By Grace Petrasek
The Interim

Recently, Robert Hinchey, co-counsellor with Joanne Dieleman at Toronto’s Aid to Women, was chatting with a couple headed for the abortuary located next door. As they spoke, an abortuary employee darted from within and screamed, “Don’t listen to him. He’s crazy. They’re all crazy up there. He’s crazy. Don’t listen to him.”

Later, while reflecting on this incident, Robert says that most women rushing into the abortuary have already “spiritually aborted” their babies and quickly brush past sidewalk counsellors because they seem unwilling to think about what they are about to do. But this couple was different, and he knew he had only a few moments to approach them.

“If you’re heading to the abortion clinic, maybe I can help you,” he said. “I work for Aid to Women where we help women do what is right for themselves and to keep the baby alive that they are carrying inside.”

By now Robert had their attention. “Abortion doesn’t make you un-pregnant but makes you the parents of a dead child. It’s wrong to kill your baby.” Then he offered them help. At that moment, the screaming abortuary employee intercepted and Robert was forced to back away. The couple entered the abortuary.

That afternoon, Robert left Aid to Women for an appointment, and Joanne remained behind. She heard people talking at the entrance downstairs and soon a young couple came up to the office. Joanne invited them to sit down, but they said they couldn’t stay. They had just left the abortuary and came to say that they had decided to have their baby. They asked Joanne to inform the kind man who spoke the truth about their decision to them that morning outside the abortion clinic.

While inside the abortuary, they had thought about what he had told them and they decided he told them the truth. He was not crazy. They politely declined help from Aid to Women, because they had their own medical and financial resources. They thanked Joanne again, and left, smiling.

The next morning, when Joanne told Robert about the couple’s visit, he was surprised and moved. Then he had a good laugh. Isn’t it funny how sometimes crazy people save babies?