Friday, March 30, 2007

Tales from the Back Porch

The Back Porch is a Crisis Pregnancy Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. Here is an excerpt from their newsletter:

The Back Porch has touched several hundreds of lives so far.

In our 14 months of operation we have had over 200 recorded contacts with people coming through our door. In many cases, a “contact” involves a couple and occasionally three or four people. That means that we have probably spoken to between 400 and 500 people about alternatives to abortion. Most of our contacts are still people looking for the Morgentaler Clinic, however we also have had two women who came here directly from the clinic following their abortions. We’ve also seen people who have tried to get into the clinic but are denied (if they don’t have an appointment and password they cannot get in the door). We’ve had couples in crisis pregnancies come in to get information while they are wrestling with their decision. Earlier this month we had a couple of nursing students drop by who were writing a report on abortion but couldn’t get into the clinic. They saw our sign and wandered over to see what we were about. They took copies of all of our brochures, asked what we do, our relationship with the clinic and told us they thought they might see if their teacher would let them write about the Back Porch instead of the clinic. Our volunteer did not have any sense that they were pro-life. They just seemed curious about what we do and were open to hearing what we were about. We are sure it was the first time they had heard anything about health risks and all the other material that we give out.

Back Porch Diary

Our volunteers keep a journal and write about every visitor who comes into the Back Porch. Here are a few excerpts from the diary. Please feel free to drop by and visit us and read through the journal yourself. It really gives a perspective on why women have abortions.

“About 2:45p.m. a young couple came in (he was 22 and she’s 24) .. I asked if they’d like information … She said they were just trying to look at all their options ... She said she was five weeks along and then started to cry … They stayed for about half an hour ... I asked them if they knew what their pros and cons were ... She said if they were married this wouldn’t be an issue because they want to have kids but the timing was off ... I told her that no matter what she chooses now, her life will change ... I gave her counseling information. She said she didn’t want to screw up her boyfriend’s life because he’s younger than her. I asked him what he thought and he said either way. He said he knew they could make it work. She was very open to what I had to say. She doesn’t seem inclined to abortion at all ... I pray we see her again and if not, dear God hold her and her boyfriend in your hands. Oh yeah, I also told them that even though their baby is very small it’s still a baby and it’s made them parents.”

“A middle-aged woman came in about 9:00a.m. – quite distraught and looking for the Clinic. I told her it was across the street. She said her daughter was there & she was here to support her. She refused information but did agree that her daughter would need help after. She said she had one daughter in the hospital right now about to have a baby and this one about to have an abortion. I said that she was really going to need some support. She agreed and was teary-eyed. She said she was torn between being with the one having the C-Section and the one having the abortion. She said that the one in the hospital had lots of support, but no one knew about the one having the abortion … I gave her some pamphlets and urged her to make sure the girl got some counseling. She’s 27 years old. I told her mom that I would pray for them.”

It is quite painful to see the numbers that come and go from the Clinic. Some come alone in a taxi; some come to make appointments with children in tow or friends bringing their babies with them; some come with middle aged women … mothers? relatives? friends?... supporting them. We have even seen couples arguing in their vehicles before entering the Clinic. And then, of course, there are the departures … some pale and weak, walking slowly; some leave alone in a taxi and some have to stop, getting sick to their stomachs, oblivious that someone may be witnessing their suffering. We have to be very prayerful as to how or even if we can approach any of these situations; often they don’t want our assistance.

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