TAMPA,Fla. (The Florida Catholic) – David and Carmen Cartaya own a business here called David’s Pharmacy. But they make it clear they are not the boss.
“The No. 1 thing in David’s and my life is God and religion,” Carmen, 57, said. “No. 2: the family. No. 3 is extended family. No. 4 is more family. And No. 5 is our job. Our profession.”
They also make it clear that life matters.
Stop by their store, at the corner of West Martin Luther King Boulevard and North Armenia Avenue, and this fact becomes immediately clear – from the pro-life pamphlets and videos to the fetal models to the large banner inside the store that reads, “If you’re pregnant, it’s a baby. Choose life.”
As devout Catholics, they practice what they preach. When they got married in 1969, they did not use contraception, but followed natural family planning, David, 61, said. In the years that followed, three sons became part of their family.
When David became a pharmacist, he worked for several companies, but the couple decided in the mid-1970s to start their business. As owners, the couple decided not to sell birth control pills or other contraceptives, a practice they have kept to for about 30 years now.
“We wanted to please God first before men,” David said. “God’s laws and our faith meant more than anything else.”
The couple, who were born in Cuba and met each other in Tampa, do not know how many lives they have touched because of their pro-life witness, which is offered in English and in Spanish.
“Only God knows,” David said.
But Carmen recalls one woman who came into the store who considered the fetus growing inside her as “real and alive,” but her friends kept telling her to have an abortion because, if she didn’t, she would be “crazy.” The woman happened to see one of the pro-life signs at David’s Pharmacy, Carmen said, and told her friends, “Somebody else doesn’t think I’m crazy.” And she decided to keep the baby.