Editor’s Note: The article below was written by Carol B., a sidewalk counselor in Chicago.
On my first day sidewalk counseling last May outside Albany Medical Surgical Center, I never expected that six months later I would have a good friend and that she would have a beautiful baby girl.
When we saw Shevelle walking in a determined manner towards us, aiming for the clinic, my heart just sank. She was already showing.
I later learned she was already 16 weeks. I was standing with two other sidewalk counselors, Andrew and Vashti, not far from the entrance of the clinic and we had all already seen her walk directly past my husband, Ryan.
Once she got close enough where we could talk to her without yelling, Andrew approached her. He asked her if she knew the risks to herself if she went through with the abortion. When that didn’t seem to work, Vashti tried to talk to her about the women who have died [PDF] inside that same abortion clinic.
Finally I asked her, before she goes in there, if she would at least allow me to give her a hug—because she needed it—and pray with her.
Shevelle agreed and immediately after hitting my shoulder, she broke down sobbing.
She told me that the father wasn’t in the picture, and she couldn’t afford another child or anything for the child.
She later explained that she was staying in a shelter. When I finished praying with her, she agreed to at least go across the street to the Women’s Center (a pro-life pregnancy resource center) and see if they could help in the areas she needed.
While she was waiting to talk to someone at the Women’s Center, she told me what shelter she had been staying at. I was completely shocked when she said the name of her case worker and the shelter, because my husband and I had stayed there just a few years earlier, and had the same case worker!
Shevelle told me she didn’t think she could stay there any longer despite being pregnant, so I made a simple phone call to her case worker, who we remained friends with after leaving the shelter ourselves.
When Shevelle decided she was going to keep this baby, Anna Marie Mesia and I ended up driving her back to the shelter, and Anna Marie bought her lunch at McDonald’s.
I met her two daughters that same day, who after getting used to the idea became very excited about the idea of having a baby in the family.
I tried to visit about once a week to keep in contact with her, help plan a baby shower for her and help with groceries when we could. I believe that meeting her that day, getting there when we did and all the events surrounding Shevelle and her three precious girls, are absolute Providence.
On Thursday, when my husband and I went to visit Shevelle at the hospital, we both heard her say something to her new baby girl that we will never forget. She said, and I quote, “I can’t believe I was going to abort you” as she stared at her daughter sleeping in her arms.
If we can treat all women and girls going into abortion clinics with the same compassion and love, I believe we help end the “need” for abortion.
These young women just need to know someone is there and sincerely care about them and their unborn sons and daughters, and that somebody out there is on their side.