Please Note: This article was written for the first version of my book pro-life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments (1992). I now have a revised and expanded version of the book (2000) so the references to Appendixes will be different depending on which version of the book you have. The abbreviation PLA stands for pro-life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments.
Direct Personal Involvement
1. Open your home to a pregnant girl. Help her financially, emotionally, and spiritually.
2. Open your home to an unwanted child for foster care or adoption.
3. Volunteer time with organizations helping pregnant women, newborns, drug babies, orphans, the handicapped, elderly, street people, and others in need. Personal care is the most basic pro-life activity.
4. Establish a pregnancy counseling and abortion alternative service that offers free pregnancy tests, counseling, and support. You can often get the very first listing in the Yellow Pages as Abortion Alternatives, which precedes Abortion Services. (For help getting started, see "Abortion Alternatives and Support For Women" in Appendix D or K, pro-life Resources, PLA.)
5. Donate materials, office equipment, furniture, baby clothes, professional services, and money to Pregnancy Resource Centers, Birthright, Bethany Christian Services, and other pro-life groups.
6. Teach your children and other young people how to say no to premarital sex. Teenage sexual abstinence is not only psychologically healthy, it is the only sure way to prevent teen pregnancies. (Josh McDowell's Why Wait? and How to Teach Your Child to Say No to Sexual Pressures, and James Dobson's Preparing for Adolescence are helpful resources. See also the "Prochastity Curricula" listed in Appendix D or Appendix K, PLA).
Educating Yourself and Others
7. Become thoroughly informed about the abortion issue. Many fine books, tapes, and videos are available, as well as excellent (and usually free) pro-life newsletters. (See Appendix D or K, PLA.) Know the facts so you can rehearse in advance the best responses to the pro-choice arguments. Be prepared so no opportunities are missed.
8. Talk to your friends, neighbors, and coworkers about the abortion issue. Challenge them to rethink their assumptions, and to be careful not to buy into an illogical or morally untenable position. Give them a copy of this book, with some pages marked for their attention. (Refer women who have had abortions to Appendix A, PLA, "Finding Forgiveness after an Abortion".) Use this book to read and discuss in a class or small group.
9. Volunteer your services as a pro-life speaker for schools and church groups. Use the arguments laid out in this book as your presentation outline. Approach a church or Christian school and offer to teach a course in pro-life Logic and Action.
10. Call in and speak up on talk shows, and ask for equal time on television and radio stations that present the pro-choice position. They often welcome a variety of positions. To say nothing is to endorse what is often an unchallenged pro-choice bandwagon.
11. Students: Write papers, make speeches, and start a campus pro-life group. See "Organizing a Student pro-life Organization" under Books on pro-life Strategies in Appendix D or K, PLA.
12. Display attractive pro-life posters and information at your office or shop. You may lose a little business, and gain a little. But the truth will be served, and some innocent human lives will be saved.
Literature, Visuals, and Advertising
13. Order and distribute pro-life literature. Have it displayed or available at your place of business. Leave it on your coffee table. Distribute literature door to door to influence opinion. An attractive piece left on each porch on a Saturday morning will be read by many. In some areas every home distribution has radically changed community sentiments about abortion. (See Appendix D or K, PLA, for a list of the best literature.)
14. Donate pro-life books and magazine subscriptions to public and school libraries. They are usually well-stocked with pro-choice literature—point out that you just want to provide a little balance and make sure the other position isn't censored.
15. Use a pre-made pro-life slide presentation, assemble your own, or buy a video tape, and offer to show it in schools, churches, to your neighbors and government representatives. (See Appendix D or K, PLA.)
16. Wear pro-life symbols, precious feet pins, buttons, and shirts. These often stimulate conversations. Use pro-life bumper stickers or lawn signs. Place pro-life stickers on lettersómore than a dozen people see the average piece of mail. (See Appendix D or K, PLA.)
17. Place newspaper ads, bench ads, and billboard posters. Attractive pre-made ads and beautiful full-size billboard posters are available. (See Appendix D or K, PLA.)
18. Write letters to the editor. Be courteous, concise, accurate, and memorable. Quote brief references cited in this book. Some local newspapers have a policy of printing every letter to the editor. The opportunity for influence is enormous. Letters to the editor in a major national magazine may be read by a million people.
19. Compile a list of names, addresses, and phone numbers of politicians, newspapers, television stations, hospitals, and others in your area that people can contact to express their pro-life views. Distribute them widely.
20. Select the most strategic measures and issues and host a pro-life letter-writing party. People can help each other compose informed and succinct letters to the right people and places. Since legislators and others assume there are a hundred others who feel the same way for every one that writes, there is considerable impact from each letter.
21. Write letters of encouragement to the sometimes tired and discouraged pro-life activists.
22. Refuse any indirect or business support of abortion clinics, and explain your refusal. Boycott pro-abortion companies, landlords of abortion clinics, and businesses that share space with abortion clinics and abortion-promoters such as Planned Parenthood. Explain your reasons nicely, and they will often take you seriously.
23. Contact physicians and hospitals that perform abortions and insurance companies that cover them and express your convictions. Be polite but firm, stating that you, your family, and your business cannot in good conscience patronize those who contribute to the killing of innocent children. Does your own physician perform abortions? Ask him; you may be surprised to discover he does. If so, tell him you must reluctantly change doctors. Is your doctor pro-life? Encourage him to take a public stand and participate in local pro-life events. Share this book with him and ask his opinion of it.
24. Talk to journalists about your concern that they accurately represent the pro-life side in their reporting. Many have never heard an accurate presentation of the pro-life position. Until we present it to them, how can we expect them to be fair? Highlight sections of this book for their interest. Many will read what you provide, and some may use the material in future articles.
25. Talk to teachers, especially junior high, high school, and college teachers. Express your desire that they understand and be able to represent the pro-life position rather than ignore or distort it. Whatever a teacher believes is multiplied a hundred times over in his students and those they in turn influence. Give them a copy of this or other pro-life books or videos. (See Appendix D or K, PLA.)
26. Write to representatives and others in government at local, state, and national levels. Be respectful, legible, straightforward, brief, and non-defensive. Enclose attractive pro-life literature. The more personal your letter the better. Pre-printed postcards are not as effective.
27. Personally phone or set up a meeting with your representatives to share your views on abortion. Groups of three are most effective. If possible include a pro-life doctor or other professional. Be careful how you come across; show them pro-lifers are intelligent and rational.
28. Draft, circulate, and sign petitions for pro-life ballot measures, school board members, and so on.
29. Run for political office, school board, or precinct chairman. Or stand by other pro-life candidates with your time and money. The only way there will be long-term legal restrictions on abortion is if our state legislatures have a pro-life majority. Churches and pro-life groups should identify and support character-qualified, knowledgeable, and skilled candidates.
30. Help a bright young pro-lifer through law school. Challenge him or her to set a goal of becoming a judge. The legal and judicial arenas, as well as the medical and political, desperately need intelligent and skilled pro-lifers.
31. Picket abortion clinics, hospitals, and physicians who perform abortions. Write a brochure or fact sheet documenting their performance of abortions. When abortions are only part of their practice they are much more inclined to eliminate them to preserve their reputation in the community. But until they are exposed they usually won't stop.
32. Make pro-life signs for yourself and others. Make them large and attractive, with concise messages. Abortion Kills Babies. Adoption, not Abortion. Every Child Is Wanted by Someone. Give Your Baby a Chance to Choose. Please Let Your Baby Live. Equal Rights for Unborn Women. She's a Baby, not a Blob. We Care; Talk to Us. We'll help financially if you'll let your baby live.
33. Organize or participate in a Life Chain, where hundreds or thousands of pro-lifers stand on public sidewalks and display signs supporting the unborn and opposing abortion. This is an extremely effective means of mobilizing pro-lifers and making a clear statement for the children. Many who begin with Life Chain will solidify a pro-life commitment and get involved in future pro-life activities. (See Life Chain under "pro-life Event and Action Organizations", in Appendix D or K, PLA.)
34. Join pro-life rallies and marches to galvanize pro-life efforts. Have walk-a-thons and other projects to earn money for pro-life groups. Get your children involved. They'll love it, and it's great education as well as family activity.
35. Attend pro-choice rallies as a counter-demonstrator. Be peaceful. The quiet presence of your group and your signs will make others think and lead to conversations with passersby.
36. Participate in rescues through peaceful nonviolent civil disobedience at the doorways of abortion clinics. Or do the legal sidewalk counseling, singing, or praying in conjunction with rescues.
Abortion Clinic Strategies
37. Research and write a brochure on your local abortion clinic, citing specific lawsuits and health code violations, which are a matter of public record. Write a leaflet or brochure asking, "What Do You Know about the Third Street Abortion Clinic"? Make it neat and attractive, perhaps with a photo of the clinic on the front. Give this brochure to women coming to the clinic, neighbors, nearby businesses, and passersby. Include information from this book on physical and psychological risks of abortion. Or use pre-made brochures specially designed for women entering abortion clinics. (See Appendix D or K, PLA.)
38. Collect information and initiate lawsuits against abortion clinics. Place newspaper or billboard ads asking, "Problems after an abortion?" Give a local or national phone number to call for medical, legal, or emotional help. (1-800-634-2224, the American Rights Coalition, is already set up for this purpose.) Many abortion clinics have been shut down by successful lawsuits.
39. Hand out questionnaires and legal information to women entering and leaving clinics. Did you have a doctor-patient relationship? Did the doctor ask you for a complete medical history? Did he explain to you the possible complications of abortion? Did he show you a picture or explain to you the state of development of your unborn child? This will encourage them to reconsider their decision, to seek other counsel, or, if the abortion is over, not to come back for another abortion, and possibly to initiate legal action against the clinic. Include the number of an alternative pregnancy center where they can get complete and accurate information the clinic won't give them.
40. Keep new abortion clinics out of your community by informing the public, writing letters to councilmembers, and contacting potential landlords and real estate agents. Abortion clinics mean loss of business and declining property values to everyone due to public sentiment and frequent demonstrations. Those who do not respond to moral reasoning often do respond to public opinion and even more to financial loss. It is usually easier to keep a clinic out of an area than to shut it down once it's there.
41. Rent space as close as possible to an abortion clinic or Planned Parenthood office and establish a pregnancy counseling clinic or pro-life information center.
Influencing Your Church
42. Organize a pro-life task force and target key church leaders for influence. Identify pastors and other strategic leaders and speak with them one by one. Give them literature and ask them to watch a video. Recruit pro-life activists in your church who will help you formulate and implement a plan of education and mobilization. Ask your church leaders to include pro-life activities and literature in the budget.
43. Set up a pro-life table at church with the best pro-life literature and materials. (See Appendix D or K, PLA.) The presence of the table itself is a vital reminder of the pro-life cause.
44. Show in church services or classes pro-life films and videos such as The Abortion Providers, The Hard Truth, and The Eclipse of Reason. Offer to pay the film rental yourself. (See Appendix D or K, PLA.)
45. Place a pro-life newspaper ad, bench ad, or billboard with your church's name and phone number, offering your help to pregnant girls. (See Appendix D or K, PLA, for pre-made ads.)
46. Take your church bus to pro-life activities. Many people who won't go alone will go with a group. Some will discover an aptitude for regular pro-life ministry they would otherwise never have realized.
47. Have special pro-life emphasis Sundays, with special music, speakers, films, and literature. This should include, but not be limited to, the Sanctity of Human Life Sunday in mid-January. (Special bulletin inserts and materials are available from the Christian Action Council and Right to Life of Michigan, listed in Appendix D or K, PLA.)
48. Bring pro-life issues and opportunities to the attention of your pastor, Sunday school class, Bible study, or men's, women's, or youth group. Show them one of the videos listed in Appendix D or K, PLA. Provide relevant newspaper clippings and other information to inform your pastor and provide him with sermon ideas and illustrations. Give him this book as a resource. Instead of expecting him to fulfill your pro-life agenda, help him out by offering to be a resource and facilitator for him.
49. Start a group of sidewalk counselors from your church that go once or twice a week to talk to women outside abortion clinics. This is hard but rewarding work, and you need the camaraderie of others by your side. Some excellent sidewalk counseling materials are listed in Appendix D or K, PLA.
50. Pray daily for pro-life ministries and victimized mothers and babies. Organize your own prayer group, perhaps combining pro-life concerns with other vital needs, such as missions. Go to pro-life rallies, rescues, or sidewalk counseling and focus on the ministry of prayer. If the darkness of child-killing is to be overcome with the light of truth and compassion, it will require spiritual warfare, fought with humble and consistent prayer (Ephesians 6:10-20).
©2004 Eternal Perspective Ministries. All rights reserved.
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