Pro-Life Movement, Street Evangelism

Protests at Abortion Clinics: Does it work? Is there another alternative?

*     *     *

Earlier, I shared with you the goings on of Chuck O’Neal, and his church Beaverton Grace Bible Church (BGBC) regarding his method of “evangelizing” at the abortion clinic, Lovejoy Surgicenter in Portland, Oregon (The Legal Rights of Christians vs Mercy and Love of Christ).

I had a bit of conversation with a BGBC member via a news article in the comment section:  Lovejoy Surgicenter Protesters Post Video of WW Reporter on their Website

Here was my question:

Lori – Have you offered $$ or housing to take care of their babies? If not, why not?

“Peppermnt Patty”, another member, replied to my question.  I’ve included it below to show their rationale:

*     *     *

Screen shot 2013-08-02 at 8.23.33 AM

*     *     *

Screen shot 2013-08-02 at 8.23.19 AM

*     *     *

A young woman, apparently a clinic worker, was found holding this sign in response to BGBC’s street evangelism efforts.  Screen shot 2013-08-02 at 11.06.30 AM

“Beaverton Grace Bible Church Intimidates Women” – Let’s think this through.  Would a clinic worker spend the time to make up a sign like this and hold it outside the clinic for no reason?  Probably not. The common theme among all the news reports, from neighbors, business owners, passersby, is that Chuck O’Neal/BGBC is creating a nuisance around the Lovejoy Surgicenter.  And they call it love.

In the video I watched, O’Neal addressed the woman holding the sign.  He used a megaphone and videotaped the exchange.  Does BGBC intimidate?  I’d feel intimidated if someone was talking to me through a megaphone and recording the conversation.  Here are O’Neal’s words to the woman holding the sign:

“If you’re a woman who murders children, ma’am, or aids in the murder of children, then I definitely would want you intimidated, that you wouldn’t do that. But our purpose is not to intimidate you. Our purpose is to love you and to warn you of the wrath to come.”

“You can stand here and be defiant of the cross, but one day you will stand before god and your defiance will end and your knee will bow and you’ll confess Jesus Christ as Lord, only He’ll be your Lord and judge and He will cast you out into eternal judgment.” (Source)

 

*    *    *

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:

to look after orphans and widows in their distress

and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

 James 1:27

*    *    *

Reader Ed Chapman asked some great questions:

As I said above somewhere, Chuck isn’t convincing anyone to not have the abortion. All he is doing is stirring up trouble.

So, since we know that protesting outside of an abortion clinic isn’t producing any positive results, maybe we need to find another way to approach the issue, rather than to figure out different means of protest. How many lives are really changed based on Christians protesting an abortion clinic? The world thinks that Christians are a bunch of hypocrites anyway. Have we proven the world wrong? Do we really hold the moral high ground?

 

How can we reach these women who are in the crisis of an unplanned pregnancy?  Is there another way that won’t disrupt a neighborhood’s noise level, won’t affect the surrounding businesses,  won’t force city officials to look up civil laws on discrimination and access, won’t create a media circus, won’t cause shame and embarrassment to people?  I think there is and I’d like to show you another ministry idea that is yielding positive results, as in real lives saved and in the sharing of the gospel.

I read about such a group in an article a few months ago, How Some Kids With A Van Are Changing The Pro-Life Movement.  David Pomerantz and Joe Baker, after seeing the very positive results of Expectant Mother Care (EMC) in Manhattan, decided to adopt the EMC model and form the ministry, “Save the Storks.”

EMC had a bus equipped with a sonogram machine. By approaching women outside the clinic with the offer of free help, with no mention of a pro-life ideology, they were able to see a staggering success rate. In fact, by their estimate, about 70% of women who got on the bus for a sonogram decided not to abort. In one day, they saw nine women decide on life for their children.

They did some simple math, and realized that if this success continued, 15 to 25 women a week, or about 800 a year, would choose life.

*     *     *

Van 2 from top with girls-1
Save the Stork van works as a mobile pregnancy center

*     *     *

So, how does it work?

Here’s what happens: a woman is walking up to an abortion clinic. She is approached by Dave or Daryl or another member of Save the Storks.

“Hi, how are you? Would you like a free ultrasound?”

This is the approach. There is no dangling rosary, no graphic pamphlet, no doom-and-gloom. Just an offer of free help from a non-threatening, friendly, smiling young person.  (Source)

Van 3

What I love about this approach is that these volunteers are not embarrassing or shaming anyone. They are offering real help.  A woman can then walk to the van in a nice environment as she is offered an ultrasound, hope, and care.  If a woman decides to choose life for her baby, Save the Storks is already connected with local pregnancy resource centers to provide real and practical help (financial aid, attorney referrals or adoption, baby equipment, maternity clothes, etc).

Save the Storks recently published a video describing their ministry:

*     *     *

*     *     *

Not only is Save the Stork reaching out to pregnant moms, their ministry extends to even the staff at the abortion clinic.  I found tis information at the Save the Stork website:

We desire to show Christ’s love and compassion to every person we come in contact with, whether it’s the abortion-minded mother, the abortion doctor, or a security guard. Through a partnership with And Then There Were None, we are able to offer a three-month financial grant to any abortion clinic employee who wants to leave the industry. We don’t yell in anger, we ache with grief. Because of this, we stand with open arms and offer hope and grace to those who take part in performing abortions.

This sure seems like a great alternative to abortion protesting.   I hope more ideas like this take off.  It would also be great to see churches team up with efforts like this to provide long-term assistance for single moms who need to go to school in order to find better jobs to provide for their family, childcare for the life they chose to keep, housing, etc.

If the Save the Stork method is saving lives and abortion protesting is not producing the numbers, then we really ought to question why the protesting method of “evangelizing” is even done.  Who is it benefiting?

*     *     *

114 thoughts on “Protests at Abortion Clinics: Does it work? Is there another alternative?”

  1. IRS thing? They don’t want too many categories? Easier bookkeeping? Put it all in one fund for ease? This way, if it’s all in one place, they can use it as they please. If one were to send in a check for …clothing for orphans, for example, and you write that on the memo, then they must have a category for that and ensure the funds go to that specific request…for IRS purposes? I am thinking out loud. If the memo is blank, then it’s money to do with as they please. I find that rather bizarre, and like I said, I have never seen that before on a donate page.

    Like

  2. @ JA,,,I know you are gracious with the length of comments, but I do apologize for that lengthy one. I just kept finding more and more, lol.

    I do so enjoy learning about new “ministers” of the gospel.

    Like

  3. ” I am not fed up with my faith, but I am fed up with Christians in general. I no longer want to be associated with what passes for “Christianity” out there any more.”

    BTDT- For what it is worth, I am with you. 15 yrs ago I didn’t have a non-Christian friend. Today I am in the trenches with people who have been beat up, condemned, rejected…. So, yes, I am fed up also, and I make no apologies.

    For sure there are all the great sacrificing believers who are out there.

    However that doesn’t eliminate the damage that is done by the creeps…

    Like

  4. @ wall flower said, “JA said “There was no effort from the pulpit to involve people in practical help”, yes we definitely experienced this in the situation with our disabled child.”

    I’m sorry you went through that.

    This is one reason of a few why I’ve begun leaving Christianity the past year or two.

    My mom was a Christian, but she actually helped people. Which meant, she brought them food when they were sick, or cleaned their house, gave them money to pay for food, and stuff like that.

    I tried to do the same. I actually helped people get their needs met, not just say, “I will pray for you,” or give pretty- sounding religious cliches but not actually help them. I have noticed my Mom is rare in this.

    After Mom died, and I went to other long-time Christians for support, including extended family, I was either ignored, or they would insist on telling me cliches, platitudes, or even criticism. I noticed none of them were willing to do what I really needed: carve out an hour or two per month, or every other month, to call me on the phone and just let me cry about missing Mom.

    I’ve noticed a lot of Christians are appalling at this in other areas, not just with me, but with other Christians.

    When you’re down, out, hurting, and need emotional support, or some other kind of help (financial, a safe place to stay for awhile, or whatever), many Christians will ignore you, or lecture you.

    Most Christians are not doing what the Bible says they are to do, which makes me question how true the faith all is, if it has no visible impact on people’s lives or actions. Even if Jesus Christ is God and raised from the dead, it’s not had an impact on the lives and actions of people who say they believe in him, so what is the point in following Him?

    Then you see these anti-abortion guys, who claim to be Christian, screaming at pregnant women who are walking into the clinics (as this post discusses), which isn’t very loving of them, and I doubt it will convince any of the women to reconsider.

    When Jesus met the woman caught in adultery, He did not scream at her. He did not excuse her sin, but He didn’t yell at her and tell her she was a harlot. (Some of the strongest words he had were for the too-judgmental people of His time, the Pharisees. The Pharisess thought they were already righteous enough.)

    I don’t support abortion, and I am a social conservative, but I’m getting more and more tired at how a lot of conservative Christians or right wingers go about trying to live out their beliefs.

    Like

  5. @missdaisyflower
    You wrote “This is one reason of a few why I’ve begun leaving Christianity the past year or two.” Yes, leave Christianity, the institutional kind that is. And the label. I am frustrated with those who claim “I am a Christian”, and get away with all kinds of unloving behavior, calling it “tough love”. But please don’t leave Christ. He will not leave you, he is not gone and away. He is always near. Oh what he suffered just so that he could be with us. His love will sustain when people are such disappointments. (JA, I don’t think you need to be sorry. You had your family and your own spiritual abuse to deal with. Our mistreatment at BGBC had been going on for years before you arrived.) We who love Jesus and seek to serve the God of the Bible are all works in progress. I have also questioned what the point is when it seems to have no impact on lives. But growth happens slowly with plants, children and Christians. Small heart changes are not always visible. God is patient with me and I want to be that for others, “Christian” or not.

    Like

  6. Seems that if you were really interested in saving babies, you would look to see what is having more success than what I am doing right now and try that.

    Like

  7. Darrell, watching their behavior and obsession with having the public spotlight has convinced me that they are using this “save the babies” campaign as a way to further agenda to draw attention to themselves. Somebody worded it very wisely: they are media whores. I can’t imagine that God sees this as doing work to help the oppressed in any real and meaningful way.

    Like

  8. Julie,

    I’ve been going over Miano’s ‘ministry’, his style of evangelizing borders badgering. He is offensive, crude, and slanders those who heckle him. I did post a short piece on Miano at http://iamhis-lyn.blogspot.com/2013/08/how-not-to-evangelize.html

    What I wanted to point out is this; this guy is lying to folks about his work history. He says he retired from being an LA County deputy sheriff. Actually, that is not true at all, read this…
    ‘Tony Miano has been a deputy sheriff for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department since 1987. He served full-time until 2000, when he left full-time duty to pursue the ministry and to become a law enforcement chaplain. Since then he has continued to work as a police officer, serving as a reserve deputy sheriff.’ from http://www.police-writers.com/miano.html
    It seems Tony was an active police officer for 13 years, then he quit the full time position for ministry. He did stay on until 2007 on a voluntary basis, however, a dear friend whose husband actually did retire from being a regional investigator, a sergeant supervisor over detectives, and he assured me voluntary work does NOT count towards ‘years of service’, nor does it count towards a pension, which Miano does not get. Why? Because he quit, after only 13 years of service. This man is deceiving people with his lies, not to mention his horrific approach at what he defines as ‘evangelism’.

    Like

  9. Hi Lyn – – I just read your blog article and you are certainly picking up on the same issues I have observed. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. ~Julie Anne

    Like

Thanks for participating in the SSB community. Please be sure to leave a name/pseudonym (not "Anonymous"). Thx :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s