Angel and Wendy, twins born May 20 thanks to sidewalk counseling
[Photo by Domingo Carreira
At the heart of the Pro-Life Action League’s mission is saving lives. To that end we train sidewalk counselors, we distribute our video No Greater Joy, we spend hours in front of abortion mills. In this issue of Action News, we’d like to share a few stories from the front lines of our battle to save lives.
A Narrow Escape
Sometimes the Holy Spirit just drops someone in need on our doorstep.
One morning Wanda called the Pro-Life Action League, trying to find out where a particular abortion clinic was. She was supposed to pick up her sister, Jeannette, after an abortion, but wasn’t sure of the location. Julie McCreevy, director of our Helpers of God’s Precious Infants division, deduced that Jeannette had gone to the nearby Albany clinic.
Julie shared with Wanda how dangerous abortion could be for her sister and Wanda became convinced that she must stop Jeannette from going through with the abortion. But she was an hour away and Jeannette was already at the abortion clinic.
Just then Lilya, a Russian woman who chose to have her baby after encountering Julie at the abortion mill several months earlier, walked into the office. She had come to show off her six-week-old baby boy, David.
Lilya Shares Her Story
Lilya was the answer to an unspoken prayer. Julie got Lilya, Wanda and Jeannette together on a three-way call’Lilya in the Pro-Life Action League office with Julie, Wanda in her car on the way to Albany and Jeannette at the abortion mill. Lilya shared with Jeannette how badly her own three abortions had affected her. Jeannette agreed to meet with Lilya and Julie.
Wanda, meanwhile, had picked up Keith, Jeannette’s boyfriend and the father of her unborn baby, and shared with him the dangers and repercussions of abortion. Keith arrived holding his head in his hands, checking his watch, praying that it would not be too late when they got to the abortion clinic. He was sorry he had agreed to the abortion.
When all the parties had converged on the Albany abortion mill, they found Jeannette was no longer there. Just then, she called Wanda to let her know that she and her girlfriend were down the street at the DMV, getting her friend’s driver’s licensed renewed.
Once together, Jeannette and Keith both realized with many tears that they had narrowly avoided a horrible tragedy. Jeannette said that as she sat in the waiting room at the abortion mill she could hear the vacuum machines and just wanted to get away from there as fast as possible.
Wanda and Lilya were happy to participate in saving a baby’s life. Little Brian was born that September, and for a while Jeannette was overcome with guilt at the thought that she almost aborted him. But she and Keith are thrilled with their son and grateful for the help of Julie, Wanda and Lilya.
Phone Tag Ends in One Life Saved
One evening Joe Scheidler was working a little late at the League office (a common practice for Joe). He answered a phone call from a young woman who wanted to know what laminaria was. Joe explained that laminaria are used to prepare the cervix for an abortion after fourteen weeks. He cautioned the pregnant mom about the dangers of abortion, gave her the phone number of the crisis pregnancy center and urged her to call back in the morning.
The following morning she did call back, but was determined to go to the abortion mill to begin a two-day late-term procedure.
A couple of hours later, her boyfriend called. He had taken his girlfriend to the abortion mill, but suddenly got scared and abandoned her there. She apparently had told him about her conversations with people at the Pro-Life Action League, so in his distress that’s who he called.
Joe spoke to the young, frightened teenager and sternly told him that it was his duty to go get his girlfriend and assure her that he would support her through her pregnancy and accept his responsibility as a father.
Over the course of the day both the girl and the boy called the office several times in their search for one another. They ultimately made the joint decision to give their baby the gift of life.
Group Effort Saves Twins
Most of the babies saved are from encounters outside the abortion mills. Week after week sidewalk counselors report two babies saved at one clinic, three at another, sometimes up to seven or eight in a week at one abortion mill. For these babies Roe v. Wade has been overturned. Each save is a new little boy or girl, a new member of a family, with aunts and uncles, grandparents, perhaps brothers and sisters.
Blanca’s Story Is Truly Unique
Blanca came for an abortion at American Women’s Medical Center at Western and Diversey Avenues in Chicago. She spoke only Spanish and already had two other children. Blanca was living with her two-year-old in the attic of a three flat in a room just large enough for a twin bed, with a light bulb hanging from the ceiling. Now she was pregnant with twins.
The father of the twins was pressuring her to abort them because he wanted no part in supporting her or them. And Blanca saw no way that she could manage.
On the day she came to the abortion mill she met Fr. Stephen Lesniewski. He spoke to her in Spanish about the terrible choice that abortion would be and Blanca left the clinic. But under pressure from the twins’ father, she was back a week later.
This time she encountered Ana Esquivel of the League’s Helpers of God’s Precious Infants division. Ana persuaded Blanca to go to lunch with her and got to know all of the obstacles Blanca faced. Ana visited her in her attic room and was appalled at her living conditions.
Ana’s heart went out to Blanca. She felt she could not tell Blanca not to have an abortion without offering her concrete help out of her desperate situation. So Ana and her husband, Damien, opened their home to Blanca and her daughter Cindy.
At this point, Ana’s husband had to take a job in Denver, Colorado, so he and Ana had to move. What was to happen to Blanca’
Another Helper of God’s Precious Infants came to the rescue. Domingo, a nuclear engineer and a survivor of Fidel Castro’s labor camps in the ’60’s, welcomed Blanca into his home. He was already providing a home for another abortion-bound mother so that she could choose life for her baby.
Blanca joined Inez in the basement apartment of Domingo’s home until Inez reconciled with her husband and moved back home. With all the support she was getting, Blanca was able to get a job and her own apartment.
In May, she gave birth to her twins, a boy and a girl whom she named Angel and Wendy. The twins’ paternal grandmother baby-sits for them and for Cindy so that Blanca can continue to work and provide for her children. God placed all these pro-life apostles in Blanca’s path and made it possible for two beautiful children to be born and loved. She is very proud of her twins and incredibly thankful for the unselfish and heroic assistance of Ana and Domingo.
Saving Lives, Saving Souls
Sometimes it is not a baby who is saved by a sidewalk counselor, but someone else who has come to the clinic. A few weeks ago Kathy Mieding was counseling at a Chicago clinic. A young woman, Maria, had brought her friend for an abortion. While the two women remained inside the clinic, Maria’s boyfriend went outside for a cigarette.
That’s when he met Kathy. She spoke with him and learned that he was just riding along with Maria and her friend. He was not involved in this abortion. But it turned out that he had been involved in many others. He confessed to Kathy that he had paid for seven abortions. In fact, two of the abortions had been Maria’s.
As Kathy talked with this young man he expressed a great deal of remorse for the part he played in the deaths of his children. Of Mexican heritage, he was deeply touched by the image of Our Lady of Guadelupe on display in front of the clinic. He broke down in tears and told Kathy he wanted to repent of his past abortions. Kathy arranged for a Spanish-speaking priest to get in touch with him and help him start on the path to healing and forgiveness.
Kathy never talked with Maria or with her friend who was there for an abortion. But she was able to help save the soul of a young man.
A Choice for Today’and Tomorrow
It’s important to realize that the choice for life is not just a choice for today, with all the challenges and responsibilities that come when a baby is born. It is also a choice for tomorrow, when that baby will grow up and give back so much love.
A few weeks ago an e-mail message came to the Pro-Life Action League from a woman named Joan who wanted to share her story. She had gone with her boyfriend to an abortion clinic nearly thirty years ago. But while her boyfriend went out to lunch, she had second thoughts about the abortion and after five hours in the clinic, she changed her mind.
Joan didn’t even tell her boyfriend that she had not had the abortion until they got back to her house, an hour from the clinic. He left angry and continued to pressure her to get an abortion. She stood firm and gave birth to a boy the following June.
Last month that little boy’now 29 years old’got married, determined to be for his own children the good father he never had . His mother, filled with joy at her choice for life, wanted others to know how precious life is.
We love to hear stories like Joan’s. We’re sure that you do too. With your support of the Pro-Life Action League, you have a share in these stories’Keith and Jeanette’s, Blanca’s and so many more. On behalf of all the lives you have helped to save, we thank you.
Helpers of God’s Precious Infants Director Julie McCreevy and veteran sidewalk counselor Kathy Mieding contributed to this story.
Links and Related Page
- Helpers Train New Batch of Sidewalk Counselors—Story in this issue of Action News
- Sidewalk Counseling—More information on sidewalk counseling, including how to order No Greater Joy