The thought of “sidewalk counseling”–being the last line of defense for babies and help for their parents–may be intimidating. Follow Created Equal’s virtual training steps to prepare. Begin below and then navigate through the steps at right.
- Find out when the local abortion facilities are open. Connect with those already sidewalk counseling. If no one is doing so, look online for the details. Be aware that most mothers will show up at least an hour before the abortionist.
- Know where the nearest pregnancy resource center (“PRC”) is. Seek the PRC’s permission to hand out their literature. Know the PRC’s address, how to get there, and what services they offer. Most provide free financial support and counseling, often until the child is a couple of years old. Many also offer counseling for those who’ve had abortions.
- Go sidewalk counseling with at least one other person. This will ensure you have a witness if abortion facility employees make false accusations (e.g., trespassing). Be prepared to film any conflicts which occur.
- Bring signs and literature. Have resources covering options for parents, the effects of abortion on mothers and fathers, stages of fetal development, abortion pill rescue details, abortion methods and victims. For a discussion of abortion victim imagery outside abortion facilities, see Dr. Monica Miller’s “Graphic Images: An Apologia.”
- Familiarize yourself with basic fetal development. For instance, the heart begins beating at 16 days after fertilization. Thus, all mothers walking inside are aborting children with a beating heart. A few facts like this can stir the mother’s conscience.
- Reflect on the gravity of abortion and pray for God’s help as you witness. Pray that God would prepare your heart before you speak to those at the abortion facility. Ask Him to intervene on behalf of babies and their parents and to give wisdom to your team.
WHEN YOU ARRIVE
- Designated sidewalk counselors should not carry signs or wear pro-life T-shirts. To be more approachable, counselors should be distinct from others protesting or silently praying.
- Your first goal is inviting the mother to talk to you as she approaches the facility. Offer free literature. Be friendly and approachable. If you appear angry, she may rush inside more quickly. For more, continue on to Step Two: Initiating Conversations.
- Don’t place signs on the abortion facility’s property. You have a legal right to be on public property, such as the sidewalk. Remember this if law enforcement approaches you.