File 121

How PCC's and PA Ministries Can Work in Tandem with CCBR

  1. Recognize the legitimacy of CCBR’s approach.

    It is essential for pregnancy care centres and post-abortion ministries to understand CCBR’s approach and recognize its legitimacy. CCBR’s work is based on the fundamental idea that many people need to see the visual evidence of what abortion does to the pre-born before they will recognize that it is a moral wrong that they should neither obtain nor support.

    CCBR’s experience shows that graphic visuals convince women not to abort and convict women who have had abortions of their sin. The following quotations come from people who were convicted by graphic images that abortion is wrong:

    • What was your position on abortion before the presentation?
      "I didn’t really care. I never thought about it."
      Did your position change in any way due to the presentation?
      "Yes. After seeing the movie and hearing everything from you I see how wrong it is."
      If visual aids were used in the presentation, which ones and what are your comments about them?
      "The movie changed my opinion."
      —15-year-old female, Wheaton, MD
    • "Actually, I thought that I might be pregnant and I was going to get an abortion. After the video, it showed me what I would have done to my child."
      —14-year-old female, Christian youth group, Surrey, BC
    • "We had two confirmed babies saved as a result of our display. Both students approached Chris Stevens, our sponsor. ... One student told him that she had visited Planned Parenthood recently and was scheduled to have an abortion. She told him, ‘After seeing these photos, that is an appointment I can cancel. I am having a child.’ The second pregnant student told Chris that family and friends have been pressuring her to ‘consider abortion as an option. I now know that it is not. I love myself and my child.’"
      —Lois Cunningham, Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR), regarding the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) display at Citrus College, Glendora, CA
    • "At a crisis pregnancy center in Knoxville, eight students came in for appointments as a direct result of GAP at the University of Tennessee. The director there said that all eight were originally planning to abort their babies. However, five had changed their minds strictly from having seen the GAP photos and had decided to carry their babies to term. The other three made the decision not to abort after counseling at the center. All eight babies were saved directly or indirectly from GAP."
      —CBR’s report of the GAP display at the University of Tennessee
    • "About 5 yrs ago I was with a guy who I was trying to leave and one time I thought I was pregnant and I was going to have an abortion without him knowing but I ended up not being pregnant. Thank God I wasn’t because I would have gone through with it. Now I know I will never have one after seeing those pictures. Thank you for having this website."
      —28-year-old woman who e-mailed CBR after viewing their abortionNO.org website, Ontario
    • "About a month and a half ago I wanted to get an abortion. And I didn't know anything about them. I'm only 18 and didn't want the burden of motherhood. So being the computer geek I am, I started to search sites. Then I decided to look at pictures. I had no idea what to expect. I'm a happy soon-to-be mom now. And I would like to spread the word about abortions and how gruesome they are. Thank you for changing my mind with your pictures."
      —18-year-old female who e-mailed CBR after viewing their abortionNO.org website, location undisclosed
    • "I’m a 22 yr old single mom of two girls. I’m pregnant again and the father has already left. I was considering abortion just so I could make it go away, I guess. The pictures in the website look no different than my two little ones, except they're smaller. I can't do it."
      —22-year-old female who e-mailed CBR after viewing their abortionNO.org website, Mobile, AL

    These are just a small sample of the numerous testimonies to the power of graphic visuals. They are indicative of CCBR’s success compared to traditional forms of pro-life activism. CCBR’s methods are complementary to the essential work of pregnancy care centres. CCBR provides reasons for Canadian women to get help from these centres and such centres would do well to acknowledge this.

    Now the body is not a single part, but many. If a foot should say, "Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body," it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. Or if an ear should say, "Because I am not an eye I do not belong to the body," it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended. If they were all one part, where would the body be? But as it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I do not need you," nor again the head to the feet, "I do not need you." Indeed, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are all the more necessary, and those parts of the body that we consider less honorable we surround with greater honor, and our less presentable parts are treated with greater propriety, whereas our more presentable parts do not need this. But God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to a part that is without it, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honoured, all the parts share its joy (1 Corinthians 12:14–26).

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  2. Advertise services in conjunction with CCBR’s projects.

    CCBR’s projects create an opportune time to improve the visibility of ministries that help women and men deal with past abortions and/or unplanned pregnancies. These projects propel the topic of abortion into the public square. As men and women see the truth and turn away from abortion, they will seek alternatives. It is crucial that pregnancy care centres and post-abortion ministries advertise at this time so that these people can avail themselves of that help.

    This type of widespread advertisement can be done in a cost-effective manner such as through timely ads in community or campus newspapers, on bus benches, on public transport, in public washrooms, or on billboards. Volunteers can also leave flyers or business cards in public places such as telephone booths and washrooms. Pregnancy care centres and post-abortion ministries are already using many of these methods to advertise their services; the only necessary change for such ministries may be to coordinate the timing of these campaigns to coincide with CCBR’s projects.

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  3. Share with CCBR relevant statistics regarding client disposition.

    Current statistics help CCBR continually evaluate the effectiveness of its activities by supplementing its qualitative analysis with a more quantitative one. For example, in 2002, Focus on the Family’s newsletter HeartLink reported that "less than 10 percent of the clients darkening the doors of pregnancy care centers [across the United States] were abortion-minded." That is, fewer than 1 in 10 women making use of their pregnancy-support services were seriously considering abortion. By their own admission, these pregnancy care centers reach very few of their target audience: women contemplating abortion. In most cases, these women aren’t even coming through the door. Rather, these women—1.3 million every year in the U.S.—enter the doors of abortion providers.

    These statistics reveal that the majority of abortion-minded women are not receiving assistance from pregnancy care centres. It would therefore be helpful to have clientele statistics available before, during, and after a CCBR project to see if change is occurring. The sharing of this knowledge is essential to have a more comprehensive strategy in ending abortion. It is important to recognize that some women, perhaps many, who change their minds on abortion will not seek the services of pregnancy care centres. Some, however, will seek such help; therefore, an increase in the number of clients can be an indicator that CCBR’s projects are complementing the work of pregnancy care centres.

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  4. Familiarize CCBR with your counselling process and invite a CCBR representative to train your staff in CCBR’s strategy and apologetics.

    CCBR desires to work in conjunction with local pregnancy care centres and post-abortion ministries. Thus, CCBR wants to be familiar with how these organizations minister to women in need. Through CCBR’s projects, its staff often encounters those wounded by abortion as well as those facing unplanned pregnancies. CCBR wants to ensure that its staff adequately addresses the needs of these individuals including directing them to help centres.

    CCBR also believes these help centres need to hear CCBR’s presentations regarding its strategy and pro-life apologetics. CCBR highlights the problems with abortion, analyzes how the pro-life movement has traditionally responded to those problems, and addresses how CCBR aims to implement solutions where failure exists. It is important for counsellors to understand the vital purpose and usefulness of CCBR’s strategy because clients may come to the centres after seeing a CCBR project such as the RCC. A client may be upset at the pictures because they bring up memories of a past abortion. That is not a bad reaction. It is good for two reasons: the images motivated her to go to the centre and finally address the abortion, and the images are a deterrent to a repeat abortion. It is therefore important that help centres understand CCBR’s rationale so that counsellors do not undermine the value of the tactics that compelled the client to visit the centre in the first place.

    Additionally, CCBR looks at the common arguments used to support abortion and shares how to persuasively respond by relying on scientific evidence and philosophical reasoning. These facts are important for help-centre personnel to know because they provide a foundation for the pro-life perspective and ground the counselor amidst their clients’ emotional turmoil.

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  5. Work with CCBR to advertise help-centre contact information.

    Because CCBR deals publicly with abortion, it encounters many abortion-minded women. In order to reach these women immediately, CCBR wants to provide them with contact information for local pregnancy care centres and post-abortion ministries. In this way, these women can get help from a trusted pro-life source. Their pre-born children's lives may well depend on how fast CCBR can get them the information.

    Therefore, it is crucial for CCBR to advertise crisis pregnancy and post-abortion help phone numbers on its voicemail, website, and during its projects, along with distributing help-centre pamphlets.

    An even better way of making help-centre resources available at CCBR events is for pregnancy care centre and post-abortion ministry staff to be on site. Their presence not only provides direct counselling opportunities, but also raises awareness of their work to future clients and to the community.

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  6. Use graphic visuals in counselling situations.

    CCBR’s affiliate, CBR, was instrumental in establishing one of the leading crisis pregnancy medical centres in the United States. Choices Medical Clinic is strategically located next to George Tiller’s late-term abortion clinic in Kansas. Choices is staffed by doctors, nurses, social workers, and other volunteers and is a state-of-the-art pregnancy resource facility that performs 4D ultrasound.

    Choices offers prenatal medical care, social services, education, practical support, and adoption information. Choices also does perinatal hospice work, which is a direct alternative to killing babies diagnosed in-utero with terminal conditions (e.g., anencephaly). The hospice team provides care for the family during the pregnancy, birth, and beyond, helping families to embrace their child for his or her brief life.

    In dealing with women facing unplanned pregnancies, one of the important tools Choices uses to help abortion-minded women is a graphic abortion film. While it is true that not all women considering abortion need to see graphic images to change their minds, the reality is that many do. Graphic images are a tool that saves babies’ lives. International pro-life apologist Scott Klusendorf (who was a conference plenary speaker at the Pregnancy Resource Center Directors Conference (Focus on the Family) in Colorado Springs, CO, in 2002) highlights this point in his article, "Should Crisis Pregnancy Centers Use Graphic Visual Aids":

    As former CareNet center director Suzanne Genit points out, there are five types of abortion-minded clients: i

    Type #1: Responds to loving support—chooses life. Type #2: Responds to information on fetal development—chooses life. Type #3: Responds to descriptions of abortion techniques—chooses life. Type #4: Remains unmoved by love, facts/information, and verbal descriptions of abortion techniques, but responds to graphic abortion videos—chooses life. Type #5: Hardens her heart to all information—chooses abortion.

    Genit’s point is that clients 1 to 3 do not need graphic depictions of abortion. For those women, you are correct: Ultrasound and/or clinical descriptions are suitable alternatives. Client #4 is different. In her case, ultrasound misses the mark because it does not speak to the truth about abortion. It speaks to the humanity of the pre-born, not the inhumanity of abortion, which is the act she contemplates. True, clinical descriptions of abortion address this concern, but it’s a stretch to assume that in a visual society like ours, they communicate the brutal reality of abortion as effectively as pictures. This is why clinical descriptions do not anger abortion advocates the way that pictures do. I wish it were not so, but if client #4 is not made to feel more horrified of abortion than she is terrified of her own crisis pregnancy, her baby will die. ii Given what’s at stake, it’s not enough for her to simply imagine this horror. We must at least offer her the chance to see it.

    The fact is that many people pay lip service to the humanity of the pre-born and may even squeal with delight each time they see a wanted fetus on a sonogram, yet tolerate abortion. iii There’s an important lesson here for pro-life advocates: When it comes to moral persuasion, many times images of death work better than images of life. iv

    It is imperative, therefore, that pregnancy care centre staff be equipped with how to use graphic images in the counselling situation. Contact CCBR for more information about this.

    For more information about Choice Medical Clinic, go to www.choicesmc.org.

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