First it was the kids with the black Immaculata t-shirts. Maybe 10 of them. They range in age from about 3 to 10 or 11. Cute kids. The little girls in flowery hair things, the boys with a cowlick or two.
I’m pretty sure the little ones don’t know why they’re there. I wonder what they tell them.
They stand part way on clinic property, but we don’t say anything. We’re glad they’re out of the way of sidewalk traffic, at least a little bit.
It’s hot today ~ in the 90’s by 7:30. The children are saying the rosary, and periodically, they kneel on the sidewalk. I think that must be dreadfully uncomfortable.
As I walk by them, one or two of them catch my eye, and I smile at them.
Then it’s the baby. Maybe 6 to 8 months old. Cute little peanut, in his onsie. I assume it’s a “he” because there’s no pink dress or headband to scream “girl here.”
The parents hold him up like a display. He looks a little confused. And why wouldn’t he be? Where else would his parents expose him to this heat for an hour?
Later in the morning, about 7:45, the buses arrive. I don’t know where they’re from. The youth emerge from them ~ droves of them ~ wearing blue t-shirts.
We’re standing on the corner watching, just a little appalled. They spill out and up the street.
Some of them ~ adults maybe ~ wear orange t-shirts. I don’t know what they say. There are some in old-school nun and priest garb. But most of them wear blue t-shirts that say “Imago Dei” and a bunch of other stuff too small to read.
They line the sidewalk across the street, holding this sign:
The sign says: Worldwide Catholic Youth Pray for the end of Abortion
There are lots of them.
It makes me sad that some of those kids are going to need abortions someday. I don’t know how they’ll process that.
Then it reminded me of the time back in my early days of escorting, back before I really had the “de-escalating” idea down. There was a group of youth ~ not quite that many, but a bunch ~ standing in that same space. The leader was a middle aged woman with a shrill voice.
I know that because, as I crossed the street towards them, I turned and said to my fellow escort, loudly, “Wow, and one out of four of them will have an abortion.”
The leader heard me and totally freaked out, screaming and yelling, ranting and raving about how depraved and awful we were, so loudly that I kind of almost felt bad. Kind of. When I wasn’t trying not to giggle.
But I looked at all those kids today, and thought the same thing.
Oh, that is disheartening. Thanks for the photos – they’re quite emotionally moving. Keep your chin up!
Thanks, again. “Disheartening” is a good word for it.
Good lord, that is some disturbing brainwashing there, and started at such a young age too, and like R talked about (and thank you for sharing what was a damned, troubling time for you, R), one in four will need an abortion, and probably after one in four of them experience sexual violence.
It bothers me that judgement and holding a higher moral ground is much more important than HELPING PEOPLE.
Pray or don’t pray. It really doesn’t matter as it is all a false-front.
I was one of those kids who “grew up” to 16 and was faced with an abortion decision. I had heard all the pro-life rhetoric until I ended up pregnant after a date-rape. — Sadly then the adults in my life were “about face” and speaking in hushed tones with their rosary-calloused hands insisting I quietly “take care of it” to keep their rosy child looking good in front of others. It was the hypocrisy in action that messed with my mind more than the reality of what had happened to me and what choices I was facing. Trust me. They are all “let’s stand in the heat and pray for others because it makes us LOOK GOOD” even when it is one of their poster children dealing with the real issues. They are not about being loving or supportive. They turn their back on you and give you NO support or love, they will actually tell you to either cross their lines while they turn their eye away or worse they will still scream names in your face because they are in front of other pro-lifers and don’t want the other sign holders to know they were the ones who pointed you in the direction across their lines… or they say if you don’t have the courage to cross their line they want you to go hide away in a house for pregnant girls while they tell their friends you are “visiting family out of state” so their precious facade is not tarnished with your reality.
It was a sad situation that i personally got to experience…. and yes, sadly, one in four of those children will experience it, too. Thank you for being there for those girls who are faced with a lot of harsh realities and choices and need help crossing the lines they were told to cross by the same people who scream names at them.
Thank you for telling your story. That just makes me sad ~ for the kid you were, and for the kids I saw on the sidewalk Saturday. I can only imagine how difficult and disheartening it was for you.
I do think about that when we see kids outside the clinic, and try to make sure that I look friendly if I’m looking at them. i remember that it’s not their decision whether they come to the clinic or not.
Thank you again for sharing your experiences with us.
Let us hope the prayer went like this:
please walk with these people today
as they face the hate of their brothers and sisters
give them the strength to forgive those who seek to hurt them on this difficult of days
please help us end unwanted pregnancies
be with the Pope to help him end the fight against contraception
help us create a world where every pregnancy is a wanted pregnancy
bless those who comfort those people on this day
please protect them against violence
and help us to be strong enough to join their ranks.
(somehow, I doubt it)
Great prayer – yes, that would be nice. 🙂
be with those who are here because
the fetus is already dead
help those who are mourning
a pregnancy they can’t carry to term
for medical reasons.
Thanks for commenting!!