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Power of prayer saves child from abortion

The power of prayer saved a life this week after a woman decided to keep her child while in the waiting room of an abortion clinic—but prayers are still needed. — By JAMES FARRELL

A social media prayer request appears to have worked after the woman texted a pro-life group for help from the clinic’s waiting room.

On Monday, the Cardinal Winning Pro-Life Initiative placed a request on Facebook for prayers for a woman struggling with a crisis pregnancy. The pro-life group asked for prayers for the woman, who had an abortion booked the next week.

“We literally needed a miracle’ Sr Roseann Reddy from the pro-life group said. She added that the woman involved is ‘still in a precarious, fragile state.’

“She turned up to the clinic on Monday and couldn’t do it. However, we are not out of the woods yet—until she gets to a certain state of mind, we still have a lot to do.

“These are very complex and real issues we are dealing with and regardless of what happens with this pregnancy there is still a lot of help and assistance we need to give.”

Sr Reddy explained how she came to ask Scottish Catholics for their help. “It was during my holy hour in the morning,” she said. “I know that’s not the ideal time to be on the phone, but it was on my mind. So I sent a text [to put a prayer request online]. We literally needed a miracle, everything was against us—we had offered as much help as we could.”

On Monday, as the abortion was about to take place, the Sisters from the pro-life group received a text. The woman had messaged them from the waiting room to say she would be getting a taxi and leaving the clinic.

Sr Reddy described the event as a ‘miracle,’ adding: “It’s amazing—we’re always surprised by how much the prayers count.”

The Cardinal Winning Pro-life initiative came of age this week, 21 years after Cardinal Thomas Winning’s famous 1997 speech, in which he said: “Today I issue an open invitation to any woman, any family, any couple who may be facing the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy. I strenuously urge any person in that situation, of any ethnic background, of any faith, from anywhere, to come to the Archdiocese of Glasgow for assistance.”

“The circumstances we are dealing with today are becoming more and more complex,” Sr Reddy said about her work. “One thing which is a huge factor these days is mental health: people just aren’t coping with life.

“A big problem which is affecting these women is there are breakdowns in their own families.”

“In days gone by we were dealing with people who needed practical help and were considering an abortion because they did not have the means to get by. We are now dealing with much more complicated situations.

“People have this misconception that the only crisis pregnancy we deal with is teen mums. In fact, we deal with fewer teen mums—who more so need practical help and encouragement.”

She said that women can face many social problems, including depression, social isolation and financial problems such as zero-hours contracts.

“We had a woman we were dealing with; she was on her way to the clinic and spoke to us to say she was getting a taxi here. It was in July and we gave her all the help we could and she decided that it was OK, she was going to keep the baby.

“Then in the middle of the night I got a text to say she couldn’t cope with having the child. She had two other ­children and she didn’t know how she could manage Christmas this year. The pressure women feel under from society is horrendous.”

After 21 years of working for the pro-life initiative, Sr Reddy gave some advice: “I know I sound like a sop when I say this but the power of a kind word can be make or break. The power of a kind word has such a powerful difference and that’s our approach here, to be as Christ-like to them as possible.”

“I remember when we started the initiative, Cardinal Winning said to me: ‘I’m not going to give you any advice. I don’t suppose you’d listen anyway. But what we need now are experts in humanity.’

“Those words have stayed with me over the years. That’s exactly what we need and it is exactly what the Church is an expert in.”


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