"I so did not believe anyone would be out here. And if they were, I was sure they'd be a fat old man, with, like, MAGA tattooed on his forehead."
The young woman was in front of Planned Parenthood in Boston. In COVID-time, she was also on a surprisingly quiet Commonwealth Avenue. The few other human beings who passed were masked and serious and looped wide to avoid her and each other as they pushed by.
But she wasn't alone.
An MCFL member who has been reaching out to our staff since late-Spring for guidance on when to return to the sidewalk was also there. Her sign read, "You're strong. Choose hope. Look at your ultrasound."
The young woman had arrived that Friday morning looking for an abortion -- and asking for a sign. But she had told the Universe, if there wasn't a sign -- or if the sign-holder was an old white man -- she was aborting.
Well, the MCFL member* wasn't an old man. She was a quiet woman in a violet face mask with dark eyes behind big glasses and a singsong voice.
She was all that mother needed to see, and all her unborn baby** needed to have his or her life recognized and protected.
The importance of providing support and affirmation to women before they enter the abortion clinic can't be emphasized often enough. We have a society that has learned to treat women like burdens. As Boston, and the world, has had a light shone on how a system set in place can continue to dehumanize people despite the intentions of individuals, we see how the system of abortion has always treated women like problems, and their incredible ability to give life like a disease.
All we need as a society is continually to see that each of us can be workers on a new system: One that saves, protects, and cherishes vulnerable lives, and does not discard the woman or the child at any stage in their development. We can be like the woman this last Friday morning who was a sign of hope.
*The member asked to remain anonymous. Her story was taken by the director of community engagement and this article has been posted with her permission.
**This save was inspired by the #SaveBabyMyles campaign, and other members are returning to sidewalk counseling using safe social distancing to offer support to women and to be voices for the voiceless preborn babies. Whether online or in-person, you can join and save lives by checking the Baby Myles' story here.