Today as three of us stood on the sidewalk working hard to get help for the women coming to the clinic we were approached by an angry man. He came straight to me and proceeded to tell me his story. “My grandmother would still be alive if abortion had been legal. I never got to know her because abortion was illegalso she got an unsafe abortion that killed her. She left three children with no mother. If abortion had been legal she would not have died,” he cried out. When we first tried to respond to him he said, “No, you need to listen. Women do not want to have abortions.” I said, “Yes, I know that. I have been trained about abortion.” He continued on, saying, “Do you know what will happen if abortion is made illegal again? Women will go back to having unsafe abortions and dying.” One our male counselors was able to get in a few words at that point. He told him that abortions are never safe even if they are legal. I added that four clinics in San Antonio had been doing illegal abortions. He said, “How so?” we both replied, “They did not have a license, and I added, “Do you think that is safe?” I continued with a story about how young girls have been told that they are pregnant when in fact they are not. I said they were scheduled for abortions even though they were not pregnant. (Reference: the book, “Blood Money”; if you haven’t read it, please do). At this point I went to my file cart while two other male counselors were talking with him. I then grabbed a booklet with pictures of three different babies that had been aborted in various ways. I moved him away from the other two counselors so that I could speak to him one on one. I first told him that I was very sorry that his grandmother had died and that I truly understood that he was in pain. I said, “It must have been very hard on you.” I continued with, “We are here because we are trying to save people from dying. We are trying to save innocent babies that cannot speak for themselves.” I said, “This is what is happening inside Planned Parenthood”, and I showed him the pictures of the aborted babies. I told him that we were there on the sidewalk to prevent babies from having to die such horrible deaths. I asked him, as I pointed to an aborted baby, “Do you think this is right? Do you think that babies should die like this?” His response was, “Well, there’s got to be a more humane way to do abortions.” I think at that point he realized how ridiculous his statement was and changed the subject to another attack. Yes, he moved on to the adoption subject. Always the usual attack on Pro-Life people. “Well, what are we suppose to do with all the babies that people can’t afford to take care of that don’t get aborted?” he asked. “I said there is adoption. There are many people that would love to adopt a baby. There are long lists of people that would be happy to take in a child. Everyone of us that come to this sidewalk would adopt a baby. As a matter of fact, Teri, from the Allied Women’s Center adopted NINE!”. She saved nine babies from being aborted and she is raising all of them. His response was, “It is too hard for people to adopt babies.” Then he threw in a question that he thought would help him win his “battle”. The question was, “What do you think about gay marriage?” I said, “It is not up to ME to decide whether gay marriage is right or wrong.” I added, “I am not one to be judgmental”, and “I am not at the clinic for political reasons. I am here to help people.” Again, I referred to innocent babies that cannot speak for themselves. He said, “I know a lot of couples that would like to adopt a baby but they can’t.” I said, “Why not?” He answered, “Because they are gay couples.” I said, “They can adopt.” He said, “Not in this city.” I said, “If your friends really want to adopt a baby, then you tell them to come HERE. Tell them to come to this sidewalk and save a baby.” The man seemed very agitated at that point and proceeded to walk away. I offered him some Pro-life information but he refused. He did not want to hear anymore. I am guessing at that point he felt defeated.
To me, my conversation was not about winning or losing. My goal was to reach him with a message, God’s message. I wanted him to see that I had compassion and understanding for him. That I was willing to listen to him though I did not necessarily agree with him. Ultimately that is what he needed. He was angry because he never got to know his grandmother. He was in pain and needed someone to blame. He needed to vent and I allowed him to do so. As a gay man he felt he would be judged by us because we are Christians. He assumed I would respond negatively to him. I did not. By allowing him to speak freely I was able to get my message through. I saw the horror in his eyes when he saw the aborted babies. He did not look away, he took it in. His comment, “There must be a more humane way to do abortions”, showed me that he was affected by the pictures. I am more than certain that whenever he thinks of abortion now that a picture will flash in his head. He now knows the reality of the result of abortion. It is not just about his grandmother anymore.
We were approached today by a man who said he had walked from 281. He said he had been watching us and wondering what we were doing. I explained to him our purpose for being there and he asked me for some information. I gladly gave him some pamphlets. He said that he was looking for a church because they had some work for him to do. He asked if we could lend him a dollar to get a hamburger. One of our counselors gladly handed over two. He was very grateful and began to tell us about his life. He had been abused by his mother’s boyfriend when he was a child and was upset with his mother because she did not protect him. He broke down and cried. We talked to him about forgiveness. He asked if we would pray with him. We all held hands and prayed for this broken soul. May God touch his life and bring him healing.
I am very happy to say that we got a woman’s attention today and we were able to redirect her to Allied Women’s Center. She said she was going in to get a pregnancy test. She asked us if they were free at Planned Parenthood. I said that I didn’t know and that Planned Parenthood was an abortion clinic. She asked again, “But they do give free pregnancy tests, right?” I said that I was not certain about that but that she could get a free pregnancy test at the Allied Women’s Center. I told her that she needed to be careful going into Planned Parenthood. I told her that young girls have been told they are pregnant but aren’t really pregnant. I said that Planned Parenthood makes money from doing abortions. She still didn’t seem like she was getting my message so I pulled out some information about the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger. I told her the unsettling story about Margaret Sanger’s beliefs about the black race and minorities being “Human Weeds” and that her plan was to eliminate what she considered unfit people through abortion and sterilization. That got her attention! She said, “Well, I do not want to have an abortion. I have four children.” I asked her if she had any children in diapers. She said yes. I told her that Allied Women’s Center could help her by giving her free diapers. She was very happy about that. She then told me that she had just gotten custody of her niece. I said that they could help her with diapers for her niece, too. She looked very relieved. I am sure that she must have been feeling overwhelmed with enormous responsibilities and some of the stress was about to come off of her shoulders. She was given directions and she left Planned Parenthood. Praise GOD!!!
It was a good day on the sidewalk…many were helped in many different ways. May God always speak through us so that we may show each person that we come in contact with all of his love and compassion. Please remember to be non-judgmental…only God has that right, we are just his humble servants.