Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to questions you may have. If you have questions that are not answered here, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org or (951) 750-1114.
Get your questions answered here:
Knowing your rights
Sidewalk counseling questions
Dealing with the family of the woman seeking an abortion
Dealing with abortion facility employees
Dealing with Police
More about A ProLife Christmas Carol
Q: How many gifts should we bring?
A: The Los Angeles abortion facilities are very busy so we average 10-15 gift baskets per abortion facility. Quantity depends on the size and busyness of your local abortion facility. Plan on bringing gifts for 4 to 5 abortion facility staff. Please don’t worry about having too many, when you are done with your event, you can drop the extras off at your local Pregnancy Help Center.
Q: What about using signs while Christmas caroling?
A: The Survivors have chosen not to use any signs while Christmas Caroling. If you choose to use signs, we encourage you to take a soft approach and not use graphic signs, but rather signs that reflect the heart of Christmas.
Q: What if no one comes for an abortion?
A: If you are only visiting one abortion facility and no one shows up to have an abortion, praise God by praying and singing carols anyway. You never know who will see your witness and have a change of heart. Heaven will reveal the now unseen impact of our sacrifices! You can donate the gift baskets to your local Pregnancy Help Center.
Q: What if the women say they are not there for an abortion?
A: Even if a woman is not there for an abortion, she is probably there for a pregnancy test, to obtain birth control or for STD testing. It is still be a perfect time to talk to her about abstinence and abortifacients. Also, we never really know for sure if the woman walking in is there for an abortion or not, so we recommend giving a gift basket to every woman who walks in.
Q: What if they give back the gift basket?
A: If they give the baskets back or refuse to take them, we encourage you to leave them there as a physical reminder to future women walking into the abortion facility that day.
Knowing your rights:
Q: Why do I need to videotape this event?
A: Video taping is an essential part of every pro-life event. It allows you to capture great memories, but, more importantly, it gives a true and accurate account of everything that happens at the event. Clinic workers and sidewalk counselors often attempt to lie to law enforcement about what your group is doing at their clinic. With a video you can always show that your event was peaceful and lawful, despite what those at the clinic may try to say.
Q: What do you do if you’re told you can’t be on a public sidewalk?
A: Pro-lifers have the same rights as all American citizens under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution to freedom of expression on the public way. This includes the right to pray on a public sidewalk. As long as you are not blocking the sidewalk, and as long as you are not standing on private property, law enforcement cannot make you leave. If a police officer says you have to leave, politely explain that the sidewalk is public property and that under the First Amendment you have a right to stay.
Q: Is it legal to talk to abortion-bound women outside abortion facililties?
A: As long as you remain on public property and do not block the public right-of-way, it is perfectly legal to talk to a woman going into an abortion facility, to her companion, or to anyone else. The right to free speach is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution and does not depend on the hearer’s permission or interest in hearing the speech.
Sidewalk counseling questions:
Q: How do I approach women at the abortion clinic?
A: As you hand her a gift basket, say, “Merry Christmas! Here is a gift for you and your baby. Please choose life for your baby. We have help for you.” Get literature into her hands. Don’t ask if she wants it, just hold out the literature. You can say, “This is important information to protect you,” “Read this before you make this decision,” and “There are other options.”
Q: What should I say if she continues to be willing to talk to me?
A: Open the literature up for her and point out the facts you wish to emphasize. Hand her a fetal model. Point out the phone numbers of organizations in the area that offer free help to pregnant women. Continue the conversation as long as possible. You can say: “Abortion isn’t safe,” “I’m here because I care about you,” “They only want your money,” “Please don’t kill your baby,” “This will haunt you the rest of your life,” “Look how perfect these tiny feet are,” or “You can see that this baby in this picture is a boy.”
Q: How can I help the woman further?
A: Ask the woman questions that do not require “yes” or “no” answers. Try to ascertain her situation and find out what she needs to help her through this crisis time in her life. Point out the resources that are available to her that will help meet those needs. Suggest adoption, if appropriate. Offer to be her friend, but be careful not to make promises you can’t keep. During this time you can share personal stories about an abortion, your family, or a crisis pregnancy.
Q: How can I encourage her to leave the clinic?
A: Getting her away from the abortion mill should be your primary goal. Offer to drive or escort her to a nearby Pregnancy Help Center. Ask her to go home and think about it some more. Invite her to a nearby restaurant for a cup of coffee where you can talk comfortably, (once she eats she cannot have an abortion that day). Invite her to your home if you live nearby. Once a woman leaves the abortion facility, only one out of four will ever come back according to Planned Parenthood’s own statistics.
Q: What do I do if a woman decides to leave the clinic?
A: Encourage and praise her for making the right decision and offer to pray for her. Offer to take her to the closest Pregnancy Help Center and ask if there is anything you can provide for her. It is important to exchange names and phone numbers so you can follow up with her if she desires. Sometimes she may feel uncomfortable giving you her number, so give her yours and encourage her to call you later.
Q: What do I do if a woman I am talking to starts walking into the clinic?
A: Keep talking until the door closes behind you. You never know if those last words will be the ones to prick her heart and cause her to come out. Pray for her that God would convict her and help her to change her mind.
Q: How aggressive should I be?
A: You are the last line of defense for the preborn child. Do not worry about hurting someone’s feelings. You can apologize later. Your popularity is not worth a child’s life. Remember that the people entering the abortion mill are on their way to kill their baby. They need to feel a healthy sense of guilt about that. Be sensitive to the situation, but do all that you can to save the child’s life.
Q: What if I get nervous when talking to a woman seeking an abortion?
A: Getting nervous is a natural reaction when sidewalk counseling. Every sidewalk counselor has been nervous at one time or another. There are a lot of emotions involved when you are trying to counsel a woman to make a loving choice and you know that a child’s life is on the line. If she decides to ignore you and continues into the abortion facility, keep talking to her even when she enters the facility. Also, remember to pray the whole time – from the moment you approach her until after she leaves. Do your best and leave the rest up to God.
Q: What if a bunch of people are talking to the same woman?
A: There should only be one person counseling a woman, two at the most. If there is a group of people surrounding a woman she might feel overwhelmed and want to walk away to get space. Try to have a designated sidewalk counselor and if not, only approach a woman when you see that there is no one else approaching her.
Q: What if the woman starts crying?
A: If she starts to cry and she seems open, comfort her. Explain to her that you care for her and want her to make the right decision for her and her baby. Just listen to her and give her the appropriate advice for her situation.
Q: What if a woman says she isn’t there for an abortion, but you think she really is?
A: Offer her literature and direct her to a Pregnancy Help Center nearby that will help her with whatever she needs. Continue to counsel her and beg her to choose life for her baby.
Dealing with the family of the woman seeking an abortion:
Q: What should I say to the husband or boyfriend?
A: Include him in the conversation and explain his responsibilities as the man of the family to protect his wife or girlfriend and baby. Make him an ally, if possible. Often he is the key to turning her around. If you can convince him, frequently the woman will gladly follow. Appeal to his pride as a man. Remind him that it is his child too.
Q: What do you do when an angry boyfriend threatens you?
A: If you are a woman, we recommend that you have a man present to help look after the entire event and help with situations like this. Make sure your video camera is running from the time you start your event until you are done. Not only is it good to document it in case you experience any problems, but also for the boyfriend to notice. Tell him that you are videotaping him, and try to calm him down. Talk in a calmer tone and just offer him help as well. If the man remains hostile, focus your attention on the woman since the child’s life is ultimately her decision.
Dealing with abortion facility employees:
Q: How do I approach the abortion facility employees with gifts?
A: The gift bearers going into the clinic should be cheerful and pleasant even if the staff is not. They are there to deliver Christmas gifts and share the love of Christ. Gift bearers should walk right up to the receptionist’s desk and place the gifts on the counter, and begin talking to the abortion facility employees about salvation through Christ and the fact that there are places to work other than abortion clinics. Remember that although they are employed in evil work, they are not a lost cause. Through the grace of God, numerous abortion clinic employees have turned their lives around as a result of the loving outreach of pro-lifers.
Q: How long should I talk to the abortion facility employees?
A: Continue speaking with the workers as long as you can, giving the carolers time to minister to abortion-minded women, (carolers should be singing just outside the door, and someone should be talking from the door to the women inside, encouraging them to leave and come get a gift basket).
Q: What should I do if we are asked to leave the facility?
A: If you are directly asked to leave the facility, acknowledge that request and leave. However, only leave if it is a direct request — don’t leave just because one of the workers says to another, “these people should leave!”
Q: What do I do if the abortion facility employees are becoming angry or pushy?
A: Back away and make sure video cameras are rolling. Remain calm and do not become aggressive. Remember you are an ambassador of Christ.
Q: What should I say if the abortionist approaches me?
A: Ask him to consider finding another job. Start sharing Christ with him and tell him that there are better ways to make money that are not at the expense of children’s lives.
Q: What if the security guard is acting threatening?
A: You should already be videotaping. Make sure to tape everyone in your group and pan around to where everyone is located. If he threatens to call the police or says that you are breaking the law by being there, ask him to give you a penal code or to cite what the exact law is that you are breaking.
Dealing with Police:
Q: How do I deal with police?
A: If police are called to the abortion clinic, refer them to the designated police liaison. You should assign someone in your group as police liaison who feels comfortable in that role and is willing to firmly but politely stand up for your carolers. The liaison should indicate that your group is willing to work with the police if there is a problem. Stick to your story even if the abortion facility staff make up outrageous claims. This is where a video camera is helpful. Emphasize that you have no desire to break the law; be sure to leave room on the sidewalk for pedestrians to walk and don’t block the entrance to the clinic — don’t give the police a chance to find fault in your actions.
Q: Is legal help available for a pro-lifer who encounters difficulties with police?
A: The Life Legal Defense Foundation specializes in defending the rights of pro-life activists.
More about A ProLife Christmas Carol:
Q: How can I help promote this event?
A: Talk to your youth groups and churches. Also, print out these resources and hand them out to anyone you think would be interested in participating in this event. Feel free to visit us on Facebook and re-post the event or creating a new post with all of the information on A ProLife Christmas Carol.
Q: How can I support this ministry?
A: You can support Survivors by praying for our efforts through A ProLife Christmas Carol and other projects. You can also make a donation here to further our efforts in the battle for life.