Last week I had the awesome opportunity to attend World Youth Day in Madrid and the privilege of meeting part of the Live Action team. Little did I know that the blessings God would bestow upon me would not end there.
In fact, towards the end of a pro-life prayer vigil I attended, Lila actually went into the clinic with pro-life literature to give to anyone that was inside. She managed to place literature all over tables, in the bathroom, and on the doctor’s desk—now THAT is brave!
The only person inside the clinic was a female worker, but Lila and I decided to leave a note with the number of a pregnancy center that could help her find a new job, and to let her know that we are there for her too, and not just to help pregnant women. Along with the note, we left several white roses for her on the patio of the facility.
This clinic itself was very inconspicuous. Perhaps the fact that on its window, it lists about 10 different services it provides, but conveniently neglects abortion “services,” makes it easy to pass it by without a second thought.
Like the largest abortion facility in Madrid, DATOR, the clinic at which we prayed is open 24/7, including Christmas. Youth Defence of Ireland organized a vigil protest that afternoon. Fortunately, it didn’t seem like a very busy day, but I have no idea what the typical number of clientele is on a daily basis.
Cops were hovering around us like vultures. I was one of very few people who spoke Spanish, so I was their go-to woman whenever they had something to say. It also meant I would be sidewalk counseling to women who entered the clinic.
Sidewalk counseling in English to an abortion-minded woman is hard enough as it is. I thought to myself, “how will I possibly find the words in Spanish to convince a woman to let her unborn child live when she is so set on aborting? Especially when I have all of 10 seconds to do it?” But I haven’t been studying the language since I was ten years old for nothing. I hadn’t spent two months immersed in the culture of Spain for nothing. In the book of Matthew, we are told that when the time comes to speak God’s message, it won’t be our words, but it will be He speaking through us (Matthew 10:19-20). I trusted it would be the same when it came to speaking in Spanish too.
Not long after we arrived, a young couple with a little girl in a stroller approached the clinic. I hurried over to them and asked them, in Spanish, if I could help them in any way. They both looked at me hesitantly. I asked as compassionately as possible if they were here for an abortion. The woman’s eyes filled with tears and she walked inside. The man, holding the stroller, turned to me and said “Te digo sí, estamos aquí para abortar.” (“I’ll just go ahead and tell you that yes; we’re here for an abortion.”) I pleaded with him to tell his wife that we were outside for them, that we love them and will do whatever it takes to help them out.
At this point, the doctor came over to the door and angrily told me to get away from them. “Vete a la iglesia. ¡Quítate de aquí!” (“Go to your church instead. Get out of here!”) He said angrily. (Yes, there is a church right across the street from this facility. There’s also a small children’s playground across the street in front of it. Ironic?)
The man had taken the literature I offered him, and he walked inside. Disheartened, I walked back to the corner where I was standing so the cops wouldn’t get on my case for being too close to the abortion facility door. I told all the other people praying to especially keep that young family in their prayers because they were there for an abortion. I stared at the facility, thinking about the little girl whose sibling was destined to die.
About ten minutes later though, all three of them came back out. Anxious, I approached them again asking if everything was OK. The man turned to me and said “No queremos hacerlo.” (They did not want to have the abortion!) Curbing my enthusiasm and staying calm, I ushered them across the street. We traded phone numbers as he told me they felt that with the hard times in the Spanish economy, they couldn’t handle another baby. I let them know that we would be getting in touch with a pregnancy center for them, and that they could get the help they needed. I asked the woman how far along she was, and she told me three months. I explained in Spanish what her child looked like, that he or she had a heartbeat, and that bodily functions were present. Afterwards, I called a local pregnancy center and let them know that there was a family here that would be needing assistance, and the family went on their way knowing that they would be receiving help from a center that truly cares about their well-being and is not interested in taking their money and their baby’s life.
After Lila so courageously entered the clinic to distribute pro-life literature, she led a decade of the rosary before the vigil ended. A life was saved, and hopefully a worker’s heart was touched—we consider this a victorious day.