In most scenarios in front of an abortion center, you will rarely have more than 15 seconds to speak to the women entering to kill their babies. It is important to have printed information that can convey the important truths you won’t have time to speak. Oftentimes, besides having limited time, you have limited access – as such, it is critical to establish strategies that place you in an optimal position to offer the women the literature.
Types of Brochures/Information
You will need brochures or information targeted to abortion-determined women. As in all our interactions with these women, the brochures are modeled on our three talking points: what God says, the humanity of the baby and resources.
In that brochure, we have several key verses that speak about God’s love for and desire for relationship with human beings. We also have verses that speak to the plans and purpose of God for each human being. Those verses intend to remind women of the God that many of them claim to know and who they are in Him. We include verses that speak of His love for children and for the unborn. Some verses are warnings about the risks of disregarding God’s commands.
Another important brochure we hand out are for women who have had the abortion. That brochure includes verses that will point the woman to repentance, forgiveness and healing, as well as local/online resources to help post-abortive women. It includes common issues in the aftermath of abortion and always a contact number so the women can reach out to us for support and help.
Literature that shares the Gospel in a succinct manner is also important. We are a Gospel-focused ministry and know that true heart change regarding abortion will not likely happen without the Gospel. Since time is often limited, it is beneficial to have Gospel tracts on hand. They are also useful to hand out to other people we may meet on the sidewalk who are not there to abort their children.
Information from Abby Johnson’s ministry to abortion workers is another piece of information we hand out. This website has a wealth of information for abortion workers seeking to leave the industry. The ministry produces materials regarding clinic records, abortionist’s records and handouts for abortion workers.
Another valuable document one could develop to give out to abortion-minded moms is a list of resources and help. At the very least, this could include local pregnancy resource centers. We have a booklet of common needs and resources with contact information.
Situating Yourself Optimally
It is important to figure out the best spots to place team members to optimize the likelihood of cars stopping and the women engaging with you. If most of the traffic is foot traffic, the same issue should be addressed. In general, being a little distanced from the center is useful. The pull of evil is stronger the closer the women get to the abortion center. Also, the likelihood of encountering pro-abortion advocates increases as you get closer to the clinic. Most of them will attempt to prevent you from passing out literature.
It is important never to be alone: The biblical picture of ministry is going out with at least one other helper. For safety and accountability, this is ideal. It is vital, however, not to clump together, as abortion-minded women are less likely to approach a group as opposed to just one or two people. We are often portrayed as the enemy and do not want to appear to be an enemy force. We encourage ministry teams on the sidewalk to spread out.
How to Flag Down Cars
Bold, smiling confidence should be the attitude we portray as cars or women approach. We want to be assertive in offering our literature while remembering that what we have is of extreme importance to them. We should have a sense of urgency but not crisis. They are in crisis mode and need to see someone they perceive as having something to offer they do not already have.
When flagging down cars, we train our counselors to wave, smile, show the literature, and hold up a stop signal with their hand. The more animated and confident we are, the more cars seem to stop. If we are tentative, angry or frantic, no one is likely to engage with us.
How to Approach/Engage Pedestrians
People walking might be more intimidated by an aggressively assertive approach. We need to be respectful of personal space. Many of the same suggestions apply as with stopping cars. We should be confident, smiling and friendly. Because time is limited, we should not beat around the bush but get right to the point.
“Are you headed to the women’s clinic? We have information that is very helpful with resources.” Hand them the literature as you explain what you can offer. Engage them with questions that show you are interested in their situation and are eager to help:
- “Are you here for an abortion?”
- “How far along are you?”
- “What makes you feel an abortion is the best option?”
- “Do you believe in God?”
- “What would God have you do?”
- “Did you know a baby’s heart beats 17 to 21 days after conception?”
Questions can be very effective in helping the women come to the conclusion that abortion is not a good idea. If the women tears up, it is always a good sign that you have hit a nerve and there is conflict that can be used to help sway the choice to life.
On the other hand, if the woman tells you to back off or stop talking to her, it is wise to do so. Remind her you are just there to help, maybe throw in one more verse or fetal development fact and then back off. If you remain friendly and kind and respectful, they are more likely to return to talk to you if they become convicted not to abort … or devastated after they go through with an abortion.
Your first goal should be to get the information in their hands. Continue to offer that to them until it is clear they don’t want it.
What Not to Do
Much of what not to do has been implied in the above section but I will summarize here:
- Don’t be frantic.
- Don’t be angry or condemning.
- Don’t be too aggressive or seen as too confrontative.
- Don’t clump in groups with team members.
- Don’t invade personal space.
- Don’t ignore their request to leave them alone.
- Don’t force literature on them.
- Don’t spend much time chatting with team members or looking at phone. Always be prayerful and observant, seeking opportunities to engage.
- Don’t be late – be there before the clinic opens its doors for clients.
- Don’t put too much information in their hands at once or they may be overwhelmed at not read any of it.
- Don’t forget contact name and number on literature (Google phone number instead of personal cell number is wise).
- Don’t argue or appear combative.
Where to Find Good Brochures/Tracts
*Our website, www.sidewalks4life.com, has a lot of free brochures and lists other great websites for materials.
*Abortionworker.com for abortion worker tracts and offers of help as well as clinic information/infractions
* Ray Comfort’s Living Waters website is filled with great evangelistic materials as well as training in how to evangelize