The reality that the Roe v. Wade decision may be overturned, pushing the abortion discussion back to the individual states, has mixed emotions nationwide. The rage has also ignited actions against pregnancy help centers. We’ve received multiple reports of protests at local PHCs and even vandalism, including the destruction of property. While we may be the target of their anger, we are not the true reason.
“Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me.” John 15:20-21
After all, we have been helping women overcome the obstacles that force them into the profiteering practice of abortion for the nearly fifty years Roe has been in place. Our motivation has never been the politics but the practical need every woman has to be loved and supported in her pregnancy. Our joy is helping her, and our reward is fulfilling the call to love her in through her valley of decision.
“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.” Matthew 5:11 NLT
Persecution is no fun, but it does bring “great reward” ahead! In the midst of it, we can also realize the reward of being a partner with Christ.
“Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.” 1 Peter 4:12-13 NLT
Along with the proper spiritual perspective of protests and persecutions, we can take practical steps to protect ourselves and our centers in preparing for increased protest activities.
Security systems are highly recommended. Especially those that use cameras to capture activity in and around your building (if you have your own building). Having cameras may not fully dissuade negative activity but they can help in showing criminal activity to law enforcement.
Policy and protocols are helpful to protect our personnel as much as they help protect the ministry. Consider adopting some practices, at least for this heightened season, like having at least two people in the pregnancy center.
Should protestors assemble it might be helpful to contact local law enforcement and advise them of the situation. If peaceful you might just use the “non-emergency” number and explain the situation as you see it. Of course, if protesters begin to harass or threaten anyone or anything (verbally or physically) report this immediately to the authorities.
Have your property insurance information handy. Should vandalism occur, right after reporting the incident to law enforcement you might want to be ready to reach out to your insurance provider to discuss filing a claim.
This is last on this list, but it is the greatest. Prayer is our partnership with God in fulfilling His Will for our lives, this ministry, and the life-affirming outcomes He desires. Prayer is power for the spiritual warfare that is part and parcel of the landscape in which we serve. We are called to pray even for our “enemies” (Mt 5:44). Fortunately, we know that we are on God’s side and can fully trust in Him to walk with us and work through us.
"The Lord will also be a stronghold for the oppressed, A stronghold in times of trouble; And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, Lord, have not abandoned those who seek You." Psalm 9:9-10 NASB