January 29th, 2009 by Bethany French

On Thursday January 22, 2009 from 11:30-12:30, approximately one to two hundred people from different churches and pro-life organizations gathered at the intersection of Trade and Tryon in Charlotte, NC for a church service as a memorial for the unborn children who have been and continue to be killed under the guise of “a woman’s right to choose.” As part of the event, participants held up signs and passed out fliers educating the public on the reality of abortion. The signs included pictures of Malachi, an aborted baby of 21 weeks, and multiple children that were rescued from abortion due to the consistent efforts of those who minister weekly in front of the abortion clinics in Charlotte.

The square was full of mothers and fathers with their children, and many children were able to hand out fliers to those passing by. Everyone joined in the heartfelt prayer and worship, and listened as the speakers shared from their hearts about abortion, its impact on society, and the need to speak on behalf of those in the womb, who have no voice of their own.

The highlight of the service was the moving testimony of a woman who had recently decided to keep her baby because of the efforts and presence of OSA’s Flip Benham at the abortion clinic on Hebron St. in Charlotte. She had previously had 3 different abortions, and was on her way to have another baby killed after struggling for weeks with the decision, when she came under conviction by the words of Mr. Benham, and changed her mind. She is now going to the church of another passionate pro-life pastor in the city, Pastor Ronnie Wallace.  Following her story, Mr. Benham prayed for her to experience the love and goodness of Christ, and many who were present contributed funds to help her through this time, including a Charlotte businessman who was moved to stop, contributed to the fund, and stayed to talk with her and others afterward.  Hearing her story brought a response of compassion and rejoicing from the participants, and great encouragement to those who minister as sidewalk counselors in front of the abortion clinics in Charlotte.

In an interview following the memorial service, this woman said that after her third abortion, she had promised herself and God that she would never have another one.  She was filled with regret about the decision she had made to abort twins the last time, whom she called “a gift of God” that she should have treasured.  When she found herself pregnant for the fourth time, she was afraid of going through the pregnancy without the father or a support system of friends or family, and she made the heartbreaking decision to have another abortion.  However, right as she was walking into the doors of the abortion clinic on Hebron St, she heard the words of Flip Benham as he was ministering outside, later recalling that it was as if “he was speaking right to me.”  In response to his words, she started crying and turned back to talk with him.  Mr. Benham met her halfway, talked and prayed with her, and she changed her mind about having the abortion.  She said she felt like God had sent the sidewalk counselors there to the abortion clinic just for her.  Mr. Benham then introduced her to Pastor Wallace so she could get connected to a support system within the community.

What is the best thing that pro-life supporters can do to help the women who have chosen life, and are now facing difficult circumstances?  This woman said that what would help her most would be having people alongside her to listen, support her, and minister comfort, since she doesn’t have any support to speak of from the father, family or her friends.  Many of these women who have changed their minds about having an abortion are afraid and alone, and need the support of those who will get to know them, and care about them AND their child; friends, we can reach out in love and make a difference to these women who have chosen life!  We can support and bless those who out of a place of faith make the wonderful decision to keep their children, and be friends and family to those without them, simply by making ourselves available!  Let us join with our brothers and sisters who labor to be a voice for the unborn children, and friends and family to those who are being saved!

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