The following story is a true account of what happened this week at the abortion center. Sadly, it ended the way coercion often ends. The stronger person preying on the more vulnerable person threatens and frightens his victim.
There is often not much we can do. The best we can do is try our best to separate the woman from the man and try to speak to her. We can call out that coercion to abort is illegal and that if she needs help she just needs to tell us and we will call the police. We can pray with her. We can tell her we can help her and help her escape the man. Ultimately, the decision still remains with her.
We can call the police; however, if she is not willing to admit even to us that she is being coerced, the police will do nothing when they come to talk with her. Unless she admits she is being forced to abort under threat, the police hands are just as tied as ours.
The major principles in dealing with coercion that I tried in this case are as follows:
- Try to appeal to the positive reasons why the baby should be saved using the three talking points and calling out to both the man and the woman.
- Try to get the man alone and speak with him. Try to help him see the reasons why that baby should be saved to protect not only the baby, but the woman. Appeal to him as a man who could be a hero instead of destroying innocent life.
- Speak with the woman privately (if at all possible, apart from the man). Try to understand if she wants the baby or not. If she wants the baby, continue to speak about how we can protect and help her.
- If she denies wanting the baby, use the three talking points to encourage her to see the value and sanctity of that precious child’s life.
- Call the police if the woman admits she is being threatened or coerced.
- If she does not admit that, calling the police (unless you see direct aggression and violence) is probably not going to be fruitful.
- Offer to pray with each of them and, as you pray, restate convicting verses about protecting the innocent, being strong in the Lord, and doing what is right before God.
- Be sure the woman has contact information so that she can get a hold of us no matter what.
Coercion to abort with a ‘pastor’s’ support
A woman came storming out of the abortion center. As I tried to speak to her, she swept past me and the pro-abortion crowd attempted to block me. They shouted over my offers of help.
Then a man came running after her. As I watched, blocked from moving by the opposition, I saw him try to prevent her from going further. He was shouting at her, stepping in front of her, pulling her arm, and pointing her back to the abortion center.
“He is coercing her to abort!” I cried to the opposition. “If you care about women, you would not be supporting his ability to do that and blocking me.” One of the people watching this scene and blocking me is the pastor of a fairly large church in our area.
They said my claim was nonsense. They said he wanted to keep the baby and she wanted the abortion. As I watched the scene unfold, the woman walked further up the street. The man came back and walked across the street from me. I walked right up to him. He was wearing a very large cross on a necklace.
“Do you want to save your baby?” I asked.
“No! I want her to abort!”
I pointed at the cross around his neck. “You are wearing a cross. Do you claim to love God?”
He said he did. He claimed he was a strong Christian.
“You are claiming to love God while coercing a woman who doesn’t want an abortion to kill your baby?”
He began spouting how much he loves God, but I now sprinted up the street to the woman. She had ignored me when she first came out, and now began to turn away. I said, “My name is Vicky. Our ministry is Love Life. We love God and we love life. I am here to help you. We have so many resources available and God loves you and your baby so much. Please, just take our information.”
By now, FOUR of the pro-abortion crowd carrying bright rainbow umbrellas circled me to block me. The woman looked at me and then at them.
“I want to talk to her,” she said. “I want my baby. I don’t want to kill my baby. I want my baby. I want my baby.”
“I’m a pastor,” said one of the women with the umbrella. “I can talk with you.” This “pastor” actively encourages and supports abortion for any reason, blocking our efforts and telling the women God does not care if they have an abortion.
“I want to talk to Vicky,” the woman said. “I can tell she cares. I want my baby.”
The opposition melted away. As I shared all the resources we had and the truth of what God says about her baby, she was crying. And then, the man came up to her.
“Can I talk with you?” he asked.
“Do you want me to step away for a little while?” I said.
Again, she nodded. I stepped a few feet away. I could not hear what he said, but he finished and walked back down the street.
“I’m going in,” she said.
“Oh, honey, please don’t!” I begged her. “You know you do not want to, and you know God would not have you do that.”
“Maybe it is best,” she said.
I don’t remember all I said but time was short as she was walking back to the clinic. As we reached the clinic driveway, she paused.
“Could I pray with you?” I asked.
She held my hand, and I prayed. I prayed God would give her the courage and conviction to stand strong and to do what she knew God would have her do.
She thanked me for everything, and walked into the clinic. As far as I know, she killed the baby.
I wish I could say that every day at the abortion center lives are transformed, babies are saved, and my heart is filled with joy; however, for the next two hours, I struggled to hold back the tears, often unsuccessfully.
The message to the Church is clear: People should never sit in a church service and walk away thinking they can claim Jesus as their Lord, and the next day show up to kill their baby in an abortion center. We need pastors proclaiming the truth unabashedly of the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death. We need churches fueled and ready to love and help these vulnerable women and tell them the truth about their unborn babies. We need pastors willing to speak out about the horror of abortion and how deeply it grieves our God. My prayer is that this very sad story will ignite someone to take action.