Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

I realized that we haven’t posted any sidewalk counseling stories in a few weeks. Unfortunately, the past few Saturdays have been busy. It reached a peak on January 22 (anniversary of Roe v. Wade) which was fitting, I guess. They were still there when I drove by at 6 pm, which is about four hours longer than they are usually open. It was the busiest I’d ever seen it. There were more abortions in the winter here last year, too. I think that this is because of end of term parties. I want to see if there will be more in late March/early April, too. (It’s 8-12 weeks after Valentine’s Day, this would correspond to the large number of November babies).

We’ve started offering roses to women. I don’t know if this is more effective, but I feel it puts out a positive message at the very least. More women have been talking to us. This might be because of the roses. However, I feel it has more to do with how close to us they are forced to park. Usually, they only fill two rows, which leaves them at least twenty feet away from us at all times. Recently, though, it’s been so busy that they have no choice but to park about eight to ten feet away from our line. We’ve been handing out a lot more information and getting a few more stories.

One girl, a week or two back, was being coerced by her mother. Both of them freely admitted this. We handed them our sheets about coercion and legal rights, but the girl was unwilling to press charges against her mother or to seek financial or legal independence. She said that she personally wanted to keep the baby, but that it was her mother’s decision. Her mother was completely unapologetic and felt she was doing what was best for her family. We offered her financial and emotional assistance, but she seemed content in letting her mother make this decision for her, even if it’s not what she really wanted.

On a happier note, we had an ambulance come by the clinic for the first time since I’ve been there. I took pictures, because I thought it might be something important, but they just got a stretcher out to check if it fit through the doors. As this happened right after the Gosnell case was released, I figure Dr. Payne wanted to make sure his clinic is up to code. I’m glad that the stretcher fit (because we scary sidewalk counselors really do care about women).

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