an abortion. He wanted the baby but deferred the choice to her: “Her body, her choice,” he said. I gently noted that it was THEIR baby, and encouraged him to fight for the life of his child. He continued to defer to his wife. She admitted that her mind was “pretty much” made up. She had considered adoption but the husband didn’t care for that option: “We’re not going that far just to give it away.” She had already been in the clinic for dilation and worried that she’d forfeit her money if she changed her mind. My prayer partners and I assured her that we would cover that cost.
I offered to buy them lunch so they could pray on it and think on it before actually going through with the abortion. She eventually took me up on that offer. We got in a long line to place an order, and in front of us was a woman who had earlier passed by our vigil a couple of times. This woman kept looking back and forth at me and the woman. Her eyes were wild, her voice, forceful. She wanted to know who I was and what I was a part of. I wasn’t sure where she was going with this so I played dumb. Well, she already knew I was part of the vigil and proceeded to tell the abortion seeker that it’s “her body, her choice” and not to let me deceive her and keep her from having the abortion. I calmly said that I am providing alternatives and trust that God will do the rest. The stranger then proceeded to announce that she had an abortion five weeks ago, at the age of 41. The reason: she had gotten pregnant even though her husband had a vasectomy some years ago. She didn’t want to “disrupt” the lives of her three teenage sons by having another baby. She said she had no qualms about it; the fetus was only four weeks old and was just a clump of cells. I offered Rachel’s Vineyard for healing but she said she was perfectly fine and needed no help.
The stranger then asked the young pregnant woman how far along she was. The answer she gave her was different from the one she gave me (five months). She was MUCH further along! The stranger’s jaw dropped slightly. She pointed at me and said, “Honestly, I’m with her. That’s a baby. You should’ve done the abortion a lot sooner. This isn’t a good idea.”
With that, the woman took her order and turned to leave. Before she left, she softened and reached for my hand. She said she tries to love everybody; I said that I try to do the same. She agreed to disagree with the prolife work we do. I wished her well. She went on her way.
Then the couple took their meal and went outside to eat. I gave her my number and a big hug. Our shift was ending. They were supposed to return to the clinic to continue with the abortion process in a couple of hours. As I write this, I have no idea what they chose to do. All I know is that I showed up and did what God told me to do!
Well, our team member trusted God that she had done all that she could…but left her shift not knowing the outcome. Thanks be to God…later that afternoon, the couple came out and told the 40 Days for Life shift manager that she had changed her mind! She actually was on the table, and got off and left!!!
Please continue to pray for this couple, that they stay strong in their decision and find the support they need. (They told the 40 Days for Life team member that they were okay and did not need help.)
There were also three other couples who hopefully changed their minds and chose life during these 40 days!
We want to thank God for these lives saved and for the families…the parents and siblings who have been spared the loss of a precious son or daughter…brother or sister! Please help us to give proper thanks to God at this Sunday’s CLOSING EVENTS!
Closing Events this Sunday!!!
Jericho March around Planned Parenthood from 3:30-4:30, and then closing prayer in front of Planned Parenthood with His Excellency, Bishop Waltersheid and the Blessed Sacrament! Join us for a Eucharistic Procession, beginning at 4:30 from Planned Parenthood, and ending at Epiphany Church for a CLOSING MASS…to thank God for 40 days of protection and for the lives spared from abortion and the souls saved!
One last thing I wish to write about is about a little crisis of conscience that I went through this past Sunday. It has to do with the homeless situation in our city. The number of homeless people in Pittsburgh has increased dramatically in the past year or so, and I have to confess that I have become hardened to it. Well, last Thursday, during my shift on the sidewalk, there was a homeless woman named Laura who was in her wheelchair, all covered with a blanket from head to toe. She never uncovered herself during my entire shift. I never tried to wake her to see if she was okay, or offer her food, or help of any kind. I was too occupied with setting up the vigil materials and then praying for lives to be saved. The next day I heard that she was still there, in her wheelchair, under her blanket. Our security guard was concerned about her and called 911. They took her away in an ambulance and we didn’t know what happened to her. Then, on Saturday, two of our team members were told by other homeless people that Laura had died. I looked at the photo that I took on Thursday, with the prayer volunteers smiling for the camera, and poor Laura under her blanket in the background. I felt like such a hypocrite! How could I be there, praying for babies to be saved from abortion…while a homeless sister was literally DYING right behind me??? I realized that I had begun to NOT SEE my homeless brothers and sisters…I literally had become blind to them! I think the reason is that the problem of homelessness just seems too overwhelming for me to solve…so I just ignored it. My personality is such that I want to solve problems…and if I can’t…well then I just have to ignore it and move onto something else.
Luckily, it turned out to be just a rumor…and Laura was back on the sidewalk at our vigil yesterday! Praise God!
But I hope I have learned an important lesson from Laura. When a problem is too big for me to solve…when the evil in this world is too hard to think about or to look at…instead of thinking that I have to do something grandiose and solve all the world’s problems by myself…I need to think small. I need to do something small, with love…like St. Therese, the Little Flower. She was never able to do great things…but she learned that doing small things with great love is just as (maybe even more) important. So, I have resolved to keep packets of food and hygiene materials in my car for the rest of the winter, so that I am equipped to offer some small help to the homeless people who visit our vigil. Maybe others will want to do this too…and we can be a bright light of hope to our city.
Preborn babies are easily forgotten because they are unseen by the world. The homeless people are also hidden to many people. They are also easy to ignore. And, just like abortion seems to be an unsolvable problem…so is homelessness. But just because a problem isn’t solvable…doesn’t mean that we are excused from doing something about it. We have to do the little bit that we can, to help those right in front of us.
By the way, this blog reflection was written primarily for ME! I am the one who needs to make this change! So many other members of our team already do an amazing job of reaching out with love and assistance to the homeless people on the sidewalk. I am inspired by them and want to make the change in myself…to imitate them.
Thank you for reading this, and for being part of our fall 40 Days for Life! I hope to see you Sunday! Enjoy today’s sidewalk stories.
Stories from the Sidewalk
There were many workers entering the clinic but only one woman, who did not want info. Another went in right after 9. Prayed a Memorare for each.Cathy Z
Anthony joined us around 9:30 and stayed for the rest of the shift. He had the day off, he said, and showed up. Our Lord sent him. I asked him to stay close to Elsie, which he did.
During our shift, I witnessed about nine abortion-minded women entering the Temple. We all mourned with our Lady.
No incidents of note. Elsie passed out a fair amount of literature to generally friendly passersby.Conrad
Only a couple very brief interactions with people entering and exiting PP today, as everyone hurried to escape the cold and wind. I had some saint lollipops for All Saints Day but not many people took them either. Ultimately it wasn’t too bad if you’re dressed for it, so please don’t let the cold stop you from joining us on the sidewalk in the coming months! Remember, abortions don’t just happen 80 days a year!!Katie
A cold, blustery day on the sidewalk. Praying multiple Rosaries, a Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and the Loreto Litanies were Kevin from Regina Coeli parish, Shift Buddy Elaine from Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and Alice from St. Bede. Sidewalk Advocates Katie and Judy were vigilant in trying to hand out pamphlets and free-help cards to both those entering PP and to passersby.Chris
Welcome to winter! Very cold today, no passersby to speak of. Two ladies came out of PP with their lunch bag-sized paper bags, and one couple went in. We did get in a group Chaplet. Prayers for Jeannie who had her car stolen this afternoon.Larry