By Sarah Terzo
Editor’s note. This first appeared last week at clinicquotes.com.
On this Thanksgiving, I would like to tell a story of pro-life victory, a story of life.
A young woman named Diana told the following story on the “Stories from the Sidewalk” series.
I’ll never forget the day I found out I was pregnant. It was October 7, 2012. I had just returned from a retreat when I took a pregnancy test. I couldn’t believe it. I was active at Texas State’s Catholic Center and was a member of the Catholic sorority. I couldn’t let anyone find out I was pregnant – what would they say?
The baby’s father didn’t want a child and said he would pay for an abortion. Without his support, afraid of what others would say, and since I was expecting to graduate in just a few months, I scheduled an abortion.
I was the only person in the waiting room. I was really scared. The doctor had me sign some papers that he went through quickly. The examining room was dim and cold. There weren’t any pictures or posters like most doctor’s offices. He couldn’t confirm the pregnancy, so he asked me to reschedule. The next few days, I tried to live life as usual, but kept thinking of that little person inside me. Fortunately, one of my sorority sisters told me about [The John Paul II Life Center]. I didn’t want to go, but eventually, I did.
The JPII Life Center was very different from the abortion facility. It was warm… welcoming. Instead of doing the sonogram to determine how much they would charge me, they gave me one for free. I’ll never forget that sonogram. The doctor told me to lay very still. Then, he showed me the most breathtaking sight I had ever seen – a tiny pulse of red and blue. My baby’s heartbeat! I was only about 5 weeks pregnant, but my baby’s heart was already beating. I knew I couldn’t abort my child.
But later, reality hit. My mom made it very clear that she wanted nothing to do with me or my baby. If I didn’t have an abortion, I would lose my cell phone, my car, my tuition, my apartment. Without the help of my parents, there was no way I could finish school or support myself. How could I take care of a baby?
I choked back tears as I made an appointment at another abortion clinic. Thankfully, God placed the right person at exactly the right time in exactly the right place. As I drove up to [the abortion clinic], I saw a familiar face praying outside the clinic. Then, I heard my name.
“Diana, what are you doing here?” It was Judy [a Sidewalk Counselor and also a counselor] from The JPII Life Center. I ran up to her and was greeted with a warm embrace. I told her my situation and she welcomed me into her home. Within a few hours, she, her husband and The JPII Life Center found me a place to stay and help with tuition.
I didn’t know it at the time, but while this was going on, Drew Mariani and the listeners at Relevant Radio were also praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for me and my parents.
When I finally worked up the courage to tell my father, he reacted completely different from what I expected. He said he would stand behind my decision. And, he insisted that my mother do the same.
After that day, I knew everything would be ok. Since then, I have graduated from Texas State and gave birth to Enrique, who is loved by me and his grandparents. Without The JPII Life Center, [Relevant Radio and the Coalition for Life], I would not have my baby’s life – or even my own. You see, if I’d gone through with that abortion, not only would it have ended my son’s life, I would have taken my own life. [They] saved us both… and I am forever grateful.”
Diana’s story shows how even a religious person can have an abortion when the stress of an unplanned pregnancy becomes overwhelming. Her story is a good reason why priests and pastors should talk about abortion and educate their congregations not just about abortion facts but also about places then can go if they become pregnant. Religious pregnant women often have the added stress of fearing what their congregation will think if they have a baby. This leads many frightened Christians to have abortions. With abortion such an easy option, always available, people panic.
Always support mothers, whether or not they are married. They have made a brave choice.