Commentary by David Bereit, National Coordinator, 40 Days for Life
March 3, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A young woman walked up to the 40 Days for Life vigil outside an abortion center in Austin, Texas recently. She signed up to join the others in prayer ... and then immediately sat down on the sidewalk and started to cry.
One of the volunteers stopped praying for a moment to approach the young woman, whom she had never met before, and asked her if she needed a hug. This volunteer assumed that the thought of what was going on inside the abortion facility had simply overcome this woman and brought her to tears.
But that wasn't the case. To her surprise, she found out this young woman was crying for another reason.
"I'm pregnant right now and don't want to be," she said. "I've already had four abortions.
She said she didn't have an abortion scheduled. "But I keep feeling this huge temptation to just go to an abortion clinic, pay my $400 and get it over with. I came to the sidewalk to pray, and to be around people who are like-minded as I am."
The young woman told one of the sidewalk counselors that she was twelve weeks into her pregnancy. She had already been to a pregnancy resource center, but was still a mess emotionally.
She had become a Christian, she said. "But with this pregnancy, I just feel so depressed. I'm living in a women's shelter, and the last thing I want right now is to be pregnant."
The sidewalk counselor took her to dinner, and they sat and talked for hours. "As they developed a long-term plan to get this young woman the help she needs," said Elizabeth McClung, the local 40 Days for Life coordinator in Austin, "she said something that should serve as an encouragement to every single pro-lifer who has ever thought about going to pray at an abortion facility."
"If you guys weren't out there praying," this woman said, "I would have pulled up to the facility, sat in my car for hours on end—and ended up going inside for a fifth abortion. Since you were on the sidewalk praying, I knew I could find comfort and support there, so I went there to cry instead. Thank you for being there."
"Her story is the perfect example as to why we not only pray from home and from church, but we also go pray at the very places where lives are being hurt and taken," Elizabeth said.
She is now on a path to healing from her previous abortions, finding a job and taking her pregnancy one day at a time. And, Elizabeth said, "She is not going to have another abortion!"
Please pray for her, and for all who are desperate to break out of that cycle of abortion.