Things you can do to be Silent No More

 

Georgette Forney

 
  8/11/2010
  These are just a few suggestions on how to raise awareness in your community. Please contact us if you think of any other ways to let your voice be heard! Your local effort is where the real ministry happens. We give thanks for you and for your heart to reach out to those who are suffering. Remember, just by you living out Christ’s forgiveness and healing to your family, friends, neighbors, and yourself, you are being silent no more.

  1. Examine yourself. Have you gone through a healing program for your abortion? We recommend this as the best first step. The most effective people to help others heal from their abortion are those who lead by example. Are there relationships that still need to be reconciled? On this website we have posted "Telling others," which can be helpful if you have yet to share your personal story with family and those close to you.
  2. Help a friend or neighbor. Do you know friends who have personal abortion experience? Invite them to join you in an abortion recovery program/retreat, or make them aware of the help that is out there.
  3. Build a network of help. Research the abortion recovery resources in your area and connect with them.

    1. Find your local pregnancy resource center and ask if they offer abortion recovery groups (go to http://www.optionline.org/ and under "find a center" type your zip code, or call 800-395-HELP).
    2. Research the abortion recovery ministries by going to http://www.rachelsvineyard.org/ and looking under "Weekend Retreats—search by location" or calling 877-HOPE-4-ME. Even if they are within a few hours drive, it is worth it! The personal contact listed will also help to connect you.
    3. Order Referral cards from Heritage House ’76 that you can use to hand out to family and friends with your local resources for after-abortion help. You simply write the local contact information on the back. (http://www.heritagehouse76.com/)

  4. Know your resources and place announcements locally.

    1. Identify the location of the nearest pregnancy resources center in your area and get its phone number. Ask your pastor to put an announcement in the Sunday bulletin that says: "Are you pregnant and don’t know where to go for help? There’s a pregnancy resource center in (name of town). Call them at (phone number) and they will help you." Also keep the number in your wallet so if you hear of an unexpected pregnancy, you can offer the phone number as a resource.
    2. Identify the location of the abortion recovery program in your area and get their phone number. Ask your pastor to put an announcement in the Sunday bulletin that says: "Aftercare is available for those hurting from abortion. Help is available at (name of program); call them at (phone number) and they will help you." Again, keep the number in your wallet so you can offer it as a resource when needed. *These announcements should be alternated weekly all year.

    **Ask the pregnancy center to contact you if a woman goes there because of your announcements. Tell your pastor and tell us! It is a huge encouragement to keep at it!


  5. Raise Awareness. One of the Campaign’s goals is to educate the public (both Christian and non-Christian) about the effects of abortion on women and men. You can share your testimony in your church, women-focused organization, and other parishes. If you don’t have a pastor or belong to a church, ask friends for references and make plans to visit their pastor. How do you go about doing this?

    1. Pray to sense the Lord’s leading and words.
    2. Make an appointment to visit with your pastor to share your story of abortion, hurt, forgiveness, and recovery. Plan a 5-7 minute testimony to be presented to the church, and write it out so he can have a copy. Be prepared to share a 1-2 minute version with him during the visit.
    3. Provide the pastor with the Anglicans for Life brochure, which describes healing prayer and how to counsel others who have had abortions: "Post-Abortion Ministry Brochure for Clergy and Counselors." Read and order online under "Resources" at http://www.anglicansforlife.org/ or call 800-707-6635.
    4. Provide the pastor with the local abortion recovery resources so that he would have a way to help those in the congregation who might respond to the message, i.e.: Pregnancy Resource Center program, local Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat Coordinator, etc.
    5. Educate that abortion is something women and men deal with all year round, not just during Sanctity of Life Sunday. It is also an issue with which men struggle. You can share that the Silent No More Awareness Campaign has heard from many men seeking help. Several have spoken publicly about their experience.
    6. To give him a sense of context and where you are coming from, give him a Silent No More Awareness Brochure (ask for them through Anglicans for Life or Priests for Life). You could also show a Silent No More Awareness Video (either 8, 16, or 18 minute), or a clip of it, to open his eyes to honest testimonies from ordinary women and men.
    7. Share that 43% of all women under the age of 45 years old have had abortions according to Planned Parenthood’s research arm, the Alan Guttmacher Institute. Chances are that some of those women are in their congregations or are closely affected by abortion.
    8. Make an appointment to visit with clergy of other local parishes. This can be a little more sensitive. Imagine you are that pastor and a woman comes into your office asking permission to share her story of abortion to your congregation. In what ways could she act that would put you at ease and assure you that she is compassionate, truthful, and pure in motivation? We suggest that you do the above steps (especially thoroughly preparing your testimony and having local resources for help) and have the support of your pastor. You pastor could write a letter endorsing you, schedule a phone call (you could schedule the time during the visit), or he/she could accompany you. Your pastor’s support is very instrumental in showing your trustworthiness.

  6. Initiate a letter writing campaign to the editors of your local newspaper, journal, and/or magazine. Write letters as appropriate to either support a bill or rebuke a comment or claim make in a featured story that suggests abortion is good for women.
  7. Engage in peaceful activism. Visit the Priests for Life website for a comprehensive list of suggestions under: "What you can do to end abortion" (http://www.priestsforlife.org/brochures/whatyoucando.htm). This includes activities as well as strategic considerations regarding life-affirming work. Anglicans for Life has a similar list of suggestions posted on its website under "Take Action" at http://www.anglicansforlife.org/.