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Sidewalk counselors witness a prevented abortion at the Falls Church Healthcare Center

The life of a baby was saved from abortion March 29 — Holy Thursday — according to witnesses Linda and Robert Dwyer.

A man’s wife was inside the Falls Church Healthcare Center to have an abortion, an abortion he did not want her to have. The couple already has a young boy named Joshua. When the man saw the Dwyers walk toward the clinic with their signs he approached and asked if he could bring the signs inside.

Linda explained that it wasn’t allowed because there was an abortion clinic inside. “He said, ‘I know, my wife is in there having an abortion and I don’t want her to,’” said Linda. “I gave him several brochures on programs that can help and he went inside the clinic.”

“We told him while you’re in there we will pray for you,” she said. “He responded that he is Jewish and I reminded him (the next day) was Passover.”

A few minutes later, the Dwyers were joined by other sidewalk counselors, all of whom were praying “like mad,” according to Linda. Four police cars also arrived. Linda said they do not know what transpired in the clinic to bring such a response, but the police talked with the man.

According to Susan Finarelli, public information officer for the City of Falls Church Police Department, an incident took place March 29 at the building located at 900 S. Washington St. A subject was banned from the building after inciting fear in some of the occupants of the building.  A police report was taken.  The names, relationship of the caller, reporting party and suspect are not being disclosed to the public.

The man’s brother and nephew arrived shortly thereafter. The man came out of the clinic about 30 minutes later and 10 minutes after him his wife followed.

“God made a save on Holy Thursday,” Linda said. “If anyone thought before that we don’t make a difference, it was definite that God made a difference through us.”

It was a multi-faith encounter. The Dwyers — she a parishioner of Community United Methodist Church in Arlington and he a parishioner of St. John the Beloved Church in McLean — and a Jewish man. “It shows the universal desire to preserve life is prevalent everywhere,” said Linda.

In her three years doing sidewalk counseling, Linda has never experienced anything like this. “I have heard of people turning around. It meant a great deal to me,” she said. “Two days before it was 38 degrees and pouring rain and I wished I knew if I was doing some good. You seldom know what good you’ve done until years later. I got the answer (on Holy Thursday).”

The experience made a huge difference in Linda’s experience of Easter. “We attended the Easter Vigil Mass and all I could think of was the glorious miracles of Our Lord,” Linda said. 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018