3 Ways Sidewalk Counseling Can Be Applied in Post-Roe America

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The sidewalk is empty in front of my city’s abortion facility. 

On a typical morning last June, dozens of women, companions, and pro-choice escorts would tread toward the building’s concrete awning. Our sidewalk counseling group walked alongside them toward the facility, offering them Gospel hope and help. We would see hearts harden and doors slam shut. We would see lives saved and souls transformed. And every day we were on the sidewalk, we saw a cosmic battle raging for the souls of men and women and the lives of precious preborn boys and girls.

But there’s an abortion ban in my state. What use is there for sidewalk counseling now?

Though sidewalk counseling will become less common in pro-life states, there are several profound reasons why it is still essential in today’s post-Roe America.


First, sidewalk counseling is vital in states where abortion is legal.

Thirty-eight states currently allow abortion at varying stages, and some even perform abortions up to birth. Click here for the updated list.

A couple of years ago, our group saw a couple walking toward us with an escort prompting them toward the entrance. We offered words of hope, but the mother went inside without giving us a second look. The husband, however, stopped and talked with us for quite a while.  After a few moments of sharing Christ and listening to his story, he turned around and threw open the door. 

It took time, but that man helped his wife see their sin and the precious life they held together. They came out together weeping happy tears. We rejoiced with them, and a member of a partner ministry offered to help throw them a baby shower. On an otherwise dark day when dozens of mothers did not choose life, it was wonderful to celebrate the redemption Christ brings.

Every week, over 10,000 mothers and fathers will walk into abortion clinics across the United States to end their children’s lives. Many will do so without anyone coming alongside them, offering the eternal hope available to them in Jesus Christ and the aid He graciously provides through His church and pregnancy resource centers.

Numerous voices are urging these mothers toward sin and death. More often than not, they will hear the alluring voice of Satan offering fake freedom and false hope. If no Christians are standing outside of abortion clinics sharing Gospel hope — who will?

Sidewalk counseling is vital because Christians have been given a divine call to proclaim the Gospel and love our neighbor. As Jude poignantly says, “have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” (‭‭Jude‬ ‭1:22-23‬)

In states where abortion is legal, sidewalk counseling is an essential component of proclaiming the Gospel, offering hope to abortion-minded women, and saving babies’ lives. 


Second, sidewalk counseling is needed in states where abortion is illegal because of ever-changing laws.

Currently, fourteen states have banned abortion with few or no exceptions. Click here for the updated list.

In many cities, abortion facilities will remain open to refer women to other states. Maintaining a consistent presence outside those clinics could lead to Gospel opportunities with those considering abortion. Babies’ lives could be saved by our efforts, and the Gospel in both word and action can be offered to those seeking referrals.

Additionally, churches must be prepared to return to the sidewalks if abortion becomes legal again in their states. Imagine the agony that church leaders will experience if lawmakers fail to pass laws banning abortion, and abortion facilities reopen. Pastors and church leaders must continue to encourage their members toward holiness and motivate them to be prepared.

Here are two other ways to continue Gospel-centered pro-life ministry even while abortion clinics are closed:

1. Pray!

  • Pray for the Gospel to go forth powerfully in states that currently allow abortion. Pray for saved souls, saved babies, and strength for S4U volunteers and network churches. 
  • Pray for network churches in states where abortion is illegal. Pray that they would continue to galvanize their members, care for single moms and babies saved from abortion, and boldly speak the truth in love to those considering abortion.
  • Pray for abortion to end in America and Canada.
  • Pray that those considering abortion would repent and trust in Christ.
  • Pray for single moms, low-income families, and mothers with challenging medical circumstances. Pray that they would not choose abortion and that they would receive the help available to them from churches and pregnancy centers. 

To receive regular prayer updates from S4U, join our email list and receive a free digital copy of “20 Ways To Get Involved In Pro-Life Ministry Today.”


2. Sidewalk counsel at abortion facilities across state lines.

Our group plans to regularly sidewalk counsel at an abortion facility that remains open in a nearby state. Network churches that border abortion-legal states can also take regular sidewalk counseling trips, and these trips will serve as a unique way to support neighboring Network Churches. For states that don’t currently have a Network Church, these trips could open a door to encourage a church to join in the battle against abortion.


Third, sidewalk counseling is needed in everyday life because the sidewalks have changed.

Conversations about abortion have always been tense, but after the Dobbs decision, it’s especially challenging to have a cordial discussion. Talking about abortion is inevitable and can be awkward, but it doesn’t have to be a losing battle. Christians can offer hope to a world desperately needing salvation through repentance and faith in Christ.


In June 2022, a friend and I were walking outside an apartment building when one of the tenants burst outside. “Can you believe what they just did?” he called out to me, referring to the recent Supreme Court decision on abortion. We proceeded to have a long conversation about the decision, and I was grateful for the training I’d received to winsomely and clearly articulate the biblical position on abortion. We must be prepared, as Peter says, “to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.”

Some day soon, you may be tasked with counseling a friend or family member who is considering abortion. You may encounter a stranger who wants to know why you would support an abortion ban. You may not expect these kinds of conversations, but they will happen.

Are you prepared?

Though the sidewalks have changed and states’ laws are ever in flux, sidewalk counseling is just as vital as before. Christians must be prepared to plead for the lives of preborn babies, walk alongside those considering abortion while offering Gospel hope, and give physical help to mothers and families in need. The Lord has called us to rise to the occasion, and we must answer with humble dependence on His grace and a compassionate boldness that only comes from Christ Jesus our Lord.


Want to learn more about equipping the coming generation with words of Gospel hope? Join the waiting list for our Youth Voices for Life training.


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