Perhaps I’m just getting old, but reading about the abortion-lobby’s fizzled protest outside of [Atlanta Women’s Care Clinic] had me quoting Ecclesiastes and the words, “there is nothing new under the sun.”
Before the scheduled protest, which drew from 3,000 at a downtown Atlanta conference and dropped to 150 when the protestors were asked to walk one lousy mile to [Atlanta Women’s Care Clinic] for another babble-a-thon, I was concerned. Would this undermine the work of a life-affirming ministry? How will the media spin this?
But of course, my concerns did not come to fruition. They rarely do.
Instead, the protest followed a familiar pattern. Leftist-splinter organizations (in this case, SisterSong and Reproaction) slide in under the radar of a major leftist event (here, the Netroots Nation Conference), then try to rally the crazies to tear into the life-affirming work we do.
In Atlanta, the Netroots Nation Conference had two major financial backers; Facebook and Google. This gives the outlying protest more coverage and seemingly, more credibility.
But when all was done, very few bothered to show up. The media can claim “hundreds” or “thousands,” but in the end, this was a familiar refrain with little long-term impact on our work.
In Atlanta today, my guess is [Atlanta Women’s Care Clinic] continues to receive phone calls, women are still trusting Atlanta-area pregnancy help ministries, and lives are being changed. In the process, babies are born who would not otherwise take their first breath. They will become toddlers, preschoolers, adolescents, adults, middle-aged folks like me, and so on it will go.
This is not to dismiss protests; but honestly, those who need our services don’t care much about protests. They may pay scant attention, but they are looking for help, not slogans. Those who oppose us yell slogans. We provide help. It’s not complicated.
Because there is nothing new under the sun, we can expect this to continue. In some seasons, the vitriol will ramp up; in others, it will abate. But the abortion lobby is backed into a corner and though they bark like a yippy wiener dog (I have one, I know), the “harm” they cause is minimal in the grand scheme of things.
There are significant attacks on our work in several states, certainly. We must be aware and respond with wisdom as we move forward. But have no doubt, we are moving forward.
As we advance, we must keep our attention focused on our goals, not our detractors. The truth is, no matter what we do, they will always be around.
We can build the most technologically advanced clinic, and they will still call us “fake.” We can earn the highest accreditation by the most-respected agency, and they will still say we are “not a medical facility.” We can offer STD and STI testing, prenatal care, postnatal care, mammograms, CT scans, optometry and open-heart surgery, yet they will still say we “do not offer a full range of services.”
Because we do not perform abortions.
I’m reminded of Jesus’ words to the multitude in Matthew 11, when he talked of John the Baptist. Jesus compared the current generation to children in the market places calling out, “We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.”
The abortion lobby, leftist groups and many in the media want us to dance when they tell us abortion is a wonderful gift worth celebrating. They want us to mourn when they say the biggest problem in society is too few abortions.
We choose a different path, and for this, some will always be at odds with us.
Yet despite the protests, despite the legislative and media-driven attacks, we advance.
No, there is nothing new under the sun. Those who oppose the inherent dignity of human life will continue to be shrill and angry; and they will continue to attack.
But as for us, we will wake up tomorrow and go to work. And we will advance, taking new ground for the culture of life.