MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin, April 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Mareza Landeros, 19, hadn’t been to church since she was seven.
That way of life had long since become unfamiliar to her, who lived with her boyfriend according to typical young adult standards. Yet Mareza held onto one habit that she had practiced every night since childhood — prayer. She says she remembers feeling during these times a “strong connection with God.”
Then one day Mareza’s life was thrown upside down: she discovered she was carrying her boyfriend’s baby.
She and her boyfriend made a trip to Affiliated Medical Services (AMS) in Milwaukee to determine the stage of the pregnancy and to schedule an abortion.
“We didn’t think anything of abortion. We were just getting rid of something that was a burden,” said Mareza in a video posted on YouTube by Pro-Life Wisconsin. “I’m not a bad person,” she continued, “but I went out there because I was scared and because I was not informed.”
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As the young pregnant mother and her boyfriend pulled into the abortion facility parking lot, they encountered someone they were not expecting.
“I saw this big tall six-foot guy standing in front of the abortion clinic. He didn’t really look like someone who would hand me a pamphlet that said ‘This is your baby growing,’” recalled Mareza.
Dan Miller and a small team of counselors from Pro-Life Wisconsin were at the facility praying that day and interceding for the unborn children who had come there in the wombs of their abortion-bound mothers.
Mareza and her boyfriend brushed past the pro-life witnesses and stood momentarily before the door of the abortion facility, ringing the doorbell and waiting to be admitted.
Suddenly, in a loud voice, the tall man called out to the couple: “God bless you two!”
The mention of God’s name briefly triggered something deep inside Mareza. She surprised herself by turning to face the speaker. In what Mareza now looks upon as an inspired moment of grace, the man gazed at her and shouted once more: “No, God bless all three of you!”
“Those words stayed with me throughout my whole visit with AMS,” Mareza recalled. She told LifeSiteNews that the tall man’s words were “kind of like a slap in the face, but in a good way.”
Mareza recalls entering the abortion facility, shaken to the core by the words of the man outside. For the first time, she says it dawned on her that there was a little person inside of her who had just received God’s blessing. She vividly remembers breaking down and weeping inside the clinic as so many strange but exciting thoughts crowded into her mind. She remembers, too, receiving no compassion from any of the staff.
The facility’s ultrasound technician told Mareza that she was 10 weeks pregnant and that they would remove the ‘pregnancy tissue’ by the suction and curettage method. Mareza was told that the procedure would be a simple, 15-minute, painless process.
At that moment, Mareza says she said something only a concerned mother would think of: “Is the procedure going to hurt the baby?”
“No”, replied the technician.
Mareza says she looked the technician in the face, emphatically repeating: “Is the procedure going to hurt MY BABY?” The technician, she recalls, only stared at her silently.
Mareza says she quietly left the abortion facility with a new feeling of hope. Her boyfriend did not support her decision and very shortly walked out of her life.
Two weeks later, Mareza visited the pro-life Women’s Care Centre, right next door to the same abortion facility. She met the tall man who had called out to her, whose name was Daniel.
“Look, you’ve saved my baby,” she recalls telling him. Baby Joseph was born last September.
Virginia Zignego, communications director for Pro-Life Wisconsin, told LifeSiteNews that she and the pro-life team of counselors “really try to emphasis the humanity of the child to an abortion-bound woman,” and that Dan’s words were inspired.
“‘God bless all three of you’ was definitely the work of the Holy Spirit,” she said.
“There is ‘somebody’ else who is at play here. When they say ‘it’s my body, my choice’, we tell them that once there is a new human life in the equation, then that person should have a choice as well.”
Mareza says she and her son Joseph are flourishing with the help of their new friends at the pro-life center, and now attend the same church as Daniel; baby Joseph was baptized in December. The young mother now attends college and works as a waitress to pay the bills, and has even joined those offering sidewalk counseling to abortion-minded women.
“I always let women know that there is help. I tell each woman that people do care for her and her baby and that she will not have to go through this alone,” says the mother. “At the end, I always remember to tell them ‘God bless you and your baby!’”