The 40 Days for Life campaign has started, and we would like to share with you a remarkable real-life situation that happened at our opening prayers. For obvious reasons, we have changed the names of those involved.
One of the most frequent questions I am asked by new participants is what happens when we refer women to either a pregnancy center or a post-abortion healing program. As part of our effort to respond to that question, we set up our opening prayers for 40 Days for Life by setting up a small luncheon at the pregnancy center closest to Founder’s abortion clinic to follow the opening prayers. This not only served as a small “thank you” to our volunteers and partners at the Women’s Care Center (WCC), but it provided an opportunity for fellowship, mentorship, and a “behind the scenes” look at what was happening inside the center.
The plan was to start opening prayers at 11:30 and then walk down to the pregnancy center around 12:30, after it had closed. A few weeks ago, however, a communication was sent out that misstated the opening time as 11:00. It had been printed in some church bulletins and other places, so we decided to arrive a little before 11:00 in prayer with the formal program starting at 11:30. A few extra minutes of prayer wouldn’t hurt any of us!
A little after 10am, we dropped off food & supplies to the WCC. On the way out, we ran into Kim, one of pregnancy center staff who performs ultrasounds. She was not scheduled to work, but had come in to set up some chairs and generally make sure that everything was ready for the lunch.
After a few other last-minute errands, we got to Founder’s just a few minutes before 11:00. The clinic was closed for the day – something which we had not expected (and that probably had more to do with the noon kickoff of the Buckeye’s game than our presence!) A small group, including some of the Bound For Life team had gathered already in prayer. At 11, a woman parked her car on the side street, sprinted across the lawn, and knocked frantically at the clinic door. One of our sidewalk counselors called out to her that the clinic was closed but the availability of help down the street. She waved us off saying something like, “it’s too late,” and she raced back to her car and pulled away. We could all tell something was wrong, but I had a gut feeling, and remarked: “we need to pray. I think that woman is panicking because she had her abortion already and something has gone wrong.” Immediately, the group began to pray for her, led by one of the abortion recovery volunteers who had joined us.
Minutes later, the woman drove back, parked her car in front of the group, and asked us, “that place down the street… can they do an ultrasound? I had an abortion here, and I am still pregnant.” We let her know that the pregnancy center is not a doctor’s office, but that their staff can do a limited ultrasound, and as long as she was not experiencing a medical emergency, it was a good place to start. As we approached the Women’s Care Center, I asked her a few questions— what was her name? Did she have a medical or surgical abortion? Could it have been an ectopic pregnancy rather than a uterine, could she have gotten pregnant again, and was she experiencing any pain or sickness? She shared with me that her name is *Susan, she let me know that it was a surgical abortion, that she had seen the gestational sac during her ultrasound, and that she was otherwise fine. She explained that when she was discharged after her surgical abortion, she was told to take a pregnancy test in a month and to call back if there were any problems. She had taken a pregnancy test, and it showed she was still pregnant. Seeing the positive test result, she called the clinic several times, but there was no answer or answering service, and she started to panic at the situation and lack of response to her emergency call, so she drove to the clinic trying to get some help. She kept saying, “I just know something is wrong.”
Once inside the pregnancy center, she received the professional, caring, non-judgmental services that we have come to expect from the pregnancy help community. While her care and diagnosis are confidential – even from our team, many women experience residual elevated hormones after an abortion, which could account for a false positive of the pregnancy test. There are, however, several other possibilities – several of which can be life threatening to the mother or require intervention for the baby if it survived the procedure. We have shared ample evidence that Founder’s provides abortions in a setting that is not only deadly for babies but that puts women in danger. That the extent of follow-up care was “take a pregnancy test in a month” and that there was no answer when she called the emergency line numerous times is just more evidence to support that claim.
While we are dedicated to bringing to light the egregious activities at Founder’s, there are deeper reasons to sharing this story. The first is that as the ED at GCRTL, I would please like to ask for your prayers for *Susan. I have spoken with her several times since our first encounter, and she needs our prayers for medical and emotional healing. The second is the extraordinary series of things that had to happen for this to occur: if the clinic had been open as usual, we would never have met *Susan; if it were not for a typo, we would not have come early and never would have met *Susan; if it would not have been for the luncheon after, the nurse would not have been at the Women’s Care Center to perform an ultrasound for *Susan – all of these things are one-offs from the plans that each of us had made. Indeed, it gets stranger, because the idea to have a luncheon was last-minute, a plan that hit me only about a month ago… by my calculation on or within days of *Susan’s abortion.
Thus, while some might call this a coincidence, it also makes a strong case for the loving hand of an almighty Creator who uses our talents and our mistakes equally for good when we agree to cooperate in His plan.
Lastly, I want to use this story to emphasize how critical it is that we “show up” when it comes to defending innocent human life. Nothing in this story required heroic actions; it simply required that we be there.
If you haven’t yet signed up for 40 Days for Life, there is still ample time to do so. We’d love to have you join us. If every person reading this can spare just one hour to pray with us, it could well be the last 40 Days for Life we ever have to hold at Founder’s Women’s Health.