Instead of a large bill and an unnecessary surgery, Massachusetts residents were handing out care packages filled with handwritten notes, a list of free healthcare resources in the area, and brownies, to moms in unexpected pregnancies approaching the Boston area Planned Parenthood on Saturday.
"Look, I just came to get this taken care of," said a young woman through her car window, as C.J. (community engagement director for MCFL) waved at her and asked if she could help.
"But what if you were taken care of?" C.J. asked her. The woman just shook her head. But she took the little violet box, and the note with healthcare options in the area. Later, she and her partner were seen driving away.
A multitude of people, young and old, had gathered that morning to sing Christmas carols at the well-known Boston abortion center. Young and old, secular and religious, they sang or prayed or stood quietly. A large group of Spanish-speaking citizens had bussed in, and had joined with some of the local Franciscans to pray; while a high school student from Arlington High had joined with her mother for the first time.
It was a busy morning. Christmas is often a challenging time for women who are pregnant; and Planned Parenthood doesn't make it any easier. The abortion provider advertises not help but abortion to relieve women of their challenges -- and relieves them of their living, breathing baby at the instead.
"What I don't get," said Liana, the high-school junior, "Is, I mean, why don't we make having your baby at a hospital free? Like, why isn't there a clinic here to give birth for like $500? We tax-fund abortion, but no one is tax-funding helping moms have their baby. I always hear women say, I can't afford $5000 to give birth and then baby clothes and all that stuff. But so what? How's abortion a choice if it's the only one you give someone?"
Many of the carolers have been working overtime on just that issue, calling the governor and our lawmakers daily, even hourly, demanding they reject the "R.O.E" Act (which would increase pressure to abort a child, and offer no more support to women parenting or giving birth, along with lowering the age of abortion-consent to 16).
In the meantime, though, they stood offering support and song to the many women impacted by the normal vicissitudes of life, on top of COVID-related job losses or stress.
"Brighton has a pregnancy resource and health center right up the street from here," said one woman, "I always tell moms, it's free. Right up the street. I'll even drive you there."
She has done just that.
But this frigid, 19 degree morning, she -- along with dozens of others -- continued to sing. From 9am to noon, they offering care boxes, hope, support, and song to each woman approaching the abortion center. Because, as a longtime sidewalk counselor quipped, "Empowerment is telling a woman to kill her child and pick up the bill. Empowerment is telling her you have the strategies, the resources, and a helping hand for her to do anything with her child."
Do you hear what I hear... they closed.
And I think they meant life, life and protection and support, for everyone, born and preborn, mom and child.
For pregnancy resource centers and free healthcare in your area, check out: Resource Spreadsheet for Women's Health Here.