Who doesn't want a rose?
June 16, 2015
On Saturday, June 13, the Routh Street abortion facility performed its last abortions. This facility has been open since the 1970s. Standing there, it felt like we were a part of history that day. When I accepted the internship to sidewalk counsel this summer, I had no idea that I would get to see something like this.
One reason why I took the internship was so I could really have a place, even if for the summer, in the church militant – prayerful and peaceful, but struggling mightily against the darkness nonetheless (Ephesians 6:12). Every day we face spiritual warfare. As sidewalk counselors, we know what is going on inside the abortion facility is evil, and mourn for so many who enter all the same.
Each day, I have felt attacked, but when I walked up to the abortion facility on that Saturday, there were so many people praying. I felt guarded against, yet still acutely aware of the atrocity occurring inside. Groups stood praying rosaries, propping up signs for help. Another intern and I had brought white roses to hand out to women. We wanted these women to be reminded that they are loved, that they have dignity, and that they shouldn’t subject themselves to the violence of abortion. And who doesn’t want a rose?
Actually, a lot of women rejected the roses. We even asked some of our guy friends to help hand out the roses. But it didn’t make much of a difference. At least we saw a few smiles along the way.
Now that Routh Street is no longer performing abortions, my fellow intern and I will be at the Southwestern abortion facility. This will be different. At Routh Street we learned to counsel in close proximity to the clients. We could walk with them in the alley outside the facility. I had a woman approach me crying, and I was able to receive her with love – up close and personal. I have been able to walk with individuals to the pregnancy resource center next door, getting to know a little bit about them along the way. There is a relationship, even if it is a short one, between the counselor and the men and women heading into the abortion facility.
Southwestern – with its doors facing into a private parking lot – is built to barricade against our loving alternatives. But we will stand and offer them all the same.
This job is hard, but it is really great.
By Erica Rohde
Erica Rohde joins the Catholic Pro-Life Committee this summer as a sidewalk counseling intern. She graduated from Coppell High School in 2013, started at The University of North Texas in Journalism and is now transferring in the fall to Benedictine College in Kansas as potential Journalism and Theology major. Erica shares that she was drawn to this ministry because “I don’t want to be a passerby with serious atrocities such as abortion that is hurting families."