Bean emailed this story to me, with a note saying “This story will either cause you to scream or cry – or maybe both.”
Later, when she was alone with a telephone, she pulled out the piece of notepaper and began to dial. Within an hour or so, she had dialed all of the numbers but one — and she was near tears. Harried receptionists had snapped at her, didn’t seem to care about her school schedule, and were unable to answer the most basic questions. None of them accepted her parents’ insurance, which ostensibly covered abortions.
The only number left on her list was one for Causeway A Women’s Clinic. She took a deep breath and dialed: 8-3-4-5-4-8-3.
A man answered. Right away, he seemed different, says Erica. “He was so comforting. He said, ‘This is your choice, but this is what you want to do.’ I told him that I wasn’t from here, and he told me that all the clinics here hurt women. He said that Causeway [Medical Clinic] had like 50 lawsuits pending against them. That scared me.”
The man, Bill Graham, offered an option, and it sounded smart. “He said that he could connect me with private OB/GYN doctors who do the procedure. He asked where I was located, told me which nearby hospital was probably the best for me and said that a doctor there could get me in on an upcoming Saturday at the end of the day.”
He assured her that the doctor accepted insurance, she says, then asked about the date of her last period and estimated her due date. She had been told by other clinics that she was about three months along. Graham, she says, estimated that she was a few weeks less than that, but he explained the difference. “He told me that abortion clinics are a business and that they typically overestimate the due date because later procedures cost more; it’s a way to get more money.”
Erica says she and Graham talked for quite awhile. “He was nice,” she says. “He explained that I don’t want to go too early, because then they won’t get all of the fetal tissue. He sounded like he knew what was going on.”
She hung up, thinking that she was in good hands. She would continue to think that way for several weeks. By the time she changed her mind, she would be only a month shy of 24 weeks — the cut-off date for abortions in Louisiana.
Erica now looks back at that first conversation. She never would have guessed, she says, that the man with the comforting voice was a pro-life activist who, in the weeks to follow, would never arrange an abortion for her.
Read the entire article here.