Our Lady of the Wayside

Our Lady of the Wayside
Protect Expectant Mothers and Their Babies


Tuesday 27 April 2010

One Cold Still Day in Winter

Several of our volunteers and staff frequently atttend peaceful, prayerful vigils outside abortuaries. Here is the story of one of them.

Last year, on a very cold, still day in winter, we were holding a vigil outside Bedford Square. A boyfriend and girlfriend came out of the clinic. ‘Come on, don’t go looking at those…dolls. Let’s get going!’ said the Irish boyfriend, as he tugged his girlfriend’s sleeve. She shrugged his tugging hand off, and turned to focus on the baby models that are arranged in a display on the ground outside the Abortuary. Mgr. Reilly (Founder of the Helper's of God's Precious Infants) instructed us to put the models on the ground, because as he knows from decades of experience as a counsellor outside the abortuaries, ‘the mothers going into an abortion clinic keep their eyes fixed on the ground. They always look down.’ That day, the pregnant lady stared at the models, even though the boyfriend grunted and stomped away.
I went over to her.‘How are you?’ and I made eye-contact with the Mum. ‘Do you know how many weeks you are?’ I asked. She didn’t respond directly, but I picked up a model of an eight-week-old foetus, just as the pregnant mother said, ‘I’m eight weeks, I know from the scan that I had today.’ ‘Did you see the scan?’ I asked, as she studied the model intently.‘No. They didn’t show it to me…’ I handed her the baby model. ‘OK. Well now you know what your baby looks like.’‘Wow! I never thought…he would look so much like…a baby. He’s got everything.’ ‘That’s absolutely right. At eight weeks they are really beautiful. Oh sorry, I forgot to say congratulations.’ At the mention of the word ‘congratulations’, her face fell and tears appeared at the sides of her eyes.
When I get talking to a pregnant mother outside an Abortuary, it’s when I say ‘congratulations’, that they usually ‘open up’ and tell me the reason that they are there, at the gates of hell. She told me her that name was Kate; she was 23 and was in a relationship with a Catholic boy from Ireland. ‘He’s a plastic Paddy’ she said, ‘very nice when he wants me to go to a place like this. He says that women who have unplanned pregnancies should just come here. But like you can see, he scarpers when I get to look at something…you know…real.’ she said, and peered at the baby model.
We talked in further detail about her baby, and that she wanted to call the baby Kiara. She told me that her mother had offered to look after the baby while she finished her university education,but that her mum still said ‘it’s your choice.’ ‘We’ve only been going out two months’ she gestured at the Abortuary. ‘And the situation that we’re in…I can’t bring a child up in it…I never intended to have a child with him.’
In order to rectify this mother’s despair at how she would rear a child in her circumstances, I needed to emphasise the positive, and empower the pregnant mother. I invited her to look beyond her boyfriend’s issues, and the confusion she felt at the time. We concentrated on how much she loved kids, how much a support her family were, and how she was secure financially. I asked her some questions about the Irish boyfriend; did his parents know she was pregnant? ‘Oh no, his parents go to church a bit. He won’t tell them about planning an abortion…because they’d be against it.’ We discussed the health complications of the abortion pills that they had offered her in the clinic. She did tell me that she was definitely not going to have it done that day, and if she waited another week, she would be too late to have the abortion pills. ‘No. No. I’m not going to go for the pills. And I had decided never to have the surgery.’
She took my number, and said that she would ring me. My mistake was that I didn’t ask for her number, we had been talking for three quarters of an hour, and if I had taken her number, then I would have been able to call her later. Kate never did call me, but I do hope and pray that one day she will make contact and let us know the outcome. If she did not go ahead with the abortion, than she is still pregnant, and may come to us for help when the baby is born.

By Mary O'Regan

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