Sidewalk Counselor Reaches Out

Note: This was a guest article by sidewalk counselor Ana Torres.

On a warm fall morning, outside of a busy Chicago abortion mill, pretty young woman named Andrea parked at the curb and sat in the car speaking with a friend who had accompanied her. I approached the car to share offer her information on alternatives to abortion, competent medical assistance and truly compassionate care.

I explained to Andrea how her baby was developing in her womb and told her about the methods of abortion and how they could affect her.

I asked her what was driving her to consider abortion. She answered, “I am married and I have two kids. I’ve been seeing another man. His name is Jay and he is an assistant pastor of a small storefront church. I’m 6 weeks pregnant. It is not my husband’s baby, and he will know that because we have not slept in the same bedroom for six months.

Relatives Insist on Abortion

While Andrea spoke, her friend Lisa was visibly upset. It turned out that Lisa was Jay’s cousin and had introduced the two. Lisa insisted that Andrea abort this baby. She threatened to tell Andrea’s husband about the affair if she refused.

Andrea was pale and shaking. She said, “I have been married for eight years but this is the first time I have been unfaithful. I don’t want my husband to find out, and if I have this baby he will. There is no way out but abortion, even though I don’t really want an abortion.

I asked her if this would be her first abortion, and she answered, “No this will be the second. The first one was two years ago. My husband and I agreed to have that abortion. I have had emotional problems since then, but I don’t see any other solution for my problem now.

Help for a Difficult Situation

I explained to her that the affair and the breakdown of her marriage was very likely the result of the first abortion, and that the death of this baby would cause even more pain.

I also told Andrea about the help she could receive at the Women’s Center. There, she would receive counseling for her first abortion. She would also receive marriage counseling and support for the arrival of her baby.

After half an hour Andrea said that she would think about it, and possibly go for help at the Women’s Center. We exchanged phone numbers and I told her to call me whenever she needed to talk. As they drove away, I thought she was beginning to understand the value of her own life and that of her baby’s.

To my surprise, Andrea returned five minutes later, drove quickly into the parking lot and rushed into the abortion mill. She came out in only ten minutes, so I knew she did not have the abortion. She was again crying. She got into her car and drove away.

Counselor Continues to Offer Hope

The next day Andrea called me, very upset and confused. She told me that her baby’s father and her friend Lisa were putting tremendous pressure on her to abort the baby. She said she didn’t know what to do. She agreed to come to the Women’s Center with me the following day.

After speaking with a Women’s Center counselor, Andrea smiled for the first time. “I will have this baby no matter what, she said.

But the next day she called me, again distressed and upset. Jay was again harassing her to abort. To make matters worse, her supervisor at work told her that she would be fired if she were found to be pregnant.

Andrea agreed to go with me to see Fr. Cedric, a priest who is experienced in abortion counseling, both before and after the fact. After Andrea met with Fr. Cedric, she again felt stronger and had regained some measure of peace.

Pressured into a Tragic Decision

But this was not to last. We spoke every day for the next two weeks. She was undergoing cruel and relentless pressure from Jay and Lisa to abort the baby or they would expose her to her husband.

I tried to help Andrea remain calm. I reminded her of everything she had learned from the Women’s Center and from Fr. Cedric.

I will always remember when she told me, “I feel as though Jay used me and now that I am expecting our baby, he is forcing me to abort because I mean nothing to him. He just wants to cover his own fault so that his congregation will never know that he had an affair. By forcing me to have the baby killed, he will be able to advance higher in his church.

As often happens in sidewalk counseling a strong bond of friendship grew between Andrea and myself. At the end of the third week Andrea she called me in tears and said, “I don’t think you will want me as a friend anymore. I asked why and she replied, “I aborted the baby this morning. I couldn’t live with the pressure they put me under.

This was a terrible turn of events. I felt helpless and grieved for the loss of the baby and for Andrea’s next round of post abortion trauma. I told her, “This is a sad day, but I will always be your friend and will help you in whatever way I can.

In the beginning of March, six months after our original encounter, I received a call from Andrea. “When I aborted the first baby, I had a pain in my heart, and nothing was ever the same, she said. “Now, after I aborted the second baby, I feel like I am nothing. I don’t take care of my other two children. I don’t really even care if they eat. I drink and use drugs because they help me forget my pain. My husband beats me and tells me I am a terrible wife and mother. I also just found out that he is having an affair. I am at the lowest point in my life.

I wanted to get her professional help, but could not find her. I knew that she was heading for a serious crisis, which could threaten her life.

Post-Abortion Pressures Prove too much

A couple of weeks later, Andrea again called me. This time she said she had taken pills and had drunk quite a bit of alcohol. She said she was going to kill herself.

I immediately called 911 and rushed to the hospital to meet her. Thank God she was not in serious condition and she could speak with me. I told her that I loved her and that God loved her and forgave her and He would be with her to help her. I let her know that she would get better but that she had to remain in contact with me so that I could help her.

Andrea checked into the hospital for psychiatric evaluation. Please pray for Andrea. She is one of the countless victims of “a woman’s right to choose.

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