By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
BETTENDORF — Dr. Monique Ruberu thought of herself as a pro-life ob/gyn. However, after praying outside an abortion center near Philadelphia, she realized she was anti-abortion, but not fully pro-life.
Ruberu spoke at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish on Jan. 8 following exposition, prayer and adoration and benediction led by Deacons Mike Snyder and John Weber. She encouraged her audience to know God, “love him, praise him and serve him. I am so blessed to say I am a pro-life ob/gyn and born into the Catholic faith.”
While growing up, her family prayed the rosary together and attended Mass. “I checked the boxes of being a Catholic.” Along the way, she realized she had not fully included God in her life. “My journey was a strange path,” she said.
She attended the University of Dallas, a Catholic university, but selected the parts of the faith important to her. “I didn’t embrace the entire faith. The true presence of God in the Eucharist.” Her parents divorced and faith became a smaller part of the lives of her siblings and herself. “I got married and at around 10 years of marriage we were on the brink of divorce.” She recognized a need to re-prioritize: place God first, followed by her husband, children, work and other values important to her.
“In the darkness and brokenness, God was there. He entered my life,” she said. “The only thing that truly matters is a relationship with God and to make it to heaven.” Gradually her life grew better as she allowed God to guide her. She and her husband celebrated their 19th anniversary last month. “I am in immense awe of what he (God) did for my life. I am so grateful.”
She recalled reading former Planned Parenthood employee Abby Johnson’s book “Unplanned,” which planted a seed for Ruberu to pray outside an abortion clinic. One dark, cold morning she pulled up to an abortion clinic in Philadelphia and “trusted in God.” As she sat in her car, a man knocked on her window. She rolled it down and he asked if she needed help. “I’m here to pray,” she told him. He responded, “Oh. Come with me.”
She followed him to an area where people recited the rosary. Others joined them. She felt inspired to grab pro-life fliers and walk up and down the sidewalk. She watched a stream of at least 30 cars pull up in front of the abortion clinic. “I was crying. We should have that response.”
Another man named Patrick Stanton approached her as she prayed and asked questions about her. When she responded, he said, “My pop sent you.” Stanton’s father, John, a huge pro-life supporter in the area, had died the night before. The younger Stanton said his dad prayed for a pro-life ob/gyn to start a Gianna center. Ruberu was not familiar with the Gianna center and explained that her family planned to move to Dallas where she had a new job and schools lined up for her children. Then, another man questioned her about her medical practice, which included prescribing contraceptives and making referrals for In vitro fertilization (IVF). The reality hit her “like a dagger.” The next day, Patrick Stanton stopped by her workplace to give her a book on NaPro Technology that identified alternative treatments to address women’s reproductive health issues naturally or without hormonal contraceptives. She felt this was something she could do. She read pamphlets on birth control pills and intrauterine (IUD) devices and declared, “This is an abortifacient … I’m done with this.” She also recognized the problem with IVF. Sometimes fertilized eggs are never used. Other times, multiple eggs are implanted and if multiple pregnancies occur, doctors suggest aborting one or more embryos.
Ruberu spoke with her husband. They decided if he did not find a dream job in Dallas, they would stay in the Philadelphia area. “God kept us in Philadelphia.” She approached her office’s administrator and said she wanted to stay but did not want to write prescriptions for contraceptives. “I wanted them to send me to Nebraska to be trained in NaPro Technology.”
The administrator informed her that John Stanton had delivered a book on NaPro encouraging someone to learn about and use it. “We have been looking for someone to do NaPro,” the administrator told her. “But, you have to be in your own practice.”
At first, her colleagues were wary of her decision to abandon prescription of contraceptives. She said she showed them compassion and offered to teach them about NaPro and to look at the root causes of some women’s reproductive issues. She would refer women who needed obstetric care to her former colleagues and teach them about the benefits of NaPro in her solo gynecology practice.
Ruberu encouraged her audience to let go of their worries and surrender to God. She also encouraged them to go to the nearest abortion clinic to pray at least monthly in person. “Your presence is impactful. Even if you say nothing, they will see your presence.”