Commentary by David Bereit, National Coordinator, 40 Days for Life
October 26, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The words a sidewalk counselor spoke to a woman entering the abortion center in Dallas, Texas summed things up so accurately. "I know the baby is not the problem," the counselor said, "but it's the situation you are in."
The woman took information from the counselor but continued into the clinic—while 40 Days for Life vigil participants prayed for her and her child.
An hour later, the woman came out of the clinic in tears. She was married, she said, but thinking about abortion—though she doesn't know why it got to that point. But when she saw people praying, she knew abortion was not the answer, and that indeed, it was her situation that was the problem, not the baby.
There are two other stories from Dallas with a similar theme—and the same outcome.
A woman entered the clinic—and left 30 minutes later, telling people on the sidewalk she was scared, and that the conditions in the clinic were troublesome. She was invited to go instead to the very clean clinic across the street—the pro-life pregnancy resource center. She found that help was indeed available, and chose life for her child.
A short time later, a couple walked into the clinic but left about 40 minutes later. The woman held her head down and appeared quite troubled. She, too, told the people at the vigil she was scared. But as she kept watching the people praying on the sidewalk, she found the courage to reject abortion as a "solution" to her problems.
Choosing life—a blessing that God has provided…411 times during this fall's 40 Days for Life campaign thus far!
Here's the story behind another of those blessings:
A mom in Atlanta, Georgia went to pray at the 40 Days for Life vigil with her 7- and 10-year-old daughters. At the time, they were the only ones at the clinic. But after Paige explained to her girls why they were there, they all began to pray and sing.
When a woman got out of her car and walked towards the clinic, one of the girls said, "Let's sing 'Jesus Loves Me.'"
"They sounded so sweet," Paige said. "I know the lady could hear them."
A bit later, a man pulled up and got out of his car to talk. "He was very noticeably angry," said Paige, and he wound up making a threatening remark before driving off.
"I told the girls what Jesus said, 'Blessed are you when they persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you, because of me.' But it was hard staying there."
It's a good thing they stayed! The woman that the girls had sung for earlier in the hour walked out of the clinic and towards the parking lot—all the time, looking at a sign with the number of a pro-life pregnancy counseling hotline. She picked up her cell phone and made a call.
As she pulled out of the parking lot, the woman made a point of looking right at them, giving thumbs-up and shaking her head in an emphatic "yes." She was smiling at them, though it looked like she had been crying.
"The girls were thrilled," said Paige. "We really have no idea of the good that may come of people standing outside of clinics."
(To find out more about 40 Days for Life, click here)