Last Thursday, May 29th an Hispanic woman named Maria exited the Planned Parenthood abortion center in Ann Arbor, MI. A young college student named Iris was sidewalk counseling and called Maria over. Maria told Iris she intended to get an abortion and was coming back to PP the next day. Maria spoke very little English and Iris was anxious to have someone speak to her in Spanish to counsel her out of the abortion.
Iris immediately called Alicia Wong of Guadalupe Partners,the sidewalk counseling group she co-founded with my husband Edmund Miller. Alicia spoke to Maria for several minutes, talking to her about the life of her baby, how she would come to regret the abortion and assuring her that Guadalupe Partners would help her in any way they could. Maria is the single mother of three and the father of her unborn baby was pressuring her to get the abortion.
Maria told Alicia she would think about all she said and assured her that she would call Alicia later that night. She told both Iris and Alicia that the abortion was scheduled for 2:15 on Friday the next day, May 30th.
Hours went by and Maria never called. Alicia tried to call her. There was no answer. Alicia, who teaches Spanish at Gabriel Richard Catholic High School in Ann Arbor, tried to reach Maria Friday morning. Maria still did not answer the phone and never responded to Alicia’s voice mail messages.
Alicia, went to work feeling nervous and ill-at-ease. Time was going by. Maria’s abortion appointment was approaching. Alicia had a terrible feeling that Maria intended to go through with the abortion. Alicia made a decision. “I knew I had to go to the Planned Parenthood clinic myself and try and intercept Maria.” But Alicia did not know what Maria looked like. Only Iris knew. Alicia called Iris and asked her to go to the clinic. Alicia would meet her there. It was now 1:30pm and Alicia had another problem. She was expected to teach a high school Spanish class at 2:00 pm!
Alicia explained the whole situation to the school secretary. The secretary said, no problem, but first you’ll need to get another teacher to take your students. Alicia asked history teacher Dan Miekstyn if he’d allow her students to come into his class. He said “absolutely.” Alicia’s students knew what she was about to do and cheered her on!
Alicia dashed to the PP abortion center which is about 10 minutes from the high school. Iris was there standing in the cul-de-sac in front of the PP building. Alicia drove onto the “forbidden” PP parking lot. She walked to the entrance of the abortion center and opened the door. She was now inside the even more so-called “forbidden” PP abortion center itself!
After entering Alicia saw a reception window. She explains: “I was afraid some of the PP workers were going to ask me what I was there for. And someone did. I quickly answered “I am just here to wait for someone.” I was allowed to go to the waiting room. I was so sad to see that it was packed already with women, some with boyfriends, some with husbands, some alone. But there I was in a room full of women—certainly some, if not all of them, there for abortions. I felt an awful pang of conscience about sitting there. Should I try and talk to these women and risk getting kicked out, or should I wait for Maria? I prayed and decided I should wait for Maria. I nearly felt sick to my stomach sitting in an abortion clinic waiting room—knowing what the other women were there for, knowing what happens in this place, and afraid too that I would be found out, get kicked out, that maybe I would even be arrested. But I had to stay there for Maria.”
This PP abortion center building is situated at the end of a cul-de-sac in such a way that its parking lot and entrance is isolated from the street. It is very difficult for pro-lifers to have meaningful contact with the women going in. Going into the abortion center was the best way to ensure that Alicia would really be able to meet Maria before she went through with the abortion. Iris kept a look-out to see if Maria would arrive. Just before 2:15 Maria drove into the PP lot. Indeed, she had come for her scheduled abortion!
Iris immediately called Alicia. “Maria just arrived—she’s walking into the clinic now. She’s wearing a blue jacket.”
A few moments later Maria entered the waiting room carrying a clip board with medical forms to fill out. She sat down. Alicia got up from her seat, walked across the room and took the seat next to Maria. She turned to her and addressing her in Spanish said: “Hello Maria—I am Alicia.”
Maria stared at Alicia completely stunned. She could not believe that the woman who had tried to talk her out of killing her baby the day before was now sitting in the PP waiting room! It was obvious that Alicia had come to get her out. Maria put down the clip board and said “Let’s get out of here now before I change my mind!”
Maria and Alicia got up; they sped out of the waiting room and down the hall towards the door. “Should we say something to the people at the window?” asked Maria. “No!”said Alicia—“let’s just go!”
And go they did out the door, out of the abortion center, out of death’s way. Maria and her baby were safe! AND YES, THIS IS A TRULY SAVED BABY. Alicia and Edmund visited Maria at her home on Sunday and Guadalupe Partners will give her all the help she needs.
This is a Story of Pro-life Heroism
And notice all the others who along the way were involved in making it possible for this mother to be reached and her baby saved beginning with Iris the sidewalk counselor, the secretary at Gabriel Richard High School, the history teacher who took Alicia’s students—and Alicia who with bravery and generosity crossed the boundaries of death to bring an unborn child and her mother to safety.
The lesson here is: be generous, live our lives as if lives were really at stake, allow our routines and our schedules to be interfered with (like the staff at the high school) and let’s do the extraordinary thing—like Iris the side walk counselor and Alicia who boldly went into the Planned Parenthood death center to actually save a baby from abortion!
Pray for Maria—pray that the father of this baby, rescued from abortion—will come to honor the life of his child.