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A Tale of Two Lives

April 2002
By: Lynne Thompson
Kathleen: Today will be different. After all, it isn't everyday you decide to kill your child. I honestly believe there is no other option than to abort my baby. I already have three small children, and my youngest is so colicky. Now I'm pregnant with the fourth and sick all the time. I just lie around and throw up. There is no one to help me with the kids. My husband has moved out. He decided the marriage was over. He wants me to get an abortion. My mom and friend are on their way over to take me to the clinic. I don't want to do this, but I have no other choice.

Peg: It's another Saturday so I'm off to the clinic for sidewalk counseling. I get so discouraged sometimes. I wish we had more success stories. Many women are deciding to end their babies' lives through abortion. They think that abortion will solve their problems. If they only knew the lifelong heartache they are risking. Maybe today will be different. Maybe someone will listen. So many times I have waited on the sidewalk, hoping to get in a few words before a woman darts into the clinic, closing the door on life.

Kathleen: I can't believe we are already here. There are the pro-lifers on the sidewalk. I wish I could tell them my story. I wish I could shout to them: "I don't want to do this, but I have no other choice." I don't want them to think I'm doing this for selfish reasons. It's not like I'm trying to keep a career or something. I love children. This is killing me. I just need help, and no one can help me.
I saw that one woman looking at me. She shouted, "Just come and talk to us. Whatever you need we will help you, if it's finances we can help." I want to believe that's true. I wonder if they could help me.
My friend tells me to ignore them and keep walking. I know she is just trying to protect me from hurting more, but that is impossible. I am dying inside; tears are rolling down my cheeks. It is taking all my courage just to walk through the clinic door. Oh great. Inside, there is a line of women waiting to check in for their appointments. I can't stand in that line. They will see me cry. I need to be alone. Where is the bathroom? I beg my friend to seek refuge in the bathroom with me. I feel so overwhelmed. I can't stop crying.

Peg: Another one lost. She looked so desperate. I don't think she wanted to do this. Doesn't she know that we have helped many women like her? Only yesterday we spent $900 fixing a car for a woman who couldn't make it to her doctor appointments. I myself have housed girls and women who had crisis pregnancies. Our crisis center has paid for medical expenses and supplied mothers with baby supplies. Our donors believe in life and lay down the dollars to prove it. If they only knew what was available I think some of them would chose life for their babies.

Kathleen: This is getting embarrassing. Other women need to use the bathroom. But I can't stop crying. I can think of eight reasons to have this abortion and only one reason not to—I'm breaking God's law. I pray, "Dear Lord, I know this is against your law. I love children. I need you to help me with this decision. I don't know what to do so please help me to make the right decision."
I suddenly remember that I forgot my urine sample in the car. I send my friend to get it. I also ask her to talk to the sidewalk people. I want her to explain to them why I'm here. I'm going through a divorce. I already have three children, and one of them is a baby, and I'm so sick. I need help with the kids I already have, in order to make it through this pregnancy. Deep inside I hope they can help me. I can't leave this clinic until I know for sure. Otherwise I won't have the courage to come back here, and then I'll be trapped.

Peg: The mother and friend explain Kathleen's situation to me. I tell her how we can help. They are relieved, and the friend goes back into the clinic to tell Kathleen the news.

Kathleen: My friend is back. She is saying they can help me. I'm so afraid. It's too good to be true. I pray again. I move out of the bathroom and make my way to the clinic door. I hesitate and then start crying again. My friend whispers in my ear, "Come on, they're willing to help you, let's go." I wipe my tears. I smile and walk out the door.

Peg: Kathleen is such a sweet woman. I am so grateful for the opportunity to help her keep her baby. We sit down and figure out her needs and ways we can help. She leaves knowing she is not alone. We will be there for her.

Several days later...
Kathleen: I am so happy. Today Peg went with me to the hospital for the ultrasound. I couldn't believe it when they told me I was carrying twins. My eyes welled with tears. I had almost killed two children.
I know I'm going to make it. The crisis center has arranged for someone to come over to my home and help me with my kids.
I got chills the other night when the news reported about a proposed buffer zone ordinance which would prohibit counselors from getting close enough to speak with women entering the abortion clinic. My life certainly would have been filled with sadness if they had not been there, ready to reach out and care for my babies and me.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lynne M. Thompson is a freelance author and correspondent for Celebrate Life magazine. She resides in Modesto, California, with her husband and two children.

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