Saturday, September 1, 2007

Turn the Other Cheek?

Bren's mum, Patte, is a gentle woman, with an incredible knack for telling stories, pulling the funniest faces that leave me in tears, and saying just the right thing when you need to know which way is up. She does not shy away from saying exactly what she thinks, and exactly what she thinks is RIGHT; her eyes are firmly planted on God, and that is not always an easy lifestyle to choose everyday. She reminds me of my mum, and she has been an incredible blessing to me, since my mum is so far away.

That's why I am enraged at the moment. Patte devotes most early mornings to standing outside an abortion clinic in Orlando, where she GENTLY asks people to consider an alternative solution. She has volunteered to adopt babies, rather than see them suffer another fate. She takes women to get ultrasounds, get the medical attention that they cannot afford, help them access the resources available to them should they decide to give their baby up for adoption, helped these women find worthy families for their babies... she has courage for days.

This past week, she was beaten up outside the clinic. BEATEN UP. No matter how you feel about abortion (and I know this is a controversial subject), there is no justification for a 6-foot man to punch, wrestle to the ground and kick repeatedly, a 5ft 2" woman who is just talking to you.

Here's her account of what happened:
"Dr Nelson Kraucak is a family practictioner physician in Lady Lakes.

Yesterday morning he accompanied a woman whom he identified to police as his wife, inside the Orlando Women's Center killing place on the late abortion day. As he drove into the parking lot he stared directly into Mary Jo's face. Mary Jo then turned and asked her mother and I: "Did you see that?" Not having seen the driver, I asked Mary Jo what she meant. The 17 year old shuddered. "I just got the chills. The way he looked atme. It was strange and gave me a bad feeling."

We have been threatened with guns, had rocks thrown at us, been smacked in the face, whacked on the head with a boom box, beaten with books (which resulted in Maria suffering a broken collar bone) and we have had hot coffee and cigarettes thrown at us. We have been kicked, pushed, shoved, held and shaken. Last Saturday a father told Scott: "Hey, I just got out of prison for killing a man and I don't mind going back."

The three of us decided that it would be wise to get our video camera out of the case and keep it handy to be ready in the event that the doctor threatened us or put us in any obvious danger. Let me take a minute to explain WHY we have a video camera with us at the killing place. We keep our camera available for two reasons:
a) PERSONAL SAFETY: To lessen the likelihood of an attack (Having the camera up and running is a good way to deter violence.)
b) LEGAL:To record the threat or attack, as proof of what actually happened.

Dr Krausac and his wife got out of their car.

He smiled and waved us away when we offered him information and help. I introduced myself and spoke to them as they made the long walk from the back parking lot up the driveway to the front door: "Good morning, Doctor. Hello to you, Maam. My name is Patte. We have a special pre-abortion packet for you. Come here and we will give it to you. I see that you are a doctor, sir. It is very important that you know about this abortion clinic. You may not be aware of this, but this place is owned by Dr. James Pendergraft. His medical license has been suspended for over a year. Take a moment with us, please. Let us tell you about what happened at the sister clinic to this one when a woman just like you came for her labor-and-delivery abortion. A precious little boy was born alive. Yes, alive.The whole story is in this packet. Come here for a moment, won't you? We would like an opportunity to give this important informatoin to you and to speak quietly with you." Dr Kraucak smiled arrogantly and took his wife's hand. While he appeared cold and detached, she appeared sad and hesitant. We have seen this sad scenario before. The man taking control of the fearful pregnant woman. She was a mother who moved as if each step was fraught with trepidation.

Gesturing wildly, he said:"Oh yes, all the little babies. Adoption, adoption. Adoption for all the little babies!" We worried that something was wrong with Dr Kraucak. (He) hurried his wife up to the door and with a flourish, closed it behind the two of them.

When Kraucak came out of the front door to make his way to his BMW to retrieve something, I pulled my camera up & turned it on. I kept it up where Kraucak could see it, figuring that he would not hurt us with the camera in our hands. I was wrong.

He strode hard toward me, grabbed my camera and pulled. When I shouted; "No, don't touch me. You will be arrested" he wrapped both arms around me and wrestled me to the ground to try and steal the camera from me. Both Mary Jo and I began to scream for help. I had fallen backwards onto the cement, but he still tried to pry the camera from my hands, which I was clutching to my chest. He stood halfway up and kicked me (once or twice, I'm not sure), hoping that I would let go of the camera. The entire time he was attacking and kicking me he was smiling, a tight cruel heartless smile. There was a dead coldness in his eyes. Both Mary Jo and I continued to scream loudly, over and over again; "HELP! HELP ME! SOMEBODY, PLEASE HELP!". I couldn't crawl away (because I knew I would have to drop the camera to crawl) so I tried desperately to scoot away on my backside without dropping the camera. He finally released his grip from my camera and stood up with a snarl. He is
a tall man, well over 6 feet, and he towered over me. I continued to scream. And I think that because he was very angry and frustrated that he hadn't managed to get my camera away me, the doctor kicked me one last time as I lay on the ground. Then, Dr Kraucak slowly turned and casually went into the killing place."

This man is educated, a DOCTOR... and clearly, an arsehole. I'm not sure what I would do if I ever met him face to face.

And yet, Patte is a stronger woman than I am. Not only am I convinced that she will continue to stand outside the clinic and help women in crisis pregnancies... but she is considering trying to talk to this man and his wife, rather than press charges. I know I would not have the strength to turn the other cheek. Dr. Nelson Kraucak... you don't know how lucky you are.


joo said...

that's just terrible and frightening. i'm so sorry it happened.

Anonymous said...

I just sent you an email to send to Patte. Could you forward it to her?

ashli said...

Patte was at the abortion business the night my husband and I killed our little one in the second trimester due to a debilitating maternal disease. Sick women--this is what sells abortion to everyone (even though 97% of abortions take place for social, not medical, reasons). Be that as it may, Patte was there that night, standing not only for our baby but for us. We did not believe there was hope for us (but there was), and we refused to listen. Ten years later I can tell you that we were wrong. We needed good health care, not abortion. Even though, very regretfully, our child died...I'm glad Patte braved the hatred of the crowd, sacrificed her comfort, to be there, because I know that my child was not alone that night. Though we abandoned him/her, God--and Patte--did not. Someone was there speaking the language of love, trying to save us and our child from ourselves. Someone cared, someone stood up and put our comfort and lives before her own. I will always love Patte for this. She has all my respect and admiration. Others love their comfort, but Patte loves others. That physician attacked her but you can bet she'll be back on the job; it won't deter her at all, because her love is bigger than fear. Patte is my hero!

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