There are so many things to say to someone who is about to kill her child. There are so many reasons why that is a terrible idea. Quite often, especially as a new volunteer, we are tongue-tied when we see the mothers on the brink of killing their babies. There is a flood of emotions and a sense of urgency that can sometimes make words fail us.
That is why we spend a lot of time training our counselors to stay focused on three vital areas to talk about. Keeping those three main talking points in mind helps us to organize our thoughts and come up with things to say quickly and concisely. These three main talking points are: 1) what God says about the sanctity of life and that baby, 2) the humanity of the baby, and 3) the resources that can help the mother.
Even if we only have 15 seconds, we try to touch on every one of these areas. For example, a typical 15-second discussion for me would be as follows. “Young lady, your precious baby already has a beating heart as early as 17 days after conception. She is made in the image of God who loves her from the moment of conception just as He has loved you. We have help no matter what you face!”
In longer interaction, we simply expand on each of these key issues. We will break them down one by one in this article, and help you to develop an arsenal of effective things to say in each area.
What does God have to say about the baby?
Psalm 139 is a beautiful example of how God feels about the unborn. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” “knitted together” by God Himself in the womb. For convicting evidence of God’s view of the unborn, look at Jesus and His story. How did Jesus come to earth? As an unborn baby! That speaks volumes about what God thinks about the unborn child.
The Bible is filled with references to the unborn baby and he is never referred to as anything but a baby. In fact in the New Testament the same Greek word, Brethos, is used for both the unborn and the born baby. In the Bible, one of the worst atrocities mentioned is a mother for “forgetting her child” or harming her own child. One of the reasons that God sent the Israelites to destroy the Canaanite nations is the horror of their sacrifice of children to Molech, a false god. In the passage where the Bible describes the attempt by the Egyptian king to wipe out the newborn Israelite boys, the midwives are commended for obeying God and not the king and letting the mothers bring their boys safely to birth.
Mothers who could not bear children were described as cursed and unhappy. Over and over again, children are described as a blessing from God. Deuteronomy 30:19 is very explicit in the choice between blessing and curse, life and death. God urges: “… therefore choose life that you and your offspring may live.”
The sixth commandment, “Thou shall not murder,” makes no exception for women in difficult circumstances or if they don’t want their child. We are commanded in Proverbs 31: 8-10 to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, and protect the rights of the vulnerable. We are to judge righteously and defend the needy and the poor. The unborn child cannot speak for herself or defend herself.
Proverbs 24:11 exhorts us to rescue those who are being led away to death and stumbling to the slaughter. We are urged to action repeatedly when the innocent are defenseless and being marginalized or harmed.
In the first book of the Bible, we are told that all human beings are made in the image of God. Taking the life of an image bearer of God is prohibited. The most serious consequences ensue this most serious sin of murder.
Humanity of the baby
Knowing key facts about fetal development goes a long way toward helping us to speak to the baby’s humanity. For example, as early as 17 days following conception, the baby’s heart is beating. Just six weeks after conception, the child has detectable brain waves. By eight weeks, every organ is in place. By nine weeks, the child has unique fingerprints that no one else on earth will ever share. By 12 weeks, all parts of the vocal cord are developed. Even in the first trimester, the baby is far from just a blob of tissue as the abortion industry attempts to paint her.
The abortion industry attempts to dehumanize the child by avoiding words that show her humanity. They don’t use the word baby, mother, father, parent, or child. They use the words that sanitize and obfuscate killing the baby: an “abortion,” a “procedure,” a “surgery.” The child is called a “fetus” or “zygote” or “product of conception.”
Calling the baby a baby and assigning gender rather than calling the baby “it“ is very valuable. It is beneficial to talk about the mama’s son or daughter or member of the family that is residing in the womb. Reminding the mother that she is indeed a mother because she carries a living child in her womb is something abortion-minded women try not to think about.
Showing pictures and videos of the child in the womb are often startling to women who have been told this is not a person in her womb. The abortion industry attempts to remove the idea of personhood from the unborn child. In fact, to suggest there is a difference between a human being and a person is complete, arbitrary nonsense. A person is a human being and a human being is a person. There is no doubt that from the moment of conception, the baby has all the human DNA she will ever have, as well as a genetically-assigned gender.
It is important to point out that even if we offered no resources at all, we would still be justified in speaking for the rights of the unborn. Our desire is to help the family save their child and to change their worldview so abortion becomes unthinkable. There is no tool better than the Gospel to do that.
If we can offer resources, we help remove the obstacles that make the women believe they need to abort. Furthermore, we can soften their hearts and help them trust us. That might pave the way for a Gospel presentation that will be more readily received.
In the brief time that we have to speak to them, we should list the resources that will make the biggest impact in helping them decide to pause and talk with us. If we can offer a free ultrasound, that may go a long way in transferring their trust from the abortion center to us. They have to pay for ultrasounds in the abortion centers but they are often deceived to believe the ultrasound is free. It is not. It is bundled into the cost of the abortion.
One of the most valuable resources we can offer are baby showers that provide most of the baby’s needs for the immediate future. In Charlotte, we offer baby showers that give two full years of what the child will need. We have found this to be very effective in helping moms choose life.
In our last podcast, we talked about the many different local and national resources that can be offered. It is critical to have a list ready to recite or hand to the mothers. Have the key ones memorized so, when you have limited time to speak, you can call out the ones that seem to be most helpful to moms.
One of the important strategies for any good counselor is learning to ask questions, of which this is paramount: “What are the obstacles that you (the mother) are facing?” Once you know the obstacles, you can address those issues one by one. If you have already researched and know the resources in your area, you can possibly sway the choice to life and get her away from the abortion center.
These three areas are where we spend most of our time counseling mothers who come to kill their children. There are other things which we will discuss if all else fails. This includes educating them about what happens in an abortion, as well as the infractions of the abortionist or the abortion center.
The three key talking points seem to be the ones that most often make a difference in the mothers choice for life and that is where we focus. As always, remember that ultimately the results are not up to you but up to God. You can faithfully present the case for choosing life and sow the seeds of faith and truth. It is God who will bring in the harvest.