Last October my husband and I met a 19-year-old girl, Teresa, (name changed) who had gone to the Morgentaler abortuary to have an abortion. She was met at the front of the abortuary by a very motherly picketer from outside Toronto, Mrs. Johnson (name also changed). Very simply and gently she said to Teresa, “You don’t want to go in there.” Teresa literally collapsed into her arms.
Fr. Abello and Mrs. Johnson took her to the Campaign Life offices where my husband, Stephen, happened to be. He drove her to a maternity home and during this time became concerned about the many problems to be overcome in Teresa’s life. Stephen visited her family with Fr. Abello and they convinced a key family member that abortion was the wrong solution to their problem.
As she had few friends in Toronto and the maternity home was near where we live, we began visiting Teresa weekly and having her over for supper every few weeks. I felt immediately at ease with her. She was very open with me and I with her. We bluntly discussed such topics as premarital sex, religion, marriage, contraception and sterilization.
She is the product of our pagan, sexual society, showing total bewilderment when encouraged to say “No” to sex until marriage. I also encountered for the first time the bizarre mentality, also a product of our “me” society, whereby she would rather have an abortion than give the baby up for adoption. Despite the fact the baby would not come into a two-parent family, we felt sure she was mature and loving enough to handle the 24-hour-a-day demands of a baby.
Upon discovering she had no one to be with her in labour and delivery, Stephen and I volunteered me! For one solid month I had butterflies in my stomach every time the phone rang.
Finally, on February 20 at 3:30 a.m., I was called to come to the hospital. When I arrived she was so glad to see me, being frightened of the labour and delivery ahead. The hospital staff were quite unsupportive to both of us. This puzzled me very much because the hospital doesn’t perform abortions and should be far more supportive of pregnant single women. Teresa was left alone and crying several times while I was pushed out of the room in order for doctors and nurses to attend her. Fortunately labour was short and two hours later a beautiful 8 lb. baby girl was born.
For me, after having birthed four boys, it was a fascinating experience to see a little girl born and to watch from an objective point of view! I again had to intervene as the nurses were about to take the baby away without even letting Teresa hold her.
Little Elaine, now nearly two months old, is a sweet and contented baby. Through this experience we have learned that there is a crying need for inexpensive or no-cost housing for these single mothers once they have their babies. All the pregnancy help agencies report the same difficulty.
The future is still uncertain for Teresa and her baby. Meanwhile, the “Save the Baby Fund” has been helpful and Teresa is very grateful for the financial support from so many unknown friends.
Just this week Teresa has asked Stephen and me to be the baby’s godparents, and so it would seem that God has given us the awesome responsibility of walking with baby Elaine through this life and into Eternity.