1) Is there something I can give to clinic workers to guide them to ATTWN?
a.Yes! Downloadable fliers are available at http://www.ATTWN.org/for-sidewalk-counselors and you can print these off and distribute them. Print as many as you’d like and make sure your prayer team has them readily available when on the sidewalks.
2) I want to reach out to these clinic workers, but I don’t even know what to say.
a.Remember, abortion workers are human beings, with friends and families who love them, bills to pay and children to feed. Treat them like you would any other friend of yours. Smile and say ‘good morning’ when they come to work, and offer them an ATTWN flier. If abortions are being performed that day, you can say something like ‘I know procedure days are very difficult for the women you see, but I know it’s hard on you, too.’ Tell them you care about them and if they ever need anything, to come talk to you.
Unlike women coming in for abortions, you have time to develop a relationship with the workers inside the clinics. Take time to get to know them and to try to find out why they are working there.
3) The workers at the clinic where I pray completely ignore us. How can I engage them in conversation?
a.Many abortion clinic workers are trained to ignore anyone who is praying or standing outside of their clinic. This is to prevent them from doing exactly what we want them to do—hear the message that they deserve to work at a place that respects them, that upholds the dignity of women, and doesn’t prey on unborn children. The abortion industry is fully aware that each and every one of their employees is reachable, and they want to do all they can to prevent them from quitting.
That being said, realize that even if clinic workers do not outwardly respond to you, they are absolutely able to hear you. Do not stop reaching out to them and do not let their silence hinder you. They can hear you, and each time you tell them you care and that you’re there for them, it will resonate.
4) There are some very hostile workers at the abortion clinic where I pray. Should I just leave them alone?
a.Hostility from abortion clinic workers is usually a sign of a lot of inward struggle and pain. It is very likely that those workers have had more personal experience with abortion than just working in an abortion clinic. Chances are, she has had an abortion herself, or someone close to her has. Do not retaliate with anger towards her. Keep trying to reach her—just make sure you are extra sensitive with your words when you do speak to her.
5) Should I mail fliers to workers’ homes if I know their address?
a.No. Do not mail fliers or ANYTHING ELSE to the homes of any clinic workers. This could be perceived as threatening.
6) Should I mail flier to the clinic?
a.You can mail a flier to the clinic. However, if you do, only do it once every six months or so. Also, do not include a lot of information along with the fliers. A simple note attached to the fliers that says, “We are here for you” would be sufficient.
7) A while ago, a clinic worker told me she wanted to quit. I haven’t heard from her since. Will you contact her?
a.No. ATTWN will not contact any clinic workers who have not initiated contacted with us first.
8) A clinic worker approached me and told me she definitely wants out. What do I do?
a.Give the clinic worker an ATTWN flier and have her email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can help her begin her transition immediately.
Please understand that we will not break a clinic worker’s confidentiality and you will not be notified of her contact with us unless she specifically requests it, or she tells you herself.
9) A clinic worker has reached out to me and we’ve been talking a lot lately—several weeks/months have gone by, but she’s still working at the abortion clinic! What should I do?
a.If there is a mutual positive relationship between you and a clinic worker, never give up on her. In order for anyone (clinic worker or otherwise) to trust you, you must build that trust over time. For some workers, it takes years of loving outreach from people on the sidewalks for them to finally leave. If you have made friends with a clinic worker over the months or years, when she does finally leave, you may be a very strong emotional support for her. Don’t give up.
10) A clinic worker that came to us has quit her job. I want to tell other people the good news!
a.STOP!! Do NOT talk to people about the situation—this must remain confidential and the clinic worker’s privacy must be protected. Do not talk to your pastor, do not talk to your prayer team, do not talk to the other 40 Days for Life team members, do not talk to the local pregnancy resource center. ATTWN will be the primary contact for ALL communication. There may be times when we will need you to help us with local resources. Until then, everything MUST remain confidential.
Our goal is not to create new pro-life speakers. The primary goal of ATTWN is to draw clinic workers out of the abortion industry and set them on a path to recovery. Once a clinic worker has come to terms with what he or she has witnessed and participated in during the time working in the clinic (this can take months, years, or even decades), then they can make a rational, conscious decision whether to come forward and go public with their testimony…or they may decide to never go public with their story.
Once a road to recovery has been established, if a former worker desires to speak out, ATTWN will support them entirely (this includes legal support). However, ATTWN will never push or require a former worker to reveal their identity or come out with their story publicly. Do not break confidentiality of former workers.