Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Minor's Good vs the Abortionist's Greed: An Exemplary Illustration from Yesterday's Sidewalk Counseling

As has been argued for many years, including by some who remain aligned with abortion rights, it is mere common sense that an abortionist obtain the parent's permission before destroying the preborn child within a minor. After all, other surgical procedures (much less invasive and dangerous) require parental permission. In most states a minor cannot (on her own) get outpatient cosmetic surgery or even ear piercings. Why then should abortionists get a free pass even though the evidence is overwhelming that abortion creates a myriad of physical, emotional and relational problems for the women who undergo it? More specific, why should abortionists be allowed to so brazenly dismiss the considerations of those closest to the young woman, those who have raised her and are most responsible for her future well-being?

Why indeed.

Yet the beneficial intent to involve parents in their daughters' abortion decisions has been boldly fought by abortion advocates throughout the years. Arrogantly claiming for themselves the right to "do what's best" for minors, even above the parents themselves, abortion enthusiasts have successfully waged war even against parental notification laws, let alone those that would require the parents' permission. Even when the will of a state legislature desires parental involvement, the abortion lobby works to modify, limit and otherwise minimize the effect on the abortionists' profits -- judicial bypass, requiring only one parent's involvement, weakened powers of enforcement, etc. And, yes; without effective oversight, abortionists can routinely ignore whatever aspects of those laws they choose.

This preying on the young by abortionists, this "open season" on frightened, impressionable young women, is a particularly sad and frustrating element of the whole unjust structure which is legalized abortion. And I'm commenting on it today because of a first-hand experience from yesterday at an abortion clinic. Here's the story...

I was sidewalk counseling Monday morning as per my usual schedule. It was cold and very windy and it was all I could do to keep hold of my large sign with the baby photo and the simple word "Life" emblazoned above. Inside my pocket were several different pro-life pamphlets which, respectively, educate the reader of the facts about fetal development, abortion, the wide range of help we can offer pregnant women and their babies, and so on. I staple these collections together so I can hand them out easily. I also carry similar little collections of pro-life pamphlets printed in Spanish. And finally, I carry a plastic model representing a child in utero at about 8 weeks of age. That model I can also show to the abortion clients, especially powerful when I can persuade a young woman to actually hold it like...almost...happened yesterday. But that was with a different girl and a different story -- let me return to the example that prompted my remarks on parental involvement.

It was early - the abortionist's staff hadn't yet arrived - but a car from out-state Nebraska drove by slowly and parked high up in the coffee shop parking lot across the street. The couple looked older than the usual abortion clients but I realized that perhaps a daughter had been huddled in the back seat where I couldn't see her. They were parked there a long time and it was pretty obvious they were waiting for the abortuary to open. Because I was alone I stayed near the entrance of the clinic, available to talk to people coming in and showing my sign to passersby -- and frequently to the car across the street. After I had talked to three other girls going in for abortions, the car drove behind the building and out came a slight young blonde with her parents following meekly behind her.

I spoke in the usual way, "Guys, the reason I'm here this morning is to tell you the truth about abortion that you certainly won't hear inside this place. They exist to sell abortion so they are going to hide the facts about your baby's development and about the severe dangers posed by abortion to your own health and future. Please, just let me have a minute to share with you some literature and to tell you how we can help you with whatever needs or fears or problems you're facing because of this pregnancy. Please? You know, honey; your baby's heart is beating even as we speak. It isn't just a blob of tissue; it is your lively, beautiful baby son or daughter and that precious child needs you to make the right decision right now! Please, guys; Jesus loves the little children (I'm sure you've sung the song yourselves) so please don't do this thing that will so displease Him. Please reconsider and let me help you."

The girl seemed quite nervous and the parents were somber and withdrawn. In fact, a couple of times the girl had to wait for them to come along. There was only the most fleeting eye contact between the girl and myself, but it was a different story with her parents. I expected either of them to speak to me but they never did. Even after they went into the building, the parents paused and looked back. After all these years, I'm very hesitant to guess what's in people's minds, but I couldn't help but be hopeful. "Lord, give them the courage to do what they know is right." It is a regular prayer of mine when sidewalk counseling but I admit to believing that this family "knew what was right" more clearly than most. Yet up the stairs they went into the abortionist's office and, as I can sadly relate, very few escape after going that far.

But yesterday was a blessed exception!

I had been standing down near the south parking lot where the clients park when I inexplicably decided to walk back towards the door. I got there just in time to see this family walking out! The girl gave me a slight, embarrassed smile but the parents were beaming. The mother waved to me and said, "We're leaving. We're going home!" The father was even more animated. Sporting a wide grin, he flashed a thumbs up sign to me and when I motioned for him to come over, he readily did. He was effusive in thanking me for being there and for what I had said when they were going in. "And I love that sign too!" He grabbed me by the shoulders and said, "All of our prayers were answered. She finally decided to do the right thing! Thanks again; thanks so much!"

I gave him one of my little packets of pro-life information and emphasized the number of the pregnancy center. I told him that they could direct him to excellent pro-life resources in his own area of Nebraska. "Thanks," he replied, "but we're gonna' be fine. Our prayers have been answered." His wife and daughter had waited for him and both gave me another smile and wave. Suddenly then the dad turned back around and said, "You know, what we need here is a parent consent law, not just a parent notification." He gave me what was then a half wave, half salute and they went back to the car to drive back home: mom, dad, daughter, and a warm, safe unborn child that had come much too close to being murdered.

"What we need here is a parent consent law, not just a parent notification."

May this father's words help us to redouble our efforts to achieve that very important political goal. And may our Lord raise up many new voices for such common sense morality even as He tears down the strongholds of arrogance, lies, and greedy violence established by the abortionists who have so wickedly exploited America's young girls.

And yet may we also be inspired by the miracle that occurred yesterday to not wait for politicians to stand in the gap for the babies and their extended families, bit to do what we can right now. If we are willing to pray and witness and work, The Lord will use us to secure His will in the world, including His will that preborn kids be spared from any avoidable harm. So we continue our efforts in the legislatures, in grassroots advocacy, in sidewalk counseling, in pregnancy care centers, in education, and in fervent intercession. And we look to that day when work against such a horror as the killing of the innocents is over forever.