Wednesday, January 6, 2021

What It's Like to Be a Secular Sidewalk Counselor


The author stands on a sidewalk with prenatal development education materials.

"What parish do you attend?" That's the question I often get when someone new arrives. When I respond that I'm secular, I get a look of amazement and whispered apologies, as if their question was somehow offensive to me. It isn't. 

I've been doing sidewalk counseling outside of a local abortion facility for almost two years now. I've gotten used to the fact I'm the least likely person you'd expect out there. After all, it seems majority of those who are pro-life tend to be of some religious background. What I didn't expect was to be standing on the sidewalk with so few.

My greatest frustration (aside from mothers going in to terminate their babies, and dads who sit in the parking lot playing games on their phone while it happens) is the lack of involvement from those who are of faith. 

I live in a city with a population over 300,000, in a county with a population over 2 million, with over 100 churches. Yet on any given Saturday, one of the busiest abortion days, there's usually no more than three or four people trying to reach these moms and dads with help before they go inside. On a weekday, you're lucky if there's one person on the sidewalk. 

When there is nobody in front of the abortion center, mothers are not made aware of the local resources for help, fathers are not encouraged to step up and save their baby, and nobody hears the truth about how destructive abortion is for all involved. I shudder to think what would have happened to those mothers who chose life on the sidewalk, if no one had been there that day.

So what can secular pro-lifers do? Get involved in sidewalk counseling. If nobody is outside at your local abortion center(s), be that person who shows up. Don't allow yourself to feel like you have no place out there. The need for sidewalk advocates, especially secular ones, is huge! I am thankful for the small group of people who stand with me. Despite our differing religious beliefs (or lack thereof), we work together and have saved lives. 

We still have much work to do. Won't you join us?

[Today's article is by Christine Sorrell. If you would like to contribute a guest post, email your submission to for consideration.]

(Check out the list of ways you can support sidewalk counselors from

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