Amidst the hate and clamor were many good folks — peaceful, loving, Evangelicals and Catholics, quietly smiling and holding their signs. Some, like Ella, were praying quietly, “Oh Jesus protect us!” Ella and I agreed — this was a spiritual battle. You could feel it, the oppression. The darkness.
As the scheduled speakers (including Cindy, sharing her testimony of God’s forgiveness, grace and healing after her abortion) began to try and address the crowd, even with the loud-speaker system it was hard to hear above the shouting counter-protesters. One protester held a sign declaring “Abortion providers are heroes.” Wow. Talk about absolute delusion: calling good evil and evil good. The Father of Lies was again shaking his fist at God Almighty, and using deceived men and women to assist. My heart ached for these people, shouting taunts penned in hell.
Jesus said, “I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life.” The age old battle of truth and lies, life and death, raged on MLK Blvd, in front of that Planned Parenthood facility. The sun was shining brightly in stark contrast to the depravity on display.
One woman was yelling “I love murdering fetuses!” Another woman was walking around with a “Thank God for abortion” t-shirt. The word blasphemy came to mind. And the explicit contrast between her horrible t-shirt and the signs, “STOP!! Killing Babies,” “I AM the PRO-LIFE GENERATION,” “Defund Planned Parenthood,” “Life, the greatest gift a mother can give.”
There was no talking to most of the protesters. The sheer decibels of their shouts made any attempts impossible. I looked across the street and saw that two men were actually separated from the crowd and having a peaceful dialogue.
At one point, a man chanting a repeat refrain “HER BODY HER CHOICE” was silent for about 20 seconds and I seized my opportunity. I tapped him on the shoulder and when he turned said, “May I respectfully ask you a question?”
“What about the baby’s body? The baby’s choice?”
“Well…it’s just a clump of cells.”
“Actually it’s not. Those cells at conception have unique DNA that will be in every organ and part of their body.”
I had recently read an article in Public Discourse by Ana Maria Dumitru titled, “Science, Embryonic Autonomy, and the Question of When Life Begins.” Dumitru writes:
The truth is that science already has answered this question, loud and clear. It’s really pretty simple. You take an egg from a female and a sperm cell from a male. The sperm penetrates the egg. And now you have one cell with the complete amount of genetic material needed for everything a human could ever want to do.
. . .
A newly fertilized embryo may not know whether or not it is “wanted,” but it does know that it wants to live.
We already knew that the developing embryo communicates with the mother through signals and nutrient exchange in the bloodstream, but now we know that the embryo is programmed for survival from day one.
I shared that information with the counter protester. I then told him:
“I am pro-life. I love Jesus and I love people. That means I love you and everyone out here and my heart breaks for the babies being killed as well as for the mothers’ and fathers’ hearts that bear the sorrow and guilt of that decision. And it’s a ‘tough decision’ because it’s more, much more than unwanted tissue. Getting rid of tonsils or an appendix is not a tough decision. Abortion is a tough decision because it is the killing of an innocent life. I hope that you consider my words and maybe, someday, grant that I make sense.”
He had lowered his sign and listened intently as I spoke. Then he suddenly held out his hand and said, “Thank-you for speaking to me in such a kind way. I will think about it. My name is Patrick.”
I shook his hand, and fighting back tears replied, “My name is Tami. Please consider what I’ve said? And by the way…I won’t forget you. My dad’s name is Patrick.”
The big shouting and screeching resumed and Patrick walked away, somewhat subdued, a pensive expression on his face.
As the intensity of the counter protesters built, I suddenly saw a number of policemen in the crowd telling the anarchists to calm down. I smiled at an officer as he walked by and told him, “I’ve always respected law enforcement, but I have never been quite so glad to see some policemen as I am today. There are some here on the edge of violence, and I think it’s apparent which side they’re on.” He smiled and murmured, “Sure is.”
In the course of the two hours standing in front of that Planned Parenthood, I felt the visceral hate, but also the power of God’s people. Cindy and I and Ella agreed that those hollering the loudest were most likely screeching to drown out the hurt and guilt of a terrible, terrible decision.
I shook my head and thought of the apostle Paul and his words, “…For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world…” That nausea I felt, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt the cause was principalities and powers. Spiritual wickedness.
Quickly I remembered the words of Moses which I frequently quote:
I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live. Deuteronomy 30:19
I walked over to give Cindy a hug and said my goodbyes. And as I drove home, tired and shaky, almost in a state of shock, I prayed. I’m still praying.
Oh Lord, oh Jesus…help America to choose life.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.