“Does it please Thee, O God, to deliver into the hands of these beasts the defenseless children whom I have nourished with Thy Love?” - St. Clare of Assisi

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The Baby Gianna Story Part 1

Part I: Answering the Call

Jessica Chominski fights for the lives of others. Little lives. The ones many don’t think are worth fighting for. She is the sole full time employee of the Bucks County Community Women’s Center, a crisis pregnancy center in Pennsylvania.

About once a week a woman calls or walks into the center asking about abortion and Jessica asks them why they feel the need to abort their child, she tells them about other options, explains what abortion is, and tells them about the dignity of every human life. “Hopefully they leave thinking twice,” she says.

It’s nerve-wracking work. At 24 years old, Jessica works daily under the weight that lives depend on her. Every phone call. Every conversation. And she knows that she can’t control what a woman does when she walks out of the center so she just does all she can. And when there's no more she can do she prays. But to her it’s all worth it because in the end Jessica knows, “there are babies crawling around right now because of the work we do. And that is miraculous.”

Last June Jessica's phone rang. It was the call that would change her life. Jessica had no idea how her struggle for one baby would change her forever. And in the end, that one little baby may change many more lives than hers. All Jessica knew was that every time the phone rang a life might depend on her. She simply answered the call.

“Do you guys help out with abortion?” a woman nervously asked.

Jessica informed the woman that they didn’t perform abortions at the center. She offered to discuss options. “We can provide information,” she said. “Would you like to come by?”

Silence.

Sometimes Jessica fills the silence. Sometimes she just gives space. Jessica waited for a response. She heard breathing. But she knew that as long as the woman stayed on the phone there was hope. She knew what a sudden dial tone would likely mean. She listened to the breathing on the other end of the line until she heard a barely breathed “OK.”

When meeting with a pregnant woman Jessica says the first thing she tries to understand is why the woman feels an abortion is her only option. When Rebecca (not her real name) came in she explained she was already a mother of three and her boyfriend, the father of her unborn child, was adamant she have an abortion.

Jessica told Rebecca about fetal development. She talked about adoption. She told her there were other options. But Jessica couldn't tell if she was getting through. And when Rebecca left that day, Jessica’s hopes were not high. “I know she was a little unsure," she said.

And then she didn’t hear from Rebecca for weeks. Standard policy for the center is they follow up with two phone calls but Rebecca didn’t answer or return the calls. Jessica thought she’d never hear from Rebecca again.

But weeks later, a cousin of Rebecca’s, a former client of the center who’d considered abortion but eventually chose life, brought Rebecca back to the center because she was trying to talk her out of aborting her child.

Rebecca and Jessica spoke for hours. Rebecca told her about her boyfriend’s abuse and her estranged relationship with her religious mother. And how she felt she had nowhere to turn. And that started a period of two months where Rebecca vacillated back and forth on whether to abort. At one point, Rebecca actually scheduled an abortion for the following Friday at a local abortion clinic in nearby Warminster. That week, Jessica was on pins and needles.

The two women spoke often. Jessica could just be there for her, a voice urging life. Volunteers at the clinic babysat her children while they spoke. Jessica said, "When she had scheduled the appointment...I initiated my prayer-chain of family and friends. I emailed about 40 people at first, but the story ended up spreading literally across the country. These people were amazing- they did novenas, they fasted, they prayed, a bunch of priest friends offered Masses, I contacted a few deeply prayerful orders of religious sisters and we stormed the Heavens for 4 days. Local parishioners offered to be at the clinic. The prayer support was astronomical. That is why she didn't have the abortion on Friday."

Just to make sure though Jessica gaves Rebecca and her cousin grocery cards to keep her away from the clinic all day while she babysat both their kids. But she insists it was the prayers are what did it.

Rebecca didn’t keep the appointment at the Planned Parenthood clinic that Friday. And finally Rebecca told Jessica that she chose to keep the baby. “We all breathed a sigh of relief,” she said. “It had been such a long process but she made a decision for life.”

But the relief would be short lived. When Rebecca's boyfriend learned of her decision he repeatedly and savagely kicked her in the stomach. While examining her, hospital doctors said they saw something alarming in the baby. There was no amniotic fluid which would likely cause the baby's lungs to not develop properly.

Jessica and Rebecca decided to have the baby checked out together at St. Mary’s Medical Center, a Catholic hospital in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Jessica was worried about the baby but she was also worried about how Rebecca would take any news. Would she consider aborting the baby again, she wondered.

Jessica explained that often when a woman makes a decision for life, it's not a one-time decision. It's a decision made dozens of time. Maybe more. Any difficulty can make the woman make and remake her decision. Jessica simply tries to be there to guide.

The appointment they headed to that day would surely be a difficult one. “But I was excited she was going to a Catholic hospital,” said Jessica. “I thought this will be difficult but at least they’ll have compassion for life of the baby.”

Rebecca, at 18 weeks pregnant, had an ultrasound done. The two women held hands while waiting together. Unfortunately, after the ultrasound, Doctor Stephen Smith had some terrible news. The baby was sick. Very sick. The baby was also diagnosed with polycystic kidneys –a fatal disease that assured the baby likely wouldn’t make it to term and would most assuredly die shortly after birth from its underdeveloped lungs.

And then it happened.

While the women wept together the doctor coolly added that he could schedule a “termination” because there was no reason Rebecca should go through a pregnancy and deliver a child since it would die almost immediately after.

Jessica couldn’t believe what she was hearing.

“The worst part is he just told her that her baby was going to die and we’re both crying. And the next thing out of his mouth was termination. I know I kind of gave him a look and I said ‘We are in a Catholic hospital.’ I probably looked pretty angry,” said Jessica. “And he just said ‘I know but she can come over to my office in Abington.’”

Abortion was back on the table...

Read The Baby Gianna Story Part II
Read The Baby Gianna Story Part III

Note: This is the first part in a week-long series telling this incredible and gut-wrenching true story about life, death, abortion, and betrayal. We ask all of our readers and blogging friends to help us in any way they can to share this story. Please stay with us this entire week.

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17 comments:

SherryTex said...

I'm going to check with Catholicmom.com to see if they'd be willing to share it as well.

Dawn said...

wow! hurry up tomorrow! I can't wait to finish!

Dean said...

Please tell me this less than a man boyfriend is doing time.

Jennifer Merkel said...

I have linked to you here and have asked others to as well. A friend of mine is going through the exact same thing right now...She has very low amniotic fluid and is being encouraged to "terminate"/kill her baby. She is very strong and has an amazing faith, but those of you who read this, could you offer a prayer for her situation?
This is incredibly close to us. I am almost afraid to read on...

GrannyGrump said...

I hope that doctor was reported to the hospital administrators, not just for recommending abortion but for being such a callous, heartless bastard as to tell a weeping woman that he'd just finish her sick baby off for her.

alicia said...

Anyone who is given a bad prenatal diagnosis should be referred to the website www.benotafraid.net as it has dozens of stories from families who chose life for their dying unborns. I have heard so many ghastly stories of women being coerced into prematurely ending the lives of babies with birth defects. Prenatal euthanasia is what it is and this is the very scenario that the partial birth abortion supporters cite as the 'need' for this particular procedure.

Alipius said...

Hi! I am running a German-language Catholic blog. I assume that most of my readers speak some English, but I also know that there are many who don't.

Would it be okay for me to translate the Baby-Gianna-Story and post it on my blog (always linking to your page and giving due credit, of course)?

That Married Couple said...

Oh my goodness. I live in Bucks County and St. Mary's is our hospital. I'm appalled, but when I stop to think about it I can't be all that surprised. They won't even offer NFP classes in the hospital. Ugh.

My Chocolate Heart said...

I'll be linking up all week and sharing over at My Chocolate Heart.

I'm already heartsick... and disgusted... and yet still hopeful.

Marilyn H said...

Why won't doctors use the word abortion? If they are so convinced that there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, why won't they say it?

Peter G. said...

My healthy 11y/o daughter wazs born at St. Francis / Mt. Sinai in Htfd.,CT. Our off site OBGyn, recomended an Amnio Centesis, based on Alpha Fetal Protein (AFP) to rule out a likelihood of Downes Syndrom. The Amnio test, which had a 1% chance of causing miscarriage, was "to aid in deciding on an elective abortion". We declined the test and changed to a Catholic OBGyn!

JimmyV said...

Sharing over at my blog. St. Mary's actually sponsors the Philadelphia Natural Family Planning Network's conferences, but they facilitate an IVF doctor's practice as well. Pray for the doctors there who are practicing Catholics. God can save anyone, even hospital bureaucrats.

Margaret said...

I am a Nurse-Midwife with a similar case at a Catholic hospital in the North West. The young mother-to-be told the perinatologist advising a "termination" for suspected renal agenesis at 24 weeks "If my baby dies it isn't going to be because I killed it."

Elaine said...

I have a beautiful student in the college class I teach online who wants to become a renal nurse. Why? Because when she was born she had polycystic kidneys. In spite of a dire prognosis, she did alright with regular care until she became a teen. Her kidneys failed and she had to go on dialysis for 5 months until she was able to receive a transplant.

Now, she wants to give back. Nothing but grace can come from letting life do what life does.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many times something like this has happened at CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe, NM where a abortion doctor has privileges. The Abortionist Lucia Cies, M.D. specialty according to this supposed Catholic Hospital is Family Practice.
Lucia Cies is NOT a family doctor even if she is listed as one. According to her own site she does abortions:
Dr. Cies offers outpatient surgical abortions from 5 to 18 weeks past the last menstrual period. The abortion pill is available if you are less than 7 weeks pregnant.
Dr. Cies is an active staff member at St. Vincent Hospital, immediately adjacent to our office. She can provide inpatient abortion procedures for high-risk patients with special medical needs. Your healthcare provider should call Dr. Cies if you require specialized care.

Something that I ran across was that Cies makes around $500,000 to $1 mil a year http://www.manta.com/c/mmdjx0f/cies-lucia-md
How many women have been referred from this supposed Catholic Hospital to abort.

Anonymous said...

Lucia Cies website is abortionissafe dot com
The CHRISTUS website is stvin dot org

Anonymous said...

What an inspiring report!
The love and His grace our Lord has for us shines through and through.
Jessica, your reward is guaranteed in Heaven.
You are so loved.

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