Journalist Frank Main wrote an article about an abortion clinic and interviewed its administrator, Esther McGuire. He says:
Women seeking abortions must walk past protesters with the protection of pro-choice clinic escorts. Some of the women become angry, while others burst into tears. Fewer women come back another day, while a handful decide to keep their babies, McGuire said.
“I’m not sure that’s so bad if they were that uncertain anyway,” she said.
Whether or not McGuire is really as accepting of women changing their minds as she claims to be, this quote shows that women DO sometimes change their minds as a result of pro-life activity outside abortion clinics. Sidewalk counseling/peaceful picketing DOES save lives.
It is true that Main claims only a “handful” of women actually changed their minds. But even one life saved is a victory. Who can measure the impact and worth of one human life? I am reminded of an old story that I’ve heard about a child who came upon a multitude of starfish washed up on the shore by the ocean. He began throwing the starfish back into the sea, saving the life of each one he tossed. A man came by, and said to the child, “Why do you bother? There are so many starfish that you will never be able to throw them all back in. What you are doing doesn’t matter.” The child grabbed one more starfish and flung it into the sea. “It matters to that one,” he said, and the man was forced to fall silent.
The life of a child is precious. Any live saved changes the world.
Main claims that the sidewalk counselors/protesters upset the women coming in. But the protesters are only presenting the truth about preborn babies, and many of them come to the clinic armed with knowledge about resources for women who decide against abortion. Many sidewalk counselors will tell women about these resources if they only ask. Is it really better that a woman submit to an abortion without knowing the truth or being offered alternatives?
Main goes on to say:
McGuire said some women who have obtained abortions at the Delta women’s clinic went on to protest abortions at the clinic, underlying what she described as widespread hypocrisy about the issue.
Or it could mean that these women were emotionally damaged by their abortions and realized they made a terrible mistake. Now that they’ve experienced the aftermath of abortion and seen how terrible it can be, they want to save other women from suffering as they have suffered. , They want to spare other women the same trauma and pain. Many postabortion women are now pro-life and are active in crisis pregnancy center work or sidewalk counseling. Many times, they are the most effective pro-lifers because they have been in the women’s shoes before. They know what it’s like to face a crisis pregnancy, and they can speak with authority about what abortion does to women. Their actions are motivated by compassion for other women, not hypocrisy.
If done with compassion and kindness, sidewalk counselling saves lives. If you have the opportunity, go to the clinic.. Only go if you are can be kind and are motivated by compassion, not judgement. You may save a life.
Source: Frank Main “Clinic Administrator Believes Women Must Have an Option” (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) Morning Advocate July 5, 1992