The crazy things pro-life people say
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.”
Having been on the sidewalk many years, I have learned a thing or two. Something I learned the hard way is be sure what we say is true … completely true. Sometimes what we consider to be just a small exaggeration to make a point can invalidate our entire message. Our words need to be carefully considered before we speak.
Examples of not COMPLETELY true things pro-life people say
One of the pro-life people that used to be on the sidewalk where I serve in Charlotte once made an erroneous claim to which we could not smile and nod in agreement (actually, he said a lot of things we disagreed with, but this is one example).
In anger, he called out to the women entering the abortion center, “Inside that place is a 55-gallon drum of dead babies.”
First of all, there is no way he could know that. Were he to put one toe inside the abortion center the security people would be swarming on him like flies on a dead cat. Second of all, I have interviewed many former abortion workers from that facility. They described some pretty awful things, but a 55 gallon drum of dead babies was not one of them.
I heard another one of our new counselors call out, “The abortionist here is a convicted rapist.”
Well, actually no. First, the abortionist he was referring to no longer worked there. Second, the abortionist was arrested for rape, but the charges were dropped. He was definitely not a sterling character above reproach, but he was not a convicted rapist.
Something else I have heard proclaimed from the sidewalk, “Whatever you need, we will provide it!” I know our resource book pretty well and I can tell you that is NOT a true statement. An accurate statement, which is likely what the counselor meant, would be, “Whatever difficulties you face, we can help.” We CAN help. We CANNOT solve or meet every need. No one but God can do that, quite frankly!
“The baby will die an excruciating death.” There is no scientific evidence to back up this statement before the unborn baby is around 20 weeks. Babies DO respond reflexively to touch by 8 weeks, but that is different from the perception of pain. Scientists mostly believe that the cortical connections and nerves necessary to transmit true pain do not begin until 20 weeks.
Another common statement that is not true: “Most women immediately or soon regret their abortion.” The studies that have been done indicate that most women actually feel relief immediately. There are few (if any) long-term studies, and my experience has been that women deeply regret their abortions but it often takes years before the magnitude of what they did truly sets in. I was unable to find any research that studied post-abortive women AFTER five years. I do believe a very different finding would emerge, as do many clinicians who work in post-abortion recovery programs. Click HERE to read more about this topic.
“He who speaks truth tells what is right, But a false witness, deceit” (Proverbs 12:17)
TRUE statements that demonstrate the reality … and are COMPLETELY true
For each example below of a falsehood or exaggeration, I have provided similar things one could say that ARE true. In each example, the statements are certainly powerful and have the added advantage of being TRUE.
55-gallon drum filled with dead babies: What we DO know is that the dead babies are collected in a glass dish following the abortion and the pieces counted and fitted together in a room called the POC (Product of Conception). This is to ensure all the pieces are removed from the mother’s womb or a dangerous infection can occur. The dismembered baby and fluids are put in a medical waste container. That container is collected periodically, often by a company called Stericycle here in Charlotte, whose promise written across the side of their trucks is “We protect what is important” (let the irony of that sink in). Their vision reported on their website is: Shaping a healthier and safer world for everyone, everywhere, every day.
Everyone except the baby in Stericycle’s “safer world” …
The baby’s remains are then incinerated.
This truth is gruesome enough. No one needs to lie or exaggerate.
The abortionist here is a convicted rapist: That statement was NOT true; however, that abortionist has lost his license a few times, once for sexual misconduct with a patient. He had no admitting privileges to any area hospital due to multiple medical infractions and irregularities. He was videotaped on YouTube saying, “no one wants to support those ugly black babies,” and another time, “rape them and send them to me (speaking of the pregnant mothers).” No lies needed to reveal the character and legitimacy as a doctor. The truth speaks volumes.
Whatever you need, we will provide it: As I said before, this is an impossible claim. On the other hand, the truth is that whatever these moms face, we are prepared and willing to HELP. In our city, total strangers backed by supportive churches are offering mentors for a full year, baby showers with two years of equipment and clothing, free medical clinics throughout the pregnancy, free counseling, free 3D ultrasound package, list of food, clothing, housing, recovery and domestic-violence resources. It’s a comprehensive resource list that deals with every situation I have faced in my nine years counseling abortion-minded moms. No exaggerated promises are needed. The truth is amazing. The whole truth is even if NOTHING was offered, the woman is not justified in murder.
The baby will die an excruciating death: Science does not back up this claim for unborn children under 15-20 weeks – but in a surgical abortion, a living human being is ripped apart limb-by-limb in a blind sweep of the abortionist’s curette (most abortions are not ultrasound guided). If the baby is larger, the skull will be pierced, brains drained out, and then the skull is crushed. A powerful suction machine removes the dismembered baby and the contents of the uterus. Does that sound like anything a civilized society should allow? Whether the baby feels it or not, this is the barbaric dismembering of a living human being.
In a medical (pill) abortion, the baby’s oxygen and nutrition is cut off. In an interview with Dr. Harrison, who pioneered the abortion pill reversal, we asked if it was inaccurate to say the baby is starved and asphyxiated. He said that is, in essence, what happens.
Most women immediately regret their abortion: While this statement is not born out of research, the evidence of clinicians who work with post-abortion recovery note that women in their 30s and much older are the bulk of those who regret abortion. The studies that showed women did not regret abortion were flawed in two critical ways: First of all, they didn’t follow the women for a long enough time period. Post-traumatic stress syndrome can take years to develop following trauma. Second, the studies were of women who self-reported their experience following abortion. It was not a randomly selected group. It is likely those willing to self-report in the short-term studies are those who did not experience regret, while those who did were not a part of the study at all!
Perhaps the more important point is not that women regret or do not regret abortion, but that abortion is wrong. It is an affront to a holy God who created that baby in His image. It is the destruction of an innocent life. The shedding of innocent blood is an abomination to God. It disobeys God’s 6th commandment. It is preying on the weakest, most vulnerable members of society, which mirrors the despicable systems of slavery, slaughter of indigenous people, and the Holocaust.
“A truthful witness saves lives, But he who utters lies is treacherous” (Proverbs 14:25).
So, what is the big deal about a little exaggeration?
The direct danger of saying things we do not know are true or not, or exaggerating truths, is that it invalidates the rest of our true message in the ears of the hearer. Our primary goal is to glorify God and bring others to a right relationship with Him. If we fudge any part of our message, wittingly or not, it brings into question the very important truths we present about faith, sanctity of life and our integrity.
The last thing we want to do is invalidate the message of salvation through our careless words.