Day 36…is it “Mean” to witness against abortion at an abortion clinic?

Dear 40 Days for Life Family,

Today is day 36 of our 40 day campaign of prayer, fasting and peaceful vigil to end abortion with God’s help. We have maintained the vigil at Pittsburgh’s Planned Parenthood abortion clinic now for 36 straight days. At least 700 people…many for the first time…came to pray and witness their belief that abortion is wrong at our vigil. 74 churches and/or church groups participated at the vigil. To see photos of them, go to We hope and pray that at least 8 lives have been spared from abortion in Pittsburgh. Nationally, 382 lives have been spared during this spring campaign.  

While I was at the vigil this morning, along with some wonderful Christ-followers from St. John the Baptist church in Plum (see photos at the end of this message)…a man came up to talk with us. He expressed his agreement with us that abortion is wrong, but felt that it was cruel to take a public stand against it right where it happens. He explained that in his opinion, once a girl gets to the abortion clinic…she has already made the difficult choice to have an abortion, and that our presence there is just going to add to the pain that she is already feeling. He was very respectful and sincere in expressing his opinion to us, and I very much appreciate that he took the time to stop and share his views. So, I was thinking as I was driving home this morning…is it mean to witness against abortion…right where abortions happen? This man had said that we should be focusing our efforts on helping women to choose life BEFORE they get to the abortion clinic. I agree! That is the noble calling of crisis pregnancy centers… which we ALL should be supporting. But, back to my question…is it MEAN…CRUEL…to stand as a witness against abortion…at the SITE where women (some hurting very badly and in obvious pain over this choice that they have made) are walking in to have an abortion? It is true that on the day in which their abortions are scheduled, they are so numb and have closed themselves off to any other choice…and are making a bee-line to the door to just get it over with…that it is indeed rare for a woman to change her mind at that last minute. So, are we causing uneccessary pain to these poor women by our presence there? I believe this man has a valid point…and I know that many pro-lifers share this view point. So, I would like to express my thoughts regarding this.

I think it is mean to intentionally cause anyone pain…if there is no benefit to the person who is experiencing the pain. If I hurt someone by sticking a needle in their arm just to cause pain, that would be mean. But, when we take our child to the doctor, and they need a shot, the doctor sticks a needle in their arm and causes them pain…but it is not “mean” because the pain is for their benefit. So, whether or not something is mean…has everything to do with intent. Our intent by participating in the vigil aspect of 40 Days for Life is to bring the truth, love, forgiveness and hope of Christ to the abortion clinic…which is so full of despair, anger and deceit. We do this because we have FAITH that when we stand there, as Christians, that the Holy Spirit is REALLY present in that place, and we TRUST HIM to do HIS work on the hearts of the women going in to the clinic, and on the hearts of the family members who are with them, and on the hearts of the passerbys. So our intention is not to cause pain to these poor women, our intention is to help them and hope that through our physical witness the Holy Spirit will bring good from evil…even when they go ahead with the abortion. Sometimes one has to hurt before the healing can start.

So, we know that many women HAVE changed their minds and decided to give birth to their babies because God used our presence at the abortion clinic. Even if ONE woman changes her mind, it is worth the pain that other women may feel because we are there. But, still, how about all the thousands of girls who still walk in those doors and have abortions. We upset them, and they still went ahead with it. Shouldn’t we feel badly about hurting them? Should we simply turn our backs to them, so they don’t have to see our signs…out of respect for this difficult decision they have made? What if she had made the difficult decision to end her life, and was standing on a bridge, ready to jump? Wouldn’t we be doing everything we could to stop her? It is basically the same thing. If you have never watched or heard women give their post-abortive testimonies, it is heart-breaking. So many of them say that if only someone had been there to tell them not to do it, that they would have changed their minds. You can watch women share their testimonies at

So, in conclusion, I think that if our opinion that witnessing at an abortion clinic is “mean”, that shows that we really don’t believe that any good will come of it, and that it is only causing needless pain to women who are already suffering. That shows our faith…or lack of it. If we think our presence there won’t do any good, then we really don’t believe that God is at work through us…and if that is the case, then it IS mean. So, I invite everyone who has FAITH to come and participate in the vigil! This is only for the faith-filled Christian!

Also, since we do need to reach the women BEFORE they come to the decision to abort…and it IS important to support our local crisis pregnancy centers, please support Women’s Choice Network and Choices Pregnancy Center by attending their “Walk for Life” events. You can register for Women’s Choice Network’s event which is on May 1st at noon by going to . Or, register to participate in Choices Pregnancy Center’s Walk for Life, which is on May 7th at 9:30 in Coraopolis, go to
. .. If you would like to sponsor me, while I walk for Women’s Choice network, you can go to to make a donation.

Just a reminder, our last day of the vigil is this Sunday. Please let me know if you plan to come, and what time. Also, mark your calendar for our 40 Days for Life closing event…an Ice Cream social on May 1st at Allegheny Center Alliance Church’s Simpson Hall from 3-5pm. This will be immediately following Women’s Choice Network’s Walk for Life at PNC Park…so after you work up an appetite walking for life…head on over to ACAC for some icecream and fellowship!

Your sister in Christ,


P.S.  Here are some photos from this morning:

Nikki and Jim from St. John the Baptist in Plum
Nikki and Jim joined by Joe from Plum Creek Presbyterian Church, in Plum
Shift manager Marlene with Betsy from St. John the Baptist, and Joe

4 thoughts on “Day 36…is it “Mean” to witness against abortion at an abortion clinic?

  • April 14, 2011 at 1:15 am

    I’d like to comment on the question of whether or not it is “mean” to witness against abortion at an abortion clinic. There are two issues here that I see. One is, as Nikki says, intent. The primary intent is to save the baby and the secondary intent is to save the mother. The second issue is truth.

    It is more than mean, it is evil, to let someone painfully snap arms and legs off of an innocent baby than to make someone else feel badly or guilty about doing it.

    It is more than mean, it’s dishonest, to silently let a woman believe she will be receive a “safe procedure” that will solve her problems; to not tell her that she will unnecessarily expose herself to breast cancer, uterine injury, and lifelong angst and regret because she mistakenly thought she had no other option than abortion.

    It’s more than mean, it’s condoning evil to not protect and/or warn someone that what they are about to do is wrong or dangerous because you don’t want to hurt their feelings or make them feel guilty. Guilt can be a blessing! God gave us a conscience so that we feel uncomfortable when we do something wrong. A true friend is someone who will risk the friendship to speak life-saving truth. A true friend risks being spat upon, ridiculed, attacked, etc.

    Ephesians 4:15 tells us that Christians must speak the truth in love. Ezekiel 3:17-21 tells us that if the watchman doesn’t warn someone or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways IN ORDER TO SAVE THEIR LIFE, that person will die for their sin, and God will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.

    I don’t mean to be grim, but we’re fighting a grim battle. Unfortunately, we have to deal with a change in the moral attitudes of our nation. Speaking the truth, even with gentleness and love is seen as “mean” if the listener feels uncomfortable with the message.

    But this has happened before. As Isaiah 59:14-16 tells us: “So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter.

    Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.

    The LORD looked and was displeased that there was no justice.

    He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene”

    Be encouraged because you are intervening! Fortunately, Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. And we are letting our light shine in the darkness. Through the Holy Spirit, we are providing a different way with referrals to pregnancy resource centers, providing the truth through education, and proclaiming a message of life.

  • April 14, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    We are at PP, or any other abortion mill, because so many women have
    told us that, on the day of their abortion, they were praying for a
    sign from God that they should not have the abortion. We, and our
    signs, are often the sign they are looking for. If we are not there,
    the “sign from God” is not there.

    We are there because abortion is often NOT the choice of the woman,
    but the choice of her husband/boyfriend/mother/father/girlfriends,the
    abortion staff, etc. We let her know that we stand with her and
    support her, that we are there for her, that we can help her.

    We all need to educate ourselves so that we can speak out against
    abortion, denouncing it as the terrible evil that it is, whenever and
    wherever the subject comes us, so as to educate people before there is
    a “need” for abortion. Do not be afraid! We have all been
    conditioned to be silent so as “not to offend”. Our silence and the
    silence of clergy, teachers, the medical profession, public
    officials, etc. allows the myth of “abortion helps women” to continue
    to destroy women and their children. We need to be ready to explain
    to anybody how abortion painfully kills babies, hurts women, and their
    men, and their families and all of society, and what alternatives

    An empty sidewalk in front of an abortion mill tells the world that
    abortion is ok. People praying and holding signs in front of a mill
    tell the world that abortion is wrong and that we care enough about
    women and their children to be there for them. A person who worries
    that women will be “hurt” by seeing us is possibly hurting himself. He
    possibly needs to know the truth as much as any hurting woman so that
    he can be healed of something in the past that still haunts him and
    those he loves. Please pray for all who oppose us or speak out
    against us. They also need help and healing. Sally Brunn

  • April 14, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Great article, Pauline. Thank you! Sally

  • April 14, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    And thank you for yours, Sally. I’m just a newbie here. You are the battle-hardened soldier who sees what has been effective in the past. And we thank God that you are NOT heart-hardened. I know you (and Al) love these women and care, or why would you faithfully go out day after day, year after year to proclaim the truth and offer assistance as needed? Well done, good and faithful servants!


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