11 Apr 40 Days For Life
40 Days for Life Hempstead, part of a national campaign of prayer, fasting, and sidewalk counseling, kicked off with Mass at St. Ladislaus Church, Hempstead, followed by a procession to Planned Parenthood a few blocks away. There, Fr. Liam McDonald and the Pro Bikers for Life led the rosary and other prayers for both pregnant women who go to Planned Parenthood and for the people who work there.
That morning, Lou talked to a young man pulling out of Planned Parenthood’s parking lot, who had just undergone STD testing. The 22-year-old, Troy*, had a 10-month-old son and hadn’t gotten a word of advice on relationships from Planned Parenthood. Mentioning the Life Center a block away, Lou offered to walk Troy over for a free session and some muchneeded things for his child. Troy sat down in our office and received truthful information — much of which he’d never heard before — on the benefits of abstinence and going to church, as well as the negatives of contraception and cohabitation. Unemployed, he was astounded to be given a crib, stroller, and huge bag of clothes and diapers for his little boy.
Later that week, Gary came out to join some people praying at Planned Parenthood. He has been familiar with pro-life issues for years, but this was his first time praying in front of Planned Parenthood. Unexpectedly, Gary found himself in tears outside the abortion center. About 15 people pray the rosary outside of Planned Parenthood’s fence for the young mothers heading inside. “It’s just powerful,” Gary said. “I know about PP — I know all about this, but it’s different, to actually be right here where it happens. You see these young people going in, oblivious, about to be taken advantage of. So much darkness. You can just feel it. And these people that walk right up to them (people heading into PP or walking by) offering to help them, sending them up the street to the Life Center, explaining what’s going on here, it’s just so beautiful.”
Thursday morning, Kayla*, 19, came in to our center for maternity clothes and a bassinet. Her 2-year-old, Noah*, was with her. Just then, Tom, head of Pro Bikers for Life, stopped by for fliers to hand out in front of Planned Parenthood. I happened to mention to Kayla, sitting in our waiting room, why Tom was there. When I mentioned Planned Parenthood, she rolled her eyes. “Oh, PP, that’s not a good place,” she said. She shared that she’d gone there when pregnant with Noah, planning to abort him: “I hadn’t told anyone I was pregnant. I was 16, and I was scared.” In order for Planned Parenthood to determine the size of her baby and therefore how much “work” was involved and how much the abortion would cost, she received an ultrasound. Lying on the table, Kayla asked for the ultrasound screen to be turned toward her, saying, “It’s the only picture I’m going to see of my baby.” The response was, “No, we don’t show them. That’s our policy.” Just then, Kayla felt a kick — the first movement she’d felt from baby Noah. ”I just said, ‘I can’t do this, and I got up and left.’” Kayla clearly adored her little boy and was grateful she’d withstood their deceptive techniques.
We hear this routinely from our clients. While abortionists insist it’s a “choice,” they deny vulnerable women crucial information that would give them a true choice. If the full truth isn’t shared, it’s not a choice — it’s a deception. That’s why 40 Days for Life and prayer in front of abortion centers is so important. We must continue to be right near these death centers to reach young pregnant moms at the last minute, offering them real help.