You Can Stop Abortions
those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter."
has been passed, but one day the right to life of pre-born babies will
be recognised and protected in South Africa. Yes, the "Choice on
Termination of Pregnancy" Bill has been implemented, but the resistance
to it is encouraging. A Doctors For Life press statement recently stated
that: 'The recent response by medical personnel to the implementation
of the 'Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act' confirms the DFL survey
that showed that 82.49% of doctors are not willing to perform abortions
"From all over the country reports are streaming in of nurses
and doctors that are refusing to perform abortions. Out of a nursing staff
of more than a thousand at the Pretoria Academic Hospital, only ten are
prepared to perform abortions. In Kwazulu/Natal the majority of staff
are refusing... From the Eastern Cape it is reported that virtually all
doctors in Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage refused. In a meeting to try and
solve the crisis it was decided to postpone the implementation of the
act in the Eastern Cape." Doctors For Life News Release (13/2/97)
As with pornography, the problem can be tackled in a number of different
ways: Introduce laws that ban pornography; use zoning regulations to limit
outlets where it can be sold and persuade retailers not to sell it anpublishers
not to print it; and educate the public not to buy and use pornography.
As with pornography, the government has pushed through the laws against
overwhelming public opinion. However, even though the law favours the
pornography industry, Scope has closed, Playboy SA has closed down and
Penthouse has dropped in sales per month from 100 000 to 26 000 copies.
Playboy's editor Paul Kerton blamed the "anti-pornography lobby"
for slashing the magazine's distribution points from 12 000 to 3 000 (Sunday
So in the same way, we should not become discouraged and despondent because
the government has ignored our written and oral submissions and steamrolled
this bill through Parliament. Now, we need to refocus our time and energy
on the other things we can do to prevent abortions being committed in
this country. If doctors, nurses, social workers, pharmacists and other
medical workers will refuse to be involved in abortions; if young people
will know that the unborn is fully human and refuse to have abortions
to solve the problem of a crisis pregnancy; and if Christians will support
women in crisis pregnancies and show that there is a positive, practical
and loving alternative to abortion, then although the laws may be on the
books, babies will be saved. And in the long term, we must work to get
the laws reversed. Our response should not be to give up because we haven't
yet succeeded, but to continue to be faithful in the fight to protect
unborn babies from abortion. To care enough to confront.
Recognise that the unborn baby is fully human and should be treated as
such. Each life saved is precious and valuable and worth the effort. I
would like to give you some ideas here of simple (and some not so simple)
things you can do to stop abortion. These ideas have been adapted from
the book: "Closed: 99 Ways to Stop Abortion" by Joseph Scheidler.
This is part 1 of a two part series:
"We cannot wait for the 'abortion problem' to be solved for us. Street
by street, neighbourhood by neighbourhood, we must fight this necessary
battle until legalised abortion is relegated to the barbaric past, along
with slavery and cannibalism! This street by street approach is the only
method that really works; first, because it puts pressure on politicians,
judges, and the media elite in a way that mere talk will never do; and
second, because it actually saves babies' lives. We may not be able to
shut every abortion clinic in the country, but we can shut the abortion
clinic in our neighbourhood. We may not be able to save every baby, but
we can save many." Franky Schaefer
1) Sidewalk Counselling
Counselling is a method of saving babies by talking to their parents
in front of the abortion clinic. It is probably the single most valuable
activity that a pro-life person can engage in. When pro-lifers counsel
in front of an abortion clinic, they are coming between the woman
and the abortionist, between the baby who is scheduled to be killed
and the abortionist who would do the killing."
counsellor can use any number of ways to counsel but should to know
something about human nature and must be able to understand the crisis
the woman is facing. The counsellor must understand what has driven
her to this unnatural, inhuman solution to her crisis pregnancy.
Chicago, in one thirty-day period, half a dozen sidewalk counsellors
at only a few clinics were able to stop ninety women from having abortions.
Seventeen were stopped in a single morning at a clinic on Michigan
Avenue. While a few of these women may have gone back to have their
abortions later, more than ninety percent did not return, and they
kept in touch with the pro-life counselling centre. All because there
were side walk counsellors present."
people praying outside the abortion clinic.
try to talk to all going into the clinic. The woman, the boyfriend,
the friend etc.
a cheerful greeting, then offer pro-life literature.
not get discouraged by rejections. You may be called names, people
may attempt to push you away. But very often, yours will be the only
effort that has been made to save the baby's life. "A peaceful
presence and the presentation of a positive alternative to this tragic
solution can be a blessing in itself."
the development of the pre-born baby.
possible physical and emotional complications.
through, refer or preferably take the mother to a local Crisis Pregnancy
2) The Picket and Demonstration
one full year in Chicago, a senior citizen picketed a State Street
abortion clinic every day, despite rain, heat or freezing temperatures,
and literally closed the clinic. The old gentleman, Philip de Filipo,
is dead now - but the clinic remains closed. Despite jeers from passers-by
as well as threats by the clinic owners and their attorneys, Phil
continued passing out literature, talking to clients and carrying
a picket sign telling of the value of unborn human life. He remained
at his post until the clinic closed a few days before he died."
must be well-planned, well-organised, and above all, orderly. Signs
should be carefully checked before hand. Examples: Abortion Kills
Babies, Abortion is Murder, Don't Abort Your Baby, Give Life a Chance,
Life Yes - Abortion No, Adoption - Loving Option. Large single-subject
photographs of live babies or aborted babies are useful. Anything
crude, insulting or off the subject should be rejected.
lettering on a white background is best. Use paints rather than markers
or crayons which tend to smudge when wet. Laminating signs makes them
signs on sticks not only increases their visibility, but makes them
easy to carry.
the same message on each side.
marshals who should wear a distinctive badge, armband or shirt.
signs, praying, chanting informative slogans, and singing are proper
activities during the picket.
simple slogans, songs and prayers, led alternatively with occasional
periods of complete silence will occupy the group.
permission from the city council.
is vital to a good picket. All directions and directives must be clear.
responsibilities, appoint a press spokeswoman.
down demonstrators' names, addresses and phone numbers: It provides
a list of reliable people to call in future, it gives you names and
addresses of those you may want to send thank-you letters and press
clippings, and it also gives picketers the feeling that their participation
is worthwhile and that they are not taken for granted.
is imperative to have counsellors present at every abortion clinic
Christian who values life should be able to spend at least two hours
a month at a prayer vigil, or a picket line, handing out literature,
or doing sidewalk counselling in front of an abortion clinic.
the demonstration ends, there should be an announcement of some specific
action to be taken. "Go from here to counsel at clinics",
"Go home and write a letter to protest abortion" etc.
essential form of communication.
your own, or you can obtain already printed literature from Africa
Christian Action, Christians For Truth or Pro-Life.
distribution points: train stations, bus stops, shopping centres,
schools. Go to churches on Sunday morning and hand them out to the
congregation. It's advisable to have a team of four to eight leafleters.
Do not let them spread out too much, it helps people accept a leaflet
if they realise they will have to face several other people handing
out the same leaflet.
be courteous. Greet people as you offer them a leaflet. Smile even
if they tear the leaflet up and throw it back at you. Be not only
cheerful, but assertive. Comment on the contents of the leaflet.
gather to discuss peoples' reactions and pray.
Pro-Life Slogans And Ministries
billboards for pro-life ads is one option. Give the phone number of
a crisis pregnancy centre where women can receive pre and post-abortion
counselling or where they can receive legal advice after a botched
bumper stickers, stamps, labels, buttons, "Precious Feet",
the names of donors/sponsors in the ad or printed leaflets.
to the Editor
A letter to the editor in any publication is both a valuable source
of information to the public and a free, effective way to correct
media mistakes (of which there are many).
Letters have a greater chance of being accepted if they are concise,
courteous, to the point, brief and, if possible, fax or E-mail it
and then it should also be posted. Where possible, type them, using
should be mailed as soon as possible, while the subject is still timely.
to something that appeared in their newspaper.
like to receive letters from out of town.
send letters to major news magazines like Time and Newsweek. Be very
brief and to the point.
include your name, address and phone number.
"Seldom does a day go by without some biased or incorrect editorial,
story, syndicated column, cartoon or letter to the editor appearing
in print. If we do not write letters to set the record straight, the
confusion will remain. The unborn can only speak through our voices,
pens and typewriters. We are their voices, and we must keep speaking
6) How to
Get on Radio Talk Shows
Listen to the radio phone in programmes.
in as often as possible. Ask them to invite you to debate the issue
or allow you to present the other side.
be available. Never turn down an invitation to go on radio or television
or do an interview - if you cannot do it, or do not feel competent,
accept the opportunity saying that you will find the appropriate person
to do the interview. Whether you have to do the interview by phone
or go to the studios, accept the offer. Whether it is a local community
radio station or the SABC, accept the offer. You are going to talk
to somebody, and possibly you will convert someone to the pro-life
worry about a hostile host, he can gain sympathy for you by his bias.
you are discussing a specific subject, such as abortion, do not let
anyone steer you off the subject and into other areas, no matter how
persistent he may be.
on the facts during the entire time you are on air. Always go into
depth on why your answer is yes or no. Give examples and clear, graphic
proof of why abortion is illogical and why the defence of human life
about your own experiences.
try to keep a sense of humour.
up leads from what your opposition says.
on accuracy throughout the discussion. If they talk about 'eliminating',
'removing' or 'interrupting' the pregnancy, call it instead 'killing
a new human life.' Never accept and use their terms.
7) Use Pro-Life
Stickers, Literature, Stencils
stickers suggest alternatives to abortion: "Adoption, Loving
Option." Others make a straightforward statement: "Abortion
Kills Babies" or ask a simple question: "Does Your Doctor
pro-lifers should have a pro-life bumper sticker on their car.
and distribute the "Precious Feet" (a lapel pin of a life
size 10 week old pre-born baby's feet). It's a silent witness, but
often gives you the opportunity to explain.
colourful, interesting pro-life literature and leave in your doctor's
offices, at the dentist's or at the hair dresser.
stickers encourage pro-lifers and inform the public from telephone
poles, lamp poles, electricity boxes, dust bins and construction fences.
pro-life stickers or rubber stamps on your envelopes
Your Medical Aid on its Abortion Policy
new legislation states that abortion will be "scale of benefits"
in a medical aid. This means that the medical aids will have to make
policy decisions on abortion. It also means that we could be paying
for abortions with our medical aids contributions.
need to write to our medical aids challenging them to make life-affirming
decisions by refusing to pay for abortions. We need to do this before
the medical aids start receiving claims for abortion payments.
9) Use Pictures
picture speaks a thousand words".
is only appropriate that pro-life activists, whose subject, the unborn,
cannot be seen, educate through the use of pictures, photographs and
drawings in order for others to understand the plight of the unseen
blow up photos are very effective. Indicate on the pictures the stage
of foetal development that is represented and the stage of the pregnancy.
pictures in your pickets. People cannot resist looking at them. Put
them in your window if you have a ground floor office. Use them even
on radio talk shows. Describe them. Show them to the host. If he calls
them emotional and disgusting, agree with him. Abortion is emotional
and disgusting. It isn't right and it shouldn't be legal.
are very effective on leaflets and posters.
pressure is not a threat. It merely lets people know that you and
other pro-lifers will not have dealings with anyone who supports abortion
in any way at all.
system of graduated pressure is used. First, talk to the appropriate
person in management. Then get people to phone or write. Finally,
go to the press, picket and use pressure. We should not start with
pressure, but rather with diplomacy. We conclude with pressure.
your doctor (Business men, advertising agencies etc.) that if he gives
abortion referrals or does anything to promote abortion, you will
have to go elsewhere.
must include a promise, based on a kind of personal regret. "We
really have no choice in this matter. If you insist on supporting
abortion, we simply cannot continue doing business with you. And we
will have to tell our friends about your unfortunate abortion involvement.
It is too bad things turned out this way; we are sorry."
your adversary know what your intentions are, but without promising
that you are going to carry them out. Let them know, for instance,
that it is your intention to close their clinic. Say, "We intend
to close this clinic" or "We will do everything in our power
to close this clinic." But a straightforward threat, "We
are going to close this clinic," may not be possible to carry
not make threats, especially any that could be construed to suggest
that you might use violence. We will not counter violence (which abortion
is) with violence.
Fear with Conviction
Graduates and staff of the first Summit Leadership Training Course in
South Africa, January 1997, Pietermaritzburg.
people in the pro-life movement are afraid. They are afraid of the
movement itself and of what it portends. They are afraid of the activists
and of being identified with fanatics. The are afraid that their reputation
might be damaged. They are even afraid of what they might have to
do in the fight against abortion, even though they know that what
they are doing is right... Pro-life activists have found that the
best remedy for paralysing fear is the development of a strong conviction
that what you are doing is absolutely the right thing to be doing.
This conviction must be based on the reality of moral absolutes. When
you are going into an abortion clinic to talk with clinic personnel,
the doctor, the proprietor, or the women wanting abortions, you must
be absolutely certain that what you are doing is a good thing. You
must be convinced that it is better to do it than not to do it. You
must be convinced that good will come from it, and that lives will
be saved. Your intention must always be to save lives. With a strong
conviction and with the motive of saving lives, fear will not prevent
you doing what must be done... The fear we have of being ridiculed
and losing respect can be overcome by knowing that we are right. God
sees all things in their proper light and we need to pray that He
will direct all our actions... We should not be afraid to be led by
a zeal for God's law."
12) Be a
way to stop abortion is to pray as though everything depends on God
and to work as though everything depends on you. The power of prayer
and the need for prayer cannot be stressed enough. Prayer is something
that everyone can do to stop abortion."
for the perseverance of pro-life activists. It helps them cope with
the abuse, rejection, threats and the ignorance, selfishness, and
disregard for life that makes their jobs so difficult.
for the wisdom of God's Holy Spirit. For unity among the staff members
of pro-life ministries, for their marriages and families of all staff
for the mothers, that their hearts would be open to receive counsel
and the love and forgiveness of God.
for the abortionists, that they will come to realise the value of
the lives they terminate.
for the protection of the unborn babies, threatened with imminent
you do, Do it with Love
though some of the things pro-life activists do to stop abortion may
seem hostile, we must never lose sight of the fact that what we are
trying to do is save lives, while helping preserve women's mental,
physical and spiritual health. We can only do these things if we love
the people we confront... 'We want you to do the right thing. But
since you don't know what is right, we will make you look at abortion
in its ugly reality. If you can't learn through persuasion, we will
use pressure.'... We do not want the abortionists to be punished in
Hell for eternity. Yet we believe there is reward and punishment after
this life, that good will be rewarded and evil punished... Throughout
history, it has been those who really love who try to convert people
from evil to good... We do it [direct action against abortion] to
bear witness to society, and to the abortionists, that there is a
better way to solve problems than by killing children... We can base
our activities on our hatred of abortion, but not on hatred of the
abortionists. Scripture admonishes us to love our enemies and do good
to those who hate us."
to "Closed: 99 Ways to Stop Abortion" by Joseph Scheidler, Tan
Books and Publishers Inc, Rockford, Illinois. 1993
more information and resources contact:
AFRICA CHRISTIAN ACTION