The POWER of ONE PERSON — and a REFLECTOR VEST…

Dear Friend of Life:

I hesitate to share too much in this email because I’m sure we have pro-abortion folks who are monitoring our listserve!  So, I’ll keep it general… but I’m so excited.

As we continue to collaborate with our program advisors, we are starting to integrate more “psychology of influence” techniques into our sidewalk outreach at locations across the country — and we’re witnessing stunning, life-saving results! 

More cars are stopping …more women are turning around in the driveway to head to the pregnancy center …and meanwhile, workers are shocked by the effectiveness, but they are ALSO more receptive to our offer of help to leave the industry!

IT REALLY IS A GAME-CHANGER.

So, what’s the big change?

While, again, I won’t go into everything, I’ll say this: It begins with ONE PERSON in a reflector vest.  

I’m not kidding.

We are tempted to think that in order to divert more women to the pregnancy center, we need huge teams of people on the sidewalk.  And don’t get me wrong: The goal IS to work up to 100% coverage so we can touch each and every eternal soul entering that abortion facility.

But on any given morning, to accomplish the goal of being present to women-in-need and really filling those needs, you need just ONE PERSON at the driveway (as long as the driveway is on public property) in a reflector vest — noting, for example, the “psychology of influence” principle that people in uniforms tend to get their requests met more — and ONE PARTNER on the other side of the driveway or at the fence to catch cars from the other side or reach out to those who didn’t take your offer of help as they were coming in.  (In other words, one person reaching out at a time, but always there in twos for safety and reflecting the Gospel mandate.)

When the Sidewalk Advocate stops the car, they present themselves in a loving, professional manner and are taught how to offer the FREE help at the local pregnancy resource center very quickly in the most attractive way possible.  And some women really do turnaround right then and there and head to the pregnancy center. 

If they don’t accept our help right away, Sidewalk Advocates are taught how to continue the conversation to hopefully still encourage a decision for life.

This is EXACTLY what happened when I visited Sioux Falls, SD a couple weeks ago to be a support to our team on the ground.

Our valiant leader, Sara, and her family lead our local program there, and they’ve done an incredible job incorporating some of these techniques into their outreach.

For our morning on the sidewalk, Sara was already ready in her pick reflector vest!

Their biggest obstacle was knowing who was going RIGHT to Planned Parenthood(on the right side of the office complex) or who was going LEFT towards the coffee shop or Pizza Hut.  When cars were pulling in, you couldn’t tell.

So, we told Sara and the team: Stop EVERYONE  the risk is far too great NOT to. 

When we stopped the car, we introduced ourselves: “Hi, there, I’m Sara with (insert a pro-woman name for your group or, if the pregnancy center allows, say you are with them)…Are you by chance going to Planned Parenthood today?”  If you have a smile on your face and keep it cool, 99% of the time, they will tell you.  (And if they get uneasy about the question, you treat them like a Planned Parenthood client!)

Then, it’s offering the FREE help at the local pregnancy center.  If they tell you they aren’t going there for “that,” you can ask them to share what service they are seeking that day “to point them to free help in town” (note: If it’s artificial birth control, because of it’s likely abortifacient nature and other concerns, we either share the beauty of chastity with unmarried women OR, with married women, a form of Natural Family Planning that’s 98-99% use effective).  Again, most of the time, they’ll tell you exactly what they are going in for.

If they said they were going to grab coffee or pizza, we simply told them that we were offering the free help at the local pregnancy center for anyone in need — and we handed them our pamphlet while saying, “here’s some info if you know anyone who might need help.” Almost 100% of the time, the driver took our pamphlet.  BOOM.  Quick evangelization and informing the public within seconds.

The most trying moment was when the coffee shop manager arrived for his shift, late morning  oh, they had warned me about him!  (Apparently, every single time our Advocates are out there, he comes over to harass them about our inviting cars to take info in the driveway.)  He pulled in, parked, and came marching over… FURIOUS.

“You can’t do that!  You can’t stop cars in the driveway…”

“Hi, there, what’s your name?”  I said as I stuck out my hand.

He shook my hand… then, went off on us.

I calmly reassured him that I was an attorney myself, we knew our rights, we were permitted to invite cars to briefly stop in the driveway for about 10-15 seconds to take info, our attorney had already spoken to their local police, and we’d appreciate him respecting our First Amendment Rights.  I informed him that he wasn’t unlike many property owners who were upset they had to share a parking lot with Planned Parenthood …and my advice was to get out.

He was rude and insistent that we could just let the car park and waive the client over —and if not, he’d call the police.

Sara brought up, “You KNEW before you moved in that we were here, first.”

I finally got much more direct, and I told him — pointing to Planned Parenthood with some real fire in my belly — that as long as children were dying in that building, we’d be here, inviting cars to stop, because that was the best point of access. “If you’re more concerned about selling a cup of coffee than the children dying in that building, you’ve got your priorities messed up.”

He furiously marched back to his car, threatening to call the police and pretending to tape us on his phone.

“Go ahead, sir, we’ve already worked this out with the local police,”  I reassured him.

Maybe he was mad because we stopped almost EVERY car coming into the shopping center that day.  And just before he marched over, a couple who had listened to our offer of help on the way in had driven back towards us to “talk” some more (after sitting in their car for 20 minutes, reading our pamphlet) …and chose our help at the pregnancy center instead.  PRAISE GOD!!

Never underestimate the power of ONE PERSON — and yes, a partner to have their back —in a reflector vest, waving, with a big smile and a simple offer of help.

And please pray for that coffee shop manager.  He’s experiencing the “constructive tension” that’s needed for a conversion of heart  and for abortion to end.

Blessings in Christ,

Lauren Muzyka
Executive Director
Sidewalk Advocates for Life

info@sidewalkadvocates.org
sidewalkadvocates.org