Addressing Abortion Clinic Verbal Abuse
“I can’t go to that pregnancy center for abortion recovery. It’s right next to the Right to Life offices and I’m scared of those people,” the young caller outlined when I gave her a referral for an abortion recovery program in her area.
She went on to outline that when she was leaving the abortion clinic through a back door, she had been in great emotional, physical and psychological pain. She shared, “I’ve never felt that low in all my life. I stumbled and nearly fell but a man waiting at the back door helped me to my feet. He seemed so kind, Sydna. As I got up, he said with a strange grin, ‘I hope you are happy. Your dead baby will sit in that dumpster tonight while you sleep in your warm bed.’”
This memory launched her into a few minutes of tears. When she recovered, she continued, “How can I ever go somewhere where that type of person works? I had no idea I was aborting a real baby until that moment!” Clearly the protestor enhanced her wounding.
Many women share about encountering angry protestors in front of the clinics where their abortions were performed. This was the first time I had heard a story of a woman being abused at the back door of a clinic. Her story stayed with me as I worked to find her an alternate referral.
While there were no protesters in front of my Indianapolis abortion clinic in 1981, I could certainly imagine the horror she had experienced. Thankfully, I knew the local pregnancy center director personally. She took the time to meet with this wounded heart at an offsite location. With great compassion, this post-abortive person agreed to go through their abortion recovery program and now lives peacefully.
In sharing my abortion testimony, I typically avoid “right to life” or politically based audiences. I learned early on that being “pro-life” doesn’t necessarily mean everyone loves God! I have only accepted a handful of such engagements, preferring to remain separate from anything politically based.
When I moved to Florida in 2000, I accepted one local speaking invitation from a pro-life group. I was lonely and hoping to make new friends in my community. After my presentation, the crowd disbursed quickly and without comment. Only one couple approached me.
The woman was crying when she spoke first, “Please forgive us. Please forgive us. We had no idea!”
Confused, I asked them what was on their hearts.
“We’ve yelled at women going into abortion clinics. We’ve used those terms – murder and kill – too many times believing we could shock the women into changing their minds. That rarely has worked and your story outlined why,” the husband responded sadly.
“On top of that, we’ve truly disliked post-abortive women. Sydna, we need to apologize but we can’t find these women,” the wife continued. “The only post-abortive person we know is you. We hope that in apologizing to you that you can share our regret with these women who have been verbally abused by clinic protestors. We have no other way to apologize except to never act the same way again…”
They were sincerely sorry and I hugged them, knowing their hearts were full of repentance.
“I forgive you,” I answered. “I’m one of the few individuals in the world that has the blessing of comforting these women. I’ll share your apology with as many as I can.”
The woman then said, “Thank you for opening your heart and sharing your testimony. We just didn’t know and have a completely different perspective now. We will be kind and compassionate so you will always be proud of us!”
If you were verbally traumatized by abortion clinic protestors, please receive this humble apology from this couple into your heart. Remember that there are wolves in sheep’s clothing in every setting. Maybe some protestors are working for the clinic itself as a direct result of verbal abuse has women running into the seemingly supportive arms of abortion advocates.
When a woman leaves an abortion clinic, one is dead and one is wounded. Ending abortion and verbally abusing women who are in crisis do not work well together. For those of you in this couple’s spot, understand that there is nothing that God cannot forgive. The next time you talk openly about abortion, remember we are listening!