Many years ago, I had the opportunity to witness directly to two women who were about to undergo abortions. Both occasions were at my place of employment and occurred within months of each other.
The first time I heard that one of my co-workers was scheduled to have an abortion, I was shocked. As the days ticked away and the scheduled abortion was looming over her, my conscience started to prick me. Although I felt uncomfortable in approaching someone about this subject at my place of employment, it was not the fear of losing my job or even broaching the subject that made me uncomfortable. I simply did not know what to say. I didn’t want to bungle it but I knew that I was probably the last chance for that unborn child.
I gathered myself and set out toward her office. I knocked on her door, stepped in the office, and closed the door behind me.
“Maggie, I hear that you’re pregnant and are going to have an abortion. Is this true?”
“Yes”, she said.
“Listen, I want to help you. If it’s money, I’ll help you as long as it takes.”
“No”, she said. “It’s not the money. I just can’t handle another kid right now. I have four children already by three different men.”
And so the conversation continued. At the end of it, she was crying. I gave her a hug and repeated my offers to help. She appreciated it and kissed me on the cheek.
“Please don’t do it”, I said. “Don’t give up hope. Trust in God.”
The next day, she had her abortion. A few months later, she left the company.
Her replacement too became pregnant. However, she was pregnant with twins and the doctors recommended that she abort one of them.
I was not that keen to get involved again given my previous experience, but I knew that I had to try. As the days came closer, I tried to approach my co-worker, but something would always come up, or I would start out to do it and then bail out.
On the day before her scheduled abortion, I was at home. “Oh well, just wasn’t in the cards, eh, God? Did my best. Time to move on.” Not quite. My conscience wouldn’t let me get away with such a lame excuse so I picked up the phone and called the office. When it rang through to her line, I breathed a sigh of relief as I got her voice mail.
“Hi Linda. Can you call me when you get a chance?”
I figured there was a 50/50 chance she would call back.
There was a part of me that was hoping she wouldn’t call back. Call it reputation. Call it meddling. Call it human pride. I don’t know what to call it, but I was kind of hoping that I could just give it the old college try but wouldn’t have to go through with it.
As I sat there holding the phone, it suddenly rang, sending a nervous anxiousness down my spine.
“Oh. Oh. Now what do I say?”, I asked myself.
“Hi John, this is Linda.”
“Oh, hi Linda. How are you doing?”
A short pause.
“OK, I guess. I am just about to leave. What can I do for you?”
A longer pause on my end as I scrounged my brain for some kind of work-related pretense I would be calling for. I quickly thought of something that I had asked of her a couple of days ago. After she answered my question, there was another short pause.
“Is there anything else?”
A long pause on my end.
“Are you sure?”, her voice almost sounding like she needed to talk to someone about the abortion.
“No, I am sure.”
As I heard the click of the phone and the monotone on the other end, I closed my eyes and pondered how I could be such a coward.
On this day, January 22, 2008, in commemoration of the disastrous United States Supreme Court decision of Roe vs. Wade, I would like to offer this little video tribute to all of the unborn children who need our voices, to the human family which is being mercilessly attacked on all fronts, and to our inalienable civil liberties which are being threatened.
In particular, I offer this remembrance to that unborn child that I failed to speak out for. I hope you forgive me, little one, for my voice might have made all the difference to you and I failed you at the worst possible time.
Let us all pray for courage to end this abortion onslaught and never, ever be ashamed like I was that day to SPEAK OUT FOR THE UNBORN.
“Rise Up” video URL here.
p.s. I know it’s a little long – just over 12 minutes, but I think you will enjoy it. If you are wondering, the live clip of the baby is my little Sophia, born July 13, 2006.