Culture of LifeMon Aug 20, 2012 - 2:05 pm EST
God’s amazing grace: Former Planned Parenthood manager celebrates 1 year as pro-life activist
August 20, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - As Ramona Trevino celebrates the first anniversary of leaving her position as manager of a Planned Parenthood abortion referral facility in Sherman, Texas, she says she attributes the change in her life to one thing - the grace of God. “No one can come to this change of heart on their own,” she states. “We are all being guided whether we know it or not. The question is, will we listen?”
Like many individuals working for Planned Parenthood, Ramona felt trapped in a job that pricked her conscience but paid the bills. At first, she justified her work since her office was just a referral facility and not an actual abortion facility. However, she found herself compromising her Christian faith and values in ways she had not anticipated.
Day after day, Ramona gave out birth control to girls as young as twelve. These same girls were treated for sexually transmitted diseases already ravaging their young bodies. When girls came in seeking abortions, Ramona and her co-workers were not trained to help them consider adoption, and were given strict orders not to deal with the local crisis pregnancy center. Abortion was presented as the only viable option, and referrals to clinics were routine.
Ramona assumed at first that Planned Parenthood was an organization with the noble motive of helping poor women. Once she was involved with them, it became increasingly clear that their basic priority was financial gain. That bottom line was what really mattered. To illustrate this fact, Ramona recounts a time when Planned Parenthood held a competition to see who could sell the most Emergency Contraception pills at their location.
She says, “They sell themselves as being champions for women but most people that came in couldn’t afford the services. It was several hundred dollars for a general check up. Meanwhile, nearby, there were two other places in town with more affordable prices available.”
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God used two pivotal means in Ramona’s life to help her hear His voice and steer her back towards Him. One day while driving in her car, she was listening to a Christian radio station. Every listener was reminded that God will be coming back one day and, said the broadcaster, “what will we tell God we did to help stop abortion?” It was as if the broadcaster was speaking straight to Ramona’s heart. In that moment, God cornered her. There was nothing else to do but acknowledge she was justifying an existence in which she was directly linking herself to abortion. “The word ‘direct,” she says, “was key to me changing. If I had only seen a partial link, that would not have been enough.”
Coinciding with this incident in the car were the prayers of many who would gather faithfully outside the referral facility. God gave Ramona the desire and determination to get to know those praying and found a kind, loving group of people who she could tell cared deeply about her. Amongst those praying were individuals from 40 Days for Life, an internationally recognized pro-life campaign that has helped her heal and get on her feet.
It was through this introduction to 40 Days for Life that Ramona met Campaign Strategist Lauren Muzyka, who is now one of her closest friends and godmother to her fourth child, five month old Philip. Lauren Says, “Planned Parenthood divides the soul from the body.” She has seen how hurt and wounded the women are who have been affected by Planned Parenthood - not only the women who seek abortions, but also the workers who become involved in a lifestyle of death and destruction.
It was the loving family at 40 Days for Life who first encouraged Ramona to begin telling her story and use her experiences to shed light into what Planned Parenthood really is. Lauren compares Ramona’s story to that of former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson’s. “What is unique about Ramona’s story is she was doing referrals, not actual abortions. By working in gray areas, it was easy to justify what she was doing but then the scales fell from her eyes.”
Thanks to a bill signed into law by Texas Governor Rick Perry that left Planned Parenthood facilities without funding, the Sherman location and six others have since been shut down. Ramona has seized opportunities this year to share her story at pro-life rallies and other events. Recently, she was even signed with the Ambassadors Speakers Bureau. She has found a broad audience and one of the most rewarding results of her message is when she sees people gaining a new perspective on Planned Parenthood.
She looks at her life now and feels the hope that comes from obeying God’s voice and being surrounded by individuals committed to being His ambassadors on this earth, no matter the sacrifice. Says Ramona, “to see people truly living for God has changed my whole perspective on life.”