California Catholic Daily
Published: January 16, 2009
“Just like the driver in a drive-by shooting.” Persistent pro-lifer prevents abortion in Orange County with appeal to unborn baby’s dad.
News from the Trenches: Planned Parenthood, Orange, Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009, 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Today at Planned Parenthood I saw evidence of how important it is for men to take a stand in preventing their wives, daughters or girlfriends from having an abortion. This is an accurate account of what happened: A man and a woman entered the parking lot and did not stop to take any information. The woman entered the clinic with the man and a few minutes later the man left the clinic and proceeded to get in his car and leave. As he was leaving, I gestured to him to stop and talk to me and he did so very willingly. Immediately, and with an apparent conviction of conscience, he began to justify the abortion, telling me he was not even sure if he was the father, etc. I began by handing him a flier for a local crisis pregnancy center, the pamphlet, “For Men Only,” showed him some pictures of developing fetuses and began to answer his justifications and have a conversation with him. We went on for a few minutes, and then I began to exhort him to go back in there and bring her out and have her talk to me. I warned him that if he did nothing and let this transpire then he would share in the guilt of murder, just like the driver in a drive-by shooting. At first he was hesitant, but after some time he backed his car into the parking lot, where I continued to talk to him and encourage him to go in there and get her out. He tried to call her on her cell phone and when she did not answer, he made the decision to re-enter the clinic. I asked him his name and he told me it was Joseph. I replied, “Joseph, the protector of Mary and the child Jesus.” He nodded with apparent understanding. Within seconds of his entering the clinic he was actually able to bring out his girlfriend, abortion forms in hand. I walked up to the car and had a conversation with her. I showed her some fetal development pictures, but she barely listened to what I had to say, at one point exclaiming, “This is my decision, and nothing you can say is going to change my mind.” I said a few more words to her, in a respectful manner, and then I turned to the man and said something like this, “If she is going to go ahead with this then you can have no part in it. Deliver yourself from the guilt of innocent blood and have nothing to do with this act, otherwise you, too, will be guilty. Tell her you are leaving and if she is going to do it, she is going to do it alone, and do not pay for the killing of your child.” I then left them, going back out to the sidewalk. She almost immediately went back into the clinic. The man stayed in his car and began to read the information. Various of us were praying on the sidewalk. Some minutes later my friend who I go to the clinic with suggested that I show him the pictures of aborted fetuses, so I approached the car again and did so. He was again listening and I kept encouraging him to go back in there and take a stand and tell her he was going to leave her there alone if she wanted to do this. At one point he told me that he had already paid for it, so I encouraged him to go and get his money back as a way of stopping the abortion. He began to make excuses and say that he was not ready, and she was not ready for this baby, etc. Simultaneous with these excuses he began admitting that he did not believe in abortion and his mom did not raise him this way, that he did not want this abortion, etc. Throughout, I tried my best to counter all his reasons of inaction as best I could, using all the typical arguments. His eyes began to fill with tears. He then made an abrupt decision to re-enter, demand his money back and give his girlfriend an ultimatum — that he was going to leave with her or without her, but by no means was he going to stay there and be a part of this decision. Within a few minutes he was out again and he related to me that the clinic told him that he could not have his money back because he paid in cash and the abortion was in her name. He also told me that he delivered the ultimatum with a 20-minute grace period. I then encouraged him to go back in there and talk to her again, but with more compassion and with some information she could read in her 20 minutes. I then prayed with him for success and he began to walk back. As he began walking back, she was leaving the clinic already, cash in hand. They got in the car and drove out. As they were going by, he voiced expressions of gratitude and both had tears in their eyes. However, as you might expect, she did not seem very happy, since her leaving was not entirely willing, but apparently the prospects of doing it without her boyfriend’s support were far too much. I encouraged them to seek God for help and to go to the crisis pregnancy center. I tried to talk to the girl, and she opened up a little, but seemed to really want to get out of there. Her despair and the sense she was in a terrible predicament were palpable. I do not know if this child will survive through the storm of this relationship. I pray that he/she does, but one thing is clear: When a man asserts himself as the protector and guardian of both the woman and the child, abortion is rendered far more difficult. Also I take from this that pro-lifers who choose direct action out in front of clinics should never despair of a child’s life until the abortion is actually accomplished. Many improbable and (to the eyes of faith) miraculous events can transpire, by the mercy of God, between the time the car enters the lot and the abortionist’s suction device rips into several bloody pieces an innocent image-bearer of the Father.