Gina, Larry, Richard, Sheri, Gina, Ken, Marianna, Allura, Nathan,Jesse, John, Kim, Pastor Jim, Jennifer, Patte, Rich and Vicki stood in the rain for the glory of God and in defense of their neighbors in front of Orlando's most notorious abortion business, Orlando Women's Center.
When the door of the clinic opened at 7am there were approximately 20 people lined up to go inside. Cars continued to stream in. We reached out to everyone as they drove into the driveway, when they parked their car, and as they walked to the door of the abortion business. Let me introduce you to a few of the women and men we met:
"Gisele" was one of the first to arrive in a truck with a friend named Donna and a very old, bearded man. They parked in the back parking lot and I called to them from a distance. Donna opened the door, leaned out and said: "She's carrying the devil's baby."
They refused to take our information packet and rolled the window back up. After Gisele went inside,Donna & the bearded one left in their car to get something to eat. The old man gave us the finger as he drove past. Larry wondered aloud: "That man is not long for this world. The Lord could take him at any moment. You'd think he'd have more of a sense of his own mortality."
"Sue" arrived with her reluctant boyfriend "Ronnie". It was obvious that Ron was opposed to the abortion. He tried to get his girlfriend Sue to come into our mobile unit to have a free ultrasound. He was visibly against Sue's decision to kill his infant. The valiant sidewalk counselors encouraged Ronnie to re-double his efforts to get Sue out of the abortion mill. As so many other men before him, Ronnie seemed to give up. Jesse called out to all the men; "Do what a man should do. Step up to the plate and do what's right. Take her away from this place and take responsibility for your child."
"Monique" and her friends parked on the street and walked toward the abortion business. High School student Monique burst into tears when shesaw Gina holding the big CBR "Choice"(Sign #1) bearing the photo of an infant who had been aborted at 10 weeks gestation. She ran back to her car, her two friends hurrying after her. They drove to the back of the clinic to escape our bold witness but the lot was full.
After they parked out front, I approached the car to offer my help. Monique was still crying, too upset to get out of the vehicle. I bent down and tried to ask the teenage mom; "What is the number one reason why you feel that you can't have this baby?" Monique's two friends rushed to surround me and tried to bully me into abandoning my efforts to counsel with Monique.
"Jennifer" said, "Get the hell away from here! It ain't any of your business why she is doing this." I reasoned with Jennifer, explaining "We can help Monique through her pregnancy. I'm here to help your friend." Jennifer said, "You obviously don't understand. She don't want your help." I responded, "Monique is obviously not taking this killing of her baby lightly. She doesn't feel right about it and that's a good sign. Adoption is a wonderful way for her to continue her pregnancy with confidence that everything will be all right." Jennifer bristled, "She came here to kill it so get out of my f-ing face!" The other friend, Rosa, challenged me: "Are you going to deal with her mom, too? It's her mother who sent her here to have this abortion!" I assured Rosa that I would behappy to speak with Monique's mother. "We can find a safe place for Monique to live during her pregnancy. She can even continue with her schooling."
Although Jennifer and Rosa remained hard-core determined to get Monique inside the clinic, it was obvious that Monique was very uncomfortable with killing the infant she was carrying. Monique said, "I don't want to have to walk by all those people!" Monique understood that our presence was light and she did not want her deed exposed. The 'friends' threw Monique a sweatshirt and said, "Here, cover your face. We'll walk you past those crackers." Sadly, Monique complied. I walked beside the three as they dragged the pregnant teen all the way to the clinic doors. I heard Pastor Jim say, "Listen to the voice of God, Monique." I added, "With God all things are possible." When they door shut behind them, we were saddened and prayed for the light to shatter the darkness of those three hearts to rescue the fourth, the tiniest heart of all.
"Lucy" came with her friend "Tara". Lucy rushed inside the clinic but Tara sat on the porch for some time, speaking with the sidewalk counselors. Sidewalk counselor Sheri soon discovered that Tara lost a child in an abortion herself and offered her a post-abortion tract from TLC Women's Center. As it turns out, at only 23, Tara had already lost THREE children in multiple abortions. We did our best to counsel Tara that killing a child is NEVER right. When she went to her car to get something, I followed along beside her. I asked "Do you ever think about the babies you've killed?" She answered, "No, not really." I prodded, "Tara, is there any part of you that recognizes that it was wrong?" She admitted, "Yes, of course." I told her, "God has given you a conscience to guide you away from doing terrible things." Tara quickly interjected, "Hey, I don't even believe in God." I explained, "But, God believes in you, Tara. It was Him who created you. And whether you acknowledge it or not, this is His world and these are His children that "thou shalt not kill."
Tara seemed entirely unfazed. I asked Tara to help her friend through her pregnancy. Tara protested, saying, "Listen, it's none of my business." I offered, "You're wrong, Tara. She is your friend and you must help her do what is right." When Tara's friend Lucy came out to sit on the porch with her friend, the sidewalk counselors engaged her in conversation. Lucy explained that she is 22-years-old, married and that this would be her second abortion. "My baby is deformed. I've been taking Accutane (a presciption medication for acne) for six months. I was supposed to keep from getting pregnant, but I didn't use birth control. I'm 8 weeks pregnant. It's my fault. I don't want to bring a deformed baby into this world. It would be cruel." We gently confronted Lucy with the truth: "Your little boy or girl will be dismembered alive today, Lucy. You can't get any more cruel than that. I don't know whether your child has been damaged by the Accutane, but we don't murder people with defects, Lucy. Imagine being discriminated against because of your acne? Nobody's perfect. People who need help warrant help not death." Lucy responded, "I don't think it's fair to bring a person into the world to suffer." I said, "Lucy, your baby will be ripped apart today. That can't be a picnic." I asked, "Is the thought of having to look into the face of your daughter for the rest of your life hard for you?" Lucy admitted, "Yes. Too hard." Ken spoke up, "Please, allow me and my wife to adopt your baby. We will raise her and love her. You won't have to worry anymore." Lucy explained that she is a Buddhist (Lucy and Tara are both Asian) and "Buddhists forbid adoption." I reminded Lucy that "Buddhists forbid the shedding of innocent blood. You are always to do no harm." Lucy justified herself, saying: "It's only once, then it's all over." I countered, "You are suffering, Lucy, so by your own reasoning, would it be better to put you out of your misery?" Lucy and Tara were quiet, thoughtful. I explained, "The Word of God goes even further than forbidding innocent blood and murder, Lucy. It says that God hates the hands that shed innocent blood. Think about that." Although Lucy smirked and appeared casual, she was listening. She andTara were both listening. (NOTE: According to the Organization ofTeratology Information Services (OTIS), approximately 25-35% of infants born to women exposed to Accutane during the first trimester of pregnancy showed a pattern of birth defects.)
"Sheila" came with her sister "Tanya". Not knowing which of them was pregnant, I approached Tanya first. She took our ministry packet and began to read. Tanya admitted "It's not me," and pointed to her sister."But, she isn't going to change her mind, so don't even bother." I walkedwith Sheila as she approached the clinic, counseling her along the way. She was having a hard time giving me a reason for the abortion. She smiled and thanked me and went into the mill. A few short minutes later Sheila and Tanya came out the door of the clinic. Sheila asked "Can I still have that ultrasound?" They had noticed our signs offering free sonograms. We smiled and said, "Sure!" Several counselors piled into the mobile unit with Sheila and Tanya. We discovered that Sheila is 25-years-old and has two children. When Sheri asked Sheila if she was a Christian, Sheila's answer was refreshingly honest: "Well, I go to church, but I'm not sure I'd call myself a Christian. I'm not saved." Here was a woman who wasn't deceived into thinking that being "in church" was the same as being "in Christ"!
We so enjoyed our time with Sheila and her sister. We were able to see the outline of her little baby, an 11-week-old person. After counseling Sheila we gave her a blessing basket with pre-natal vitamins and Christian literature. I made sure that Sheila had my home phone number. We gathered in a circle and prayed for this young mom and her three children, and they drove away with smiles that were full of hope!
Remember Gisele? She came out of the clinic with Donna and the old man. I offered Gisele help once again and Donna piped up: "She chickened out. She couldn't go through with it!" She was obviously digusted with Gisele because the young mom didn't have the heart to rip her son to shreds. I said, "That's wonderful, Gisele!" Donna shrieked back: "No it isn't! The father is an old black man!" I remembered Donna's words from early this morning: "She's carrying the devil's baby." To her, carrying a black man's child was like carrying the spawn of satan. What wretched, wretched ignorance. We've heard this kind of rationale too many times over the years.
Remember the high school girl named Monique? She came out of the clinic, sans the sweatshirt. All of her tears were gone and instead, a look of quiet joy remained. Then came the words we always love to hear: "I'm not going to do it." Monique took our info packet and blessing basket.
We were there standing in the gap, taking the hits for love of God and our fellow man. What a privilege it is to serve."
:: ashli 5:59 PM # ::