Each month we will offer a list of action ideas so you can defend, honor, and celebrate Life in your churches and communities on our Take Action page. This month, we are looking at caring for pro-life advocates.
In October 2019, two women walked across one of three of the University of Toronto campuses. It was a cold, rainy, miserable day, and they carried two signs with them that seemingly reflected the awfulness of the weather. The signs read, “I regret my abortion.” But despite the sorrow and despair written out so boldly on the signs, these two women, who serve as Regional Coordinators and pro-life advocates for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign in Canada, shared a message of peace and healing after abortion. Yes, their abortions emotionally, psychologically, physically, and spiritually damaged them, but God healed them and gave them hope. And yet, while one woman was sharing her real and very painful story, someone walked by, stopped, and spat at them. Spat at them. For sharing a painful, personal truth that devastated their lives and the lives of friends and families.
While many life-affirming people face criticism for their views, most don’t endure taunting, cruelty, threats, or even direct violence. Sadly, pro-life advocates, such as sidewalk counselors, pregnancy center workers and volunteers, and abortion recovery leaders, find this opposition all too familiar. In addition to harassment, however, many of these advocates also face spiritual and emotional wear and tear. They grieve when they find themselves powerless to stop a woman from having an abortion. They are numbed by the awareness of just how many abortions are happening worldwide. They are frustrated by the media’s indifference to the hastened deaths of the elderly, mentally incompetent, or depressed people in Europe and North America. These women and men on the frontlines of life issues struggle to feel the weight and importance ending of abortion and euthanasia and yet not be crushed by it.
The Church plays an essential role in encouraging and providing succor for these advocates. If you know someone who works at a pregnancy center, check in with them and see how you can be praying for them or helping them. Encourage abortion recovery leaders when you know they are leading a group of people through healing. Talk with sidewalk counselors and allow them to share their frustrations if they need a listening ear. Don’t feel like you know any pro-life advocates? How about a youth leader working to teach teens about abstinence and sexual risk avoidance? A son or daughter serving as an aging parent’s full-time caregiver? A priest or pastor addressing abortion from the pulpit? While these may not be traditionally thought of as “pro-life advocates” they are nonetheless doing the real work of honoring and protecting lives.
We trust that God will one day bring an end to abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide. But until that day, remember to pray and encourage those whose ministry and work is about serving God’s gift of Life.
- Create a prayer team for life advocates in your church and community. Pray for them, their families, and their ministries.
- Put together a “thank you” package for people you know in life ministry. Include notes of encouragement, as well as small comfort items, to know they are appreciated.
- Allow them the opportunity to grieve for the lives they could not save and talk about their feelings.