Our Lady of the Wayside

Our Lady of the Wayside
Protect Expectant Mothers and Their Babies


Sunday 2 April 2023

Entertaining Angels Unaware: 40 Days of Celebrating Mums Choosing Life Day 40!

Danni came to Good Counsel some years ago. She found us through heading past Buckhurst Hill abortion centre on her way to book an abortion somewhere else! As she walked past, a man called to her and said "Hey that man wants to speak to you!" Danni stopped and looked across the road where she saw Michael, one of the Helpers of God's Precious Infants, who were holding a regular vigil there.

She went over to him, not knowing who he was, or what he was doing. "That man told me you wanted to speak to me." she said and Michael said "What man?" they both looked around, the quiet street was empty. "I didn't see anyone. And I didn't tell anyone to call you." he said bemused. Danni was confused but they got chatting and he told her what he was doing there and showed her the help leaflet. He asked if she was there for an abortion. "Well, I'm not having an abortion here, but I am on my way to book one!" 

Danni accepted Michael's offer of help. She came into our office and sat in our reception area with a Rosary beads- given to her by Michael - around her neck. Another young woman from a similar background was there too, she had walked in from another abortion centre after being offered help. She too had accepted a blessed Rosary and was wearing it around her neck too! They soon became friends!

After we helped her make a plan for herself and her baby, offering lots of support, Danni kept her baby. She told us "It must have been the Archangel Michael that called me over to speak to Michael". She also sent in more than one friend who kept their babies too. Several years later, she came back to us pregnant again, this time with a supportive husband, but with a disabled baby. "I'm keeping my baby." she said. "It's a life. It's a human being."

This is the work that is done outside abortion centres. This is the work that reaches out to mums in desperate situations and saves lives, like the 5 lives that we know of that have been saved in the Brixton and Ealing 40 Days for Life Campaigns this Lent. Make no mistake, this is the work that buffer zones are intended to stop.

You can donate to help us support our work here or here.

Saturday 1 April 2023

When Someone is Praying Before Our Lady: 40 Days Celebrating Mums Choosing Life Day 39

Today we are re-sharing a blog post from 2010 which showed us the power of Our Lady's intercession.

One Saturday recently, I went to our Centre to speak with a woman who had come to us looking for abortion. She had come back to us a second time still asking us to help her get an abortion and it was my job to speak to us on her 3rd visit. A fairly unpleasant job I thought.

This lady, let's call her Monica, knew she could go elsewhere and get an abortion, but she had a certain trust in us. We had talked through all the risks of abortion with her. The dangers, possible side effects, the reality of what would happen to her baby in an abortion. We discussed why we thought it was wrong. All these things let her know we really cared about her health and wellbeing. 

But they didn't "move" her in her resolve to abort one tiny bit.

If we got an abortion for her, she felt, it would be at least as safe as it could be. So she came to see us for the third time in the hope that, maybe, she could persuade us to arrange her abortion.

Monica had a toddler already and her husband has serious psychological problems. They have not been together for many months. She has separated from him for her child's welfare as much as her own. He has used physical violence against them before. His family think she is crazy for ever being with him. Her own family think so too. They say to her "It's lucky you only have the one child with him!"

On her previous visits she had told us "I never wanted children - I don't want his child - I don't want this child. Get it out of me!"

This is the language women often use about their baby when they are victims of abuse, rape, violence, or other issues where they are left to feel - as Monica did - stupid, guilty, shamed, hurt and used.

The problem is with the father, not with the baby. But the problem of the father gets reflected onto the baby by the poor woman who carries the child of man who has wounded her.

Can I in the short time we have together diffuse all that hurt and anger and suffering? - I asked myself this as she sat before me. She was very hardened into her choice to abort. Had the doctor been standing in the room ready to abort the child she would have said "yes". I whispered a quick prayer and set about trying to crack the hardened heart. I hadn't spoken for long when suddenly something happened. I hadn't said anything striking but I felt the weight of a huge burden lift in the room. Suddenly she began to say "I think I should keep the baby, What do you think?" She watched a video showing the abortion process at her stage and she said "You know, I have seen this before but it made no impact. I have heard about what abortion does when I came here before, but while I heard the words it didn't affect me. But now, something has changed. All of it has just now become clear to me. It is all affecting me now."

We sat together for 2 hours talking about the help she would need making a plan together. It was light and joyful and suddenly - though she still knew raising this second child - alone - would be hard, she embraced the child as hers - a sibling of her beloved toddler and - she could admit it now - the second child she had always wanted!

After she left, I went to the chapel and afterwards I asked the other staff and volunteers "Who was praying here about half an hour after I went in to see Monica?" no-one they thought. I was mystified. I really felt the power of prayer at work.

Cardinal Nichols Praying before the Image of Our Lady of Guadelupe 2012. Photo provided by Edmund Adamus who facilitated @WestminsterCath hosting "relic" image of Our Lady of Gaudalupe closing a 9 month "novena" national tour for papal visit

I pottered round to Westminster Cathedral that afternoon to see the relic replica image of Our Lady of Guadelupe. It struck me when I arrived that the service of prayer before this image had been led by Archbishop Nichols exactly half an hour after my meeting with Monica started and I couldn't help but feel that it was very much connected. Thank you our Blessed Lady. Monica is now awaiting the birth of her child in April. 

You can donate to help us support mums like Monica here or here.

Clare McCullough

Friday 31 March 2023

You Are Called to be A Sign From God : 40 Days Celebrating Mums Choosing Life Day 38


Standing outside an abortion centre for hours on end, in all sorts of weather, is not very glamorous; having the occasional encouraging comment from a passing member of the public, as well as a number of disparaging comments, varying from "Get a job" to "**** off",  from others.

I remember counselling Bea in our Centre, who earlier that day had stopped outside the abortion centre in Ealing to talk to a pro-life volunteer, Rebecca. She described Rebecca as a sign from God and even went on to laugh and say "A strange sign maybe, but a sign from God nevertheless."

After many counselling sessions and lots of ongoing, practical support, Bea kept her twins. Had Rebecca the "strange sign from God" not been there that morning, the outcome of this story would have been far from positive. 

Whoever you are, wherever you are, if you can give some time peacefully to pray for Mothers and unborn babies, please come to a pro-life vigil.
You can donate to help us support our work here or here.
Stuart McCullough

Thursday 30 March 2023

40 Days Celebrating Mums Choosing Life Day 37


One of our most faithful volunteers is an atheist.
She was quiet surprised we were glad to work with her. She is extremely reliable and regularly attends our vigils and helps in any way she can. This lady has had many "turnarounds" over the years and she always follows up with us to make sure they get the help and support we offered them.

One young woman we saw said she felt such love and care from this woman, that it gave her the confidence to come in and seek our help. She kept her baby and she looks forward to the day when she can meet up with the volunteer who signposted her to us for help.
Prayer is our greatest resource in this work.
But a good-hearted and a constant volunteer is also a priceless gift.
You can donate to help support our work here or here.

Appeal to help us continue our life saving work.

I'm very grateful that we don't often need to make an extremely urgent appeal for funds. But today is one of those occasions. 

We are able to make and plan for the foreseeable, but so often in the lives of the women that we help the unforeseeable presents itself. 

A good example of this is "Lydia" who spoke at the Brixton 40 Days for Life half-way event. She told us,  “I went to Brixton abortion clinic for a consultation and they thought I was only carrying one baby when I arrived. They gave me a scan and told me there was more than one heartbeat. I was totally shocked. They told me they thought it was twins and I thought straight away at that moment I cannot go ahead with an abortion. They said they could not proceed because I could sue them because I was not mentally prepared to abort more than one baby so I had to have time to think about it and return for the abortion at a later date but I had already made up my mind that I was not going to return. I went for my first antenatal scan at the hospital and they told me that I was expecting quadruplets. I nearly collapsed. I was very shocked.” [You can read the rest of Lydia's talk here]

She kept her quads and is very happy. We had to arrange to get a pushchair that could carry four babies! Day in day out we see women considering abortion because they have real practical problems and we need to find real practical solutions to those problems, so that they feel they can continue their pregnancies. 

At the moment our funds are as low as they have been for at least the last 5 years. There are more than 20 women that we are currently providing ongoing help and assistance to, as well as many others who we provide a range of support to. This week we have given out almost £500 worth of food vouchers to women who have no recourse to public funds. But we do not have the money to be able to do this or anything like it next week.

It is Lent, a time of almsgiving, a time when Catholics are asked not just to fast and abstain, but to use the money saved to help those in need. I would ask you therefore at this time to please make a donation towards our work, so that we can continue to help these mothers and their babies, who don't qualify help elsewhere. 

You can donate here or donate through our Just-Giving appeal [Justgiving has started to ask for an extra bit of money to fund their website etc, but you can change the amount that they suggest to as low as zero] and we are now able to take donations over the telephone 020 7723 1740.

Please join us for 9 days in saying this prayer to St Philomena, for help with our financial situation.


O FAITHFUL VIRGIN and glorious martyr, St. Philomena, who works so many miracles on behalf of the poor and sorrowing, have pity on me. Thou knowest the multitude and diversity of my needs. Behold me at thy feet, full of misery, but full of hope.  I entreat thy charity, O great Saint! Graciously hear me and obtain from God a favourable answer to the request which I now humbly lay before thee, that Good Counsel will raise the funds they need and that as many lives as possible will be saved through their work, [& add your own petitions.] I am firmly convinced that through thy merits, through the scorn, the sufferings and the death thou didst endure, united to the merits of the Passion and death of Jesus, thy Spouse, I shall obtain what I ask of thee, and in the joy of my heart I will bless God, who is admirable in His Saints. Amen

Wednesday 29 March 2023

Women Choose Life Because YOU Help Us Support Them: 40 Days Celebrating Mums Choosing Life Day 36


"You believed in me when I didn't believe in myself" said the card we received from Amanda. 
When we met her, she was alone, without legal status, not entitled to benefits or support, about to become homeless, unwell and struggling to cope with one child.
Now, 2 years down the line, she was rejoicing that she had been able to keep her baby.

Thanks to the support of our benefactors, we were able to support her and keep a roof over her and her children's heads until they got their legal situation sorted out and could move on with their lives and their plans.
This is what we do. But we can only do it because you support us to do it. So this is what YOU do when you support our work.
You can donate to help support our work here or here.

Tuesday 28 March 2023

God's Amazing Grace: 40 Days Celebrating Mums Choosing Life Day 35


When Aurelia was walking into the abortion centre outside she met Alina who had come to pray and offer help because she had recently been helped to keep her baby. It was a moment of real grace and healing for both women.

Alina's own story persuaded Aurelia to come and see us. And we were able to support her to have her beautiful daughter. Aurelia's little girl had some physical disabilities, which meant Aurelia was put under plenty pressure to end her pregnancy. But with support, and with God's amazing grace helping Aurelia through college, she was able to finish her course AND have her beloved baby.

Aurelia and her daughter.

You can donate to help us support mums like Aurelia here or here.

Monday 27 March 2023

The Simplest Stories Are the Best: 40 Days Celebrating Mums Choosing Life Day 34


As you can see, we see a wide range of mums and situations. Sometimes very complex situations.

But sometimes it is very simple.
Sometimes we show a mum to be one picture of the developing baby and she says "Oh. I had no idea! Oh! That is it for me! I'm keeping this baby!"

Unborn baby 9-10 weeks old

Sometimes the simplest stories are the best of all!
Have a look here to see the developmental stages of the baby in the womb.
You can donate to help us support mums here or here.

Sunday 26 March 2023

Keep Calm and Buy Me A House: 40 Days of Celebrating Mums Choosing Life Day 33

 Gina's Facebook Live - Day 33: Fall 2022 | Weigh In with Gina on Acast

Dawn, a young Latin American mum demanded that we buy her a house. She had her abortion booked for the following day. She was 23 weeks and a few days. Tomorrow, she said, was her last chance to get an abortion.

No, we couldn't buy her a house! While we commit to keeping a roof over a mum (and her children)'s heads, we cannot stretch to buying everyone a house!

It felt a bit like blackmail: buy me a house or I have the abortion. But we had to see deeper and acknowledge that her demand was made from a place of a thousand fears and a hundred sleepless nights. We shared information on the development of her baby, on how abortion is done, on the real help we offer.

She went away to think about it. We prayed.

Not only did she keep her baby, but in the years to come she bought her own home and eventually offered rooms to us to help other women and help for them to get work.

Sometimes in this job it's really all God's work.

You can donate to help us support mums like Dawn here or here.

Saturday 25 March 2023

On Lady Day: 40 Days of Celebrating Mums Choosing Life Day 32

100-days-of-meditation-day-32 | Mr. M's K-1 Class

Anna-Louisa came to see us a few months ago thinking abortion was her only option because her husband had abandoned her in the UK. She only had permission to stay here as his dependant and now she was pregnant, about to be homeless, without food and money.

When we offered support her relief was palpable.

Thanks to the hard work of our Support for Mothers team - Yvonne and Michelle - Anna Louise is now housed and receiving support, and she knows if anything goes wrong she can turn to us for help.

At the end of her counselling session she turned to me and asked "Is there anywhere I can get a brown scapular?" Oh yes, indeed we did! And then "Where can I go to spend a day in pilgrimage at a Marian Shrine?".

We were happy to help there too.

Those are my kind of questions!

Please pray for Anna-Louisa and her baby.

You can donate to help us support mums like Anna-Louisa here or here.

Why do MPs want Catholics arrested for praying silently?

Why do MPs want Catholics arrested for praying silently outside abortion centres? 

Most MPs who voted for this extraordinary piece of legislation have done so because they believe the propaganda of the abortionists "Back Off!" campaign. This campaign supported by most of the mainstream Media, both in print and broadcast, has given a very negative false impression of Pro-Life vigils and MPs believing these lies have voted, in large numbers to ban our charitable work. In fact more Conservative MPs voted for the Labour amendment to the Public Order Bill, -which introduces a national buffer zone - than voted against it. Labour MPs who are worried about other aspects of the Public Order Bill have put these worries to one side and voted for it anyway to ensure that our vigils are banned! This unity amongst MPs from opposing parties is most striking and reminds me of a part in The Lord of the Rings, where Frodo and Sam, having entered Mordor, hear two orcs arguing and fighting amongst themselves. Sam says to Frodo that if we just left our enemies to themselves they would kill each other off. But Frodo points out, that had the Orcs discovered the two Hobbits they would have put their squabbling to one side and would have had a united determination to kill them, to destroy what is good in this world. I can only look at Conservative, Labour, Plaid Cymru, SNP and Liberal Democrat MPs and see those two orcs squabbling, until they were united in their attempt to destroy what is good. We are the Hobbits.

But I'm sad to say that some politicians are so blinded by their hate for the good and charitable works that we do that they are prepared to lie or can no longer see the truth when it is there for them to see. Before the first buffer zone was introduced by Ealing Council one of the councillors came to the abortion centre in Mattock Lane to witness for herself the terrible horrendous demonstrations being carried out there by Pro-Lifers. When she arrived on the scene she turned to a woman standing in the street and asked her politely, if she knew where the Pro-Life demonstration was, the woman told her that she and the one other person standing there were the pro-life vigil. The counsellor had not even noticed them because they had such a peaceful, prayerful presence. Then back in the council chamber she was able to tell the other councillors that she herself had been to witness the pro-life vigil and was terrified and she could only imagine what it would be like for a pregnant woman going to the centre for an abortion!

Fortunately, it is not for me to judge which politicians voted for this ban in good faith and which did not, I will leave that to God.

We know that evil likes to work in darkness and in hiding, and the abortion providers do not really want people to see anything that they do. If you look at the Good Counsel Network’s blog post for Friday the 22nd of March 2013 you will see that we were in the middle of a 40 Days for Life campaign outside the abortion centre in Ealing. Five ambulances came there in just a month. Safe, Legal Abortion?

Abortion Providers are always striving to portray Pro-lifers as liars, especially when we talk about the risks of abortion. marie stopes International, that bastion of honesty and integrity, takes it upon themselves to take our leaflets from women as they enter their centres.

Yet, as the many ambulances called to Marie abortion centres show, abortion is far from the safe, simple procedure with no after-affects that these groups pretend it is. Since BPAS and marie stopes deny almost every complication of abortion, it is hard to believe that the women who were taken away in these ambulances were forewarned that this was a possible outcome.

Many times, our volunteers have helped sick and faint girls to their feet outside the abortion centre when they were vomiting or bleeding heavily and struggling with pain as they came out after their abortions.

There were 29 women who kept their babies during that 40 Days for Life campaign from just the vigils at Whitfield Street and Ealing.

As always, we ensured that any women entering the abortion centre were NOT captured in any of the pictures taken. However the abortion centre would rather that we were not there, as thousands of people were made aware of the number of ambulances arriving at this abortion centre. Moving us 150 yards away at some abortion centres would mean that we would be incapable of seeing any ambulances arriving or leaving and that the fiction that abortion is safe will be allowed to continue.

For years we have had listen to lies from the media, politicians and abortion providers claiming that Pro-Lifers film clients going into abortion centres. Just last week we had Rupa Huq MP, claiming in Parliament that we live-stream from outside abortion centres. The Guardian have repeated all those claims time and time again. Yet no images of women entering or leaving abortion centres which have been taken by pro-lifers have ever appeared on social media or in the public domain. This is because pro-lifers DON'T photograph or film women entering abortion centres. We are there to offer help to pregnant Mums, it is unlikely that the hundreds of women that stop to talk to us would do so if we were filming. 

Rupa Huq MP said on National television that, no one should ever protest outside an abortion centre. Yes, that's her fifth from the left, protesting outside the Ealing abortion centre the very next day, with her pro-abortion supporters.

Back in 2017, the Guardian, who claim to be supporting women, published a photo of two women leaving the abortion centre in Ealing. A 'pro-choice feminist' group calling itself Sister Supporter have also put up an image of another women attending this abortion centre. The Guardian only removed their photo after complaints from dozens of Pro-Lifers.

So once again it is clear that the Pro-Lifers are there to help and respect women and the abortion campaigners are not.

Before the first buffer zone came in, in Ealing we reported 2,674 reasons why BPAS and Marie Stopes need buffer zones.  2,257 less abortions in Ealing and Twickenham Abortion Centres during 2016 than in 2015. As well as abortions in Birmingham having dropped by 417.

Making a total reduction of 2,674 abortions, just from these 3 abortion centres.
And it's still true to say:

Wherever there is a full-time prayerful presence at an abortion centre, with real help available, abortion figures drop. This is why abortion providers like Marie Stopes and BPAS want buffer zones

According to department of health statistics,

Marie Stopes Ealing performed 7,459 of abortions in 2015

Marie Stopes Ealing performed 6,484 abortions in 2016
That's a drop of 13%

BPAS Twickenham performed 7,325 abortions in 2015

BPAS Twickenham performed 6043 abortions 2016.
That's a drop of 17.5%

Every life is infinitely precious. Don't let them make us back off! Allow women real options!
Anyone in business can tell you that a drop of between 13 and 17.5% in your income could easily see a company go out of business.

For many years pro-lifers had spent a couple of hours on Saturday mornings praying outside abortion centres across this country. In September 2010 40 Days for Life started in London, outside Marie Stopes abortion centre in Whitfield Street. Pro-lifers were now there 12 hours a day 7-days a week, we were shining a light in the darkness. After this daily prayer vigils were taken up by the Good Counsel Network. 40 Days for Life campaigns spread across London and across the country. Hundreds of pro-lifers were spending thousands of hours outside abortion centres. The number of abortions were dropping, the number of women receiving help was increasing all of this shows the logical reasons why the pro-abortion lobby wanted to ban us. But now we come on to the spiritual side of things.

Many of the women who changed their minds on the doorsteps of an abortion centre have told us that they had prayed for a sign from God and arriving at the abortion centre to find a small group of people, sometimes only one or two, praying, they took to be their sign from God. One mother who kept her baby had told God, having just been to Church on her way to the abortion centre, that she needed a sign and if it was not a big sign she would not be sure that it was a sign from Him and that she would not accept it. She arrived at Bedford Square abortion centre in London and found twenty Pro-Lifers praying there with a Priest and Bishop Bernard Longley, now Archbishop of Birmingham. She recognised that the Bishop’s presence was her sign and kept her baby.

The fact that silent prayer by one individual outside an abortion centre, prayer in their own mind is going to be made illegal is a clear sign that this battle is spiritual. There is no practical reason why the MPs would vote to ban silent prayer by one person within 150 metres of an abortion centre. The proof of this is quite simple, step out of your front door walk 149 metres without turning back to look at your front door say quietly in your head 'God please let abortion end' and then look back to your door, see how far away you are. Anybody going into your front door would not know you were standing 149 yards away praying. There is no practical reason to ban prayer, the only reason to ban such prayer there, is because abortion providers and their supporters know better than we know it, that it is effective. How consciously or subconsciously the abortionists and their friends are aware of this I do not know, but I know that this is a spiritual battle.

The battle for respect for life from conception continues in the UK. Once again we have to find new ways to move forward. and we are working on that, but in the meanwhile, we cannot and do not accept a ban on silent prayer and offers of help. We need to stand up and fight this with all our might. We also need to actually attend the existing vigils while its legal to do so. No buffer zone is more effective than apathy and fear keeping us away from vigils. Please come to the peaceful pro-life vigils while it is still legal to do so. Please come to Brixton 40 Days for Life between now and 2nd April.

Sign up to support our work and you can help to save lives today.

Note; It was only after giving this talk on 16th March, that I noticed the Tweet pictured below, and thus found that I had quoted a part of The Lord of the Rings on the anniversary of that event taking place, as this Twitter account posts things on the dates that they took place!

Friday 24 March 2023

Monica's Tears: 40 Days Celebrating Mums Choosing Life Day 31

Monica came to us as a young woman who really wanted to keep her baby. She was quite strong in her faith but had fallen into a relationship she didn't really agree with.  Her boyfriend said it was the wrong time. Her family said "Get rid of it or you will be homeless." At some point, Monica gave in and had the abortion. Immediately afterwards she sank into deep despair and regret.

Feeling that bad didn't give her much confidence to get out of her relationship, so life continued to be more depressing. Exactly a year to the day after her abortion, Monica found out she was pregnant again. After all the tears she had shed, she was NEVER going to have an abortion again. So she told her family and her boyfriend she was keeping the baby.

Her boyfriend produced an article from the Daily Mirror saying it cost £100,000 to raise a child. And £5000 of that was for "Nursery Furniture and toys". Monica thought this was ridiculous and asked him "Where are we going to keep £5000 worth of toys? In the 'West Wing' of our mansion?" Meanwhile she noticed he didn't mind saving up money for leather car seat covers, something that particularly rankled when she was being pressured to abort.

A similar scaremongering article to the one Monica saw

The mother of St Augustine, St Monica, saved her son by her prayers and tears. And our Monica repented of her abortion with prayer and her tears. Monica's tears saved her from making the same mistake again. She had her baby, a boy, who was loved by her family and the baby's father realised he wanted to be involved in his life. Monica also returned to practising her faith and living it.

You can donate to help us support mothers like Monica here or here.

Thursday 23 March 2023

The Apple of My Eye: 40 Days of Celebrating Mums Choosing Life Day 30

A young woman called Tessa met us outside. the BPAS abortion centre in Bedford Square (now mercifully closed). She came from a war torn country and had had three previous abortions when we met her. She took one look at the pictures of the developing baby on our help leaflet - simple line drawings - and collapsed in tears."If only I knew how developed the baby was, I would never have aborted in the past." she said.

The images from our Leaflet

Screenshot_20230329_222052_WhatsApp.jpgScreenshot_20230329_222052_WhatsApp.jpgWith help - she needed housing, specialist counselling and ongoing financial support - Tessa kept her baby, a daughter. She said she was the apple of her eye.

You can donate to help us support mums like Tessa here or here.

Wednesday 22 March 2023

From Beneficiary to Donor: 40 Days of Celebrating Mums Choosing Life Day 29

Day 16 - 30 Day Book Challenge

Natalie got in touch with Good Counsel many years ago. She wanted an abortion as soon as possible. I picked up her message on the answerphone, and tried to call her back but couldn't get through. We missed each other's calls for two whole weeks and just when I thought we would never get to speak, and that Natalie would probably just have the abortion, she called me. 

She came to our Centre, told us about her situation -she and her boyfriend just were not sure where there relationship was going or if they were ready for a baby. We explained what we do and the support we could offer. 

Natalie brought her boyfriend to see us. They discussed their fears and worries and then we showed them how developed their baby was and what abortion would involve at the stage of pregnancy she was at. They both felt that abortion was a much bigger deal than they had thought. This helped them. to think through their relationship and decide to make a firm commitment to each other and their baby. We offered them help and they decided to get married and. keep their child.

They moved ahead, got married, and happily had their little girl. They did not request help in the end, because once they started working together to. keep their baby,  they found that they did not need help.

A couple of years later, while doing a Church Collection, we bumped into Natalie, her husband and daughter. They had one of our collection boxes. at home on their mantlepiece and brought it with them to contribute the contents to our appeal. In 2 years they had gone from fearing they couldn't cope with the baby she was carrying, and asking for our help to financially supporting Good Counsel so we could help other mums-to-be.

Donation Concept. Woman`s Hand Putting Coin in the Money Box. Stock Image -  Image of donate, donor: 183507923

With prayer, the worst situations can be filled with God's grace and completely turned around. We just need to walk alongside expectant Mothers, supporting them as well we can,  until things do turn around and get better. That's what Good Counsel is all about!

Please be like this couple, and donate to support our life saving work. You can donate here or here.

Tuesday 21 March 2023

The Benefit of the Doubt - A New Year's Eve to Remember: 40 Days of Celebrating Mums Choosing Life Day 28

30 Day Security Challenge — Shannon Morse

When Good Counsel was only a few months old, we were open on our first New Year's Eve.  A young couple came in, saying they were set on abortion and wanted to talk through just one last time before going ahead.

We spoke with the young woman first, and got a completely different picture. She was a career minded young woman, from well off background, but not so well off now she was starting off her own independent life. 

Her boyfriend was a man from a poor, working class family. He was very chatty and friendly but also very anxious, especially about the baby.

Ultimately, they felt that if they had the baby, it would be a struggle financially to afford a place to live and raise the child. She felt very willing to engage in the struggle - and if she couldn't afford it, realised she might need to accept some benefits for a short while until she could resume her career. She had been paying her taxes for awhile and felt that having to claim a little help with rent would not be the worst thing that could happen to her.

Her boyfriend, however, had grown up on benefits. He had worked hard to get out of that life and thought the most humiliating thing for his child would be to be born into a family on benefits.

The woman asked to see the developmental stage her baby was at, so we showed her some accurate images from medical textbooks. She cried out as if in terrible pain when she saw the images of a baby at 8 weeks. Her cry brought her boyfriend - well over 6 foot and a very tough looking character- running to her defence. But when he came in and saw her looking at these images, he turned to us and laughed, "I've lost, haven't I?". His girlfriend answered him "Yes, you have lost. I can't do it!"

Couple and their shadows holding hands photo

They. walked off together hand in hand. I couldn't help but feel, from what they had told me, that if they put their minds together, their baby would be born into family that managed to avoid poverty, and maybe even managed without temporary recourse to help from the state.  

In any case, better to be born into family on benefit than not to be born at all!

Help us to be there for families like this one. Every donation really does make a difference.

Monday 20 March 2023

Nagged into Giving Up A Precious Child, But God Had Another Plan! 40 Days of Celebrating Mums Choosing Life Day 27

Encourage insects in your garden - The English Garden

Isabel wanted to keep her baby. Her much older boyfriend who already had children from a previous relationship didn't. He put so much pressure on her that she rang her mum and told her about the pregnancy, hoping for support, instead, her mum said "If he doesn't want the baby, you will be alone in London with no help. I think you should have the abortion."

It was just at this point that Isabel came to us, desperate for help to keep her baby. We were able to offer support and help, due to the donations we recieve, and she accepted gratefully. 
Then she brought her boyfriend to see us. He rubbished all the help and told her she was stupid if she believed us. We had offered help with her rent and legal help, because she was being discriminated against at work because of her pregnancy.
She went home but continued to say she wanted her baby. She stayed in touch with us on a daily basis, trying to overcome the pressure she was under from the two people she cared about most. 
Finally one day, when she was 8 weeks pregnant, she didn't call. We couldn't get through to her either. Late that night she rang me and said she had taken the first abortion pill. 
She bitterly regretted it and was crying on the phone.
I told her if she wanted to stop the abortion process and keep her baby, we could help her to see a doctor privately to see if there was anything he could do (this was before abortion reversal services became widely available). But she said  she didn't think she could stop now that she had started and she just couldn't listen to anymore nagging from her boyfriend. She was going to take the second pill as well.
I told her we would pray for her and I felt very sorry for her because I could tell that she was very disappointed in herself, but also felt unable stand up for what she thought was right.
We did pray for Isabel but we didn't expect to hear from her again. 
A fortnight later I had a call from her and I picked it up to hear her saying "You are never going to believe this! I am still pregnant."
She was right! I couldn't believe it.
Isabel was one of a small number of Mothers we have seen who have taken not just 1 but both stages of the abortion pill and have still - without any medical help - managed to keep their babies.
Incredibly after all she had been through, her boyfriend continued to push her to try to abort again. And her Mother told her "Your baby will probably be handicapped because of the abortion pills. You should get rid of it!" 
But Isabel had learned what it felt like to be on the other side of an abortion (or so it had seemed) - and she was never going to do that again!
24,300+ Mother Daughter Holding Hands Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free  Images - iStock | Mother daughter holding hands sunset, Mother daughter  holding hands close up
Isabel gave birth to a healthy baby girl who is now very much loved by her dad and her maternal grandmother. However, Isabel herself will never rely on them for advice in making a good decision, she has come to a new confidence in her own conscience and a new relationship with God through repenting of the mistake that nearly robbed her of her daughter!

Sunday 19 March 2023

The Best Laid Plans of Mums & Men: 40 Days of Celebrating Mums Choosing Life Day 26

DAY 26 : from 0 to 1 BTC - Earnings recap

Tanya and her boyfriend were quite liberal minded, upwardly mobile young couple, not too well off as yet, but with good prospects. Good friends, with possibly a future together, but one they wanted to take their time deciding on. They were living together and sharing quite a party lifestyle when Tanya suddenly found her contraception had failed. Off she went to have an abortion, and she was glad to be offered what was (then) the "new' abortion pill.
Half of women are taking drugs on prescription and four in ten men are doing  the same | Daily Mail Online
Not being in use too long then, it wasn't' widely known that there are many complications of taking the abortion pill.*
In Tanya's case, the "complication" was that it didn't work. Despite heavy bleeding, and things seeming to return to normal, 4 months later Tanya came to the Good Counsel office for a pregnancy test and we found out that she was not "just a couple of weeks pregnant" as she thought, but that she was actually 6 months pregnant.
A scan and some medical advice from a doctor followed and Tanya discovered that - despite taking the two sets of pills needed to have an abortion,  and having taken a number of class A illegal drugs in the early weeks of her pregnancy - she was carrying what seemed to be a perfectly healthy baby. She was struck by a sense that this baby was "meant to be" As was her boyfriend. 
They accepted the baby, asked for a little practical help which we were able to supply because of your support, and then made a plan to raise this child together.
Their baby was born completely well. Thanks be to God.

*From April 2020 to September 2021, more than 10,000 women had to receive hospital treatment following the use of medical abortion pills in England, according to a study based on  data collected from 85 Freedom of Information requests to NHS Trusts across England. The study indicates that more than 1 in 17 women who had a medical abortion over the 18-month period needed hospital treatment. See the full article here.

Saturday 18 March 2023

A Wrong Number that was Right & Some Other God-incidences: 40 Days of Celebrating Mums Choosing Life Day 25

Day 25 - YouTube

Tina came to see us with her boyfriend. She wanted the abortion, he didn't. After he left the room she told us that she suspected him of being unfaithful. He, meanwhile, told us he suspected her of being unfaithful to him. He wanted them to sort out their difficulties and move forward keeping the baby. She, separately, began to change her mind on abortion and said she also wanted to keep her baby. After they left our centre, they carried on arguing and he had to go back to college in the North of England. Meanwhile, Tina's sister, who hated Tina's boyfriend, David, kept phoning her and telling her to get rid of the baby and not end up tied to David.

A week passed and Tina suddenly texted us one evening. Tina had somehow mixed up our number with that of an abortion provider. She said she wanted to book an abortion. I called her and explained to her who we she had contacted, she was astounded to have texted us when she thought it was the abortion centre, and she agreed to come back and talk again before having the abortion.

5 Types of women that scare men away

We met again and spoke and we spoke several more times on the phone afterwards. On one occasion she popped in to talk to us in person. Meanwhile David popped in to see us too - on his way from York to pay her a surprise visit. She was amazed that his visit to us should have coincided with hers which she hadn't told him about. She began to see God's hand in all this.

At one point she told me that her mum would never accept the baby. I asked would she like me to speak to her mum. She said yes, then no, then yes again - struggling to find the courage to let her mum, back home in Ghana, be told about her baby. Finally she said "Yes please tell. her", but then backed out and gave me her sister's number instead of her mum's. She said "Let her tell you why I shouldn't have David's baby. She hates him." But somehow, when I rang her sister I got through to her mum who was visiting her sister at that moment. Her mum explained who she was and was totally stunned by what I had revealed (since I had been thinking I was talking to Tina's sister). Now that her mum knew, I gently explained the whole situation, and although she was worried about her daughter, alone and pregnant in London, she said "I must help her to keep the baby!" 

That was the end of Tina considering abortion. Once Tina knew her mum - and dad - were going to accept her baby, she opened up to accept the baby herself. David supported her through the pregnancy and they managed to leave their past mistakes in the past. When the baby was born, Tina phoned us immediately after she gave birth to thank us all from the heart. 

Thank God for wrong numbers, and mysterious interventions.

You can help mothers like Tina and fathers like David and their children, by supporting our work with a donation and with your prayers.

Friday 17 March 2023

Veronica Chose Life & Came out of Hiding:40 Days of Celebrating Mums Choosing Life Day 24

4-Week JumpStart Workout Plan For Women

When I first started working for Good Counsel, I was asked to meet with a young Irish girl, Veronica. She had come to England to get an abortion, she didn't think she could face telling her mum about her pregnancy. But once she got to the abortion centre, she realised that there was no way she could have the abortion. It felt so wrong. She tried to work out some plan with the baby's father, but he didn't want to be tied down and wasn't offering her any support if she wanted to keep the baby.

She didn't know what to do. She didn't know where to go. She just knew she couldn't go home.

So - after some pro-lifers in Ireland put me in touch with her -she came to stay with me, and my parents. She was a really shy young woman, but found my parents, who were Irish like her own, easy to talk to. Particularly in the evening, when there was little else to do, she would often sit and chat with my mum. My dear mum was very kind and gentle, and sympathetic. One evening when they were chatting alone, Veronica asked Mum "What should I do?". "Well" Mum answered, "If you were my daughter, I would be really worried about you. I would really want you to tell me what had happened. I would really want to know." Veronica broke down and had a good cry. "Yes, I have to tell her." she replied. My mum promised to pray, she had already been praying for Veronica and her baby.

She went and phoned her straight away. She told her she was pregnant. Her mother, who only knew that her daughter had gone to London, but did not know why, had that sixth sense of a Mother - and feeling that something was wrong - had been terribly worried. Veronica's confession that she was pregnant shocked her, but almost immediately she felt a great sense of relief - finally she understood what the problem was. "Come home Veronica. Come home and have your baby." her mum said.

Irish Baby Boys Names

Veronica booked a ticket home the next day and was welcomed with great joy by her parents.

Some months later, my mum received a letter from Veronica's mum. She had had a Mass said for my mum. She wanted to thank her again and again for the help she had given Veronica. Veronica enclosed a note of thanks with her mum's letter, and a picture of her gorgeous baby son.

My mum was ecstatic. A little generosity of spirit, a little of her time, a kind word and she had helped to save a life and also to make the lives of Veronica and her son happier. - Clare

Thursday 16 March 2023

Fighting 4 Life: 40 Days of Celebrating Mums Choosing Life Day 23

Day23 | Facebook

One Mother we supported shared her testimony with those who attended our "Halfway Event" on Thursday 16th March. Here is her story.

I was in an extremely difficult situation with three children already, and the youngest one was a baby of 3 months old, when I discovered I was pregnant again. My partner was with me at the time and he was pressurising me into having an abortion. He told me “If you don’t terminate this pregnancy I will leave you”. I had to put up with this as well as being shocked about being pregnant so soon again.

So I went to Brixton abortion clinic for a consultation and they thought I was only carrying one baby when I arrived. They gave me a scan and told me there was more than one heartbeat. I was totally shocked. They told me they thought it was twins and I thought straight away at that moment I cannot go ahead with an abortion. 

They said they could not proceed because I could sue them because I was not mentally prepared to abort more than one baby so I had to have time to think about it and return for the abortion at a later date but I had already made up my mind that I was not going to return.

I went for my first antenatal scan at the hospital and they told me that I was expecting quadruplets. I nearly collapsed. I was very shocked.

Quadruplets: The Facts & How to Conceive Them - Huggies AU

My partner was unsupportive and I said to him that if I had an abortion I could even die from the procedure and then who would look after the children? I refused to go back because it was so wrong. I was confused. Then my partner packed his bags and left us.

I felt so alone and I was thinking who would be able to take care of my children? I dropped off my children to school. A nice teacher saw me and knew something was wrong and she asked me was I ok? Did I want to talk? So she took me into her office and I was crying and telling her my situation. The teacher gave me The Good Counsel Network’s details. I went for my appointment there with Iulia the counsellor. From the time I walked out I felt peace. They sent some volunteers to help me with my children. The Good Counsel then fought to get carers in to help me. Clare fought very hard to win the case with the Council to get the carers which I had for 3 years.  I also got financial help including vouchers, help with baby goods, clothes, shoes for the children. I still have ongoing help and support from The Good Counsel Network with weekly vouchers help and Christmas presents for the children. I am very grateful, they gave me lots of wonderful help and emotional help and support. They are always there for me.                            "Lydia"

Wednesday 15 March 2023

Pro-Choice Charlene Wants Pro-Life Vigils to be Allowed: 40 Days of Celebrating Mums Choosing Life Day 22

I got a phone call one day from a volunteer at a vigil, "Would you take to this lady?" he asked "She is very upset." He put her on the phone. Her name was Charlene and she told me "I've been shouting at this man in the street for 20 minutes because I was cross that he was outside the abortion centre, but I don't know what to do and I just need a neutral person to talk to!" "Well" I said "You know I am not neutral, I don't think anyone is really neutral. But I can listen. I can just listen, if you want to come in and talk." She did want to and she arrived in The Good Counsel Centre about half an hour later.

Charlene was a beautiful young woman but she and her family had been through many abortions and much trauma. She loved children but just couldn't think about how she would cope with one when her own life was so messed up! She had a very dramatic relationship, which moved into an abusive relatioship very uickly when she became pregnant.

Our meeting that day went well and she told me she wanted to keep the baby. She needed some financial help and help with housing and we got onto that straight away.

Her pregnancy was full of dramatic ups and downs, relationship breakdowns and patching things up and then breaking up again. She would regularly make new appoinments for abortion and she would cancel them or she would go to them but then walk out.

Finally she passed the legal limit and rejoiced that there was no longer any choice to make.

She had her baby and decided that this was going to be the beginning of a new era in her life, being "More Mama and less drama" as the saying goes.

When she heard our vigils were going to be banned she was horrified. Although she regarded herself as a pro-choice, pro-lifer (!)

Today we celebrate mums like Charlene, whohave to confront the trauma of previous abortions when they accept a baby and welcome it into their life. Grant her repentance and healing O, Lord, and all her family too.

Please donate to help us support Mothers in need here 

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