Friday, October 05, 2007

The Liberty Line

What a day. I spent 3 hours outside one of our state’s illustrious Planned Parenthood abortion centers the other morning. This was my second Wednesday, a killing day, outside this particular center. The personal devastation, fear, turmoil and confusion were written all over the faces of the “clients.” It’s hard to describe what takes place. It’s all very quiet. Normal, in fact. The mail trucks and delivery trucks continue making their deliveries. No one runs the stop sign. The men working on a nearby building never look over and continue their work to meet their deadline.

There are a few of us there in a Liberty Line offering help to the women who are going in for abortion, contraception and pregnancy tests. A brochure is given to one young woman. We think she’s blown us off but she comes back down the sidewalk with a purpose asking what kind of help we have. We tell her about Pregnancy Aid around the corner. She’s had one abortion and won’t have another. She regrets it but explains that she was young and didn’t know what to do. She takes the card with the phone number for Project Rachel. I mention that she can name her baby and her eyes soften and water just barely. She’s young, beautiful and scared with her whole life ahead of her. As she walks quickly down the sidewalk away from the epicenter of evil I see her step into the light. The sidewalk becomes an underground, unseen railroad. I want to yell, “Run, run. Keep going!”

You will forever abandon any belief in evolution after watching the people going in and out of an abortion mill. The idea that humans are just clever talking beasts that got a lucky head start on chimpanzees and gorillas will be forever swept from your mind. Chimpanzees don’t rip their hearts out over how and when they will kill their offspring. The elephant doesn’t lie to herself about the loss of an offspring. Animals do what works in order to eat, breed and survive. Only the free will given to man could create such a horrific scene. This is not progress or evolution where the “best” survive. You are witness to a story that is as old as man and repeats itself again and again. If you want to see the past, go to an abortion mill.

The official looking Asian woman in the pant suit holding a clip board sits with a thin, bearded man wearing earrings in both ears. She’s in charge and must be very important. They park in the parking lot and enter the mill from a side door. A while later they are parked out on the street. Maybe they are going to build a wall. They seem to have plans for something.
The second wave of abortions scheduled for the day starts between noon and 1:00. You pass out a lot of brochures and try to talk to others.

Another young girl comes out. She approaches you and wants to know where she can get something to eat. You ask her if she wants to talk. She looks down at the path to freedom beneath her feet. She says she hasn’t “done it yet.” You ask her if she’s scared. You want to ask her where her mom is. She tells you she’s read the whole brochure. She’s had an ultrasound and she’s 12 weeks along. Come Holy Spirit…you tell her about your son. You tell her God has a plan for her and her baby. You tell her help is available. Lack of money is the last reason to have an abortion. She goes on her way, off the safety of the railroad back into the stockyard. You pray. Five minutes go by. She should be back out her by now! Ten minutes go by. You pray and the family with you prays harder. The cold and empty flag pole shakes and rattles violently. “Ah, the demons are back. I’ll need to tell Debora.” Twenty minutes go by. Where is she!!? She should have been back here by now. You’ll never forget her face.

A couple of teenage girls pull into the parking lot. The passenger gets out and walks to the back of the parking lot. She gets back in the car a few minutes later. As they are leaving the parking lot you walk up to the car and extend the brochure. (The driver is yelling at you but she rolls down the window and takes the brochure anyway.) “I’m a Christian and I go to church but I believe in letting people exercise their rights!” You look at the passenger — scared, tears just below the surface, crouched down in the seat. You don’t care. Spit on me, hit me, kick me, hate me. Just take your friend and run!

If you go to the Planned Parenthood web site you’ll see lots of happy, smiling, middleclass or up-and-coming type folks. It’s white and light. They look like Republicans. They are your neighbors, your kids and their friends. You will not meet these people at a real life Planned Parenthood clinic. At a real life Planned Parenthood clinic you will meet people who spent the whole night crying. You meet people who are about to change their lives forever. There are lots of minorities — Asian, Latin/Hispanic, Somali and today perhaps one American Indian. One Martina Natrilova-looking woman explained that she couldn’t take a brochure for her post-op daugher because “we are Buddhist.”

The men who were milling around, smoking cigarettes, going in an out were absolutely tormented. Tormented. It’s the only word to describe it. They did their best to hide it. To look and act tough. The toughest ones seemed to be having the hardest time. They constantly looked down as if searching for something, not seeing that freedom lay at their feet.

You look in the parking lot at the cars! You simply can’t believe the cars. The new SUVs, vans, Mercedes, Jettas, Volvos, PT Cruisers. Not a one older than 5 years. Some of them arrive on foot and the surreal nature of what you are witnessing just can’t be put into words. By the end of the day you are craving art; for some symbol or sign to make sense of it: An image. A woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

You think you can see blazing ovens with billowing black smoke and a rain of ashes; men in black boots, barbed-wire and batons. If only then they’d see! Yes, all those who cried “never again” would be out here with us filling the streets and the sidewalks. You hear a story that last week someone saw them loading small refrigerators onto a truck for transport to the University of Washington. And you wonder…

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favour fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

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