Sidewalk Counseling Out of State: Resources to Help You Advocate for Life Anywhere You Go

Friday, June 25, 2021

Recently, I found myself feeling convicted to speak up for the cause of the preborn child at an abortion clinic. One problem: I was on vacation out of state. I did not have any pro-life connections in the area, I had not brought any fetal development or crisis pregnancy literature, and I also plain did not know anything about how abortion was affecting the local area or pro-life resources in that state. So what’s a girl to do?

A few ideas for effective sidewalk advocacy in an out of state environment:

(1) Research the area - we live in an age of mass information. Think of how often you may use the internet to research an idea or location. You can also apply that to raising your voice for life in a place with which you’re not familiar.

Discover key information: (a) abortion clinics in the state - is there an abortion clinic near where you are vacationing? If you have the Maps app, simply type “Abortion services near me” into the search bar. (b) Where are local pregnancy centers located in relation to the abortion clinic, and what services do they offer? (c) What kind of social service agencies surround the area? Is there a local adoption agency, maternal housing, and women’s shelter?

To increase your grasp of recent pro-life happenings in the area, try searching the state’s name on Live Action News and Life Site News. This can give you an overview of current events in the area as they pertain to the preborn. A quick stop to do some research can help you advocate for life more effectively.

(2) Acquire helpful resources to provide for abortion-bound women you may meet in the area - can you visit the local pregnancy center and ask them for their information card? Can you acquire embryonic and fetal development literature to distribute? Do you have abortion pill reversal pamphlets?

If you do not have these resources, don’t let it hold you back from going to the abortion clinic. When I went to the out of state abortion clinic near where I was vacationing, I had absolutely nothing, as far as life-defending literature goes. I knew this might be an issue, so I researched local pregnancy centers and made a hand-written note with the closest pregnancy center’s phone number and address. You can take a DIY approach if all else fails.

If you encounter a woman who has taken the abortion pill and wants abortion pill reversal, there is a national hotline to call. Add this number to the contacts in your phone:

Abortion Pill Reversal 24-Hour Helpline: 877-558-0333

(3) Make new connections and ask questions - if you have the opportunity while sidewalk counseling at the new location, try to meet any fellow pro-lifers who may be there to pray, hold signs, or reach out to the women. Ask identifying questions of those who regularly advocate in the area:

- What do you know of this abortion clinic? How long has it been open? What kinds of abortions to they preform? Has anyone chosen life recently? How regularly is there a pro-life presence outside this abortion clinic? What do you know about the abortionist and other staff here?

- Which pregnancy center do you prefer to take abortion-bound women to? Do any local centers have availability to give an ultrasound to an abortion-bound woman immediately, should the need arise? What kinds of services do they have?

- Do you have crisis pregnancy literature for this specific area? Sometimes local pro-life advocates may be willing to share extra pamphlets that would be especially helpful to the women at that particular abortion clinic.

(4) Pray - abortion is the intentional destruction of a preborn life. This is a spiritual war; we need Jesus Christ to go before us in this battle for the rescue of preborn children. Lift up specific requests to the Lord about your upcoming trip.

Making the decision to raise your voice for the unborn in a location you are not used to can feel nerve wracking, but anywhere there is abortion, we should feel compelled to do something to advocate for the children's cause. If you have seven days on vacation, why not dedicate one of those to locating the nearest abortion clinic and prayerfully examining how you can make a mark for life in that place?

Hopping into an Uber and going to an abortion clinic in Arizona I was completely unfamiliar with--prior to the trip--seemed somewhat disorganized and risky, but I knew, for some reason, God was calling me to fight for the preborn in that place. When I stepped out on a limb and went, God faithfully provided in more ways than I expected. I interacted with four local pro-life activists, learned about how abortion affects the Phoenix area, and got to talk with a girl who turned away from her abortion appointment that day. Who knows, maybe it was for that particular girl and her baby that God led me to walk into the unknown that morning. When God burdens your heart to go out and defend the local unborn children who are signed up for death, you never know what particular ways you will discover that God has gone before you.

Oh to think that our will to obey or rejection of His call could be the difference between death and life for particular preborn children.

Am I willing to exit my comfort zone so that more babies might be saved from the horror of abortion, even in places that seem unfamiliar to me?

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