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Two Abortion Protesters Decided To Yell At This Guy's Wife. They Probably Shouldn't Have Done That.

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Aaron Gouveia and his wife were already having the worst day of their lives. Then came the abortion protesters.


“You’re killing your unborn baby!”

That’s what they yelled at me and my wife on the worst day of our lives. As we entered the women’s health center on an otherwise perfect summer morning in Brookline, two women we had never met decided to pile onto the nightmare we had been living for three weeks. These “Christians” verbally accosted us—judged us—as we steeled ourselves for the horror of making the unimaginable, but necessary, decision to end our pregnancy at 16 weeks.

After extensive testing at a renowned Boston hospital three weeks earlier, we were told our baby had Sirenomelia. Otherwise known as Mermaid Syndrome, it’s a rare (one in every 100,000 pregnancies) congenital deformity in which the legs are fused together. Worse than that, our baby had no bladder or kidneys. Our doctors told us there was zero chance for survival.

♦♦♦

I’m not a religious person and I’ve never believed in heaven or hell. But there is a hell on Earth. Hell is sitting next to the person you love most and listening to her wail hysterically because her heart just broke into a million pieces. Hell is watching her entire body convulse with sobs because she’s being tortured with grief. For as long as I live and no matter how many children we have, I will never forget that sound. And I vowed to do everything in my power to make sure she’d never make it again.

Across a crowded street, two people with “God Is Pro-Life!” signs and pictures of torn-up fetuses managed to drive the blade in even deeper. Again, I was left trying to console the inconsolable, feeling even more helpless this time, because I wasn’t allowed into surgery with her.

Running on pure adrenaline, and without even a hint of a plan, I grabbed my cell phone and crossed the street. I didn’t know what to say or how to say it, I just knew I wanted to make public the cowardice of these protesters.

♦♦♦

♦♦♦

I learned a few important things from this encounter. First, these people aren’t used to being confronted. They prey on the weak and they pounce on the wounded. It’s easy to berate people and shame them when they’re too beaten down to fight back. But I chose to do just that, and you can see what happened.

They spout the same tired rhetoric passed out at rallies and subway stations. They don’t have one salient response to any of my questions.

The most telling thing about their cowardice is when the woman on the right gets upset that I’m recording the conversation (which is perfectly legal) and then threatens to call the police. The irony is rich. She wanted to call the police because I was peacefully expressing my opinion on a public sidewalk and exercising my First Amendment rights, which is exactly what she was doing. But I’m not on “God’s side,” am I.

She also claims the women at the clinic are suicide risks. Even if she believed that were true, does she really think yelling at them and shaming them in public is going to encourage these women not to kill themselves?

♦♦♦

After I took a walk and calmed down, it was time to pick up my wife and go home. When we pulled out of the clinic, the protesters were gone, and a police cruiser was parked nearby with the lights flashing. My wife, still groggy from the surgery, managed to crack a little smile, and asked, “What did you do?”

I have no idea if it was my interaction with the protesters that got them to leave. I doubt it was, but my wife was convinced that was the case. At first, I didn’t think of it as a big deal, and I actually felt a little foolish for getting so heated.

My wife, suddenly serious, pointed out a women entering the clinic. Within minutes, she said, that woman would be making a serious choice. Whether she kept her baby or not, it didn’t matter—what matters is that she can make the decision that’s right for her. And she can make it without people screaming at her.

My wife and I wanted our second child. We loved her. We even had a name for her, Alexandra.

You never know the circumstances surrounding this kind of decision. Consider this my plea: stop terrorizing women. Stop adding trauma to their trauma. If you’re able, stand up to these bullies in nonviolent ways. Speak out. And if you have a camera, use it.

Neon Washable Paint

by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 6:08 PM
Replies (161-170):
Tranla
by Member on Mar. 7, 2013 at 1:52 PM
1 mom liked this
Good for that father standing up for his wife. I can't imagine the anguish both of them felt on learning about their unborn child's condition. Those protesters should be ashamed of themselves making an already difficult time worse.
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kailu1835
by Ruby Member on Mar. 7, 2013 at 2:09 PM
3 moms liked this

This is an old story, isn't it?

Anyway, I'm not a fan of standing outside Planned Parenthood (or something similar) and bullying women who go in, especially because you don't even really know what they're doing there.  Just because a clinic performs abortions doesn't mean that's ALL they do.  Honestly, I think you have a higher rate of walking into a hospital that performs abortions than you do walking into a PP that does them.

TCgirlatheart
by TC on Mar. 7, 2013 at 3:41 PM
((Hugs))

Quoting happy41ce:

You don't know what you would do unless it were YOU in that situation. I am almost 16 weeks and my baby was diagnosed with Anencephaly. Google it. My baby is going to die. My son doesn't have the top of his skull or any brain activity. The amniotic fluid is eating at what bit of brain is there. This condition is fatal and most babies are born stillborn. I was going to abort but decided to carry so we can bury our baby and say goodbye. I have people saying I am selfish for carrying and people saying I should go to hell bc I thought about aborting. Bottom line- unless something like this happens to you, you do not know what you will do :/ I totally relate to this family.
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parentalrights1
by on Mar. 7, 2013 at 4:04 PM
Wtf lol can't say I've ever had that happen.

I hear alot of harping annoying voices but no angels


Quoting NWP:

LOL it is funny how you can "hear" some people through the internet. There is one particular poster active in a similar group to this that I hear angels singing every single time I read her posts. Hahahaa.

Quoting DestinyHLewis:


Girl... You have got to get that caps lock fixed! Lol I can't read your posts without reading it with yelling in my head. Lol 


Quoting buslady1079:

PEOPLE SHOULD REALLY WORRY ABOUT THERE OWN FAMILYS  INSTEAD OF BUTTING IN TO OITHERS LIVES  IF YOU HAVE THAT MUCH TIME TO GO STAND IN A LINE  DONATE YOUR  TIME TO DO SOME GOOD  CHARITY WORK IS ALWAYS NEEDED  LET PEOPLE MAKE THERE OWN CHOICES IN LIFE UNLESS IT EFFECTS YOU !






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mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Mar. 7, 2013 at 4:10 PM

 But this wasn't your choice to make


Quoting RobinChristine:

Personally I would have given birth.  If the docs were right she would have died but it would not have been because I signed the papers allowing her to do so.


 

mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Mar. 7, 2013 at 4:14 PM

 the number of christians who lack empathy and compasssion never ceases to amaze me.


Quoting soonergirl980:

She killed her physically disabled child I don't have a lot don't have a lot of sympathy for her or him.


 

NWP
by guerrilla girl on Mar. 7, 2013 at 4:33 PM

Funny thing is those darned angles are so loud I can't hear anything that member ever says. All I can here is this


Wtf lol can't say I've ever had that happen.

I hear alot of harping annoying voices but no angels


Quoting NWP:

LOL it is funny how you can "hear" some people through the internet. There is one particular poster active in a similar group to this that I hear angels singing every single time I read her posts. Hahahaa.

Quoting DestinyHLewis:


Girl... You have got to get that caps lock fixed! Lol I can't read your posts without reading it with yelling in my head. Lol 


Quoting buslady1079:

PEOPLE SHOULD REALLY WORRY ABOUT THERE OWN FAMILYS  INSTEAD OF BUTTING IN TO OITHERS LIVES  IF YOU HAVE THAT MUCH TIME TO GO STAND IN A LINE  DONATE YOUR  TIME TO DO SOME GOOD  CHARITY WORK IS ALWAYS NEEDED  LET PEOPLE MAKE THERE OWN CHOICES IN LIFE UNLESS IT EFFECTS YOU !







Neon Washable Paint

TCgirlatheart
by TC on Mar. 7, 2013 at 4:35 PM
1 mom liked this
((Hugs))

Quoting joyfree:

I'm so sorry to hear your story... I was pregnant 12 years ago with a little boy diagnosed with Trisomy-18 Syndrome... Even now, it hurts to talk about him. After waiting for the third test result, 1) being the Level III Ultrasound, 2) the "Fish" Test, and finally 3) the amniocentesis, we had the final confirmation that the problems our son had were "incompatible with life"... Imagine being told that, after your first child nearly died due to heart arrythmia in utero and was still afflicted with a lower IQ and an autism spectrum disorder that it took 18 years for you to have the courage to try again with your new husband... My first marriage failed, and my ex has written exactly three letters to our daughter in the last 20 years. He remarried and had two perfect kids, and NEVER ONCE sent OUR daughter as much as a birthday card in the past...

Anyway, we decided to induce labor so that Patrick would be born, and we were able to say our good-byes with him. Actually SEEING him helped me to see how fragile and afflicted he actually was... It was so HARD to go through that experience, SO PAINFUL, and depressing... It took me a while to get back to myself...

The GOOD news was that we tried one more time and were blessed by God with a perfect little boy who is now 10. He loves his older sister, who still lives with us, and she loves him very much, even though they bicker like they are the same age.

So, MY opinion is that we sometimes must make very difficult and painful choices, and it's hard enough without having to walk past ignorant and opinionate people who do not have the slightest CLUE about what your situation is. For this, I am pro-choice. I would not wish the pain we went through on my worst enemy.

im sorry


Quoting happy41ce:

You don't know what you would do unless it were YOU in that situation. I am almost 16 weeks and my baby was diagnosed with Anencephaly. Google it. My baby is going to die. My son doesn't have the top of his skull or any brain activity. The amniotic fluid is eating at what bit of brain is there. This condition is fatal and most babies are born stillborn. I was going to abort but decided to carry so we can bury our baby and say goodbye. I have people saying I am selfish for carrying and people saying I should go to hell bc I thought about aborting. Bottom line- unless something like this happens to you, you do not know what you will do :/ I totally relate to this family.




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Shelly126
by Member on Mar. 8, 2013 at 8:34 AM
2 moms liked this
Quoting happy41ce:

You don't know what you would do unless it were YOU in that situation. I am almost 16 weeks and my baby was diagnosed with Anencephaly. Google it. My baby is going to die. My son doesn't have the top of his skull or any brain activity. The amniotic fluid is eating at what bit of brain is there. This condition is fatal and most babies are born stillborn. I was going to abort but decided to carry so we can bury our baby and say goodbye. I have people saying I am selfish for carrying and people saying I should go to hell bc I thought about aborting. Bottom line- unless something like this happens to you, you do not know what you will do :/ I totally relate to this family.

i'm so sorry you have to be in this situation! It is a horrible, ugly place to be and you are so right, it's easy to say "what you would do" while judging from outside such situation. No one, unless you are in the situation, can know the heart break and pain of the outcome no matter what decision you make. Again I am so sorry, you and your baby will be in my thoughts and prayers!

I don't think the purpose of the article or the fathers actions are a plea for sympathy, I think it's to open people's eyes to the fact that there are many reasons women may seek an abortion and it is not for any of us to judge. Screaming on a public street and name calling wont change people's views and in some cases leads to violence. I am pro life, that doesn't mean I can't understand someone's choice in cases like this or even in traumatic circumstances. Even if I don't agree with the persons personal reasons, it is still their decision and I would never badger or name call. I can have my opinion without name calling and taking someone else's freedom of choice away, we were given free will by God Himself and He will do the judging!

I also want to point out that this is very different than just a disabled child! This child has no vital organs! No kidneys and no bladder besides mermaid syndrome, again not the same as a disabled child.

This is a very personal, disturbing and horrific choice no matter how you look @ it. Being told your child is going to die is not something people just deal with and say I'm going to have an abortion and just get on with it. For any parent facing this choice, I'm sure it was painstaking and while they may not need anyone's sympathy, it's pretty heartless to yell and judge them in their time of great sorrow.
MumsToo
by on Mar. 11, 2013 at 5:25 PM

While I respect your personal choice, I do feel that it is relavent to have an understanding of what giving birth to a baby with those problems entails. At 14 weeks, a fetus does not have the brain development to feel pain. The spine and nerves are there, but the brain has not fully developed the connection to the point of the fetus actually being able to experience what we call pain. Also, while in the womb, a baby has no need for kidneys and a bladder. Those processes are handled by mom. At birth, however, the baby needs kidneys and a bladder in order to not have toxic blood and to be able to rid waste from its body. I can imagine bloating and txoic blood would be a painful way to go. And at birth, the those nerves and the brain are much more developed.

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