Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
December 18th, 2008


I had no sooner published my first rejoicing over the closing of the only free-standing abortion mill in our city than I was besieged with further reflections of the “I shoulda said” variety.  Over the twenty years there have been many memories, some of which I’d like to share.


Father Bill Smith always told us that the desire to witness to the evil of abortion in public was a charism, a gift from God, not given to everyone. I think all of us would testify that when we first decided it was something we needed to do we had considerable difficulty getting out of the car the first time and actually doing it.  We can also testify that we no longer think twice about it; we just do it.


We do not refer to the abortuary as a clinic.  A clinic is a place for diagnosis and treatment leading to health.  When one of the patients always ends up dead, and the other is wounded ( physically, psychologically, or both) that is not healthy.


Early on, when the abortuary was on Mill Plain Road, there was no sidewalk, and in the winter we had to make a path through the snow.   Sometimes people would drive as close as they could, splashing us or forcing us from the path.  Other times people would see us and return with hot coffee or cookies.


Also, when Medical Options first moved to Main Street, Mr. T (husband of the nurse who ran the abortuary) came out to talk with us with his young son.  “ Show her,” he said, and his son Jeremy opened his coat to reveal a T-shirt which read: “I was chosen.”  That boy would be a grown man now, probably married, maybe even blessed with children.  I have often wondered has it occurred to him that perhaps there had been brothers or sisters who weren’t “chosen.”  I wonder how he feels about having parents whose business is killing babies.  Of course, they present themselves as rendering a service to womankind, and proud of it.  But – I wonder.


During the days of Operation Rescue I was excited when I learned that a rescue was planned at Medical Options.  (See my post here explaining why we considered ourselves rescuers, not protesters.)   Since Medical Options was located on Main Street, a very central location, with a Catholic church a few doors south and another Catholic church a few blocks north, I thought that when word got around that people were being arrested for protesting abortion on MAIN STREET Christians of all stripes would rally around in solidarity.   It was one of the biggest disillusionments of my life that no such thing happened.  Our own Father Smith was there, of course, blessing us as we were removed from the premises.  But crowds of  people in prayer support?  Priests?  Pastors?  Forget about it!  I wonder what it will take for the church to finally rise up?  Will it ever?


All in all, three rescues took place at Medical Options.  In one of them the renowned pro-lifer Joan Andrews, took part.  Joan had been imprisoned in Florida for 2-l/2 years in solitary confinement for the crime of entering a abortion “clinic” and disabling the suction machine.  They would not release her  because she refused to promise that she would not do it again.  In another rescue, we actually invaded the premises and sat on the waiting room floor, refusing to move.  When the police came (the police station was right across the street) and hauled us off, we spent the weekend in jail and went to court on Monday.  If I recall correctly, we were released, “time served.”  One of us, Audrey, sent a letter to the newspaper complaining that in jail they took our coats away and the cells were cold with only a metal bench to lie on and no blankets.  When we tried to block the cold air coming from a vent in the ceiling with toilet paper they threatened to take our toilet paper away.  On the other hand, we remember happily one officer who brought us candy bars!


Years ago Medical Options employed “clinic escorts” who wore orange vests and were supposed to see that patients were not interfered with when they arrived for an abortion.  One day I had arrived early and was walking up and down alone, wearing my sign, and there were four such escorts lined up across the driveway.  As I was praying that someone would soon come and join me, a priest that I did not know appeared out of nowhere.  After he greeted me, he went up to the “escorts” and asked, “Are you pro-life or pro-death?”  I don’t think the question had ever been put to them so clearly before and they were taken aback.    What a blessing he was!  Actually, the priest was still a brother at that point,  later ordained a priest, and now pastors a church in Arizona.  A Danbury native, he would still visit and pray with us whenever he was in town.

The last time! The Gang, Medical Options, December 2008

The last time! The Gang, Medical Options, December 2008

After all those years of praying together, we “picketeers” have become like a family.  We are birds of a feather, with spiritual bonds that can be closer than blood bonds.  We don’t know what we will be doing with ourselves every Tuesday and Saturday morning, now that the “clinic” is closed.   Activists that we are, we are praying about what we are called to do next, but we will surely continue to keep in touch with each other.  We located an advertisement by Medical Options saying they had moved, but of course when we call they won’t say where they have moved to.   Time will tell.

Medical Options Advertisement

Medical Options Advertisement


There are six things which the Lord hates, seven which are an abomination to him:  haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness that breathes out lies, and a man that sows discord among brothers.

–Proverbs 6:16-19

December 16th, 2008


The Gang - 1988

It took twenty years. But the abortion mill, Medical Options, seen above at its previous location being picketed by the original Danbury Gang in 1988, has finally closed its doors as of October, 2008, on the feast day of OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE! Who says prayers don’t work? So it takes a while sometimes.

We often wondered over the years why God took so long – were we not praying right? – did we chat too much between prayers? – was God waiting for greater numbers?  When Medical Options moved from the above location on Mill Plain Road to its 135 Main Street office right across from the Police Station “the gang” went along.  There it was, doing business on MAIN STREET, between two CATHOLIC CHURCHES!! Where were the crowds that should have protested this killing of babies for cash?

Over the years prayerful people came and went, some for a decade of the rosary, some for a decade of years.  We are sure that Father Bill Smith, featured in a previous post, must have had something to do with the final closing.  He was older than anyone and more faithful than anyone, and he had to travel all the way from Norwalk to be with us.    Thank you, Father Bill, for your inspiration and giving our motley crew an aura of respectability.

At its October, 2008, convention the Connecticut Right to Life Corporation honored the Danbury Gang with the Frank Haggerty Award, a pewter platter, nicely inscribed.  Over the years seven regular “picketeers,” including our beloved Father Bill, had died without seeing their prayers answered.

Our Pewter Plate

Our Pewter Plate

We do not know if Medical Options is closed for good or will pop up someplace else.   They did not tell us they were going, or why, or where.  We did not see them leave.  But we were told by a friend in a neighboring store that they left ON THE FEAST DAY OF OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE!  How cool is that?  Many years we  would gather and pray on her feast day with a huge OLG banner.  On other days we had a smaller picture of OLG.  We said so many Hail Marys that our Protestant friends protested!  They feel there is something wrong about the ratio of one Our Father to ten Hail Marys.  It doesn’t seem to help much to explain that while we are saying the ten Hail Marys were are supposed to be reflecting on various events in the life of Christ.

HAIL MARY!   Daughter of the Father, mother of the Son, spouse of the Holy Spirit! Of course God will listen when Mary intercedes!


Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.  Amen