Published: April 1, 2011

“The driver brandished a pistol”

Pro-lifers witness outside Planned Parenthood, FPA in San Diego — one counselor threatened at gunpoint

News from the Trenches

Planned Parenthood, First and Grape streets, downtown San Diego, March 26, 2011

There were four prayer warriors and two sidewalk counselors this morning. Jose spoke with a young Hispanic couple parked along the curb who had an appointment for an abortion. They were receptive and he was able to give them all the information about what Planned Parenthood was about to do as soon as they went in. He showed them the picture of a 6-week-old pre-born baby and a fetal model of a 12-week-old.

The young lady let Jose borrow her phone to call the Culture of Life Family Service’s crisis line. Jose spoke with the phone counselor, and then handed over the phone to the young lady, who made an appointment for Monday morning. She looked very happy, and he hugged them both and gave her a Rosary before they drove away.

Family Planning Associates, Miramar Road, San Diego, March 26, 2011

Today was Day 18 of 40 Days for Life at Miramar Road, and the third Saturday of abortions at this mill during the 40 Days for Life campaign in San Diego. Streams of young people poured across the parking lot to pray along the sidewalk in front of the mill, with over a hundred people praying throughout the morning. Most of the prayer warriors were members of the St. Therese Youth Group from Del Cerro. We had four sidewalk counselors covering the driveways.

Just after the security guard arrived around 7:30 a.m., a cab brought in a couple from Mexico. The driver stopped so Roger could give the woman a flyer about the abortionist. When he started to talk about the risks of having an abortion, the woman said in broken English, “Oh no, not here for abortion.” Roger handed her a flyer on the risks of an abortion as the cab driver slowly pulled into the lot.

The first couple that Anne greeted showed some concern about the doctor’s record. She showed them both a picture of what their baby might look like. They were doubtful about going in, and she tried her best to talk with them about how this abortion would affect their relationship and their lives. She gave the woman a Rosary and told her she was worth more than what was offered at FPA. They pulled into the lot and sat for sometime, but eventually went in.

While it was still fairly early in the morning, Roger spoke with what appeared to be a mother and her daughter. The mother was driving. He gave her a flyer about the abortionist and began to tell her about his nine years of probation. She gave a forced smile while she slowly nodded. He asked the passenger how far along she was, and she said she didn’t know. He held up a picture of a 6-week-old pre-born baby, and the driver immediately turned it over so the passenger could not see it. Then Roger told her that most women will have emotional trauma because they will eventually find out how developed their baby was when it was aborted, and he held up a life-like rubber fetal model of a 12-week-old. At that, the driver curtly said, “Thank you, we don’t need to see that,” rolled up the window and sped into the parking lot.

At the steps leading up to FPA, Anne greeted some women who would not listen, nor take any literature she had to offer. However, one couple she met listened to her words of warning and concern over FPA as they walked up the steps. They went into FPA, but came out minutes later and said they were willing to listen more and take information. They came over to Anne, and she talked with them about how making the right decision would always be a blessing. She urged them to go to Dr. Delgado so they could get a proper ultrasound and be in the hands of a competent doctor. Anne handed the woman a Rosary and gave her a big hug. They did call COLFS, and said they would make an appointment for Monday.

For the rest of the day Anne was met with mostly hostility and unkind words. She was able to talk with a young woman who left after having had the abortion. Anne offered her a Rachel’s Hope flier and told her God loved her and that she would pray for her healing. Terry spoke with several women who were very cold and politely listened, but either went in, or declined to get their sister/girlfriend out of the clinic.

About two-and-a-half hours after Roger first spoke with the couple from Mexico who had arrived earlier in a cab, he saw another cab driving the same woman toward the exit, this time by herself. The driver stopped at the exit, but the back windows were rolled up, and the woman appeared to be in tears. Roger asked the driver to hand a Rachael’s Hope flyer to the woman in back, which he did. Then he asked the driver to hand her a blue Rosary, but he jerked his hand away like it was on fire, so Roger tossed it over the seat to her and told her that God still loves her. With the Rosary resting on the seat beside her, she looked away, wiping her tears as the cab driver drove off.

About mid-morning, Terry and Roger were at the front driveway when a 4-door, black car with tinted windows drove in and briefly stopped for Terry. As she attempted to hand him a flyer on the doctor, he drove past her into the parking lot and dropped off the woman who was in the passenger seat. A short while later he drove back to the exit. Again Terry tried to hand him a flyer, but he refused to take it. He then drove forward about 10 feet and stopped at the edge of the street and opened the car door. He leaned his upper body out of the car, beckoning Terry to come over.

She approached him, assuming he wanted to talk about the woman he dropped off. As she neared the car, she heard a distinctive “clicking” sound as if a gun were being loaded, and then saw the driver brandish a semi-automatic pistol in her direction. He threatened her, pointing to the gun, telling her if she ever came near his car again, he would use it. He drove away as Terry called the police. The police quickly responded, took statements, and remained on site for some time waiting for the driver to return. From various information sources, the police were able to identify the man, and said he would be apprehended and charged. The man had not returned by the time we left at noon, and as of Tuesday, had not been apprehended.

(Note to our regular prayer warriors: We believe this was an isolated threat of intimidation to a specific sidewalk counselor because he was driving someone in for an abortion. He did not threaten anyone else, he remained in the car, and he made no remarks regarding “abortion protesters” or other such general statements against what we are doing. We do not believe he poses a future risk, but we feel you have the right to know what happened.)

— Roger, Anne, Terry, David, and Jose

Wow, I’ve been cursed at and harassed at an abortion mill but thank God no one pointed a gun at us! It’s getting to be a real battle out there trying to save lives and souls. There are many Dry Martyrs risking their lives for the pre-born! Let us pray and be united!
Deacon John