Over 500 people traveled to Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin to hear the powerful and inspiring story of Abby Johnson over the last week.
Abby is a former clinic director of a Planned Parenthood facility in Bryan/College Station, Texas. She worked there out of a great desire to help women in need. However, after eight years, Abby realised that she had been duped; that Planned Parenthood were only about the acquisition of money and that their services weren’t really as comprehensive as they liked to let on.
After viewing an ultrasound guided abortion of a 13-week-old little boy, Abby’s view of abortion changed and she came to understand over the coming days that she could no longer work at Planned Parenthood.
Abby was invited to come to New Zealand by Family Life International. The time available was limited, so the decision was made to have presentations in the three city centres where Family Life International has a presence with their John Paul II Centres for Life. It was hoped that Abby would convey how urgent it is to act, the best way to reach abortion workers, and to give encouragement to those who work so tirelessly for life.
Here are just some of the points that came through from the four talks Abby gave throughout New Zealand:
We must act
Babies are dying, women are being hurt from abortion. It is horrific. If the government were setting up facilities where women could bring their already born children to be killed, what would you do? Society would (hopefully) be outraged. We must be outraged that babies are being torn apart or poisoned in their mother’s wombs.
Each one of us needs to do more
Abby asked for each person to think about what they could do to help make abortion unthinkable. “If you are not doing anything at all then do something, if you are already doing something, then do more” was an important point that came through every talk. Prayer is important – vital. But prayer should lead us to act.
Christians need to start worrying about offending the heart of God
This statement cuts to the very centre of the issue. We Christians are afraid of offending people. But we need to worry about offending the heart of God. Nothing must offend God more than the destruction through abortion of His little ones, made in His image and likeness – and our inaction, our apathy.
There are many ways to act
Every person has gifts to bring the pro-life movement. Here are just some of the ways you might be able to make a difference:
- Volunteer at your local pregnancy centre – counselling, answering phones, cleaning, gardening, office administration, fundraising, sorting clothes and baby equipment, teaching classes to mothers, pampering the mothers with beauty treatments… Medical professionals are also needed: doctors, nurses, midwives, ultrasound technicians…
- Reforming the law around abortion. It concerned Abby that while there is a big push for abortion to come out of the Crimes Act, New Zealand pro-lifer’s were not working on legislation to promote life (that I am aware of – MK).
- Social Media. Use social media to our advantage, to speak the truth about the humanity of the preborn child and to speak of the reality of abortion.
- Education is vitally important. Some people are born teachers and we have important teaching to do!
- Presence outside abortion facilities. We need pray-ers and people to counsel women who are going into the abortion facilities.
Our presence outside abortion facilities is vital
It was noted that most of the abortions in New Zealand occur in public hospitals and this can pose a problem. However this is a brilliant opportunity to educate the general public about what is going on in our hospitals and what abortion actually is!
When we stand outside of abortion facilities we are not there to protest! It is a powerful witness to what is occurring within the walls of the building. Sidewalk counsellors have an opportunity to talk to those who are going into the facility for an abortion. They are able to listen and offer real alternatives and practical support to women who are facing their greatest hour of need at that time. Those present are also able to reach out to abortion workers, to be a friendly face. We are not there to condemn, we are there to offer hope and to serve.
Abby encouraged those present at the talks to try praying outside an abortion facility – especially the youth and priests, bishops and pastors of other denominations. 40 Days for Life is a great opportunity to do this. It was encouraging for those present to hear that it is normal for those who go outside the facilities to feel nervous and “weird” about it.
It was an honour to meet so many wonderful people throughout the country as I travelled with Abby and Heather. So many of you are doing many wonderful things to promote life and you genuinely want to do more. It was encouraging for me to see that. For more information about what you can do to help Family Life Crisis Pregnancy Centres in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin or in the other regions of New Zealand, I would love to hear from you. Send me an email here.
Together we will make abortion unthinkable in this land!