We have seen as much as double (or triple) the number of women coming for abortions since Roe v. Wade was overturned. Many of the surrounding states have abortion restrictions or bans right now. The women from those states are now flocking to our area abortion centers. I’ve seen an average of 60 to 80 women every single day but Sunday. Many of the surrounding states do not have a Love Life presence or church ready to provide mentorship or resources to these women.
Therefore, we need to be creative in trying to provide resources to these abortion-determined women.
When Love Life was fairly new, we had many people excited to be mentors. We did not yet have Love Life in surrounding areas. Quite often, we would assign a phone mentor to the women. We also have a wonderful baby shower ministry (Truth And Mercy pro-life ministry) who would provide the baby shower if the women were willing to travel back to our area with a large vehicle to take home the loot.
This is clearly not ideal, but it is better than nothing. There are even some women who I counseled before Love Life mentors were available who found our regular times to talk very helpful in keeping them solid in their choice for life. Many ended up coming to the Lord through phone conversations. Many then ended up joining local churches. It is a viable alternative when there are no physical churches or mentors in that woman’s home area.
Missionaries who have found that they have many people willing to be mentors and not enough mentees can offer these mentors as phone mentors anywhere in the country! That phone mentor can use the wonder of the World Wide Web to research area resources for that woman. She can contact local churches to see if they would be willing to take that woman underwing. We did this many times in the past, often with great success.
Love Life missionaries in cities where abortion has now been banned and the need to fill a sidewalk with volunteers is no longer present could be a wonderful resource in this venture. Perhaps these cities already have mentors but now they will have no mentees. They would be perfect as phone mentors. The House of Refuge churches could commit to running online baby showers for out-of-state women, in support of the phone mentors.
We definitely need a new strategy because there are abortion-determined women that are coming from states where there is no supporting pro-life presence. It helps us encourage these women to choose life if we have a game plan for how to help them.
Develop a resource list based on the main states visiting your facility
We have a nationwide pregnancy resource center list divided by state. This is a wonderful start for those of you who have people coming from a state with no Love Life presence. Being able to point them to pregnancy resource centers in their area is a great first step. If there is a particular state where a large majority of the women are coming from, it might be worthwhile to have a volunteer contact churches from that state, letting them know of the need to surround these women with help and love.
For example, right now we are seeing a huge influx from Georgia. We are developing a Resource list that provides the network of pregnancy resource centers as well as churches and willing pastors to these women. We hope to have these printed out on a sheet that we can hand to the women from that area.
The phone mentor can use an Amazon registry to have gifts sent to women from outlying states who have chosen life. I often have success In these sorts of efforts with my circle of Facebook friends. They know what I do but may not feel they can be on the sidewalk. Often, they would love to help in some other way. Helping the women through an online registry for the baby shower would be a great way to use social media and build the group of people committed to the pro-life agenda and helping these women!
This is also a great opportunity for volunteers who want to be involved but perhaps in a less high stress area than sidewalk counseling or mentoring. Volunteers can be appointed to research an area for resources, contact local churches to express the need for churches willing to help these moms, and begin to compile a list that we would be able to hand out to the moms.
I know this model can be effective. It was the model I used prior to Love Life being in existence when I would counsel out-of-state mothers. I remember one mother who ended up in North Dakota and we had no presence or contacts. Nonetheless, we were able to help that mom with all kinds of ongoing needs through contacting the local church in her area and mobilizing online friends and supporters. This mom was so grateful and our help was pivotal in her choice for life and parenting.
Of course, ideally we want to mobilize and equip churches in every area so that these young women never show up at an abortion center; but the crisis right now is immediate and needs a quick and viable solution. I believe this is a good start.