Scene from an abortion clinic

I received this as part of the 40 Days for Life campaign this is going on this year. One of the professors here at the seminary has been praying outside one of the local abortion clinics for years, and he shared this story with our seminary community. Since, before entering the seminary, I spent such a long time working with teenagers, it truly struck a chord with me. Sadly, I could picture many of my kids in this story. It’s not that I think any of them are bad or even make bad decisions, but I constantly wonder if we, as the adults, have shown the kind of support they would need in this sort of situation to find the strength—both in themselves and in Christ—to get through what I have little doubt would be among the most frightening and difficult experiences of their lives.

I wasn’t there for this encounter, but I thank God for the teacher who clearly cared enough about this student to reach out to her through her fear and to this girl’s friends whose love made them step up to ask for help for her, which must have been particularly difficult for them.

Thank you, Dr. Barker, for this beautiful story.

One particularly memorable experience at the ——— abortion center was when a mother had taken her daughter for an abortion. Her daughter was a senior at a local Catholic all-girls’ high school. They told the sidewalk counselors that she could not have the baby because she was afraid she would get kicked out of school and not be able to go to college; and also that it would be too embarassing. It was particularly saddening to see such a young woman about to permanently damage, not just the life of her unborn child, but also her own life.

As we were praying outside, one of the teachers from her high school suddenly arrived. Some of the student’s friends had told him what she was doing and he had come as soon as he heard about it. He energetically began speaking with the young woman’s mother, who was standing outside. Eventually, he was able to coax the woman out of the clinic and to allay her fears about the situation at the high school; he told her he would do everything necessary to make sure she could graduate.

In many years of praying at abortion centers on Saturday mornings, I had never seen anything like it. Not just a life, but a soul was saved and the devil vanquished that day… by the power of prayer.

— Dr. Mark Barker

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