Thursday, September 27, 2012

Stories from the Sidewalk- 40 Days for Life Fall Campaign 2012

Dear Friends, 

I am writing this before leaving to go to Planned Parenthood on Day 2 of the Fall 2012 40 Days for Life campaign against abortion. I wanted to be more diligent in documenting our prayer vigil this time around. Yesterday was a beautiful day, both weather-wise and participant wise. Today the skies are cloudy and an hour ago it was pouring rain. I am not looking forward to going out in this, so I thought I'd cheer myself up by posting some pix from yesterday's event.

Most of these are posed photos. Only a few of them show us at prayer, but prayer was the heart of yesterday's vigil. It is the heart of every vigil. We had one woman who had never been to a 40 Days vigil before, and was apprehensive. She had come with her husband on days that the Knights of Columbus pray and vigil outside of PP, so she was not completely new to sidewalk witness and public prayer. Still, she felt nervous but believed that the Lord was calling her to be more visible in her witness to the goodness of life and the intrinsic evil of abortion, So she came. And prayed. And will return.

We talked to a lot of folks passing-by today, and to some of the clients going in to Planned Parenthood, One of the pix above shows Pat Radell, our Fearless Leader, explaining the Our Lady of Guadalupe image to a gentleman who stopped by to query its meaning, and snap his own photos of it. Brother James, an artist working at Creative Vision Factory, stopped to offer first encouragement, and then prayer. 

And then there was L. L. is a thin, pale, freckled 15 year old who came yesterday to Planned Parenthood for a pregnancy test. Julie talked to her about going to Birthright for a free pregnancy test, and she thought that was a good idea so I drove her.

On the way she asked me, "What day is today?"

I said, "September 26."

"I had sex on the 23rd. Do you think they can tell yet if I am pregnant?"

I didn't think so, but I asked instead why it was so important to her to find out immediately - had she had unprotected sex and was she extremely worried?

"No, I want to be pregnant. I hope the test is positive." 

Her story came out in pieces. She was 15, until recently she had resided in a state mental facility, she was a ward of the state, she had run away from her mother and she wanted to prove that she could be a better mother than her own, who had told her, "You should never have been born." She was lonely, had nobody to depend on but her boyfriend, who was excited about becoming a father and who had asked her to marry him. She had been with him for 3 weeks, but knew him growing up. He is 21. 

Pray for L., please. She believes that a baby is just what she needs in her life, and was very upset when the pregnancy test came up negative. She is going to keep in touch with the good folks at Birthright, and she and I exchanged information. She just wants something to turn out right for her, she says. 

Pray that she stays in touch, that she finds the resources she needs to make it through a tough, impetuous adolescence. That her case worker is both compassionate and wise. That she navigate the streets of loneliness and find shelter for her body, mind and heart. That she will look out for herself, and be looked out for, safely. She is stubborn (self-admittedly) and is tired of everyone telling her what to do. Isn't that true of all 15 year olds? Pray that she not be lost in the shuffle, and that we act properly as Christ for her, respecting her freedom while offering her connections to support systems that will help. 

Rae Stabosz - Newark, DE