Nightmare on Campbell St.

Ring – ring, ring-ring.

Jane: Good morning, Jane here.

Sue: Oh Jane, I’ve just got to tell you about the most terrible experience I had this morning.

Jane: Yes?

Sue: I was outside the Campbell Street abortion clinic. And this woman came along and I got talking with her. But she just kept saying, “I’ve got to get rid of this baby” and, “I can’t keep this baby.”

Jane: So she used the word, “baby”?

Sue: Oh yes.

Jane: Uh huh.

Sue: Anyway, I asked her why she couldn’t keep the baby and she told me that her boyfriend had cleared out about a month ago and that her mother was going to kick her out of her house and she has no money and there was nowhere for to go. So I told her that we would help her in any way we could and that there are places she could stay.

Jane: That’s good.

Sue: But she was adamant. It didn’t matter what I said, she simply said that it was impossible and she would have to get rid of the baby. We must have talked for at least 15 minutes and she started to cry but she wouldn’t change her mind. I wanted to directly intervene, but I didn’t. Now I feel really bad.

Jane: That is so, so sad, but it sounds like you did your best and said all the right things. Sometimes no matter what help we offer or what we say people won’t respond, so try not to be too hard on yourself. Just remind yourself that in the end, we have no right to stop a woman acting on her choice. That is something that she will have to sort out between herself and God.

Sue: But I’m sure I will never be able to get that image out of my mind.

Jane: What image is that?

Sue: Well, when we finished talking she just took the baby and put both hands around its neck and –

Jane: Wait, wait, what do you mean, “she took the baby”?

Sue: Well, the baby had been in the pram all this time.

Jane: But –

Sue: And she just squeezed and twisted the poor baby’s throat until it went blue and limp and then she just threw its little body onto the ground and she ran off. Oh Jane, it was really, really awful.

Jane: Sue, Sue, do you mean this was a born baby?

Sue: Yes of course.

Jane: What did you do when she was strangling the child?

Sue: Like you said just now and as I’ve heard said before, I knew I shouldn’t directly intervene in a woman’s decision, so . . .

Jane: Are you saying that you merely stood there and let her kill the baby in front of your eyes?

Sue: I did, I did. I think I screamed a little, but all I could think was, what right did I have to stop her acting on her choice?

Jane: But Sue, you said this was a born baby, not an unborn baby still in the womb.

Sue: What difference did that make Jane? Don’t we always say that whether the baby is inside or outside the womb, they are just the same? So if I should not directly intervene to stop the baby in the womb being killed, why should I intervene to stop the baby being killed when it is outside the womb?

Jane: Oh Sue, Sue, this is really terrible.

Sue: But where I have gone wrong Jane?

Jane: Umm . . .