Over the last few weeks many have expressed interest in beginning to minister at abortion clinics. In fact, it has been a rare day that I have not seen a FaceBook post or read an email of someone desiring to care for the least of these in this particular manner. Although I’m sure much has been written on this, I desire to briefly give a summary on what I consider to be the necessary minimum fundamentals needed in order to minister at abortion mills, as well as a number of additional things that are wise, helpful, and should also be considered. I pray that this is helpful.
1) Personal Holiness:
God honors the work of the faithful. Philippians 4:9 states that “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” John 12:26 states that “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” If you are to be effective and if God is to bless your work, you must not be a hypocrite. Before you determine to minister at an abortion mill, reconcile with your brother, repent of your secret sin, and confess to those you are in community with. This is not to say that God is bound to honor obedience in such a manner that we understand, or that He can not work His Will through Pharaohs or through asses (either the donkey variety or the keyboard warrior cagestager), but rather to simply maintain that God’s regular ordained means of saving souls and changing lives is through His faithful servants.
Be prayerful before, during, and after ministering at the mill. Similar to and connected to holiness will be prayer. God commands, desires, and answers prayers (Philippians 4:6, John 14:13-14, Psalm 34:17). If we seek to interpose on behalf of those being led to the slaughter and we do not pray, we are not only failing to do what we must do to be effective, we are dishonoring God by doubting the power of prayer and disobeying God’s expressed commands.
3) Proclaim the Gospel:
Abortion is murder, and murder is sin. Above all else, it is a sin against a holy and just God (Psalm 51:4). Although abortion has socioeconomic and political aspects and therefore also has socioeconomic and political solutions that would likely curb the practice of human abortion, the primary solution to this gruesome practice can only be the Gospel of Jesus Christ. While you are at the abortion mill, or out at the highways and byways, always remember that we are not seeking to convert individuals to a “pro-life” position, but seeking to convert lost souls to King Jesus. It is a King we serve, not a cause. Proclaiming the Gospel at a mill, however, is not proclaiming the Gospel at an University or from behind a pulpit. While there will be times when you can give longer exhortations and proclamations, when women are walking into the murder mill there is very often only moments to directly address these women. The first goal should be an attempt to start a conversation or catch the attention of the woman. This could sound like many things. I often call out to the woman with phrases such as “Ma’am, can I speak with you for a moment”, “Please don’t kill your baby”, “I can help you. Please accept my help” “you don’t have to kill your baby. Please love your child today”. There isn’t just one correct thing to say, and what I choose to say is often determined by how I perceive the woman’s attitude to be. If you are able to speak longer to a woman, quickly get to the point. I am ashamed to say that I have won philosophical arguments outside of mills to only be surprised when the women, in their hardened murderous hearts, continue with their plan of killing their children. They did not kill their child primarily because of philosophy or biology, but because of sin. Abortion is murderous sin against a holy Creator, and because of our sin we desperately need Jesus Christ. You can answer philosophical or biological objections, and sometimes those may be persuasive, but ultimately they are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). Rest in God’s Providence that not only is the Gospel the OBEDIENT thing to focus on, but also the EFFECTIVE thing to focus on. In the Gospel of Jesus Christ rests the power to save babies, souls, nations, and all the world.
4) Genuine help:
When you are at the mill it is important to offer real help. Insure that you at least have the address and number of a Crisis Pregnancy Center, and also have access to other needed resources that the expectant mother may need. This could be anything from groceries to medicine. At a later date, they will also need items for the child such as diapers, baby clothes, and possibly formula. Sometimes the family needs a place to worship and be in community with Christians. What may be needed could be more burdensome. Perhaps the woman needs to get out of an abusive situation. Perhaps the child needs to be adopted. Be sure to exchange contact info with those you speak to. You need not have everything at your fingertips, but these things should be considered, the help needs to be offered, and either yourself or others in your community should strive to wisely meet these needs. Although no situation is so grievous to justify murder, offering material help is certainly Christlike and is useful means in saving the child and sharing the Gospel.
5) Knowing The Law:
Educate yourself on the law in regards to where you can stand. The general guideline is that you must not be on private property, you must not block foot traffic, and you must not block entry. If it is unclear, most police departments are happy to help you in this. If you are ignorant of where the property lines are and where the public easement begins, you will most likely be quickly educated when the police are called. It is best to be aware of all of these things before they are called.
Good and Wise, but Secondary
6) Anti-abortion, evangelical, and apologetic resources:
It is good to have something physical to hand someone. Some may be curious and willing to take material though unwilling to have a conversation. For those you are able to speak to, it is good to leave them something in order for them to not so easily shake what has been told to them. Many may take a quadfold or booklet yet still go through with the abortion. These materials may play a role in their possible future repentance. I highly recommend AHAgear.com and the selection of handout resources they have. Intriguing design, persuasive argumentation, and grounded in the Gospel.
Useful to both the customers of the abortion clinic and those driving by. They help to proclaim truths and expose the the evil deeds of darkness (Ephesians 5:11). Graphic images of the reality of abortion are particularly useful in that they show the truth of what happens hidden away behind walls. AHAGear also carries several different signs. Some text and some graphic. One may also choose to make your own sign, and although I believe high quality, well designed, and specifically graphic signs are the most fruitful, a hand drawn poster board can certainly be used by God. A very well written two part blog in defense of graphic images can be found here and here. A short talk I gave earlier this year on the use of graphic images and why graphic images alone are not enough can be found here.
A GoPro or other mounted camera is a great tool for any kind of ministry or activism that may possibly be dangerous. It is a deterrent for those who otherwise may become violent, and in the cases where someone does become violent, video footage is very useful in securing the innocence of the Christian and the guilt of the brawler. I assure you, those who will assault you will also lie about you. In addition to matters of justice and safety, videoing encounters can be useful in determining where you can be more faithful, and also can be a great encouragement or training tool for those desiring to minister.
Depending on the city ordinances of where you live, it is good to use amplification if possible. At my local abortion mill, we have received confirmation that unamplified preaching can be heard in the waiting room, however, it is clear that those inside can hear us more clearly with the use of amplification. Some abortion mills may be more sound insulated and some have been known to play loud (and filthy) music.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but I hope that I have covered some fundamentals that will be useful to some.
For more quick tips I highly recommend the “For Life and Enternity” YouTube series by Patte Smith.
AbolishHumanAbortion also has a thorough abortion FAQ that is a very valuable resource for reasoning with abortion minded women and pro-choicers in general.