Tough Questions Series - I Went To Pray at an Abortion Clinic and People Were Screaming and Yelling. How Should We Reach Out To Women Considering Abortion?
I am often asked what people should say to a woman who is considering abortion. I wish there was a magic answer that I could give that would help change the mind of every woman thinking about aborting their baby, but there is not.
When answering this question you also have to address what not to say. I have stood outside abortion mills for over 13 years praying, protesting, and have even been arrested many times for praying in front of the doors. I have watched thousands of women walk into abortion mills and have seen many different approaches by pro-lifers trying to save the babies.
The first mistake I see is anger. Pro-lifers can become so angry about abortion that they sometimes take it out on the women and just scare them right into the abortion mill. I have heard people call women murderers, whores, Jezebels, devil worshipers, and so much more. I have seen anti-abortion protesters so angry that they actually spit while they scream at people. I have never once seen this kind of behavior convince a women to stop and talk and change her mind.
I will admit that in the early years I used to scream and wave signs in people's faces. I let the frustration get to me as I watched these many young girls being taken into the abortion mill by their parents or boyfriends. I would see the boyfriends leave and go to get food, sit in the parking lot and eat and smoke while their child was being killed inside that building. I let the frustration get to me and began to rely on myself for results instead of relying on God.
I want to make it clear that not all people that go to abortion mills to minister and pray act like this. We at Stand True highly encourage people to go to the abortion mills for prayer and witnessing. There are highly effective ways of reaching women and helping them to make the right decision.
When a woman is going to an abortion mill she is usually scared and frustrated. She believes there is no other option for her other than abortion and there is no one to help her. These girls do not need someone yelling at them and telling them how evil they are, they need someone to love them and let them know how precious they are in God's eyes. They need someone to address their needs, not just the baby's needs. They need someone to approach them in the same way Christ would approach someone who was hurting and scared and about to make a huge mistake.
The first thing we tell people if they are going to try to talk to girls entering abortion mills is to not be holding a sign or wearing pro-life messages on their shirts. You should be dressed very friendly so you won't immediately scare the women away. We believe the first words to a woman entering the mill should be geared towards her and how she is doing, not just about the baby. Let her know you care about her.
The most powerful thing you can do when going to the abortion mill is pray. There is nothing more effective than prayer. When we go to our local abortion mill we spend the first hour as a group reading the Bible out loud, not shouting, but just reading out loud the Word of God. We then walk around the building praying for the women, the doctor, the nurses, the escorts, and everyone involved. We also look for opportunities to witness and share, not only with the women going in, but with the escorts and whoever is around. Not calling them names or condemning them to hell, but sharing Christ's love with them.
These ideas and principles are not just for the abortion mill, but for our everyday life when we run into situations like this. I recently read an article about a young girl at a Catholic school who got pregnant and was told she could not walk the stage at her graduation, while the young man was allowed to. Not only was this total hypocrisy, but it was a dangerous way to treat this young girl. It is exactly that kind of reaction and treatment of girls that drive them to abortion.
Our words, especially our first words to a girl who gets pregnant can determine the path she takes and be the difference between life and death. As a father of three daughters I do wonder how I would react if one of my daughters came home one day and told me she was pregnant. What would I say? Would I blow up and lose my temper? Or would I love her no matter what mistake she made?
When we go to God in prayer and confess our sins, do you think He screams and yells and has a huge fit? I don't think so. Do you think he yells at us and tells us how horrible we are, and how much of a disgrace we are to the family? I don't think so. When we go to Him, He is faithful to love and forgive us. I pray that I never have to go through this with my daughters, but if I do, I pray that my first words to her are those of love.
Yes, we do believe that abortion is the act of killing a human person and can never be permitted. Yes, we believe that abortion is a sin and is detestable in God's eyes. Yes, we believe that we need to stand up against this evil and be there to try to help people from making such a tragic and horrific mistake. But more importantly than all of that, we believe those people need Christ and we need to love them as Christ would.
1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
For Christ I Stand
Bryan Kemper - firstname.lastname@example.org