Wichita, KS – Sidewalk counselor and Kansas Coalition for Life volunteer Dale Weldy approached a car carrying two women as they drove into the driveway at Women’s Health Care Services on June 26, 2007. There was something about the urgency of Dale’s attempt to communicate that persuaded the driver, Rhonda, to stop the car and listen.
Her passenger, Rocio, had scheduled a first trimester abortion at George Tiller’s infamous abortion clinic in Wichita, Kansas. Rocio had been crying, and noticed the display of 167 white crosses that the Kansas Coalition for Life maintains outside Tiller’s mill every day they are open. Rocio had wondered to her friend if one of the crosses was there for a baby she had previously aborted.
Rhonda knew Rocio was troubled by her decision to have an abortion. When Dale approached them, Rhonda was willing to hear what Dale had to say.
Dale was successful at persuading the women to go to the Choices Medical Clinic, a pro-life clinic located directly next door to Tiller’s abortion mill. Dale had left by the time the ladies came out, but another sidewalk counselor spoke to the women and offered them a baby blanket, which Rocio gladly accepted. However, Rocio did not tell the sidewalk counselor if she had made a commitment to keep her baby. That was the last the pro-lifers saw of them.
Then on May 18, 2008, KCFL director Mark Gietzen unknowingly drove Operation Rescue’s Truth Truck into Rhonda’s neighborhood. Gietzen, who also is OR’s Wichita-based Truth Truck driver, was there to attend a birthday party for a friend’s five-year old daughter. The presence of the Truth Truck caused quite a stir, prompting one of the neighbors to complain about it to Rhonda. She immediately told him that the Truth Truck had been instrumental in saving the life of a baby she knew.
Word of this got back to Mark’s friend, who contacted Rhonda and learned that Rocio had delivered a beautiful baby girl on Valentine’s Day of this year. She was named Valentina. Immediately upon hearing this news, Mark and Dale made an appointment to visit Rhonda, Rocio, and Valentina, where Mark was told that the Valentina would not be alive today if Dale, the crosses, and the Truth Truck all had not been present at Tiller’s abortion clinic that day.
Operation Rescue has long committed to having the Truth Truck present at Tiller’s clinic every day it is open. It has been helpful in sparing the lives of dozens of children there.
“This was really a team effort on the part of the Kansas Coalition for Life and Operation Rescue,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “It is wonderful how much more can be accomplished when pro-life groups work together. Valentina’s life is a testament to that.”