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A Silent Observer

Yesterday I finally listened to the Among Women podcast for the first time.  I met host Pat Gohn back in June at the Catholic New Media Celebration and only now have gotten around to listening to her work.  Her recent podcast included an interview with a young lady named Kathleen Fitzpatrick, who described her journey with an unplanned pregnancy and how that unexpected blessing has affected her life in ways she couldn't have imagined.

Years ago, I had a dear friend who was faced with an unexpected pregnancy while still a young woman.  At the time she took her pregnancy test, I remember sitting with her just stunned and silent.  I had no words or reassurance for her. The next day, she had her pregnancy confirmed by a health clinic and received a referral for abortion. 

 I am ashamed to say that I stood by while she chose to end her baby’s life the day after she knew he existed.   In my mind, I know that I was young and ill-prepared to face this difficult issue, but in my heart it is small reconciliation.   There is little hope that I could have done anything to change her decision, but I sometimes wonder how I could have been a better friend to her at that difficult time.  The best word I could use to describe how I felt that week was confused.  I knew deep in my soul that it was a bad and wrong decision, but could see and feel the pressure to accept her choice.  Even though society seemed to dictate that I was to understand and offer condolences regarding the difficulty of her choice, I really couldn’t do it.  So instead, I did nothing.

Even though it has been almost 20 years, I still think about that week and pray for her unborn baby.  I ask God for forgiveness in being a silent observer. 

When I hear stories like Kathleen Fitzpatrick, I wonder how things could have been different for my friend. 

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