TEXAS: Sidewalk Advocates for Life works to train, equip and support local communities across the United States and the world in “sidewalk advocacy” in the pro-life movement. They strive to be the hands and feet of Christ, offering loving, life-affirming alternatives to all present at the abortion center, thereby eliminating demand and ending abortion.
“One of our greatest joys has been learning from former abortion workers who are now on our side of the fence,” writes Lauren Muzyka, Esq., Executive Director of the Sidewalk Advocates for Life National Team. “Simultaneously, we’ve benefited the counsel of pro-life attorneys who are experts in First Amendment rights or risk management as they’ve helped us guard and protect the sacred ministry on the sidewalk that has been entrusted to us and so many others.”
In a spirit of love and concern for the pro-life ministry, Sidewalk Advocates for Life wants to warn the pro-life community that about a movement that is trying to recruit pro-life advocates to break the law and enter abortion facilities, specifically in the waiting rooms of abortion clinics.
“While the group might be well-meaning, modern-day, this approach is dangerous to sidewalk ministry for many reasons,” writes Muzyka. Here are a few reasons why this movement could hurt the pro-life movement:
1. The creation of buffer zones
Occupying the waiting room of an abortion clinic can lead to serious legal ramifications. “Such acts could lead to buffer zones throughout a city or state, wiping out peaceful prayer and sidewalk outreach right in front of abortion facilities, activities that are witnessing thousands upon thousands of lives saved each year,” Muzyka writes. “In our ministry alone, we count 14 sites now at risk for a buffer zone, even though they were not involved with these incidents.”
2. The risk of imprisonment
Those entering the waiting room of an abortion clinic may have the best intentions, but their actions can risk imprisonment. “Pro-life individuals who don’t know any better risk going to federal prison after one offense or putting their life-saving organization or ministry at risk for being sued out of existence,” Muzyka explains.
3. Scaring abortion-minded women
When an abortion clinic goes on lock-down after pro-life advocates sit down in their waiting room, the resulting incident may scar abortion-minded women even more. “Research and testimony show it can greatly scare the abortion-minded women and workers we are trying to reach, leading to a deleterious effect on lives saved,” Muzyka warns. “Within a few minutes of a law-breaking event, the vast majority of abortion facilities are trained to go on lock-down and quickly pull women and companions to a back room, cutting off access and further opportunities for her to change her mind and receive our help — especially as the individual is then taken to jail.”
To help explain why this movement can hurt the pro-life community, Sidewalk Advocates for Life interviewed three attorneys and four former abortion workers (three of whom have experienced in their personal life). In a twenty-minute video, Sidewalk Advocates for Life invites viewers to work together and protect prayerful and peaceful vigils and sidewalk outreach.