Skip to comments.Stranger's Words Gave Mother-to-be Strength [Mom thanks pro-life sidewalk counsellor]
Posted on 03/06/2003 7:26:14 AM PST by Notwithstanding
Stranger's words gave mother-to-be strength
By BRENDA KEY
Last Updated: March 2, 2003
Immediately, the doctor who prescribed the medicine and the manufacturer of the drug wrote, called and pleaded with me to abort the baby, because Accutane was known to cause severe deformation in a fetus. The manufacturers even sent us pictures of babies born to mothers taking Accutane.
After struggling and agonizing, my husband and I decided the doctors were right, so I scheduled an appointment to have an abortion.
The day I went to the clinic in downtown Milwaukee, I remember feeling angry, yet sad, bewildered, unsure, guilty. But I believed my doctors and the manufacturer of the medicine were correct. Surely they could not be wrong . . . The medication can cause severe deformity. At the time it made sense in my mind, but my heart was far from it.
Before I could open the front door of the building where the clinic was, a hand touched my shoulder and a woman's voice simply said, "God loves that baby. Don't do it."
How she knew where I was going in that tall building, I still don't know. Maybe my frightened look and my small paper bag with slippers and house robe in it were dead giveaways. Whatever it was, I'm glad she stopped me.
She said again, "Don't do it. God loves that baby."
I was in total shock, afraid someone I knew had seen me. Slowly I turned around to see a young white female I had never seen in my life, a total stranger saying to me again, "Don't do it. God loves that baby."
Her name was Monica Migliorino. I repeatedly explained to Monica what my doctors had said. I explained to her what the manufacturer of the medicine had sent me and told me. Monica continued to say, "God loves that baby . . . No matter what physical condition that baby may be in, you can make it."
She must have heard the panic in my voice. She began to plead more strongly, "Please, don't do it." I told Monica again what the doctors had said. Surely they could not be wrong; they were the experts.
I went inside the building and took the elevator up to the clinic. But before I could open the office door, fear gripped my soul. I ran down three flights of steps looking for a telephone. Finding one, I called Mother Artie LaValley, now deceased, my state supervisor of the Northwest District of the Church of God in Christ. She was on the phone. I put in an emergency interrupt and she accepted it. I realize now that I was one little member of the Northwest District, which has thousands of members, yet Mother LaValley accepted my emergency call.
I explained to Mother LaValley the situation from start to finish. I remember so clearly exactly what she had said. At first she said, "Brenda, I can't tell you what to do, but I can tell you what the testimony of the Lord has done for me."
After we talked for a half-hour, she proclaimed in a powerful tone, "Brenda, don't do it, the Lord loves that little baby. Everything will be all right."
I picked up my paper bag and left the building. On that cold November morning, Monica was still standing outside. She came over to me. Without my saying a word, she knew I had not had the abortion. Tears began to fall down her cheeks, as well as mine. This stranger, this white woman I didn't know, was hugging me and praising God as if she was my best friend.
And so it was on the warm afternoon of June 11, 1984, that our daughter, Shonda Yvette-Rosie Key, was born at St. Joseph's Hospital.
All her toes and fingers, eyes and nose were in the right places. Completely whole, a beautiful baby girl. And now, 18 years later, my heart is flooded with gratitude and appreciation to Monica and Mother LaValley for literally saving our child's life.
Monica made me a promise that day outside the clinic building: "I'll stick by you, through it all." And this she did. For 12 years she was there, helping where she could. Every year, Monica would give Shonda a birthday gift. The last gift she gave to Shonda was a large picture of a brown Jesus. We later moved to Tulsa and lost contact with Monica.
Shonda graduated from Marshall High School and is attending Concordia University in Mequon. Maybe someday Shonda will get married and have a child of her own. I don't know what the future holds for Shonda. We're just so happy that she at least has a future to look forward to. Had it not been for God who was on our side, had it not been for Monica standing on that corner, had it not been for Mother LaValley accepting my emergency call, our baby, a real living beautiful young lady, would be just another statistic.
|Brenda Key and her husband, Sherman, of Milwaukee are the parents of five children, including Shonda (left).
I hope that this is my misunderstanding, but it sounds as though you are questioning my good manners. Please allow me to explain the chain of events from my perspective. You made a request of the group in your post #11 for a picture of this individual and I took the time in post #12 to give you a hyperlink to her web page that would automatically redirect you to her picture. If you had bothered to fully read the page (it was only 42 words long) or my message, you would have known that it would automatically redirect you. Rather than ask for clarification off-line, you publicly responded in post #14 that I was in error. If there was a ever a negative tone in our correspondence in this thread, it began with your terse use of the word "Nope" to illustrate the error you erroneously perceived. Assuming the best about your motives and imagining that these web issues might be challenging for you, I responded in post #39 with hyperlinks to all of the relevant pages and a direct posting of the picture so as to make this all as easy as possible for you. Rather than thank me for taking this time to respond to your original request, you now appear to be questioning my behavior. I hope that my interpretation is in error, but if not, I will no longer respond to your posts or requests and will encourage others to do the same.
Do whatever you think you must. Your demeanor only makes me feel more blessed that there are people like Monica Miller in the world who show patience and understanding when people are confused, rather than condescention and sarcasm. And to be honest with you, I really have no interest in conversing with anyone who would go along with your boycott. So begin your campaign immediately.
Saturday, March 08, 2003, 12:00 a.m. Pacific
Day of the women
By Amber Howard
Special to The Times
Today, no celebrating the rollback on hard-earned rights
Today the world will continue a decades-long tradition of observing International Women's Day. In the past, this day has been a celebration of global progress in women's rights. This year, however, there is not much to celebrate.
Since taking office in 2001, President Bush and his administration have made one policy decision after another that jeopardizes the current state of women, both in the U.S. and the rest of the world.
Over the past two years, President Bush and his administration have:
Reinstated the global gag rule, cutting off U.S. aid to international family-planning organizations whose services included but did not use U.S. funds for informing women of legal abortion options, providing safe and legal abortion options, or lobbying for abortion law reform with their own funds;
Closed the White House Office for Women's Initiatives and Outreach;
Removed scientific information from federal Web sites regarding findings that abortions do not increase the risk of breast cancer and about condoms' ability to protect against HIV;
Appointed ardent "abstinence-only" education supporters to head key health-policy divisions in his administration. Many of these appointees oppose condom use and believe sex outside of marriage is dangerous and that the government should control what local schools can and cannot teach;
De-funded the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) by withholding $34 million in family-planning aid that is used to better the lives of women around the world;
Promoted abstinence-only sex education, which fails to teach students about how to protect against sexually transmitted disease;
Packed the judiciary with anti-choice judges, and;
Withdrew support for Senate ratification of the International Women's Treaty that requires nations to remove barriers of discrimination against women in areas like legal rights and health care.
And, unfortunately, the list goes on. It is astonishing that this administration has so quickly and easily turned back the clock on women's rights especially the right to control their family size and protect their health and well-being.
Giving women the power to control when or if they have children is essential to slowing rapid population growth, maintaining healthy children and slowing environmental destruction.
We must ensure that women have access to the information and resources they need to make healthy choices for themselves and their families, which will lead to a better world for us all.
Amber Howard writes from Seattle.
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