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Arlin della Cruz, Abortion Death
Left suicide note; wanted to be with her baby
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A woman I used to picket with in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, told me of a day she was outside one of Harrisburg's two safe and legal abortion facilities.

The clinic was set back from the street by an expanse of lawn, with a parking lot to the side and back. Sidewalk counselors would stand in the alley, where they could call to the women as they got out of their cars. The picketers would stand on the sidewalk in front, where patients could see their signs from the waiting room.

The woman saw a middle-aged white couple get out of a car. They opened the back door and pulled out a teenage girl who appeared to be Filipine.

The girl was crying. The sidewalk counselors called out to her, and she tried to move toward them, the picketer said, but the middle-aged white couple took the girl by the arms and led her toward the front of the building.

The picketer called out to the clinic escort. "Can't you see she doesn't want to do this? I can't step on your property, but you can help her. You're pro-choice, right? Can't you help her?"

According to the picketer, the escort smirked at her, then held the facility door open, to make it easier for the couple to propel the girl into the clinic.

The next time she saw that girl's face, the picketer told me, was on the news.

It was October of 1992, and the news story was about the suicide of 19-year-old Arlin Della Cruz. She had disappeared from her home. A search found her hanging from a tree in a nearby woods. "Under her shirt, the coroner found Arlin's favorite stuffed animal -- a rabbit." Arlin's mother said that Arlin had left a suicide note saying that she wanted to go be with her baby.

One of Arlin's friends reported that Arlin wanted the baby, but chose abortion to try to salvage her relationship with her boyfriend.

If the picketer's observations are correct, Arlin had serious second thoughts the day of the abortion.


Sources: Christian Broadcasting Network, "Pennsylvania Abortion / Suicide," Air date November 6, 1992; personal communication

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