Patty Knap calls herself a “born again” Catholic. She planned to be a wife and mother of four or five kids with several girls, but as life played out, she’s a single mom with two young adult boys. She counsels at a crisis pregnancy center, teaches CCD, takes online classes with the Avila Institute, and loves the beach, dalmatians, and America’s national parks. She also saves recipes in a pile until it gets big and then throws them out.
Recently a dozen of us had just gathered in front of the Hempstead, Long Island, Planned Parenthood and were starting the Rosary when a woman crossing the street called out to us.
“I have my son because of people like you!”
She was smiling and came over to us to share her story.
At 16, Lori became pregnant and her grandmother (who raised her) forced her to abort, believing she was doing the right thing. At home the night of the abortion, Lori was shocked to find she’d passed a tiny baby hand into the toilet. She called for her grandmother to come see it. “And from that day until the day she died in 2013,” she said, “my grandmother never stopped apologizing to me.”
Lori later got married and had a son. When he was just a newborn, Lori developed a seizure disorder. She was on the contraceptive DePro, so she assumed she couldn’t possibly conceive, but she was also taking seizure medication which made the contraceptive ineffective. In the hospital after a seizure, she was told she was 12 weeks pregnant — with twins. Lori was stunned and sure she couldn’t possibly have another baby, much less two babies with an 8-month-old at home. She decided to abort. Within a few days one of the twins died in a miscarriage.
Lori then went to an abortion center where there were people praying out front who tried to speak with her. She passed them, went in, and was having an ultrasound in preparation for the abortion of the second twin. As usual, the abortion provider wouldn’t show Lori the ultrasound of her baby, keeping the screen turned from her. The ultrasound was intended only to determine the size of the baby, the “work” involved in dismembering it and the price of the abortion. But when the abortion worker walked out of the room for a minute, Lori turned the screen toward her and saw her baby’s heart beating before her eyes.
“I just thought, ‘Those people out there are praying for me, and I just saw the heartbeat, so God must want this baby to be born. And I hadn’t stopped thinking about that tiny hand after my earlier abortion. So I got up and left, and you know what? That little boy is my pride and joy! He’s in kindergarten now!’”