This year, during my annual trip to Spain to see family, I decided that I wanted to do something more for the world. I opted to rescue babies and mothers from abortion clinics with the organization Rescuers John Paul II. It had only been by second day of volunteering when I was confronted with a painful and shocking situation; we stopped a Muslim woman that told us her story, and like all abortion stories, it was hard to listen to, especially for a young woman with her entire life ahead of her. This woman was not planning of having an abortion because she wanted to, but because “the noise that the other two children made” was a serious bother to her husband. Absurd. Last year, when I wrote an entry for this blog, I vented to the public about the fact that abortion is just another form of machismo and misogyny. As a Catholic feminist that does, in fact, care about women, I will reiterate and affirm that abortion, besides being murder, is a subjugation of the most valuable and precious facet of womanhood, and by extension, mankind: maternity, the ability to care for others, the ability to give everything to someone other than oneself. I believe that men, instead of subjugating maternity, should learn from the generosity of women. Isabel V. Grace, from New Jersey, USA.
This is not an ordinary baptism, because they could have been dead. The Rescuers John Paul II encountered their mothers at the gates of the abortion centers. On Sunday 12th of June they entered the House of God. The ceremony was celebrated by the Bishop of the diocese of Getafe (Spain), Mons. Joaquín María López de Andújar.
The babies could have never got to that point; their lives could have been truncated. Of course, each baby has different circumstances. The Rescuers know them, they know the mothers. Sometimes they just need to talk to somebody who listens, other times the mothers want to talk out loud, they need to speak.
We, Rescuers and volunteers of MasFuturo Association, get emotional when we think that none of these families have lost a single day of catechism and meetings. They all know that the only way is «going back to God».
Elisa was going to get in the biggest abortion center in Madrid. That day we were just a few rescuers and a lot of women entered without talking with us first, we weren’t able to handle it. We saw her accompanied. Rescuers John Paul II know well that usually boyfriends don’t let us to them. She was about to enter when we managed to give her a brochure with all the information. She look us in the eye, she was sad, she had already two children. It was a complicated situation. She got of the car and gave us her cell phone number. A few days later she came to MasFuturo Headquarters. She asked the baptism for her other two children. Her life has changed. We are very happy.
Some rescuers just finished their college exams when they decided to go rescue mothers and babies. That day they were rewarded. Alicia was getting out the abortion center. She is a beautiful young lady and seemed determined. At first, she didn’t want to know anything. But then, she went back and took a brochure about help for pregnant mothers. Alicia asked if they charged for the help and if they earn money for going to abortion centers like they were doing that day. She was shocked that they don’t, and she decided to give them her phone number. Later, she told us that she thought that people that were there, no matter the weather conditions, no money at all, tired for being standing up for hours… it couldn’t be something bad. She loves to come and visit us. She never misses a class. She is happy.
Nuria is very young. Her baby was conceived in violence. But she decided that her baby deserved to live. It wasn’t easy: trials, pressure, and depression. She has been rewarded, she has learnt a lot of the catechism; right now she is the best student. Now she smiles. She has passed all her classes. She gives us peace.
Dislandy, she is the one that gave us permission to write her actual name. Her son is almost one year old. We knew her when she was 5 months pregnant. She had had an appointment with the abortion physician. But her life took a different path. Rescuers were giving information to pregnant women and stopped her. She listened carefully. José, the rescuer, explained her that the baby she was carrying was her son, unique, incomparable. She calmed down. Right now, she is so grateful to God, that she wants to speak with everyone. «Please, do not do it. I would have aborted my daughter, but right now I cannot imagine my life without her». Dis, as we call her, has her plans. She knows that her life is not going to be easy, she also knows that she has given her child the most precious gift, her life. Marta Velarde, MasFuturo.
We are on our mission in the abortion facility that we call «the cemetery». It’s Saturday morning. Now is the time for the professional rescuers John Paul II: physicians, professors, and I, an economist. In front of us a young couple approaches the facility and we stop them to talk to them. They come from Salamanca, a city near Madrid. They tell us that she just got pregnant, they already have two other children, they have no work and owe two month of the house rent, and they are afraid that the landlord evict them (as it has happened before). Nor Red Cross neither Caritas have helped them, because they are a Spanish couple, they are not a priority. They also have to pay the school textbooks of their children.
She insists that she want an abortion, she doesn’t want to have so much bad times. She has a chance to start working in a cafeteria, but pregnant would be impossible. He, on the other hand, would love to have that baby, but won’t oppose her if she decides different. The rescuers spend with them a lot of time. We give them money to afford the journey, but what they really need is a job. While they are arguing about what to do we step away and we pray asking for a miracle. Finally, she decides not to enter in the abortion center today (she already had an appointment). At lunch time we go to MasFuturo organization. There she still gives us a lot of arguments: «I cannot give my children all I would wish for them», «I cannot get married», but after a few hours the go back home. A lot of people want to help them, we collect a lot of money to pay their debts. Nowadays, that baby is still alive, but we don’t know for how much long. Jesús Gómez, Economist. Rescuer John Paul II.
Today is holiday in the university of Madrid (Spain), we don’t have classes. We get to the abortion facility and we cannot keep up with all the people who were entering the center. The staff has already seen us. We see a man with a 1 year old boy and a young woman with the older daughter. When we give them the information brochure, the mother tells off us: «I’m in a hurry, we’ve got an appointment, I have to go back to work. We are here for mi daughter». We looks at her daughter, she is speechless; it seems she doesn’t want to enter. Then we look at the younger child: «Is this your son?». He was; then she smiles. «Then, why this one can live and your daughter’s baby can’t?», we reply. We cannot understand why. She refuses to talk to us, take her teenage daughter and head to the abortion facility. We feel helpless, we feel very bad. Laura, Ana, Alex, Loreto y Marta, Rescuers Josh Paul II.
I need to write about the last day I went to Rescues. I can’t sleep thinking in that baby.
It’s Friday morning, very soon. Rescuers start to arrive, two of them are new. It is the first time for them, for me, on the other hand… it’s another day I wish I can see a girl with a new hope. After a few minutes, we see a couple who is approaching us, we talk. In a few moments I get to know all their life history, their problems and all the reasons they try to justify what they are about to do, they have an appointment to have an abortion right now.
At first, she doesn’t want to pick the brochure, but for some reason she doesn’t want to go away neither, she listens. We start to explain that her son is worth it, that she can fight for him and that from now on she would never be alone again, we will be by her side helping her. Finally, she accepts the brochure, but she is not totally convinced. Her boyfriend again and again to think about it, he has to go back to his country and doesn’t know when he is coming back to Spain; and even probably he would never come back. She looks at me, and then looks at her boyfriend. The girl wants to talk with Marta by cell phone; meanwhile I keep talking with her boyfriend. I start to understand better the situation. He is changing, he is saying that he «won’t come back», he doesn’t want to. He doesn’t «have» to go to his country; he has asked «voluntarily» repatriation. In a nutshell, he is abandoned her. A child here is just a hassle and he is not willing to do so. Behind all the kind words he is telling her like «You are the one that decides» then it appears «but remember, I am not going to be with you».
He is saying just these words when she hangs up the phone and says she wants to have the baby. She wants, but she is afraid to be alone, and her boyfriend’s word doesn’t stop. Nonetheless, she raises her head and says she wants to go on with her pregnancy. For the first time, I see her smile. She asks me to talk with her mother on the phone to explain her daughter’s decision and that we are going to help her, she doesn’t know how to tell her. The mother promise her all the support necessary, and tells me that if she wants to have this baby, she can go back home. So she does.
We say bye and I go to help a rescuer friend who is at the bar talking with another girl, as it is his first time I’m going to help him. The situation of the mother is even worse than the first one, but it is not enough to kill her baby. The rescuer has told her everything he can, but she doesn’t want to talk to Marta, because she is ashamed. She is not able to do that one thing for her child, a call. She goes to get the abortion…
In that very moment, something happens that shocks me forever. The first couple is going back to the abortion center to get the abortion. They change their minds. I would never know if they took that decision in the last moment or the words of the boyfriend, both kind and threatened, got what he wanted. It all happened while they were going to the subway station.
It never happened to me before, but even that is in the mind of God. We are certain, we will never forget that day, neither will they. And maybe, although they weren’t able to save their child’s life, it isn’t too late to save theirs. Rocio Lacasa, engineering student, Rescuer John Paul II