So, we had a very exciting Saturday this week. It was unusually busy for a home game weekend, but that’s explained by the 8 o’clock kick off time. I was a bit late, 8:45 am, so I missed the first rush. About 15 minutes after I got there, this blond woman drives up and drops off a mother-daughter pair. Obviously, the daughter was there for an abortion. They don’t talk to us, and we don’t think anything of it.
At 10:45 (they stop taking patients at 11), the mother walks out, probably to smoke. We see her and wave her over, not really expecting her to come. But she does. We get all excited and about 4 of us stand around and talk to her. We hand her a magazine, then ask her why her daughter was there. Apparently, the poor girl is fifteen years old. She already has a one year old. Her mother is NOT going to raise another baby. So, she’s getting an abortion. One of our counselors had had an abortion 19 years ago (the mother hadn’t had one) and she told her about her experience, about the clots and how she ended up pregnant again a year later.
We asked about adoption and the mother seemed a bit confused, thinking that the baby would end up in foster care The same counselor also has a lot of friends who work for an adoption agency, so she told the mother about open adoptions and how the family would pay for the whole pregnancy. The mother liked the idea, and agreed to get her daughter to come out and talk on the phone to a woman from the adoption agency.
She came out and we handed her the phone. She talked on the phone for about 5 minutes and seemed to like the idea, but expressed concerns about the baby ending up in an abusive home. Afterwards, we talked to her about her 1 year old son. We found out that she’s 9 weeks along, so we showed her two pictures, one at 6 weeks and the other at 10. We talked to her about how she’s already giving that baby everything that he or she needs, about how of course she’s a terrific mother to her son. We told her that she doesn’t need to make up her mind in that instant. The clinic will let her reschedule, if she needs more time to think. We cried with her. She said that she didn’t want an abortion, she just didn’t feel like there was any other option.
And then the blond woman who dropped her and her mother off shows up. She goes inside the clinic, sees that the daughter isn’t there, and then sees her with us. She walks up, puts her arm around the girl’s shoulders, and marches her back into the clinic. We tell the daughter that she’s grown up enough to make her own decisions. The blond woman shouts back “No she’s not, she’s only a 15 year old girl!”
We feel that she’s being coerced. Most of the group goes over to pray, the rest of us wonder if we have grounds to call the police, because it’s illegal to force someone to have an abortion (though, as we found out later, it’s only a misdemeanor). The president of Bama Students for Life decides that he should tell the clinic about it. So he and another member cross the line (our imaginary parking lot line that we are forbidden to cross) and they actually Enter The Building. (This was all very dramatic to the rest of us…crossing the line is a big deal, going inside is unthinkable.)
Apparently, they had immediately taken her back to the other waiting room, so he didn’t get to see her. However, he did tell the receptionist that he felt that the girl was being pressured into the decision. Then the blond woman sees them and freaks out, telling the receptionist that he was one of the “people outside.” They were asked to leave, or the police would be called. So, they immediately come back outside. Afterwards, they’re pretty sure they’ll be arrested. They gave their car keys to other people and told them who to call in case they needed bail. The blond woman came over and gave us the magazine back, and screamed at us that she disagreed with abortion and had been trying to talk to the girl about adoption. Then she screamed at us about why we hadn’t been telling her about adoption. We were pretty confused by that one.
About 15 minutes later, the police showed up. They talked to Gloria (office manager) and the blond woman. Then they came over and talked to us. However, the first thing they addressed was coercion, before we even brought it up. They said that they had talked to the daughter, and that only she could file a charge of coercion. After awhile, they finally got around to the trespassing. They were given a warning and that was it. We don’t know whether the girl went through with the abortion or not. (I had to go to work, I’ll ask around next weekend.) We were able to give her mother some information about post-abortive counseling if she did.