Saturday, February 20, 2010

Praying at the Maidstone Marie Stopes Clinic

A correspondent asked: how did it go? It was cold, windy, raining. It was not pleasant. We were called 'hypocrites' by a mother with a child and a baby in a buggy who thought the pavement was her own. These prayer vigils are organised in co-operation with the police. We do not obstruct the pavement, standing on the kerb across the road from the clinic so that people can easily pass by, yet this mother 'accidentally on purpose' knocked into one of our pray-ers, almost knocking her into the road. Had a car been passing something serious could have happened. Thankfully, all our pray-ers know that they should never retaliate but remain calm and, preferably, silent.

Whilst we were praying, our kerbside counsellor came over to us to tell us to pray hard because she could see where we couldn't and it appeared that a young girl was trying to get out of the clinic but she was being forced in by her mother. It appears the girl was being forced to take an abortion pill. Later on a Marie Stopes staff member was seen allegedly checking the floor outside the entrance to ensure that the tablet had not been spat out.

I saw the young girl as she left the clinic - she couldn't have been aged more than 14 years old, accompanied by the mother and a young lad.

We also saw a car pull up, driven by a man with a young woman in the passenger seat. She was clearly struggling with her emotions and, after seeing us, the car drove off. I saw it park further down the road, turn round as if to come back, but then turn round again to drive off. Some fifteen minutes later, the car returned, but drove past, the driver looking very unpleasantly at us.

All we were doing was saying our prayers with nothing more than a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe as a banner.

Further, we saw a young man come out, obviously having left his partner inside. He hung around further up the road and then disappeared while we were praying.

This was the day after Ash Wednesday. I only lead the group a few times a year, but this was when I experienced the war with Satan as never before. My conscience is troubling me that we did nothing more than pray to help that young teenage girl and the child she may have been carrying. When will there be martyrs for the unborn child?

When will more priests and bishops see this grave injustice as worth giving up their time and comfort for?

The collect of Ash Wednesday remains apt:
Support us, Lord, as with this Lenten fast
we begin our Christian warfare,
so that in doing battle against the spirit of evil
we may be armed with the weapon of self-denial.


  1. Hi Father. Just being there to pray is a great help. You don't know how many people saw you out there and perhaps some of them who drove by will remember you people praying out there, and if it comes to THEM having to make such a decision, they might seek another solution and keep their baby.

    Re: the 14 year old in particular - that had to be ripping.

    I don't know what the laws are like over there, but here you can approach and ask to talk to someone who is going into a Planned parenthood (etc.) building. You can't block driveways or sidewalks, and in some places might have to stay a certain distance away -- but you can ask someone if they want to talk and it's not considered harassment.

    Do you have fliers, information to give out about other support services available? It seems like you also had those who can consel in your group - who do engage these people. Are they allowed to approach them with information?

    You and your readers might find this website interesting:

    It belongs to the "Helpers of God's precious Children" in San Diego. [The "FPA" referred to in the blog is the abortion center, and COLFS is the "Culture of Life FAmily SErvices" organization [] which has two locations in San Diego County. These two centers provide a spectrum of support for who need family services that are 100% in line with Catholic teaching. They can help people in crisis pregnancies, not only people with insurance, but people with no money -- there was a church in the county that organized fund raisers and raised enough money to buy an ultrasound machine for the COLFS clinic -- when mothers (and their husband/boyfriends) see the child, that is a BIG aid to turning them towards keeping the child.

    It also seems the San Diego people have done a lot of checking up on those who work in the abortion clinic as doctors -- i.e. are their lawsuits for botched abortions, etc? The prolife people often seem to be able to get this information into the hand of people coming for abortions. It doesn't always work, but sometimes that can be a factor.

    God bless you and all who witnessed that day.

    Did you get a chance to ask the woman with the stroller why she called you hypocrites? Don't be afraid to engage with these people. It would surprise me none to learn she or a family member has had an abortion.

    When you do come across people wavering in their decision to seek an abortion, is there a network of services in place?

  2. The modus operandi of the HGPI is not to engage with 'harassers' but to be polite and calm, and this is what our people did. Yes, it is perfectly legal to ask people if they want to talk, and to hand out leaflets. This, too, is done politely and discreetly.

  3. Check out the website. Praying outside the abortion clinics for the 40 days of Lent, it has been saving many babies and sparing their mothers from the tragedy of abortion. All across America - Abbey Johnston the director of a Planned Parenthood in Texas even converted due to the prayers of the 40 days for Life pray-ers. N Ireland has been taking part so now it is time for England to get going too. It is ALL peaceful and peace agreements have to be signed by all participants. Great you were out there Father. It really lifts up the hearts of those who pray to stand shoulder to shoulder with our priests and religious. Some of our local seminarians have been out there God bless them.


Please avoid being 'anonymous' if at all possible.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...