Two weeks ago saw the arrival of anti-abortion protesters to our town. Uninvited and (as far as I know), unsupported by any local churches or ministries, they arrived with their literature, posters and a sound system!
Their goal, a laudable one, is the cessation of surgical abortions by a local provider. To that end, all who truly care about women and their children would agree with them! It is the means, however, by which they expressed their viewpoint that caused such great consternation throughout the local community: descending in groups on businesses in the same retail complex where Dr. X is located, telling them that they would go to hell for sharing a parking lot with his office; handing out brochures and placing graphic signs out of the high school and middle school; violating a restraining order during a community/Boy Scout that resulted in arrest.
The local pro-life community has been disturbed by their presence and activities. Many if not most are naturally repulsed by the photos used by the protesters to make their point. While everyone agrees that the images can serve a good purpose, it is critical that they be used in appropriate venues and not in random environments on an unsuspecting public. Parents in particular are deprived of their right and duty to both protect their children and make decisions in educating them in age-appropriate ways. The deliberate display of these images is likewise a violation to the dignity of the children photographed therein. Post-abortive women, too, can be triggered right into the memory of their own trauma, caused sadly by the very people who should be reaching out to help her heal.
Only time will tell what the repercussions of such activities will be upon the local community. The protesters have packed up their posters and stereo and gone home. We are left to deal with the outcome. I pray for sound judgment and holy and strong local leadership to emerge as a result. May God have mercy on us all, and lead us in His Way.