The sidewalk team had stayed much later than usual. The parking lot was crowded. Few cars had left. We were getting ready to leave when we heard sirens getting louder. We all knew what that meant as the fire truck and ambulance arrived at the abortion center. Someone had some sort of medical incident following the abortion.
Our sonographer heard someone scream as the door opened. We cringed as the ambulance workers hurried in with a stretcher. This is something we see not infrequently. It is also not unusual to see the ambulance arrive after the hours our team would normally be there. We have little doubt the abortion center is not eager to call an ambulance while we can observe. They have a strong interest in defending the notion that abortion is safe. For us to still be there when an ambulance arrives would tend to indicate the incident was serious. We know they would try very hard to wait till we leave otherwise.
How should the sidewalk team respond when this happens? We obviously want to be sensitive to the fact that someone is in crisis; but we also want to use the incident to warn others – those still in the clinic and those who may see what we post on social media. We don’t want to be jerks, but we do need to expose the truth that abortion carries risks for the moms as well as for the babies.
Have your camera ready
Record and photograph the ambulance and fire truck arriving. We should NOT photograph a picture of the mother or share it without blotting out identifying features. However, we do want to show evidence of the fact that abortion is not as safe as the abortion industry would like us to believe.
Try to discern if this was a botched abortion
One of the best ways to figure that out is to read reviews on the abortion center web page or social media page. The last time we saw an ambulance, and saw the woman loaded into it, we later came across a review from that time period. A grieving mother said her daughter had DIED after her abortion at the center. It may have been a coincidence, but was suspicious timing.
The reason to try to find this out is to post it on your own social media. The truth needs to be revealed regarding the lies that abortion does not harm women. An ER nurse who trained with us some years back read the pamphlet we produce about the aftermath of abortion. She told us she treated (regularly) women harmed in every way we listed from abortions. We need to expose this truth!
This is a teachable moment for the women still there
Using tact and kindness, we believe it is very important to urge any fathers or friends of the women still in the center to get their loved ones out. We point out that the presence of an ambulance should give them pause. This is yet another sign from God regarding the devastation and consequence of abortion.
Would God call attention to the damage of sin to others observing?
In fact, He does. Romans 1 gives an example. When people sin against Him, He gives them over to that sin. The consequences are dire, and Romans 1 lists those consequences.
God shows the terrible aftermath of sin throughout the Bible. The most powerful image He presents to show the dangers/consequence of sin is Jesus, bloodied and mangled, on the Cross. His followers often point to the horror of the Cross and what Jesus suffered to remind us of the terrible cost of sin.
Do not delight in the terrible destruction of the guilty
It might be easy to think that the abortion-determined woman got what she deserved. It might even be tempting to gloat, being proven correct in challenging the abortion industry’s claim that abortion does not harm women.
However, resist such thoughts. We do not delight in the harsh reality of sin’s consequence. God Himself says Jesus tarries that NONE should perish. God’s heart is that all should turn to Him.
“Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.” (Proverbs 17:5)
“Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice, or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from them.” (Proverbs 24:17-18)
God clearly uses consequences and suffering to teach and guide.
Even when we are not in ongoing sin or rebellion from God, He uses trials and even suffering for His good purposes. Struggles strengthen our faith and reliance on God if we let them.
In the case of the consequence of the horrific sin of abortion, God can and does use the results to teach and guide and draw people back to Him. We can use this truth in how we call out to the people at an abortion center when an ambulance arrives. We can urge them to listen to God and His warnings before sin destroys us as well.
This concept is well illustrated in John 5, in the story of the invalid man healed by Jesus. Jesus heals a man who was disabled and apparently had been involved in sin. Jesus warns the man to “stop sinning, or something worse may happen to you.” Jesus uses the horrible crippling effects of sin as a lesson to this man that he needs to repent and turn now from sin or even worse things will happen to him.
We can use the ambulance in a similar way as a warning.
We can encourage them to see that the sin of abortion leads to terrible consequences as the patient is being carted away on a stretcher. We can warn them to turn now from the sin of abortion and turn to God or even worse things may well happen to them.
Always promote the beautiful message of the Gospel.
It is always wise to sprinkle warnings and disasters with the promises of God when we repent. Share the wonderful truth that it is never too late while we have breath to turn back to God. The sobering view of an ambulance leaving an abortion center can be a powerful reminder that today is the day of salvation…tomorrow may be too late.
- Get a record of why the ambulance showed up. You can often get such info due to the Freedom of Information Act. Maybe the Health Department can provide that.
- Bullet point sheet of the track record of both the clinic and of the abortionists is very useful to have on the sidewalk. Might not be the first thing you would talk about with moms, but is sometimes valuable information to help them recognize that abortion is NOT always safe for them, and NEVER safe for the baby.