Abortion: Avenues For Action
Melody Green and Sharon Bennett
Hopefully this list of things you can do will be a real help as you seek the Lord about how you can stand with Him against abortion. If you haven't already read “Abortion: Attitudes For Action”, please read it. It's not only important to find out what to do, but also the attitude of heart in which to do it.
“Sometimes the intensity of God's truth revealed through the Newsletter is difficult for us to hear, and such is the case with your past and present stand on abortion. Up until this point, all we've done is sit back and complain. This just doesn't cut it any more. We know the Lord would have us do something, but we've never had the guts. We just can't sit idly by. Babies are dying NOW!!
“Please send whatever information you have on anti-abortion strategy. We want to be involved as those who love the Lord Jesus and, like Him, are grieved by the effects of sin on the innocent gifts of His love.”
-Michael Henry, Reynoldsburg, OH
Your first impulse might be to skip over this one and get to the really practical things you can do, but you'll be making a big mistake. Any good done in the name of the Lord must be done in the strength and the absolute direction of the Spirit of God. God honors the prayers of the saints today as He has from the very beginning. Only eternity will tell what humble and earnest prayer has done to rock kingdoms. Make it a point to intercede for the innocent babies and the young women considering abortion. Pray for all in authority - and that men and women of God will be elected at all levels of leadership. Also, pray that any godless officials in public leadership will either have a change of heart or that God will remove them from their positions.
Offer Practical Assistance
“If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,' and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?” (James 2:15-16. NASB)
Just telling a girl not to abort her baby isn't enough. You need to give her an alternative. Check with your local problem pregnancy center and see what you can do to help. There are always basic things needed such as housing for the girls, finances, maternity and baby clothes, electrical, carpentry, or maintenance work, etc. Volunteer some time to their Hot-Line or do some office work. Donate your services. You may be able to offer valuable assistance through your business or profession - you'd be surprised how many different needs there are!
“I've always been concerned about the issue of abortion, but I never got involved. Then I got a copy of your tract. Nothing, but nothing could have prepared me for the picture inside. I cried, l got angry, and I resolved then and there to get involved and help in whatever way I could.
“My husband is supporting me and we're preparing to take one or two unwed mothers into our home. Thank you! If it wasn't for you, I may never have gotten involved.”
-Katrine DeFever, Santa Rosa, CA
Inform Other Christians
If your church or fellowship isn't already involved, approach your pastor about some sort of awareness program. You can use literature, video tapes, slides, or invite speakers in. You'd be amazed how many church kids wind up in abortion clinics, and sometimes it's their pastor or parents who actually send them there. See if you can give a presentation to your church or Sunday School class. Ask God for the opportunity and He will open the doors.
Every church or fellowship should have homes and people available to help unwed mothers.
Inform the General Public
Ask the Lord for some creative ways to open people's eyes to the realities of abortion, and the alternatives available. Buy billboard space, run newspaper ads, write articles or “letters to the editor,” give speeches, write songs, inform your school.
“Just a note to thank you for your abortion tracts! When my Health Education professor announced a debate on abortion, a friend gave me the tracts to use. And use them I did! I was the only one able to give names, numbers, dates and stick to them!” -Lisa Silver, Winchester, VA
“We were able to distribute approximately 18,000 tracts on abortion in two days, through picket lines at abortion clinics and at road-blocks at major intersections of our city. Our greatest blessing was seeing 20-30 girls change their minds about getting an abortion, some even received the Lord!! -Teresa Everett, Pensacola, FL
You can distribute tracts at clinics, hospitals, doctors' offices, schools, and libraries. You can even leave them in public restrooms! The idea is to get the word out.
You can blitz your city! You can organize your friends or fellowship to place one or both of our tracts on abortion into every home in your area. We helped distribute the tract “Children - Things We Throw Away?” to almost every home in Tyler, Texas, population 70,000. It was done in one full day with about 250 volunteers. The city was divided into sections and each section leader had group leaders under him. The section leaders provided transportation and patrolled their areas while the tracts were being distributed. The group leaders had a map of the city with their area clearly designated. The streets in each section were divided among those in his group and they went out in two's. It's not legal to put tracts in mail boxes, but it's okay to slip them under a door, affix them to a doorknob, or slide them between the door and a screen door. Since the main purpose is getting information into each home, this doesn't involve sharing personally with individuals (except as the Lord leads), since this can be quite time consuming. The response to this action has been tremendous and we really feel it is a worthwhile endeavor. Other groups have done this in their cities as well.
Let your representatives in Congress know how you feel. This is something anyone can do and it's very important. For every letter received inWashington, DC, they figure thousands of people feel the same way. If there's one thing that most politicians really stand up and notice, it's votes.
“Thank you so much for sending the tracts `Children - Things We Throw Away?' We've been doing street counseling in front of an abortion clinic downtown. In six weeks, 16 girls have changed their minds. We only go on Saturday as that's the heaviest day at the clinic, but hopefully we'll be able to free up some more people to go more often.” -Debbie Strahan, Chicago, IL
Sidewalk counseling is talking with the girls as they are going in and out of the abortion clinics. This can be very effective, and we've heard many great reports about women changing their minds.
When you're speaking with a girl, it's important that you gain her trust. It's best not to carry signs or wear buttons, etc., since this may scare her away. Don't walk up and tell her you are “pro-life,” because that could mean to her that you're only interested in her baby, and not her problem. The only way you're going to save the child is through the mother. She probably feels frightened, confused, and backed into a corner, and the reason she's come to the clinic in the first place is because of her problem. She needs to know you care about her, and are there to help her. (And you need to be sure you do love and care about her!) Many women aren't really sure abortion is the right thing, but most of them don't know the other options available.
So how do you start? Arm yourself with the love of Jesus and the holiness of the Holy Spirit, and walk up to the girl and start talking with her in a loving, non-condemning way. Ask her if she's going to the clinic, if she's just getting a pregnancy test, or is scheduled for an abortion. Remember that most clinics never inform girls about the baby's development, and she probably thinks her baby is just “a wad of tissue.” You can show her some photos of what her baby looks like in the womb, and let her know the child inside her is just that - a child. Be friendly, and be yourself. Don't fall into the trap of using a bunch of pat phrases or nice “Christian clichés.” Let her know you understand she's in a tight spot, but having an abortion will only make things worse.
See if you can get her to put off going to the clinic... maybe ask her to go have a soda or something, so you can discuss her problems. What you need is love, concern, some knowledge of the facts, some good material with you and a “stick in there” attitude. Speak gently, ask questions, and show an interest in her as a whole person. If there's a local problem pregnancy center in your area, suggestthat she call there, or take her there yourself.
If a girl does go into the clinic, that doesn't mean it's all over. Often she'll go in and read the material, and think over what you've said. So when she comes out, ask her what happened, and if she made a decision. Be sure you get her phone number, and contact her the very next day.
See if there's any sort of help she needs. Offer her specific assistance, because she might not know what to ask for, or might be too embarrassed to ask. You should have a loving home available where a girl, who may have other problems, could stay. Open your home or find someone else to open theirs.
Even if she does have the abortion, she needs to know you still care for her. Some sidewalk counselors will tell the girl that she'll probably need counseling after her abortion, and ask if they could please be the ones to counsel her. Now more than ever she needs a friend, and she's in desperate need of the Lord Jesus in her life. Welcome her to your local fellowship, and offer her a ride.
Talk To Your Doctor
See what kind of stand your physician takes on abortion - if he's in favor of it, ask the Lord to give you the right words to minister truth. Women, ask your gynecologist if he does abortions or refers patients to abortion clinics. Many women quit patronizing those doctors who support abortion if, after talking to them, they're unwilling to change their views. If you do change doctors, be sure to tell him exactly why you're doing so. However, don't forget your attitude of love in this.
If your doctor is against abortion, encourage him to get involved - doctors can have a powerful influence on other physicians and the community in general. He may also be willing to donate some of his services to a pregnant girl, or help out at a pro-life center.
Reach Out To the Abortion Doctors
People are not our enemies. God loves the doctors who perform abortions just as much as He loves the tiny babies they kill. The Scriptures command us that if a man is caught in any trespass, we are to restore him in a spirit of gentleness. (Gal. 6:1) Pray about how you can minister to these men and women. They are hurting, too. Of the thousands of letters we've received and hundreds of articles we've read, we've only heard of one abortion doctor ever getting saved. Now, maybe there have been others, but we haven't heard of any. Perhaps you can meet with them, take them out to lunch, show them that you care.
Ask God for creative ways to reach out. Pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to work on their hearts and consciences. Remember - murder is not “the unpardonable sin.” Although the doctors, nurses, and clinic staff do bear an incredible weight of responsibility, their involvement with abortions isn't what will send them to hell - it's whether or not they yield their hearts to the love of Jesus. Let God use you to show them that love.
Picketing is an area where the attitude of the heart is of utmost importance. It can be done in an effective way, or it can be something that is destructive to the cause of Christ. If you feel led in this area, seek the Lord as to exactly what He'd have you do. Remember, we do not fight against flesh and blood, and we cannot overcome the enemy in a spirit of bitterness, arrogance, or self-righteousness
Picketing serves two important purposes 1) It brings the whole issue of abortion to the attention of the public 2) It's a definite deterrent to abortion doctors - economically, because it cuts down their business, and personally, because most doctors don't want their other patients to know they perform abortions. We have heard of clinics that were shut down and doctors who stopped doing abortions because of picketing.
Count the cost before you begin. If you start out with brash statements of what you are going to accomplish, but within a week all your volunteers have given up, you may find that you have actually weakened the cause you were working for. (Luke 14:28-30)
You also need to be ready for the opposition you will most likely encounter. Picketing is bad for the abortion clinic's business, and the owner will probably do all he can to have you stopped. However, as long as you picket legally, and avoid slander or libel, your rights to picket are protected by the First Amendment.
We suggest that you try to make a personal appointment to talk with the doctor before you begin to take action against his clinic. Share your heart with him or her in a loving, humble way. Let him know that you don't hate him, and aren't “out to get him.” Explain why you feel abortion is wrong, and why you are willing to take whatever action is necessary to see it stopped.
Basic Picketing Guidelines
Don't picket alone.
Be sure you understand the laws of your city regarding trespassing and private vs. public property. Never trespass on clinic property, or picket in front of other people's property. Stay on the sidewalk, and don't step on the curb.
Don't block the driveway. Never attempt to physically stop someone from entering a clinic. Never block pedestrians on the sidewalk.
Don't lay picket signs on clinic property or nearby property. Don't litter.
Don't engage in conversation with any heckler or counter-picketer. Under no circumstances touch or threaten to touch any heckler or counter-picketer.
If the police should come by, please be courteous and follow their instructions to the letter.
Be sure to carry some good literature to pass out.
Be thoughtful about what you write on your signs. Think back to before you knew the Lord. How would you have felt if someone walked up and down in front of your house with a sign saying, “Susan is a fornicator” or “John is an adulterer”? It would have let your neighbors know what you were doing, but it probably only would have made you angry - we doubt it would have changed your heart. So before you put your signs together, seek God about what they should say.
If you should run into any legal problems, you can contact The Rutherford Institute, Box 510, Manassis, VA 22110, (703)396-0100. This is a group of attorneys committed to give free legal defense to picketers and others involved in abortion action.
Get Into the Schools
“I'm an eighth grade student, and in science class we read a pamphlet called `Children-Things We Throw Away?' As we read about the five commonly used techniques I started to cry and didn't stop until we left for another class. One boy laughed at me, and kept laughing all through the period. Every time I see a picture of an aborted baby I cry. To just think that the babies have no defense to fight against it.
“Tell me, what I can do to help because I can't stand it any more. There should be a law against abortion and make the abortion clinics illegal. All my friends are behind me and we'll do what we can.” -Rosemarie Trausch, Parma, OH
One of our staff members recently had an opportunity to talk about abortion in a local high school health class. To her amazement, there was almost no understanding among the students as to what an abortion really involved, what an unborn child was like, or how many abortions are performed each year. These young people are the potential abortion customers of tomorrow - and many of them are current customers today! Much of our efforts need to be directed towards educating them about the realities of abortion.
In order to be able to speak or bring a presentation to a class or a whole assembly, try to have a Christian teacher or student bring you onto campus. One ministry we know of has different students approach their health teachers and ask if they can bring someone in to talk about abortion. Many times you can get directly into class that way, avoiding a bunch of red tape. You will have a much better chance of getting into the schools through students or teachers than if you just come on your own from the outside.
Take along some good literature to pass out to the students and teachers, so that they have something to take home with them. Ask the kids questions, and get them involved in the discussion. Let them know the alternatives to abortion. Be sure to leave your name and address, or the name of your local problem pregnancy center.
Start A Problem Pregnancy Center - You Don't Need To Be A Doctor!!
If you don't know of a local problem pregnancy center, we encourage you to consider starting one! Believe it or not, it isn't a difficult thing to organize. There are many young women who find themselves in a situation where they don't know if they're pregnant or not. Right now the majority of free pregnancy tests are offered at abortion clinics. This is because once the girls are in there, it's not hard to convince them to pay for an abortion. The abortion clinics make it sound as if it's just an easy thing - no more difficult than having a tooth pulled. But we know that many of these young women are scarred for life, both physically and emotionally, after having an abortion.
A Christian-based problem pregnancy center can offer free early pregnancy tests, and then have wonderful opportunities to talk with the girls. Tests can be purchased for about 60 cents or less each, and a center can be started in a couple of rooms in an office building or in a home where there is a private entrance. Advertising is done in local papers, phone books, etc., but without stating the “pro-life” thrust of the center. The girl who is coming for her free test can be reached with an alternative to abortion if she finds the test is positive.
“Living Alternatives” is one ministry that approaches this whole area from an entirely Christian perspective. They are working in several cities around the country, and their strategy includes problem pregnancy centers, homes for unwed mothers, and education programs for both the Christian and secular community. The strength of their work is that they seek to minister to each individual as a whole person, and their primary focus is on winning them with the loving kindness of Jesus. If you are interested in beginning a problem pregnancy center or an unwed mothers' home, we highly recommend that you contact them. They are in the process of compiling an extensive manual on the “how to's” of crisis centers. They also run training schools specifically for anyone wanting to get involved in this area. (On some occasions, they've even flown out to a city to help a group get started.) For more information you can write directly to them: Living Alternatives, Box 4600, Tyler, TX 75712, (903) 581-2891.
Tools To Help You Reach Out
The Least of These by CurtYoung, Moody Press, Chicago
Justice For The Unborn by Judge Randall Hekman, Servant Books, Box 8617, Ann Arbor, MI 48107
Whatever Happened to the Human Race? by C. Everett Koop, MD, and Francis A. Schaeffer, Fleming H. Revell Co.
Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation by Ronald Reagan, Thomas Nelson Publishers
Abortion - Questions & Answers by Dr. & Mrs. J. C. Willke, Hayes Publishing Co., Inc., 6304 Hamilton Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45224
Abortion: The American Holocaust by Kent Kelly, Calvary Press, 400 S. Bennett St., Southern Pines, NC 28387
A Child Is Born by Lennart Nilsson, Dell Publishing Co.
When You Were Formed In Secret/Abortion In America (Booklet with photos, very helpful in counseling, first copy is free, quantities at 60¢ & lower; also in Spanish) Intercessors for America, Box 1289, Elyria, OH 44036
Who Broke The Baby by Jean Staker Gorton, Bethany Press, 6820 Auto Club, Minneapolis, MN 55438
Film and Video
Silent Scream by Dr. Bernard Nathanson, American Portrait Films, 1695 W. Crescent Ave., Suite 500, Anaheim, CA 92801
National Organizations to End Abortion
National Right to Life Committee
419 7th St. NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20004
Voting - A Christian Responsibility
by Melody Green
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” -Edmond Burke
I've been a Christian for several years now, yet I still come across attitudes or ways of thinking that need a renewing touch from God. Voting was one of those areas. My thoughts on voting have always been apathetic at best, and becoming a Christian didn't make them any better. In the not-so-distant past I've thought things like, “Well, I'll just trust the Lord to put His people into office. What difference will only one vote make anyway?” I see now that thoughts like this are not only apathetic... they are dangerous.
Jesus told us we are to be the salt (preservative) of the earth. Have we become content to just sit in our comfortable little “shakers” instead of flowing freely to influence society around us? We need to be involved. Not only for the sake of the Lord, but for the sake of our nation as well. “The good influence of godly citizens causes a city to prosper.” (Proverbs 11:11)
Voting is a privilege that is taken very lightly by many people in this nation. If you think that the decisions in this country are being made by the majority of the people, you're wrong. The decisions are made by the majority of the people who TAKE THE TIME TO VOTE!
I believe God wants all of us to take part in the continual shaping of this country. As citizens, our failure to vote cancels out our voice, and therefore, our choice. To give up our freedom to have a godly influence is a grave mistake. One day we may wake up to find that many freedoms we've taken for granted are gone... and that is not an irrational or unfounded statement.
The issues facing our nation today are the most crucial in history since slavery: abortion, homosexual rights, family and parental rights, pornography, and Christian educational freedom, to name a few. Watch the news, read the newspapers and magazines, and above all, pray. Find out all you can about the issues and how everyone involved feels about them. Ask God for wisdom. “Find some capable, godly, honest men who hate bribes, and… let these men be responsible to serve the people with justice at all times.” (Exodus 18:21-22)
Register And Vote!!
If you aren't registered, do so. Encourage your Christian friends to register and challenge them to fulfill their voting responsibility. It's possible in many areas to obtain mail-in voter registration cards. You can pass these out at church, school, or work. Then get out there and VOTE! Many people register with good intentions, but never make it to the polls. This nation was first declared to be “One nation under God.” Let's do all that we can to see that it is. “For the wicked shall not rule the godly, lest the godly be forced to do wrong.” (Psalm 125:3)
Except where otherwise noted, all Scriptures are quoted from the Living Bible, 1971 Tyndale House Publishers. Scripture quotations marked NASB are from the New American Standard Bible, The Lockman Foundation, 1977.
The Presidential Biblical Scorecard is a non-partisan magazine that documents the major presidential and vice-presidential candidates' stands on biblical, family, and moral issues, as well as the stands of congressman, governors, and their challengers. Write: Scorecard, 214 Massachusetts Avenue N. E., suite 120, Washington, DC 20002, (202) 543-4220. $2.95 each, (postage and handling included). Available at all times, updated and published every two years.