Some people would say that Betsy-Marie came into this world on 13th July 2019 but her parents, Danny and Carla, know this isn’t so. Beatrice-Marie Teresa Faith came into this world at the moment of her conception. This little girl doesn’t realise how eventful and blessed her life has already been, for she has survived two trips to one of the busiest abortion centres in the UK.
To go back a bit, Betsy’s conception was a complete surprise, but it was as the weeks moved on that fear really set in. Danny, who is a professional carpenter, had been out of work for a year due to health problems and consequently things had been very hard for the whole family. Money was tight and with other children in the house to be looked after he had to sell not only his car but all his tools too which meant the prospect of getting back into work became more and more of a challenge. A new baby on the way only seemed to increase their worries. Carla describes how as a family they felt they were ‘falling apart with despair, we were broken and had run out of options and ideas of how to survive.’
Neither Danny or Carla wanted an abortion but they both felt at their wits end so at week 21 they eventually decided to go to Marie Stopes abortion centre. The first appointment was for an initial consultation and then they came back at week 22 to have the surgical abortion actually performed.
Danny describes how on the day the abortion was scheduled he went into the toilets inside Marie Stopes to find a quiet space to pray. He remembers praying for courage before leaving Carla in the building and walking down the drive. There he met a member of the 40 Days for Life team who was praying and he took one of her leaflets, he was already feeling more and more uncomfortable about the idea of abortion and he texted Carla to get out. The volunteer explained about how the 40 Days for Life team would help support the family throughout the pregnancy and beyond in whatever way they needed.
At this point Carla came out of the abortion centre to where Danny was waiting. He told her how he’d met someone who could help them but then a thought crossed his mind; ‘The problem is’ he said to the volunteer ‘We don’t live around here’. The volunteer said that made no difference at all but asked out of interest where they lived. Danny explained it was a little town about an hour’s drive away and gave the name of the town. The volunteer smiled ‘I think this meeting has been arranged by someone else’ she said ‘That’s exactly where I’ve come from this morning too’.
And that was when things began to improve for Danny and Carla. Shortly afterwards they met with other members of the 40 Days for Life team. A car was bought for them along with some tools, and members of the team helped Danny get started back in work. Move along a few months and the proud parents couldn’t be happier. Carla relates how ‘We now have so much more hope than we ever could have wished for. I hope one day to be able to make a difference to someone like the 40 Days for Life team have for me.’
Danny and Carla were asked to speak in London for March for Life UK in May. There they bravely told the thousands gathered how they had so nearly ended their baby’s life because they didn’t think there was a way out. ‘We weren’t given any advice by Marie stopes’ Danny said ‘But from the day we met 40 days for Life we haven’t looked back. I pray from the bottom of my heart that we close Marie Stopes. It’s a place of death and should never be allowed to continue. We have to stand together, we have to stand tall and we have to shout loud: CLOSE MARIE STOPES’. He and Carla vowed to come back in 2020 to show the crowd their baby.
Now that their baby is born Carla finds it hard to look back to those difficult times, ‘the circumstances in which we met the 40 Days for Life hurts me but I’m so, so happy. I love Betsy-Marie with my whole heart and feel guilty to the core for what we almost did. I thank God over and over again for that happy meeting outside Marie Stopes.’ Danny describes himself and Carla as ‘40 Days for Life biggest fans’ he says: ‘I can’t begin to express how important and powerful our meeting was. It was Heaven sent. We feel so warm with the presence of God in our lives that we will never turn our back on the Lord again’
The volunteer who met Danny and Carla that day is now the proud Godmother-to-be of the beautiful Betsy-Marie.