The 5 Most Egregious Things to Happen at City Council Tonight:
Tonight was the "Public Hearing" on 1548-2016. Thanks to everyone who came out. For those who missed it, here were the five most egregious things to happen...
5: Teeny Tiny Room
Seriously, did they look for the smallest room possible? There was room in the hearing, counting standing room, for maybe 60 people.
4: Dozens Locked Out
Because City Council choose such a small location, dozens who wanted to attend were locked out of the building.
3: City Police Officer Lied
Columbus police officer Nicole, who occasionally worked as a private duty police officer at Founder's, told city council members of her experiences with volunteers. One anecdote that she shared was that volunteers would lie to women by telling them that the abortion clinic had employed a known sex offender, when that was not true. Except, it was true. Read all about it here: http://www.gcrtl.org/blog/abortion-provider-indicted-on-child-pornography-charges
Note: updated post includes a link at the bottom of this entry to the full hearing. You can watch Officer Nicole lie about this at the 1:05:27 point.
2: Public Testimony Limited
Although billed as a public hearing which would allow proponents and opponents of the proposal to testify for/against the law in 3-minute, alternating witness statements, City Council filled the time with member statements, a presentation from their attorney, and the statements of one officer mentioned above. In total, only about fifteen minutes of the 5:30-7:00pm hearing were allotted to opponent speakers.
1: It Was All A Farce
It was all a farce anyway, and it was obvious that this was little more than for-show hearing. City Council already showed its hand that it intends to act on this proposal next Monday.
We aren't going to let it happen without trying to stop it, though.
In in less than a week, we have gathered thousands of postcards from opponents of the proposed law, and more than 500 have signed our petition (www.gcrtl.org/city-council). Join us!
Watch the full hearing. To skip to the part where Officer Nicole lies about an abortion doctor being charged as a sex offender, forward to the 1:05:27 mark when Councilwoman Brown asks her about her experiences.
On Monday, June 9th, more than 700 gathered to hear Abby Johnson at the Greater Columbus Right to Life Spiritus banquet. Abby famously left her position as the clinic director for one of Planned Parenthood’s largest abortion affiliates in October of 2009, the day she was asked to assist with an ultra-sound guided abortion. Abby, in an instant, saw the truth behind all the lies she had been telling women for nearly a decade. Since then, she has been traveling the world sharing her story, exposing the reality of abortion and abortion giant Planned Parenthood, and helping hundreds to heal from the deep wound caused by abortion. Over the last two years, she has helped more than 100 former abortion clinic employees to leave the industry.
Beth Vanderkooi, executive director of Greater Columbus Right to Life, shared, “We brought Abby to Columbus because we are seeing many of the same things here in Columbus that led to her radical conversion of heart: the commitment to peaceful and loving prayer at area clinics, the development of a sidewalk counselor program, and the movement within churches and communities to reach out to women in need and say ‘There is a better choice.’”
Abby’s 45-minute speech was heart-wrenching and somber, but also funny and warmhearted. Mincing no words, she recited the abortion procedure protocol at Planned Parenthood – everything from the blind-nature of the vacuum aspiration procedure to the “POC” (products of conception) room where clinic staff members reassemble the contents of the uterus in an effort to make sure the abortion doctor did not leave any part of the baby behind. Abby encouraged the Christian faithful not to think of abortion as a problem that exists outside the church, reminding the crowd that most people having abortions are Christians, noting: “I cannot tell you the number of women who would read their Bibles and pray before having an abortion, or the number who would be laying down in the recovery chairs, hunched down, grasping their rosaries with tears running down their cheeks after the procedure. I was in church the Sunday before my abortion, and I was in church the Sunday after my abortion.”
One attendee commented, “Abby said that as she watched the baby on the ultrasound, she realized it wasn’t a blob of cells or a ‘product of conception’ but a baby who was about to die, and yet she just stood there and let it happen, not unlike how society just stands there and lets it happen. That really hit home for me. Abortion exists because we, the Church, let it. We can stop it, but we do not.”
Jennifer H., a parishioner at Church of our Lady who is active in sidewalk and music ministry and organizes sidewalk prayer for Pick-life, said: “I was just so inspired by the entire night; words cannot describe it. I was especially impacted by the challenge to become more active in our church, in our community, and to thank our clergy for their courage to stand up for the unborn. Everyone was inspired and challenged to make a difference, and at least one woman expressed the courage to go through HEART (a post-abortion recovery and healing program). We need the courage to speak out about abortion – not just that it is evil, but that the church provides a way for healing and reconciliation and forgiveness.”
For those who missed the Spiritus banquet but are interested in hearing Abby’s message, video highlights and photographs will be available over the next few weeks; we’ll share those as soon as we receive them from our photographer and videographer. It also isn’t too late to send a contribution to help make this the most successful fundraiser in our history!
This month’s GCRTL volunteer spotlight is Bonnita! She was recommended for her special efforts by her fellow sidewalk counselors, who strongly admire her prayerful and peaceful presence and her loving heart out on the sidewalk and throughout the community. We caught up with Bonnita and asked her to share why she got involved and what she loves most about being part of our team. Here is what she had to say:
Our Church was looking for a way to defend the unborn and serve the hurting as God commands. Our good sister Ashley paved the way and put us in touch with Greater Columbus Right To Life. Prior to becoming a side-walk counselor, abortion didn't cross my mind often, even though my Pastor had preached against it. I thought of this evil as rare and far off. Since then, I have been shocked to learn 110 babies are murdered every week in Franklin County. May God have mercy upon us and our nation. I was just as shocked at how few Christians showed up each week and how few the faithful are to this essential ministry.
On the sidewalk I witness woman after woman walking into the clinic. It has been surreal. My mind can't process what it's seeing each time I see it. How can this be happening, I wonder? Looking into the eyes of the frightened and the hurting, it seems these women don’t know where to turn while facing the abyss of hopelessness.
Knowing that people from our church and GCRTL will be there for many of these women makes me thankful. The relief they seek can’t be found in that dreadful building. Seeing them come talk to us or leave the clinic, fills my heart to almost bursting with God’s love and hope. Not really knowing the perfect things to say, by faith we open our mouths and God speaks through us of His truth and mercy. When the women are gone we pray and hope they will come back to talk with us. Being able to be part of a mother’s tearful decision to turn away from her appointment to end her baby’s life is so amazing! Thanks be to God for allowing us to witness His great work. He is so good to allow us to be there for them in their time of suffering. I thank God they are not alone.
May God help us to use the Word in defense of unborn children so we might “Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter” (Prov. 24:11).
I would invite you to please join us. Look into the eyes of death and speak the words of life, like Jesus did for us. You might be surprised how much difference you can make if you simply show up and see what God can do.
“For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well” (Psalm 139:13-14).
My pastor is so good to remind all of us that if it wasn't for the Grace of God we might be walking into this “House of Death” as well. We were all dead in our trespasses and sins before God transformed our hearts. Praise be to God. “The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” (Job 33:4).
Bonnita is a member of Foundation Church, which is located in Mt. Sterling. She often joins members of her church, who have committed to prayer at the clinic once a month, and regularly comes on other days as well. In her free time, Bonnita especially loves spending time with her nieces and nephews, gardening, and caring for others in her church, family, and community. Please keep Bonnita, and all of our volunteers, in your prayers. THANK YOU Bonnita!!
Prayer works, and we are seeing it in our community.
Recently, I shared that one of the largest drops in the number of abortions that our region has seen in recent years was the year that we brought the 40 Days for Life campaign to Columbus. That year, we saw a drop in the number of abortions performed here by more than 20%, a rate that far outpaced any other community in the state or the state as a whole.
We’ve also heard from women who saw someone quietly praying at the clinic and either turned away from her abortion or, if she went through with the procedure anyway, remembered the holiness of the person praying and has shared that it was the thought of that prayer that brought into a post-abortion recovery or healing program, or even back to her faith. We also hear from leaders like Abby Johnson that the abortion industry has said that when people are out praying the no-show rate for abortion procedures rises to 75%.
We also see again and again the influence that those out praying have on clinic workers and directors, many of whom leave the industry and find the courage to speak up about what is really going on inside.
Prayer can unite people of different faiths, give solace to the ill, provide strength to the struggling, and bring joy and hope to those who seek a growing relationship with God.
To the skeptic, these can be explained away as are anecdotal or coincidental or even superstitious. To those who have faith, however, we are confident that they are the tools by which God brings about great changes here on earth and in our hearts. So we steadfastly pray – even when we do not see or even feel the effect of our prayers. We still know that they are efficacious.
Why am I mentioning this? Because prayer has brought about another change in the community. About a year ago, a group of us sat together and talked about the idea of moving 40 Days for Life’s fall vigil to Founder’s – Ohio’s oldest abortion clinic. Our sidewalk counselors had been focusing on the clinic for nearly a year, and we were sensing the effectiveness. Our thought was that bringing the power of intensive prayer to Founder’s could start to shift the culture of the community and the spiritual environment. So we invited our 40 Days team to come pray with us at Founder’s.
Admittedly, reactions from our volunteers were all over the place. A few people felt uncomfortable with the new environment. Others reported that seeing women go in just for the purpose of abortion created a new sense of urgency. Still others appreciated the opportunity to pray at a new clinic and joined the ranks of our sidewalk counselor team. Meanwhile, with the additional prayer support, our sidewalk counselors saw more and more women turn away.
Since then, we’ve seen changes at the clinic. In the weeks following the 40 Days for Life, Founder’s had a few things happen. Among them, the clinic changed is procedures to stop doing abortions after the fifteenth week. It was also sued. The clinic changed its procedures rather drastically. Until December of 2013, Founder’s performed abortions up to 20 weeks gestation. The below photograph captures an image from their website as of December 2013. As you can see, abortions under 12 weeks cost $400 (plus the cost of additional serviced such as sedation and pain pills). The price point increases for every week of gestation (for surgical procedures) until the 20th week, at which point they refer a woman to another clinic out of state.
A few weeks later, the Founder’s website changed.
The Clinic has stopped doing abortions after 15 weeks gestation, at least at this time.
What does this mean? Well, it is hard to say. Statewide, about fifteen percent of all abortions happen after thirteen weeks gestation (the data is not available for those happening strictly after 15 weeks). Other clinics – here in Columbus and throughout the state continue to do them until the point of viability (Ohio law generally prohibits abortions after viability - the point when a baby can survive outside the womb). To some minds this will be a victory – one fewer clinic doing abortions after 15 weeks gestation. Others will concede that point, but recognize that the baby 14 weeks old is just as important as the baby 17 weeks old. Still others will suggest that we should not celebrate at all until every baby at every age is safe from abortion.
We at Greater Columbus Right to Life will keep working until every baby is safe, but until then we will celebrate every life saved. Make no mistake, however: the fact that Ohio's oldest abortion clinic has voluntarily chosen to reduce its scope of activities is a sign that the culture is starting to shift in our community. This was not a change brought about by legislation or regulation. It was the "choice" of the clinic. We will continue to share the truth – that no woman should feel that abortion is her best or only choice. We will continue to pray that this is just the first step to seeing Founder’s close entirely because there is neither need nor provider.
Today, however, we are grateful to all of those who join us in praying for the light of Christ to shine down at Founder’s clinic. We are grateful to see this small sign that it is not simply business at usual. You can call it coincidence, you can call it anecdotal, and you can call it insubstantial. We are calling it providential. Prayer works. We just need to keep working together and keep praying together.
PS - There are ten days left of 40 Days for Life. You could make a real difference by joining us to pray!
Kermit the Frog once said, “It ain’t easy being green.” Well, similarly, it isn’t easy being pro-life. I’m not talking about the stereotypes or the counter-cultural perception that many have (despite the evidence that a majority of Americans are strongly pro-life); I’m talking about the emotions we in the pro-life movement feel when we see the casual disregard for human life around us. We all feel it, I think, in varying degrees and in varying ways. The Gosnell trial brought it out. The images of a newborn baby in China, stuck in the pipes of her building after being flushed down the toilet alive brought it to mind. The call of a woman considering abortion and the pain of a woman or man struggling post-abortion – each brings out this emotion. I’m sure that the emotions are as unique as the person experiencing them, but over and over again we experience heartache over the senseless loss of life. It isn’t easy being pro-life. It is one reason that we begin to count the small victories.
Mother Teresa once said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one.” That is wise advice, coming from a woman who experienced more than her share of the heartache of human existence. It is good to remember that pro-life victories are often victories of one.
The Greater Columbus community had one such victory this week, and I’d like to share it with you. In my post-lunch perusal of Facebook (not to be confused with my lunchtime perusal of Facebook), I came upon a status update from Abby Johnson, a woman who has become a household name in the pro-life community. Abby was a former abortion-clinic worker who walked away from the abortion clinic and is now a powerful voice in defense of the unborn. She started an organization called, “And Then There Were None” (ATTWN). ATTWN is a national organization dedicated to helping abortion clinic workers walk away from their jobs and towards new lives. ATTWN helps with living expenses, job-search help, healing, and more. The sidewalk counselors trained by Greater Columbus Right to Life frequently share ATTWN information with clinic workers, letting them know, “When you are ready to leave, there will be help.” We frequently pray for abortion clinic workers to turn away from the mills and towards life, ATTWN takes the fruits of those prayers into its arms.
Suffice it to say, Abby Johnson is pretty darn cool. If you’ve not read her book, I would encourage you to borrow/buy/download it today. Abby’s status update said:
A former abortion worker from Columbus, Ohio has contacted ATTWN! She is a single mom of two young kids. Although she is willing to gain new employment anywhere, she has extensive experience as a medical and legal interpreter/translator (she speaks both English and Spanish fluently) and also has experience as a drug abuse/domestic violence counselor. If you have any information about job leads or opportunities for this woman, PLEASE EMAIL our operations director at email@example.com
Now, to be clear – I do not know who this woman is. It does not matter. I do not know how she heard about ATTWN. It does not matter. I do not know if her path ever crossed with a GCRTL Sidewalk Counselor, a 40 Days for Life participant, a respect life coordinator who works with us, or even one of our volunteers. It does not matter. What matters is that this is a pro-life Victory of One, and we are celebrating the victory, sharing the request for job leads, and asking that you all pray for this woman and her former coworkers. Likewise, if you know an abortion worker, please share with them that groups like ATTWN are there for them when they are ready to leave, and GCRTL will do everything in our power to help them, too.
This is not the only Victory of One that we’ve seen in recent weeks, and I am incredibly joyful that we are seeing more and more of them. In May, our Sidewalk Counselors and Prayer Partners turned four women away from the abortion clinics and into the loving arms of pregnancy resource centers. We partnered with Created Equal to bring pro-life apologetics training to more than 50, many of them new to the team. We are holding our next Sidewalk Counseling training THIS Saturday (June 8th) – with a few spots left, it isn’t too late to sign up.
So as you go on with your week or kick off your weekend, remember that there is great joy in Victories of One, and with your help we will keep celebrating them.
A July 31 article in The Columbus Dispatch reported about Todd Smith, a Columbus City Police Officer, who is charged with the coercion and enticement of a minor. Mr. Smith is accused of sending sexually explicit text messages to a 15-year old student at Centennial High School and trying to have sex with her. Mr. Smith was assigned to protect the students and staff at that school.
He also worked as an off-duty policeman every other Saturday at the Founder's abortion facility on 1243 East Broad St.
I wish I could say that I'm surprised that an abortion worker treats women and children this way, but I'm not. Abortion denies the unique nature of women and treats our wombs like machines at a manufacturing facility that can be turned on and off, emptied, and its contents used or discarded at the whim and will of its owner. Why should we be surprised that a man who chooses to work at an abortion facility would see women any differently?
Those of you who have heard me speak about my experiences as a former abortion worker have heard me beg your prayers for these workers. Some abortion workers enter the industry with good intentions - to help women. They believe the lie that abortion is good for women and they are improving women's lives through their work. But they are heading down a steep and slippery path into the darkness and evil of abortion, and they get sucked into accepting more and more lies about women, women's health, the nature of sexual relationships, and more. They are like frogs in a soup pot with the heat being turned up slowly so they do not realize they are being cooked.
So what should be our response to news such as this? May I suggest prayer and action?
Pray for those involved.
I'm heartbroken for the girl, who apparently had some sort of ongoing relationship with Mr. Smith that culminated in him attempting to have sex with her and threatening her that she should not to tell anyone about their relationship. Another 15-year old student from Centennial High School has come forward saying that she also was involved with Mr. Smith, sending and receiving sexually explicit text messages, sending topless photos of herself, and performing oral sex on Mr. Smith. These young girls need our prayers. They are victims.
I'm also heartbroken for Mr. Smith's wife who is now dealing with her husband's betrayal of their marriage covenant in a most horrific and public way. I cannot even begin to imagine what she is going through. She also needs our prayers.
I will also pray for Todd Smith. If these charges are proven to be true and he is found guilty, Mr. Smith committed unspeakable acts against children and I hope he receives the maximum punishment allowable by law. Women of any age are not sexual objects to owned, used, abused, and then thrown away. Women are precious gifts of God and our affections and bodies should be prized and protected by the men in our lives and society. That these women are children only compounds the horrendous nature of Mr. Smith's alleged actions. Yet, we are called to pray for our enemies, and if Mr. Smith is guilty of these charges then he is indeed an enemy of women and children. We are called to see all people as Christ sees them - and Christ died for Mr. Smith as certainly as he died for me.
Turn your prayers into action.
40 Days for Life is right around the corner! During the 40 day period from Sept. 26 through Nov. 4, please act on your convictions that abortion is evil and join us in fasting, prayer, community outreach and vigil at the Complete Healthcare for Women abortion clinic. Step up and help us lead the campaign by assisting with event planning, coordinating a day of prayer, or helping to organize a group to do some community outreach and education. There are many ways to get involved, and we need your participation to make this campaign the biggest yet! Call Katelyn Neil at (614) 395-8404 or send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how you can help. She'd love to hear from you!
Our sidewalk counselors are making a difference! These incredible men and women stand on the precipice between life and death throwing a life-line to the women and families walking into the abortion clinic in an effort to save them and their preborn children. They help people to see women in a different light. They honor women and the children they carry in their wombs. Are you called to this? We can help you with training and support. Contact me at 614.445.8508 or email@example.com to find out more.
Stand with us financially. Without your support, Greater Columbus Right to Life could not continue. Join us for dinner on August 19 at our Spiritus Banquet (click here to register), meet Melissa Ohden and enjoy an inspirational evening in support of our educational foundation - the foundation from which we do at least 80% of our work. There are other ways to support us financially as well. Contact Lori Dobos at 614.556.0299 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Thank you for all you do to defend life!
Columbus Abortion Facility Going Out of Business: Capital Care Network Closing Columbus Abortion Facility
Greater Columbus Right to Life learned today that the Capital Care Women's Center (CCWC) abortion facility will likely close their Columbus abortion facility located at 4818 Indianola Avenue. After a noticeable decline in business over the past year or so, it appears that the abortion facility can no longer afford to remain in open.
CCWC is affiliated with the Capital Care Women's Network, an affiliation of abortion facilities in Akron, Columbus, Lima and Toledo, Ohio, and Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Capital Care Network is informing potential clients that they are only scheduling appointment through Wednesday, June 6. After that date they are referring clients to the Founder's Women's Health abortion facility at 1243 East Broad Street.
"One closed, three to go," said Ruth Yorston, Greater Columbus Right to Life Executive Director, referring to the number of abortion facilities in Columbus. "The pro-life movement's efforts to educate people on the unalterable consequence of abortion - the death of the pre-born child, and the dangers of abortion - the physical risks to the mother and emotional health risks to the mother and father, have led to the decline in business that appears to be forcing CCWC to close their doors."
Yorston continued, saying that "the closing of this abortion facility is also a result of pro-life volunteers praying for and sidewalk counseling CCWC's clients that they deserve better than abortion. Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, women need support and assistance that affirms them and supports them through and beyond their pregnancy. What we don't need are people telling us that we're incapable of leading meaningful and fulfilled lives while being pregnant and giving birth to a child. That attitude demeans women and paves the way for them to choose the path of ending the life of their child - a path from which there is no return."
Earlier this year Greater Columbus Right to Life launched a sidewalk counselor training program designed to increase the number of sidewalk counselors at Columbus abortion facilities. Nearly 50 men and women attended the workshop to learn how to bring a message of love and hope to women and men standing on abortion's precipice. We are now working to engage these counselors and more who will follow them through our training in the life-saving work that is helping to close the Capital Care Women's Center abortion facility.
"Our hope is that this wonderful news will motivate even more to join us in our efforts to bring an end to abortion in Franklin County. While this is certainly a victory, we cannot yet say 'mission accomplished!' The number of abortion facilities in our community appears to be decreasing by 25%, but still nearly one out of every five abortions committed in the State of Ohio occur in the City of Columbus. It appears that there will now be three facilities in Columbus performing abortions five days a week and that the Founders abortion
facility will receive increased business due to CCWC's closing."
The Greater Columbus pro-life community must increase our education and advocacy work to support women facing difficult circumstances while they nurture the child developing within. "Greater Columbus Right to Life is committed to staying the course until we see the day that women in unplanned pregnancies receive the assistance they need to chose life and health for themselves and their children and the last abortion facility in our city closes its doors. With the support and involvement of local pro-life people we look forward to not only decreasing the number of abortion facilities but the number of abortions as well", said Yorston.
Click here to partner with Greater Columbus Right to Life by volunteering or making a tax-deductable donation to our Educational Foundation.
Saturday morning my husband and I went to the Founders abortion facility on East Broad to sidewalk counsel with Tricia and her prayer partners from St. Patrick Parish. You never know who you'll get to meet on the sidewalk. Saturday as I stood in the alleyway behind Founders I had a breif chat with one of the abortion workers.
"I used to in a clinic like this one," I said. "I don't work there anymore."
"I guess not, since you're standing back there!" she said.
I introduced myself and asked her name. "Nancy," she told me.
Oh how I remember those days working at the abortion facility, mistrusting everyone on the "outside" and expecting the worst from them at any moment. I wonder where I'd be today if it weren't for those "crazy pro-lifers" on the sidewalk. They didn't know my name, but I'm sure that they prayed for my anyway.
Well, I know Nancy's name now, and I'm praying for her. I hope you will, too. Along with Nancy, will you please pray for these other men and women we spoke with on Saturday morning?
A young woman who came by herself. She entered the abortion facility and came out about 20 minutes later and left. She was crying when she left and Tricia was able to share with her that we were there because we love her and want to help her. Tricia gave her some information about Women's Care Center, the pregnancy resource center just a few blocks down the street and offered to go to the center with her. "I need to think about it," she said. She left alone, but with the message of hope and love and information about a place she can turn to for help. Please pray that she takes the message to heart and goes to Women's Care Center.
A young couple who I spoke with before they went into the abortion facility. "I have to go, I have an appointment." She was clearly upset and looked like she was about to break down. She received the information I offered her, but she wouldn't stay and talk with me. She and young man with her went into Founders. Please pray for this young couple as the crisis they were hoping to avoid with the abortion will only give way to more and new crisis in the days and years to come.
The Columbus police office, Officer Smith, who is one of two officers hired to provide off-duty security on Saturdays. We spoke about security issues at the facility and about his thoughts on abortion. We spoke in detail about abortion and the "exception" case of rape. Please pray for Officer Smith that he will remember and think about this conversation. I look forward to continuing this conversation with him in the weeks to come.
In the darkness
I spent an hour or more in front of 5888 Cleveland Ave…
Our local Abortion Clinic and here are some thoughts
Take a close look at the building…
The only windows are those by the entrance door
All the others have been boarded up… and covered over
To keep out the light
To keep out the truth…
The only light within the building must come from manmade lights
Manmade electricity and manmade fixtures
Natural light is not allowed in…
In essence… it is a building of darkness…
In its darkness…
The most horrible of all tragedies takes place
Babies are killed, not given the chance to live
They are snatched from their mother’s wombs…
Outside, on the sidewalk… 15 decades of the Rosary…
153 times… the words… “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb.”
Inside the darkness of this building…
That blessedness is seen as a curse…
The joyful mysteries… reminded me of the joys on hearing
That my own children were conceived
In the darkness of this building
That joy is looked upon as terrifying
The sorrowful mysteries… reminded me of the agony in the garden…
Where Jesus, our Lord, contemplated his pending death
In the darkness of this place...
Our infants, too, contemplate
Their own death by unspeakable means…
The Glorious mysteries… encouraged me… that yes,
Jesus was crucified, yes, He died on the cross
And yes, He rose again victorious…
Let us be mindful… that we too, will be victorious
With the Lord at our side..
The Glorious mysteries… during this time a bird perched on
One of the faux window sills
And chirped though out their recitation…
The sun came out… and a new warmth was felt
May God continue to bless all those who come out to openly
Pray for the end of Abortion
May God continue to bless all those who silently
Pray for the end of Abortion
May God continue to bless our efforts.
Luis A Torres
October 3, 2010
Lou is a member of St. Paul the Apostle Roman Catholic Church in Westerville, OH. He shares his thoughts after completing his prayer shift at the Complete HealthCare for Women abortion mill in Columbus, OH, where Greater Columbus Right to Life coordinates the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil. If you have not yet committed to pray during the 40 Days for Life campaign, we urge you to do so. Visit www.gcrtl.org for more information about 40 Days for Life and other local Pro-Life education and advocacy efforts.
Today was my first time praying in front of an abortion clinic as part of 40 Days for Life.
Everything about the hour was surprising. When I walked up to the front of the building, I couldn’t believe the sign. Complete HealthCare for Women. Abortion is Healthcare? Unbelievable. And beneath those words were the doctors names and the the words: M.D.
I was brokenhearted. I am sure those men and women went to medical school to learn how to save lives. What happened in our society that good intentions could go so wrong?
I prayed fervently for about 20 minutes for the doctors to have a change of heart, to wake up to the fact that every Life Matters, to realize that their God-given gifts could be used for good. I prayed for them to receive God’s grace and for them to know that with true contrition, all sins are forgiven.
I began walking up and down the sidewalk praying the Rosary for the mamas and babies who would enter the clinic. I asked God to take all my selfishness from me for the next 20 minutes so I could give every ounce of my being to prayer.
I think it is really hard to pray with your whole heart and mind -- distractions lurk and muddle. It was cold, rainy and dark in a not-so-nice area on Cleveland Ave., Columbus. The cars, trucks and buses whizzing by were loud and my mind began to race. I prayed that the people in the cars might pray along with me. Please Lord, use my witness to awaken somebody driving by. Hail Mary full of grace ...
Then I noticed something odd. The windows on the abortion clinic weren’t normal. There was no glass; the windows were completely covered with what looked like white wood. Oddly and beautifully, each window had a center frame in the shape of the Cross. HOPE. By your Cross and Resurrection Lord You have set us free, You are the Savior of the world.
I continued praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. It was 8 a.m. and cars began pulling into the parking lot of the abortion clinic. Panic. Are mothers or workers walking into the abortion clinic? I couldn’t tell and I prayed harder. Please, please, please Lord let me be of some use to you this day ...
At the last Sorrowful mystery of the Rosary, Christ dying on the Cross, I grew peaceful with the reminder that He died and rose for us and He is with each of us right now. He created us, He knows us and loves us more than we know. Lord, I know in my heart that You will somehow bring good out of this evil.
I left the abortion clinic praising God for this experience. I am grateful to my friends at Greater Columbus Right to Life (GCRTL), Pregnancy Decision Health Center (PDHC) and St. Joseph Catholic Church in Plain City for their encouragement in this prayer ministry. I will be back to pray again. This is just the beginning. Nothing is stronger than prayer, nothing. Won’t you join me?
~ Lori Crock
Child of God, active Catholic, wife and mom, small business owner