:::: MENU ::::

Posts Categorized / Abortion

  • Nov 29 / 2012
  • 0
Grace and mom
Abortion, Resources, Sidewalk Counseling Ministry

First Steps (Back) Into Sidewalk Counseling

Let’s be clear. I don’t like spending my Saturday mornings at an abortion clinic. I don’t like sidewalk counseling. And I’d prefer not to confront another abortion-minded woman or pro-choice advocate for the rest of my life.

But you know what I don’t like more? I absolutely can’t stand that little babies are tortured, dismembered, and tossed away like trash in my own community. I am horrified that there are local businesses that actually charge money to murder children and call it “healthcare.” How can I wake up each morning and enjoy my baby girl while I let hundreds of her would-be classmates and best friends and playground buddies be wiped out without a word of concern?

And so, here I am this morning, moved yet again by Proverbs 24:11-12:  “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.  If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?”

I’ve been away from sidewalk counseling a year now, but am compelled to once again take to the streets.

When my family moved away from Louisville, Kentucky last year one of the things I knew I wouldn’t miss was sidewalk counseling. To be honest, I was actually excited to know that for the first time in 2 years, I could wake up refreshed and ready to enjoy my Saturday mornings. Before our move, Saturday mornings meant waking at 6:00am with knots in my stomach and sorrow in my heart dreading the next 2-3 hours outside the local abortion clinic. Without a doubt, those hours were well spent; but they were no less difficult to endure.

As much as I looked forward to having a break from that grueling ministry, I quickly found I hadn’t moved away from the need of it. Here in Missoula, Montana a city about a 4th the size of Louisville, we have 2, yes I said 2, abortion clinics. Thankfully we have a great Christian pregnancy resource center, but I’ve been disappointed to learn that there aren’t many Christians who are focused on reaching abortion-minded women outside our clinics.

When we first moved here, I know I had many legitimate reasons to hold off jumping back into sidewalk counseling. My family has had some major life adjustments that have demanded the majority of my attention and I don’t regret that worthwhile priority. But at this point, I think I’m more tempted to remain in my happy Saturday morning routine more out of comfort than necessity.

 So with no small amount of trepidation, I am today committing to take my first steps back into sidewalk counseling. This ministry will look much different here and in many ways I feel that I’m starting from scratch. We have no established sidewalk counseling ministry and I have very few resources to even research the way our abortions clinics operate. But in many ways, I know that the Lord had a good plan placing me in this situation. Specifically, I hope to share my step-by-step experience so that you readers can have ideas for how to start similar ministries of your own.

So, here is your official invitation: Will you join me as I journey out to the sidewalks for the sake of the unborn and the cause of Christ’s gospel?

This is an invite for those who’ve considered sidewalk counseling, but not known where to begin. It’s for those burdened for the unborn, but fearful to step out in this radical ministry. For those of you who always have a “reason” you can’t do sidewalk counseling, but know that now really is the time to get involved.

Be on the lookout for future posts as I share resources and ideas based on my Missoula experience. And please join me in praying for the closure of the abortion clinics in my town and yours. Please pray for the spread of the gospel of hope to the abortion-minded in our neighborhoods and pray for courage to communicate it clearly in each encounter. And please let me know if you decide to join me in this effort!

  • Oct 20 / 2012
  • 1
Abortion, Adoption, Answers to Hard Questions, Politics

Voddie Baucham on Abortion

The following is an excellent video of Dr. Voddie Baucham, pastor of Grace Family Baptist Church in Houston Texas. In the first few minutes of the interview, he speaks to the issue of abortion in the cases of rape, incest and other difficult circumstances from a very personal vantage point. Many who identify themselves as “pro-life” seem to take a detour at these important junctures, but Dr. Baucham addresses them with clarity and conviction.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VDA8acKNSk

 

  • Oct 18 / 2012
  • 0
denny burk
Abortion, Politics

Think About Abortion When You Vote

Denny Burk has a great article out through Baptist Press that reminds Christians where our priorities need to be this election season. I encourage you to read it in its entirety here, but will also highlight a few of the stand out sections for you to think through:

According to the media and the last few debates, the biggest issue at stake this election is the economy; but for Christians, we have the responsibility to prioritize a far greater concern: the sanctity of human life. As Denny writes,

On Nov. 6, America will go to the polls and elect the next president as well as members of the House and Senate. In advance of this vote, most Americans believe that the chief issue facing the country is the ailing economy. I want to make the case that this thinking is wrong-headed and that the transcendent issue of this election is abortion.

Although neither candidate has the power to single-handedly end abortion in America, they do have the incredible opportunity to impact the Supreme Court’s majority either for or against Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling which has facilitated the “legal” killing of over 50 million American babies. Four of the nine members of the Court are over 70 years old, so odds are either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney will be responsible to appointment one or more new judges over the next four years.  These presidential appointments could make all the difference in our legal battle to overturn Roe v. Wade.

It will take a five-person majority on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe. Absent such a majority, it will continue to be legal for unborn babies to be killed. As of now, it appears there is a 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court in favor of Roe. The candidate who wins the presidency will appoint justices who will either bolster the current majority in favor of Roe or will make a new majority against Roe. In effect, this election is a referendum on the legality of abortion.

When it comes to deciding which candidate would appoint pro-life judges, the choice is abundantly clear. It’s not Barack Obama. Obama is radically pro-abortion. So much so, his voting record shows that four times he voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act which would save infant survivors of failed abortions (and even that is just the tip of the iceberg!). If you’re still skeptical, remember that last night, he even went so far as to purposely declared his support of Planned Parenthood during the presidential debate.

Although I would like for Romney to be a stronger pro-life advocate, I am grateful that he has called for Roe v. Wade to be overturned and would undoubtedly appoint judges to that end. He and his Vice Presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, have declared themselves pro-life and both have voting records that overwhelmingly prove their conviction to be legitimate.

If your priority this election is for the unborn, your only effective vote is one for Mitt Romney. Denny goes on in his article to show how, for Christians, this priority is not just a good suggestion, but a Biblical mandate. His argument is important enough to include in its entirety:

Proverbs 24:11-12 talks about the responsibility that we all share to protect innocent human life: “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, ‘Behold, we did not know this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?'”

How does this text inform Christians about how they should vote this November? I would argue that it informs your conscience in at least four ways, each of which I urge you to consider prayerfully.

First, you are commanded to “rescue” innocent human life from being unjustly snuffed out. This command issues from the same God who said “thou shalt not kill” and “thou shalt not bear false witness,” and it has the same authority over our consciences. How do we “rescue” the unborn? In America today, we cannot reduce the protection of the unborn to a matter of electoral politics. Supporting adoption alternatives and crisis pregnancy centers, for instance, are a part of rescuing the innocents being led to slaughter. That being said, while we certainly should not reduce our defense of the unborn to electoral politics, we dare not exclude electoral politics from our concern. Thus you should use your democratic privileges to press for the defense of the unborn. If we were in China or Saudi Arabia, you wouldn’t have a say in the matter. But in America you do. Why wouldn’t you vote to protect life?

Second, at the last judgment you will not be able to claim ignorance about your duty to defend innocent human life. Remember, more than 50 million innocent human lives have been snuffed out legally since 1973. If somehow you were unaware of this fact before reading this essay, you now know better. You are accountable for this knowledge, and your vote should reflect it.

Third, the Lord “weighs your heart” and will hold you accountable for the way you think about the unborn. Are you more concerned about your economic interests than you are about protecting the unborn? Are you more interested in not being associated with the religious right than you are in protecting the unborn? Are you more dedicated to your partisan loyalties than you are to protecting the unborn? The Lord knows the answer to these questions. Do you?

Fourth, do not be deceived. God will hold you accountable for how you vote. The Proverb says that God will “repay” each person according to what he has done. There are many “works” that we will have to give an answer for at the last judgment, and our voting will be one of them. Do you think a vote against protecting the unborn will be mitigated at the judgment by arguments like, “Abortion is only one issue among many,” “Single-issue voting is small-minded” and “The pro-abortion candidate agrees with me on other important issues”?

Beware of such arguments. God has said over and over that He is ardently interested in protecting the innocent (e.g., Deuteronomy 10:18; 14:29; Psalm 146:9; Isaiah 1:17, 23; Zechariah 7:10; Malachi 3:5; James 1:27). At the last judgment, protecting innocent human life will be seen for the transcendent value that it is. Will your vote reflect that?

The world is broken, and at the end of the day, we do not put our hope in our government to fix it (Psalm 20:7). Our hope is in a sovereign and just God who will one day make all things new (Revelation 21:5). But our hope in God’s perfect justice in the future should never be used as an excuse to be indifferent about injustice in the present. My hope and prayer is that more people will be convinced of that truth as they go to the polls this November. And that is my hope and prayer for you. Don’t use your vote to exclude a whole class of persons from the human community. Choose life.

Well put, Denny Burk. May we all take this exhortation to heart and make the endangered lives of the unborn our highest national priority.

  • Oct 06 / 2012
  • 0
Abortion, Sidewalk Counseling Ministry

A Sidewalk Counselor’s Cry

My weekly habit after an early morning of sidewalk counseling always included heading to my favorite coffee shop to pray and process all that I’d just experienced. I am thankful my schedule allowed for these hours of mourning and contemplation as they afforded me the chance to search God’s Word for comfort and solace when all my instincts tended toward depression. My journals attest to the desperation and defeat sidewalk counselors often experience, but thankfully they also record the reassuring hope that was always available to me in Scripture.

Nowadays my schedule is somewhat more constrained as I spend much of my time caring for the life of my own little baby girl. I celebrate life each new morning when my sweet 1 year-old greets me with her early chatter and sunrise smiles.  Although my time does not accommodate sidewalk counseling as it once did, the burden on my heart has never been lifted for the unborn. This past week I was reminded of my heart’s cry for the many to be-murdered babies that once passed me by on the sidewalks. Ironically, it was my own lively baby girl who brought this to mind as she is now able to pull journals off of bookshelves and show her appreciation for mama’s writing by munching on their contents.

My latest last minute save was a journal entry was from an April  morning in 2010. Here I recorded my coffee shop prayer after one of my earlier experiences sidewalk counseling:

17 April 2010

Another morning at the abortion clinic. More babies unmet. More mothers turned murderers. More fathers not found. More escorts reviling their God and savoring being used of Satan. Oh the sorrow, the dark gloom. The clamps still snap. The bones still break. The vacuum yet whirs  We beg. We plead. We run the streets in desperation. Who will stay the madness? Who will shed light on this dark horror? As morning dawns, lives are dimmed. The spark is gone. The heartbeat unheard. Father! For Your justice, for Your goodness, for Your glory, please save the young ones. Please save the mothers. Please save the revilers and the hypocrites. Your Word was heard today and rejected by all. You are truly merciful to save any. I humbly ask You to mercifully intercede for sinners like me. I also ask for Your glory to be our aim. I trust You and especially now when I can do no other. You are mighty to save and holy to judge.

Looking back on this entry has reminded me of the intensity of those mornings and their impact on my life as a Christian. I have never hated sin as I did observing its ghastly consequences. And I have never savored Christ as I did seeing what He saves us from. Although sidewalk counseling is the hardest ministry I’ve been a part of, I praise God for how it opened my eyes to the spiritual realities I was only half aware of before. The intensity of God’s goodness is all the more magnified next to His murderous opposition. Oh that my prayers would consistently and vigorously oppose sin and seek God’s glory!

Tomorrow morning, my beloved brothers and sisters in Louisville, Kentucky will continue sidewalk counseling to speak for the unborn and declare the glorious life of the gospel to those who are hell-bent on death. May we Christians pray with desperation for our God to bless their efforts, to thwart the plans of their opposition, and to show His glory by even making 2nd and Market the site where many lost souls are redeemed into eternal life rather than enticed into the agony of death.

1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Isaiah 55:6-7

Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

  • Sep 23 / 2012
  • 4
Abortion, Answers to Hard Questions

My Sister’s Funeral: Let’s Reevaluate Down Syndrome

I wrote a post a while back called Thank You for Not Killing My Sister: Abortion and Down Syndrome. In it I quoted an article that said:

Although no national data are available, the abortion rate of fetuses with the condition [of Down Syndrome] was found to be 59% in one California study and 92% in an English study.

If you have not read my post, I argued that abortion is not the way to deal with Down Syndrome and that it is a mistake to kill these precious children. One of my main arguments springs from the experience I have had with my sister Heather. There are many people in America that are believing a lie that Down Syndrome children are “defective,” but this idea is totally contrary to my experience of growing up with a sister who did not mess things up but instead enhanced and brought joy to my life.

Heather with Her Niece

I am sad to say that since I wrote this post, on August 10th my beautiful, wonderful sister died in a Montana hospital. Heather beat the odds, lived to birth, and then continued to live an amazingly full life until she was 33.  It happened very quickly.  One night she woke up with severe nausea, was rushed to the hospital, and died later the next day.  The diagnosis was unexplained bleeding on her brain.   Needless we all were (and still are) shocked that she is gone.

The funeral was held in Colorado, where she lived most of the year with my parents. Though I recognize that I am prone to crying at these kind of things, I chose to speak anyway because I wanted to honor Heather.  I was one of five people that chose to share about Heather’s impact on our lives and one of 200 in attendance of her funeral. Like the other speakers, I told the misty eyed crowd of the many ways in which my life was better because of Heather. It was through Heather that I first learned of God’s love for the weak and helpless. Heather taught me how to weep with those who weep. She showed me a boldness that could walk up to a man twice her size and tell him about Jesus as though he were an 80-year-old Sunday School teacher. And she taught me what Jesus meant when he said “Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like children you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 18:3).

I figured out pretty early on in my address that I could not look at the section where my family was seated.  And the couple times I forgot to avoid eye-contact, I could not contain my tears. There in the section closest to the stage were some of the strongest people I knew sobbing like children.  These who were the most “inconvenienced” by her condition were the ones who were crying the most.  Why were they weeping? The same reason I am crying right now. We miss Heather.  We loved Heather.  We loved having her in our lives.  As I spoke, I was looking into the eyes of people that would do anything to have just one more moment with her. People longing for one more chance to say something silly just to hear her laugh again. Most of whom, like myself, never even got to say goodbye.

Time for Reevaluation

So, in a world where the vast majority of babies with Down Syndrome are killed before they could ever take a breath, sat a church full of people thankful for every breath Heather took. I recently spoke to my mom about Heather and she commented that we have all been so impacted by Heather. She has had a positive effect on hundreds of people.  And yet, so many pre-suppose that having a child would Down Syndrome would be a negative thing.  Why?  If that is true, where are the parents of children with Down Syndrome who are saying that they wished they would have aborted?

There are many reasons not to kill an unborn child with Down Syndrome, but I mainly just want to combat one lie with this post. It is the lie that if you have a baby with Down Syndrome, neither you nor your child will ever have joy. It is the lie that says that deformity and retardation equal suffering for the child and his or her parents. I can honestly say that I have never met a more joyful person in my life than Heather. Her middle name was Joy and truly that is what characterized her life. Yes, she was made fun of in elementary school. Yes, she had many more surgeries in her life than I have. Yes, she lived in her parents’ house until her death. But the amazing thing is that she never wanted to leave their house and my parents never wanted her to go. Heather not only lived a life full of joy, but she radiated it to others. Our lives were not worse because of her, they were better. And, to put it as my brother did, she was not defective, we are.

So, let us think about what is true today. Whether you are the one considering an abortion because the doctor told you your baby is deformed or a sidewalk counselor seeking save the lives of those with special needs, consider the irony of this story. Thousands of men and women killing children with Down Syndrome, and hundreds longing for more time with one.

A video celebrating the life of Heather.

  • Sep 07 / 2012
  • 0
Abortion, Politics

“Pro-Choice” or “Pro-Choose-my-Choice”?

I’ve always thought the greatest strength of the Pro-Life position is the consistency of our belief. Since we believe every human life is created in the image of God, we believe every life is precious. That leads us to defend the dignity of life whether it’s the womb, a wheelchair, or the old folks’ home down the street.

Conversely, the pro-choice movement is absolutely riddled with contradictions. When should an unborn baby be granted personhood? Ask 10 pro-choicers and you’ll probably get 15 different answers since many are so unsure they keep multiple options. What is an acceptable reason to have an abortion? The answers range from rape to fetal deformity to too much freshman homework.

The video below shows the broader impact of the weak pro-choice rationale as it played out in this week’s Democratic National Convention. Consider using this logic the next time you engage with someone who claims to be pro-choice. Odds are they are struggling with the same identity crisis as these people.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwejQBIyjow&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Psalm 18:30
This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

  • Feb 28 / 2012
  • 0
Abortion, Biblical Application

My body, My choice…right?

Oh the audacity of pro-lifers who show up on the streets and tell me what to do with my body.  Not only that, but men stand in the streets, holding their Bibles, telling me what I can and cannot do with my own body.  Unless they have a uterus, they have no right to tell me what to do with mine.  It is my body, my sexuality, my uterus and therefore abortion is my choice. 

Anyone can observe this line of reasoning loudly displayed on bumper stickers, T-Shirts, on the TV and in front of abortion clinics around the country.  At first glance, it is logical.  It is not culturally acceptable to go over to a stranger’s house and tell them what clothes they should or should not wear.  It would also be unthinkable to tell someone standing in line at Starbucks how they should take their coffee, and so on.

However, what if our bodies are not actually our own?  What if there is a God who uniquely made every feminist and every pro-choicer?  What if this God has expressed his opinion on how he wants them to use the bodies he’s loaned to them?

 

The Biblical Perspective

God unashamedly claims that everything in the world belongs to him, not us.

  • Job 41:11   Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine.
  • Psalm 24:1 The earth is the LORD’s, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it.

Thus, the ideology that claims that a woman’s body is her own is entirely incompatible with the Bible (despite the claims of compatibility by groups such as The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice).  So, according to the Bible, my body is not my body, but instead it belongs to God.  And since it belongs to God, what does he tell me to do with it?

 

Made to Glorify God and to Serve

We were made to glorify God in everything—including who we sleep with, do not sleep with, in eating, drinking, and in regards to the issue of abortion.  “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  (1 Cor 10:31).  We are also called to use our hands as “instruments of righteousness,” to help the poor and needy, to use our speech to encourage others.  We are called to serve other people, to die to ourselves for the good of others, and so on.

As this applies to abortion, God tells us to use our bodies, speech, and entire lives to “love our neighbors as ourselves” and, more specifically, to “defend the rights of the poor and needy.”  Therefore, not only does the Lord prohibit us from taking the life of another human, but positively, he tells us to use our bodies to defend the helpless, in this case the unborn.

Therefore, to the girl walking into the abortion clinic wearing a My body, my choice! shirt: your body is not your own, it belongs to God.  And God has commanded you to bring him glory with that body and to use it to love others.

 

Christianity is Better

Oh the irony.  While people are loudly declaring ownership over what is not their’s (i.e. their bodies), God is saving those who have faith in Jesus.  Even more, he promises to give these people new, eternal bodies.  As followers of Jesus, we humbly acknowledge that our bodies, our time, and our lives are not our own.  We imperfectly devote our lives to using our bodies to glorify the Lord.  And yet, we eagerly await the day when we will be given new, perfected bodies that will life forever.  They will be free from sinful impulses, free from sickness, free from death, made to live in a home built for us by Jesus himself.  We refuse to claim ownership of our earthly shells, but instead delight in the reality that God will one day give us new, perfected bodies.

Repent of the ways you have misused the body God has given you.  Trust that through Jesus you can be forgiven.  And then serve God with your body now.  Use it to defend, not destroy, the unborn.  Live for the next life.  Because being a Christian, in the long run, is far better.

  • Aug 18 / 2011
  • 4
Abortion

When Personal Preference Becomes Murder

Last week, The New York Times Magazine ran a horrifying story about a woman who conceived twins through IVF and then terminated one of the babies (referred to as pregnancy reduction). The biggest issue to note is that the woman who is aborting one twin (as is the case in many of these situations) is doing so out of convenience and preference for her and not because of her concern for the babies (which is still no excuse). Dr. Denny Burk and Dr. Albert Mohler have both commented on this article and I’ve included a couple of excerpts below.

Dr. Denny Burk introduces us to the topic:

The New York Times Magazine has a heartbreaking article on yet another monument to the culture of death—pregnancy reduction. In case you have never heard the term, here’s what pregnancy reduction is in a nutshell. When a pregnant mother is carrying two or more babies in her womb, she can choose to kill one or more of those babies while allowing others to live. According to pro-choicers, pregnancy reduction is a practice that began years ago to reduce health risks for women carrying multiples. Pro-choicers have also reasoned that pregnancy reduction increases chances for surviving multiples to make it to term. But that was then, and this is now. What began as a misguided attempt to help women and (some!) unborn babies, has now devolved into the slippery slope. Now, the procedure is increasingly performed on women carrying twins. In fact, the Times article focuses in particular on the increasing number of women who carry twins but who for whatever reason only want one of them to live. The reasons for killing one and letting the other live range from finances to time-management.

He concludes:

In this article, the euphemism “pregnancy reduction” is a rouse. It is a term that attempts to cover-up a great moral evil. The expression plainly functions to deflect attention from an intolerable contradiction—that one unborn child might be allowed to live while its perfectly healthy sibling is destroyed. But the covering is a fig leaf, and that is seen most conspicuously in the troubled consciences of the mothers and medical professionals in this article who have participated in this procedure.

At the end of the day, it’s not just the euphemism that is the problem. It is the heinous evil that the euphemism is trying to hide that should scandalize us. Reducing a pregnancy means killing an innocent human. Just as we don’t want to give in to the mores of a decadent culture, neither should we be complicit in covering evil with clever obfuscations. Such talk is a not-too subtle throwback to an ancient method that humans use to justify sin—calling evil good and calling good evil (Isaiah 5:20). Make no mistake. God is outraged at that, and so should we.

Dr. Albert Mohler‘s commentary begins:

Euphemisms are the refuge of moral cowardice, and no euphemism is so cowardly or so deadly as “reduction” — a word that sounds like math, but really means murder. The August 14, 2011 edition of The New York Times Magazine makes this fact clear in its cover story, “The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy.”

He continues:

“The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy” is one of the most significant articles of recent years. With chilling and unflinching candor, Ruth Padawer virtually forces her readers to see the twisted thinking that justifies the killing of the unborn, and then she tries to evade moral responsibility by calling the procedure a “reduction.”

There is a story behind this story, of course. The intersection where modern reproductive technologies and legal abortion meet is now a deadly place for many unborn babies. In the name of personal preference and for “social reasons,” some women now demand that their multiple babies be aborted so that they will have only the one baby they want.

Padawer says that many Americans are uneasy about this knowledge, perhaps “because the desire for more choices conflicts with our discomfort about meddling with ever more aspects of reproduction.”

But the procedure so dishonestly called “reduction” is really not about mere “meddling.” It is murder.

I would encourage you to read the original article in its entirety and pray for these precious babies who are losing their lives to “preference.” God hears their cries.

Pages:12
Are you ready to Speak? Learn How