by Michelle Powers
Most people hurry inside. They have already made their decision on the bus ride there, and they reaffirm it as they pull open the storefront’s frosted glass doors. It wasn’t the early summer hot spell that slowed 25-year-old Nakia Henry down that June morning, nor was it the slight morning sickness. She had done this before, but this time, just being outside the abortion clinic in Jamaica felt wrong.
“The last time I went, there was nobody out there. Nobody to say, ‘This is not right, don’t do this.’ So I went through with it…”
Her voice trails, but her eyes lift as she continues to tell her story.
“This time someone was.”
The man she credits with saving her son’s life stood just 15 feet away. That’s the distance mandated by New York City law, barring sidewalk counselors from the doors of abortion clinics. For Henry, the distance was an invisible threshold of life and death, and with courage only a woman could muster, she stepped over the line.
Six months later, Jan. 11, Nicole Daly, administrator of The Bridge to Life, ran through the office exclaiming, “We have a baby boy!” Her colleagues cheered amidst bundles of knitted hats and shelves of formula.
The small organization in Flushing prides itself on offering “women and men the resources they need to choose life.” With about 256 babies aborted every day in New York, it’s a battle they usually lose. The new addition is Henry’s and she named the newborn Jachai. Fresh from the hospital, he has a head full of thick, curly black hair and his mother’s rounded nose. He sleeps safe in his mother’s arms. “They just spoke life into me and I kept my baby,” she says.
“They’re just the most positive, breath of fresh air people that I have come across in a very long time,” adds Henry about the pro-lifers working to stop abortions in the abortion capital of the world. The first people to help Henry choose life were the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants, who pray outside abortion clinics and tell mothers about their baby’s development in the womb.
At 18 weeks, when Henry met Jachai’s saviors, he was just starting to kick. His arms, just centimeters, might stretch out in a yawn and he could occasionally hiccup. The “Helpers” referred her to Bridge to Life who counseled her and provided her with what a new mother needs: formula, diapers, a bassinet.
“We accompany these young mothers through their pregnancy and after,” explains Bridge president Cathy Donohoe.
Right now they’re helping Henry move out of her Hollis apartment that she shares with six other people. Currently, she shares a princess-esque room with her 5-year-old daughter. Jachai’s crib is pushed against the foot of his mother’s twin bed.
“It’s one of my goals, to move out and get my own place. But, with Bridge to Life’s help, I honestly believe I can achieve it.”
Michelle Powers is a reporter for NET-TV’s Currents.