Prayer Saved Amy Blackwell’s Daughter for Abortion

By Sandy Cunningham, Communications Director
Reprinted from The Luminary, Winter Edition 2018

Amy Blackwell was depressed. She’d been down so many wrong roads in her life, and she was tired of the continual hurt. She had a family, but she still felt alone.

Then she found out she was pregnant. She sang to her baby. She talked to her. But what should have been a joyous time in her life wasn’t. She was pro-life – always had been, but what little bit of self worth she’d once had was nothing but a distant memory. There were fights filled with abusive and angry words. She was urged to have an abortion. She felt hopeless. Finally, she snapped.

“I removed myself from myself, if that makes sense,” she said. “I had no feelings or emotions. I had to be that way because of what I was agreeing to do. I called an abortion clinic in Shreveport, Hope Medical for Women. I drove myself to my appointment.”

When she arrived at the facility and parked her car, an older man standing on the sidewalk out front caught her attention. She didn’t know it then, but in that moment, that man changed her life.

“The law says you have to have an ultrasound before an abortion can be done, so I knew I had to go twice,” she said. “I went to my first appointment. I drove up into the back of building, and when I got there I looked over to my right, and there stood an older man facing the street. I saw him, but he hadn’t seen me. I went to look at him again to make sure he wasn’t looking, and now he was looking. Staring right at me. I put my head down in shame.

“I was thinking ‘I can’t go in with him looking at me.’ He stood there holding what looked to be a rosary. I can still see his face. I could see the heaviness in his heart for me. I know he was praying for me. I saw his mouth moving, and I felt the Holy Spirit moving inside of my walled heart. The man finally turned away, and I ran inside.”

Amy shook away thoughts of the man when she opened the heavy, brown metal door and walked in. It was an old building, and she thought she smelled mold. As she waited for her name to be called, she noticed the young girl sitting beside her. Her leg was shaking. She was nervous. For a split second, Amy thought, “She’s killing her baby.” Then the emotion disappeared. She returned to shutdown mode.

“It was time. I went back, got up on the table, and this gray-haired lady did the ultrasound,” Amy remembered. “I told her I couldn’t look, and she said, ‘Don’t worry. You don’t have to look.’ Then they took me into a room with a TV to watch a video of the procedure, and I said with a loud voice, ‘I CAN’T WATCH THAT.” Again, she said I didn’t have to watch.

“I then went to talk to that so-called doctor. He asked me why I was doing this, and I kept saying, ‘I can’t do this.’ I was a mess, and he saw that. So then he asked how many kids I had, and I told him two. His exact words were: ‘Oh, two is plenty.’ I’ll never forget how easy it was for him to say that.”

When Amy left the doctor’s office she looked to her left. A door was open down the hall, and someone was gathering up blue paper sheets that were covered in blood. A cold chill swept over her body, but once again, she shook it off. Then she proceeded to the reception desk to schedule her final appointment. When she returned, she’d have an abortion.

It was 2011. Amy lived in Mount Enterprise, Texas, and drove the hour and a half to Shreveport alone for her abortion consultation. Only her friend Jamie knew she had decided to go, and she was shocked. Amy had convinced herself this was the only option, but she didn’t want anyone else to know.

When the time came to return to Shreveport, she asked Jamie to go with her and drive her home. Jamie refused. But Amy was desperate, so she told Jamie she’d find a stranger on the side of the road to go with her. Jamie finally agreed.

“I picked her up from work, and she had pages of my baby’s stages of development in her hand,” Amy said. “For the next 20 miles she never took a breath. She reminded me that somewhere, tucked deep inside me, was the Amy who did not believe in abortion. But I was zoned out, and my hands were firmly gripping the steering wheel. ‘Don’t think or feel. Don’t think or feel.’ That’s what I was telling myself.”

But then, before they even made it out of Texas, Amy broke down. She pulled over and cried. She knew God had used Jamie in that moment to make her see the horror of what she was doing. She knew the man on the sidewalk had prayed for her. She knew God was answering his prayer.

It took four years for Amy to tell anyone other than Jamie she’d visited an abortion facility. Finally, early this year, she went public with her testimony, posting a video on her Facebook page titled “My Almost Abortion Story.” A few months later she was shopping in Shreveport with a friend and decided to return to the place she’d gone seven years prior to end the life of her daughter.

That trip to the abortion facility led Amy to connect with a group of sidewalk counselors and ultimately with Chris Davis, who watched her video and knew exactly who the man was that she saw praying for her in front of the clinic.

On July 14, “after seven years of thinking of him and loving him for his part in my daughter’s life,” Amy and 7-year-old Emma Grace met Camille Brocato in front of that abortion facility to thank him for his prayers. He also got to meet Emma Grace, a precious fruit of his labor.

Brocato prayed on that sidewalk every day except Sunday for eight years. At 90, he’s not able to do it anymore, so at least once a month Amy travels to Shreveport to take his place.

She’s healed now, and she uses her past to reach others.

“God hasn’t brought me through what I’ve been through just to get comfortable. That’s why I stand at the abortion clinic. That’s why I am there for those who are like I once was, depressed, hopeless, shameful and feeling undeserving of His love. I stand there and think maybe someone will see me, and God will use my presence to work on their minds. And just maybe, one ‘Emma’ can be saved.”