Cindy Stone had an abortion, so she figures she’s the ideal candidate to dissuade anxious mothers from a decision that wreaked havoc in her own heart.
“I’ve gone through the pain of regret,” Stone said. “God put it in my heart that this is what I need to do to help other women and men with my story. I don’t want someone to suffer that kind of spiritual, mental and emotional pain.”
Every Wednesday, Stone, a Protestant, teams up with two Catholic women outside the Planned Parenthood clinic in Van Nuys, California. They hold up signs, pray and offer advice to any woman who is willing to hear about the grim realities of abortion – and the positive alternatives that exist.
Call them Sisters of Compassion. The War on Abortion is now 44 years old, and there doesn’t appear to be any softening of the rhetoric on either side of the debate.
Stone and her friends talk with sensitivity, even though they speak a stark truth about what abortion providers understate as “a clump of cells.”
On the one hand, the grisly nature of abortion needs to be explained clearly. But on the other hand, these women are not shaming pregnant mothers already immersed in despair.
“I understand where they’re coming from and what might be motivating them,” said Stone, 66, of Santa Monica. “It’s not that we are trying to condemn them in anyway but let them know that there are people who are willing to help them. We’re helping them see that a pregnancy is a life. People come and say, ‘Don’t shame us. Shame on you for shaming us.’ That’s tough when somebody talks to you like that. We don’t want to come across like that. But we must share the truth in love.”
Maria Barrientos, 50, a Filipino American who runs a Philippines-based engineering firm, shows what they’re talking about when they offer help. She personally cared for a baby for six weeks in 2010 just so that the mother wouldn’t abort. Read the rest of Where abortion in San Fernando Valley.