After Dr. Monique Ruberu attended a prayer vigil at a center city Philadelphia abortion clinic in February 2014, she knew she had to do something more to protect human life.
She had heard about the 40 Days for Life campaign, now in its eighth year of sustained pro-life vigils at abortion clinics around the world, usually held in the fall.
Ruberu was surprised to learn the campaign had not formally been introduced at the Planned Parenthood center at 12th and Locust streets, even though for decades individuals have been coming to the center to pray and witness peacefully for the sanctity of life.
“Considering that it is the largest and most devastating center in Pennsylvania, killing far more than any other center, I had no idea why it hadn’t been done before,” said Ruberu, a member of Immaculate Conception Parish in Jenkintown.
“I spoke to Pat Stanton (of the Pro-Life Union of Southeastern Pennsylvania) who has far more experience than me in the pro-life movement and as always he was willing to be my partner in this undertaking. We decided early on that we were going to take it week by week, and that if even one baby was saved it would be completely worthwhile.”
Ruberu is an obstetrics/gynecology physician practicing at Holy Redeemer Hospital in Meadowbrook, and is the only such doctor trained in Natural Procreative Technology (NaPro) in the Philadelphia area. The technique in line with Catholic teaching is an alternative to artificial birth control and in-vitro fertilization as a treatment for infertility.
“As a physician I took an oath to protect life,” Ruberu said. “The pro-life movement is the group every physician should be involved with, trying to defend life from conception to natural death.”
During the latest 40 Days for Life vigil from late September to early November last fall, 300 people participated with more than half of them participating for the first time. Ruberu said six women decided against abortion for their babies as a result of the inaugural campaign.
She also was amazed at the moving experience everyone had while praying outside the clinic.
“I think the greatest lesson was that if you allow yourself to completely rely on God he will work everything out and give you the strength you need to carry out his plan,” Ruberu said. “His plan is always so much better than mine.”
She advises people who may be afraid to become involved in the pro-life movement or stay involved in it to rely on divine assistance.
“It is our job to be kind, loving and put forth our points allowing the Holy Spirit to inspire our thoughts and words,” Ruberu said. “It is OK to feel afraid, but it is not OK to allow yourself to be paralyzed by your fear.”
Ruberu said she plans to continue doing whatever God asks her to do especially to promote the culture of life. She enjoys being part of the pro-life community in the Philadelphia area while practicing medicine in line with her core Catholic beliefs.
As a way of sharing those beliefs Ruberu will speak with participants about women’s fertility health care on Wednesday, March 25 at Immaculate Conception Church, Jenkintown.
Her question-and-answer session at 8 p.m. will follow a 7 p.m. screening of the film “A Quiet Revolution.” The documentary explains the health science of NaPro Technology (see registration information here).
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