Tuesday, May 1, 2012

To Be Born

On Saturday, April 21, I rode with a group of high school teens to the field outside the Planned Parenthood in Aurora, IL.  The school's bus was filled so I rode a few extra kids in my van.  Riding in my passenger seat was a woman that recently talked at the high school chapel because she lives with the memory of having an abortion as a young woman.

I told her that I've become more sensitive to the language I use when I talk about abortion.  I asked her if it makes her sad when people say abortion is murder, that I try to say ending the life of the unborn or something but not "murder".

She said, "It is murder."

At the center, the high school organizer asked that just 5 of the girls at a time stand across from the center.  This was the second biggest turnout for the monthly trip that we've had.  He advised me and the other adult not to yell anything, but instead to stand behind the girls.  He asked the girls to love the women walking in there, and to say things that they thought would touch their hearts.

The girls in sequence yelled:
(together) "Your baby is going to be beautiful!"
(girl 1) "Your baby could have your eyes . . . "
(girl 2) ". . . your laugh"
(girl 3) " . . . your walk."

They would also yell that there were counselors here from a free crisis pregnancy center a couple blocks away that could help them, and that they were not here to judge them, but to love them and help them.

One of our girls asked the woman with me if there is anything that they could say that might have kept her from going through with the abortion.  They didn't ask her directly.  I coached some of these girls in basketball so they asked her through me.

She told me, and I relayed, "'Your baby is going to be beautiful' is perfectly innocent and would have impacted her when she was walking in for her abortion appointment."

Both she and I remained silent and prayed as we were directed.  I was praying the rosary on my rosary ring.

There was one couple that came out, hand-in-hand, smiling, and walked right in front of us by about 15 yards, continuing onto their car in an adjacent parking lot, where they hugged.  We, neither the girls, the counselors, the other woman or I, nor the Knights of Columbus or even the guy from Operation Rescue yelled or said anything to the couple.  What they decided is their business, after all.

One of the Knights did peak through the trees to see them hugging at their car.  One of the wives of the Knights said, "She didn't do it. She was walking too well to have had an abortion."

One of the lies of those supporting Planned Parenthood and slamming people like Santorum (i.e. Ashley Judd) is that there are angry people outside of the centers.  No one out there was angry, or judging the women walking into the center.

There was one woman who rode by in a car and asked the high school girls if they were from Aurora.  Immediately when one of the girls said no, she yelled, "Then go home!"  I yelled after her, "Thanks for stopping by.  Good-bye."

I told the girls, "You don't have to give an answer to someone when they ride by.  She like some adults think they have the right to yell and tell people your age what to do.  They don't."

The girls and I are resident of this state and this country and are children of God owing him our allegiance, and not obedience to a stranger yelling at them rudely from a slowly moving vehicle.

The reason we are out there is in hope that by seeing these girls, about the same age as the girls going in for the abortion, they will think, and we pray, reconsider.  That is it.  We are trying to prevent the extreme violent act of the killing of the unborn child, even though it is legal, and we don't live in the immediate township of the facility.

It is confusing to some of the girls that the pregnant woman is sometimes accompanied by mother, or father, or both.  It doesn't fit with their understanding of the scriptures they have been taught to memorize from preschool:

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right."  Ephesians 6:1

We really are not sitting in judgement of the woman.  We are angry that this is legal.  We are angry that a young woman is often pressured into this, and sees it as the chance for a fresh start, rather than the tragedy, and emotional wound that it will be for her that can only be healed by the Divine Mercy of her Savior.

In the car when I was talking to the other adult woman, I said the reason I don't say "murder" is because I think the emotional pain must be touched off again when the woman sees a baby, or child.  She said it was painful until she was saved and Jesus healed her.

The life of the unborn child, and the pain that the woman (mother), and man (father), and grandparents feel after the abortion is exactly why the high school kids and the adults, the majority of whom are Catholic, go out there to be the visible, physical reminder of the God who saves!

In case you need some encouragement to pray the rosary, fast, and offer sacrifices for the intention of changing the hearts and minds of pregnant women, and the electorate in this country you can watch this.

It is one of those pieces of visual art that is both very sad and hopeful at the same time.  I am still trying to resolve my own crying while watching this.  I'll use the tissues right after I hit the Publish button.

It is under 10,000 views at this point.

***Spoiler Alert***

While I would love if all pregnant women considering Abortion would be touched by the grace to have a dream like this before their appointments that end the life of the unborn baby within them, I would hope that at minimum you and I would do whatever the Holy Spirit prompts us to do from praying the rosary to offering a fast, to actually showing up in person at an Abortion Clinic or a Freedom of Religion event. Oh and voting, yes voting.

If there was confusion in anyone's mind in 2008 that Barak Obama is activist for NARAL and Planned Parenthood that confusion should be gone.  His administration has acted to provide public funding for chemical and surgical abortion and to enlarge the number of facilities providing this to the public.  I do not understand how someone could justify voting for him on moral grounds.  I just don't!


  1. That is an awesome thing you did with those girls, Colleen. Interestingly enough, whenever I go and give my post- abortion witness to teens, the one question that is almost always asked is: Could anyone have said anything to change your mind that day? I have to say honestly, I don't know, but those comments your girls made may have helped; I hope they helped someone outside that clinic.
    Obama may be the least pro-life president we have ever had. Let's hope and pray that Catholics will vote him out this time around.
    God bless.

  2. Colleen,

    Thank you so much for publicly witnessing to the sanctity of life and for teaching young girls to do the same. You are wonderful and have done so much good in this effort! Keep it up!

  3. Colleen, What a powerful witness of hope in Christ your presence made for those women..both those who went with you and those at the clinic.
    So much prayer going up for the upcoming election.
    You're a blessing +

  4. God bless you for your pro-life work. This is a great post. I liked that the woman who had the abortion said, "It is murder." It's only when we admit the awful truth of what we've done that we can heal. Call it by name and claim victory in Christ over it. Then the sinner is truly free by the grace of God. I believe that if the word "murder" were used a lot more often in relation to the word "abortion" many people would stop to think harder about what they're doing. The same for using the word "baby" instead of "fetus." Language does matter.

  5. Colleen, thank you so much for being out there in the trenches fighting for Life.

    I have felt the same way as you..about trying to soften the words a bit, so as not to offend women who have had abortions. But I think Barb is right in her comment above.

    So much of the abortion debate involves semantics..and the pro-death side has been much more clever at this than we have. They convinced the media to refer to us as anti-choice while they get to be "pro-choice." A baby is now a fetus; we "terminate a pregnancy," etc., and their latest is putting this atrocity under the label "reproductive health services" for women.

    Anyway, didn't mean to rant...although this is a great subject for it!

    Just wanted to thank you for what you are doing for the babies, and for the super example you are giving to those young girls you bring with you.

    And yes,...let's all VOTE for LIFE!

    Love you,

  6. I agree with Patricia on careful choice of words. Obama is not simply the least pro-life president but the most determined, committed pro-abortion one. That is the tragic reality.

    Our votes make us personally complicit in the actions of any politician who later acts as they promised during a campaign or continues a well established record. Personally complicit because without our deliberate cooperation, they would not be so enabled. Votes have that power or we would not bother casting them. No other attributes of the politician outweigh their support of this intrinsic evil. Voting for them can not be justified when a good (or even less evil) alternative exists. Cardinal Raymond Burke provides good guidance in his pastoral letter on voting.

    As a practical matter, this means (with very rare exceptions) that we can not morally vote for a Democrat at the federal level. This is not partisan but opposition to their anti-life and anti-family positions. The goal is not a Republican run government, but one that supports life and families. The hope is not that Democrats are marginalized but that they change their abhorrent platform.