when your heartbreaks. in sidewalk stories

  • April 15, 2019, 8:24 a.m.
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  • Public

Saturday was a busy day full of pro-life things. I attended a walk for life where donations benefit a local pregnancy center that serves three counties. I had all intentions on making it a short walk and turning around at the 1 mile mark, but when I saw nobody else was I decided I shouldn’t quit. So I did the full course (5k). I definitely need to invest in better shoes/socks because just walking that short distance left me with a blister on each foot. That last mile was miserable, but I hobbled my way through it.

On my way home I drove past the abortion clinic and saw C outside with some others and decided to make a quick stop. That turned into standing outside for an hour. Saturday is their busiest killing day and the parking lot was full. There were a few things that really stuck out to me that I wanted to share.

There was a young black woman, I would say around 18-20 years old. She comes out of the clinic looking rather happy, goes to a car where someone else is waiting, retrieves something and then heads back to the door. She’s practically skipping, smiling and looks like she’s entering Disney not an abortion clinic. I don’t think it was for show as she didn’t seem to notice us standing on the other side of the fence. I couldn’t help but think how can she be that happy? While some may think of her as heartless and use her as an example of how women are not victims, I couldn’t help but to feel sorry for her. She reminded me of the teenage girl I sat next to in that very same abortion clinic who casually told me this was her 2nd (or maybe 3rd) abortion. Like it was no big deal, a part of life, we may have very well be sitting in a dentist office for an annual cleaning. Even back than I remember thinking and feeling as if this was anything but normal.

One of the staff members came out looking in the parking lot for someone. C called out to her, saying he lost her number when she lost her phone. C knows some of the workers and they will talk and are pleasant to us. Something you wouldn’t really expect. I didn’t at least. She said she couldn’t afford a cell phone any longer. And I’m thinking to myself, really, you’re working at this place, doing this kind of work and they can’t pay you enough to even have a cheap prepaid cell phone?! C put her in contact with someone who can help her find a better job, and she said she is willing to leave. So far C has helped 6 workers find new jobs. She may be number 7.

Another woman came outside. I believe she brought someone in, just guessing by the way she was dressed. She came out crying, walking away to the far west side of the building. She was visibly upset. I don’t know why but I felt lead to walk my way over to her, quietly asked if she was okay and if she needed someone to talk to. She just wiped the tears with what appeared to be a rag, and went back inside. Something was so upsetting inside that she had to come out to cry. I could only imagine what she was going through.

And then, the final heartbreak for the hour came. First, a woman leaning against her partner as she walked out. Shuffling her feet, moving slowly while hunched over, looking completely out of it. We have a name for these women, and contrary to popular belief it’s not murderers. They are the walking wounded. Your heart aches for these women and girls as they go inside, but when you watch them come out hours later, your heart breaks. For me, it was seeing the 2nd woman come out shortly after. Being held up by her partner and friend. They make their way around the corner of the building and she stops. Leans against him and just starts sobbing. The three of us out on the sidewalk wipe away our own tears. You feel yourself spinning for ideas but realize it’s over, there’s nothing you can do to take this back. The female friend goes back in for something, and when she does we manage to give a card for post abortion healing and grief counseling. It’s really all you can offer at that point.

That evening I went to a candle light vigil in front of a local Planned Parenthood. Note to self, when attending a candle light vigil bring your own lighter. So annoying when your candle keeps going out. There were 155 vigils taking place all over the country. It was interesting, my first time attending something like that. To my surprise a lot of people were going by honking their horns in support. Minus one teenage boy who looked to be about 17-18 with his head outside of the car window screaming “I LOVE ABORTION”. I am sure one day when his girlfriend becomes pregnant he will be the one telling her she has to “get rid of it”. But people want to ignore that kind of misogyny I suppose.


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