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Saving Ray and Tisha's baby

Some couples change their minds about abortion quickly when they encounter Christians on the sidewalks outside an abortion center. For others, the process of breaking through the demonic walls of deception can be a long, difficult struggle.

Read more about how God rescued this child

On October 20, 2003, "Ray" and "Tisha" planned to have their baby aborted. But before they could enter the Family Planning Associates abortion chamber in Bakersfield, they encountered Terri Palmquist, who tried to convince them to let their child live. Tisha's heart was touched very early in the conversation, but Ray continued to try to get her to enter the killing center. For over twenty minutes, Terri struggled to help them reconsider their decision. Finally, Ray gave in and brought Tisha across the street to the LifeHouse pregnancy help center.

This audio journal chronicles what Terri said to Ray and Tisha that day, from the "tough love" she showed to Ray when he was trying to convince Tisha to enter the abortion chamber, to the caring conversation Terri had with the couple at the LifeHouse. The content has been edited to protect the identities of Ray and Tisha, and to remove some explicit language. Nevertheless, some aspects of this conversation may not be suitable for young children.

11:05 AM Ray and Tisha arrive at the abortion chamber, and Terri approaches the car to offer literature and help. Afraid to tell their parents about the pregnancy, the young Catholics listen politely and accept literature from Terri.
11:07 AMListen Terri pleads with the couple not to abort the baby, saying "you chose to do the 'grown-up' thing by being together, and God has blessed you with that unity with a child, and there is nothing greater in life."
11:08 AMListen Baby Rupi Terri shows the couple a photograph of Rupi, a baby who was saved from abortion. Terri tells Ray that Rupi's father is now very thankful that Terri was there to stop them from aborting her. "You guys would be thankful too, when you have that baby."
11:09 AMListen Terri admits that what faces Ray and Tisha is "not an easy road" but they need to realize that "there is nothing more valuable than the life of your child."
11:09 AMListen "The baby is not a sin," Terri says. "What was wrong was that you had sex before you were married. Abortion will haunt you the rest of your life." (For some reason, Terri refers to the date as "May 20," but it was actually October 20.)
11:10 AMListen Tisha's heart is already being touched, but Ray is getting impatient. Terri encourages the couple to come to the LifeHouse to watch a video about abortion so that they will know what will happen. "We'll think about it" Ray responds, trying to get Tisha to walk toward the stairs to the abortion chamber's waiting room.
11:10 AMListen Terri tries to get Ray to see how evil the abortion chamber is, repeating the comment that various women have told her "you can sense a demonic spirit in there." She tells Ray, "your baby is counting on you."
11:11 AMListen Terri comments that if Ray and Tisha still want to be together, abortion will be a wedge driving them apart.
11:12 AMListen "If he really loves you, he's not going to want you to go in there," Terri says to Tisha. Ray begins to walk toward the abortion chamber. "Please don't follow him," Terri begs.
11:12 AMListen As Tisha follows Ray toward the abortion chamber, Terri pleads with her to see the abortion video so that she can understand what the abortionist is going to do: "it's like being raped." Tisha cries, but Ray remains unemotional. Terri challenges Ray to "be a real man and be responsible for your actions. The pregnancy is not a mistake, it's God's plan."
11:13 AMListen "God has a plan for that baby's life and for your life," Terri tells the couple. "God's plan is life. Children aren't a curse, they are a blessing."
11:14 AMListen Terri encourages the couple again to come see the video. "Don't even go inside there."
11:14 AMListen Pointing out that the abortion chamber will receive $350 for killing their baby, Terri says our only benefit is to see the baby saved.
11:15 AMListen 8 week baby flyer, available from Hayes Publishing Co. Terri warns the couple that Satan is trying to trap them. "Please, you've got a soft heart," she says to Tisha. Terri talks about the development of the baby, referring to the "8 week flyer" which Tisha had already received.
11:16 AMListen Telling Tisha that abortion is "not worth it," Terri reminds her that "a mother's heart is to protect her children. Go with that love that God has given you." Terri talks to Tisha about where she lives; Tisha says she lives with her parents. Terri offers to go with her to help break the news to them.
11:17 AMListen Sensing that Ray is trying to convince Tisha to abort the baby, Terri tells him "if you're going to encourage her to have the abortion, you really don't care about her." She notes that Ray isn't shedding any tears, although Tisha's crying continues.
11:18 AMListen Terri challenges Ray to prove that he cares by being responsible for the baby.
11:19 AMListen Terri admits that their parents will be upset with them, but she reminds them that "they'll get over it."
11:20 AMListen Terri tries to help Ray to understand that if he cares about Tisha, he needs to realize that the abortion will haunt her forever.
11:21 AMListen Terri talks about how some women have to come back after abortions because the abortionist leaves pieces of the baby inside. Post-abortion women sometimes say that they saw fetal body parts which came out of them after the abortion.
11:22 AMListen Terri invites the couple to pray with her. "This is something you can't handle on your own, you need Jesus Christ."
11:22 AMListen "If you hurt now," Terri tells Tisha, "think about how you'll feel when you come out." Terri explains that someone comes at 4:00 to pick up the buckets of aborted babies.
11:23 AMListen "You told her you love her when you were in bed with her," Terri counsels Ray, "show her you love her now."
11:23 AMListen A man's ability to engage in a sex act doesn't prove his love, Terri chides Ray, "be a true man."
11:24 AMListen Inviting Ray to come to the LifeHouse to watch the video so that it will soften his heart, Terri says "you see the baby as a problem right now, but that's a little baby boy or little baby girl that God has a plan for. Don't let them hurt your baby."
11:24 AMListen Terri tells Ray and Tisha about a girl whose baby is about to be born. The girl and her boyfriend had been entering the abortion chamber several months ago, but Terri and a priest helped the couple to break the news to their parents so that they would not need to abort the baby.
11:25 AMListen "It's worse to go ahead and have an abortion than it is to have sex," Terri says.
11:26 AMListen Tisha is becoming more upset, but Ray is just standing there waiting for her to follow him up the stairs to the abortion chamber. Terri challenges Ray, "Sir, don't you see, she can't do this! Give her a hug and be there for her, get her away from this place! Put your arms around her and hug her! I would, but if I step on the property I'll get arrested."
11:26 AMListen Finally, Ray and Tisha accept Terri's offer of help. One of the other Christians tries to talk to the couple, but they have already decided to go to the LifeHouse with Terri. "It's not gonna be easy," Terri cries as she walks with Tisha to the LifeHouse. At the LifeHouse, Terri had trouble getting the VCR to work properly, but finally she is able to begin showing Ray and Tisha the "Harder Truth" video, which graphically displays what happens to a mother and her child in an abortion.
11:36 AMListen As the video plays, Terri describes what the couple is seeing on the screen. She tells Ray and Tisha about conception, the beating heart of a tiny child, lungs developing at 5 weeks, and the little fingers of a child at 8 weeks.
11:37 AMListen Terri explains the way the abortionist uses his tools to force the cervix open, abusing the woman's body so that he can get inside with a suction tube.
11:38 AMListen Terri contrasts natural dilation during labor with forced dilation during abortion, emphasizing the dangers to a mother's body.
11:38 AMListen As the video shows a baby trying to get away from the abortion tools, Tisha cries more.
11:40 AMListen Terri explains that after the abortion, the baby is sucked up into a jar, pointing out the little body parts of 8 to 10 week old babies.
11:41 AMListen As the end of the video approaches, Terri reminds Ray and Tisha that "every little baby is a unique individual; there will never be a baby like the one you have right now." Then Terri asks the couple to talk about their reasons for seeking an abortion. "So your main worry is telling your parents, is that right?" Terri asks Ray to explain what would happen to him if they kept the baby. "I'm not ready," Ray says.
11:43 AMListen "But you're already a daddy," Terri says. "The baby's either going to come out alive or the baby's going to come out dead."
11:44 AMListen "God was ready for you to accept this baby," Terri explains. "Jesus said 'I came that you may have life, and have it more abundantly,' but Satan is the one who came to steal kill and destroy." Ray interjects "actually, last night I asked God for a sign whether I should or not. I didn't want to do it, but think about it. I don't know if I can give anything to the kid, because I hardly have anything for myself, you know what I mean? How am I going to take care of the kid?"
11:45 AMListen "You know what you do have?" Terri gently asks Ray. "Love." Terri shows Ray and Tisha a family photograph. "You see that family right there? That's my family. They don't have a lot of stuff, but they have love and they have life. And that's what you can give your kid. And all it wants right now is life. It's saying 'daddy please let me live.' And God will provide for you."
11:46 AMListen "God has miraculously provided for my children, and for this place," Terri continues. "And God has that some love for you guys as he has for us. And if it means you have to work hard, you'll love that child even more."
11:47 AMListen "Love isn't about stuff," Terri says. "Love isn't about 'when he's 16, I can give him a car.' Love starts out with letting your baby live. Give your baby life. You will not regret it." Terri encourages the couple to think about whether or not they should get married. "But please don't have your baby killed."

Tisha explains that she took a pregnancy test, but she wonders if maybe she isn't really pregnant. Terri says "let's do a test." While Tisha prepares for the test, Ray explains that he is in the Marines, stationed at Twentynine Palms. He asked for leave so that he could help Tisha deal with her pregnancy. "I'm really scared to tell my mom," Ray admits, "because I'm like her baby boy."
11:51 AMListen Terri asks Ray, "But would it break her heart more to know that she had a grandson or daughter killed, or that you got a girl pregnant?"
11:52 AMListen Terri encourages Ray to "think about the long run," and about how hard it would be to keep that secret from his mother.
11:52 AMListen Ray asks how many change their minds about abortions. Terri says after seeing the video most change their minds: "It's like Satan has blinders on their eyes, but they fall off after seeing that video."

Ray says that his mother doesn't even know that he has a girlfriend, but he is willing to marry Tisha. As Tisha begins the pregnancy test, Terri tells the couple about another couple who lives in their neighborhood. This other couple had planned to abort their baby, but had changed their minds after talking to Terri. Like Ray, the baby's father had also prayed that God would send a sign. The baby was born in January, and the couple was recently married. They now live just a few blocks from Tisha. "You guys could be good friends," Terri says.

Tisha sees that the pregnancy test is positive, and she estimates that the baby is probably about 10 weeks along. "Thank you!" Ray exclaims.
12:02 PMListen "You've got a heavy burden to be carrying," Terri says, offering Ray and Tisha a pamphlet called "Don't Panic: How to Tell Your Parents You're Pregnant."
12:02 PMListen Terri offers again to come with Ray and Tisha to break the news to their parents.
12:03 PMListen Terri gives the couple a baby gift and a "Hope for the Future" New Testament Bible. When Terri asks if she can pray with them, Ray and Tisha quickly respond "please!"
12:04 PMListen Terri prays, "Lord Jesus, I just lift up Ray and Tisha right now. You are the creator of life and I know that you're going to provide for them. Please give them peace and guide them in the way they should go. And if you want them to consider marriage or adoption please let them know. And help me to do what you want me to do."
12:05 PMListen Terri asks God to bind Satan and "keep him away from this family. Please don't let anything happen to this baby that isn't your will. Thank you that Ray asked for a sign and thank you that we were there to be that sign. And prepare the hearts of the parents to have compassion on their children."
12:06 PMListen Terri asks Ray and Tisha if they are going to be ok. "Yeah," they respond. As they walk toward the parking lot, Terri says "We have all kinds of stuff if you need help. If you need a babysitter, I'm here." Tisha thanks Terri for her help as Terri hugs her. Terri tells Ray "I know I was hard on you." Ray responds, "a lot of help, though." Terri encourages them to call anytime.
To God be the glory for saving this little child!

And now for a little fun contest.... How many times did Terri say "please"? Submit your guess