Today is National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers, which means that there is an actual day to “celebrate” the abortionists responsible for killing approximately 60 million preborn babies. It’s like creating a day to celebrate all the genocidal instigators of the 20th century. The idea is utterly ridiculous and demeaning to the families that have been impacted by abortion throughout the country, but it’s also an opportunity to pray for those in the abortion industry. 

The day started in memory of Dr. David Gunn—the first abortionist killed for his work in the United States during an anti-abortion protest on March 10, 1993. According to reports, the murderer shouted, “Don’t kill any more babies,” before shooting Gunn in the back. Although the act of abortion is reprehensible, killing an abortionist is wrong. Unfortunately, the man who committed the crime encouraged others down the same deadly path.

This act of violence resulted in more laws protecting abortion clinics and resulted in the creation of a Day for Abortion Providers as a reminder of the danger that abortionists face in their line of work.

Though the threat of violence is now essentially nonexistent for abortion providers, as the pro-life movement has mostly phased out violent elements that existed in the 1990s, abortionists still feel like they are under threat. As reported by Rewire.News, the National Abortion Federation (NAF) has reported a record increase of what it considers “violent” incidents at abortion clinics in 2018 and a surge in pro-life demonstrators. Abortion supporters believe that this is because the pro-life movement has been emboldened by the growth of life affirming legislation. 

But are these abortion watchdogs reporting “violence,” or just pro-life Americans exercising their First Amendment rights and trying to stand up for the lives of preborn babies? 

According to the NAF report, the vast majority of “violent” incidents at clinic locations were the 3,038 cases of obstruction and 1,135 cases of trespassing. In cases of obstruction, which is conveniently wrapped into trespassing, the details on how this typically manifests are vague. This could represent people who protest and may get too close to the fence or, as the report states, “littering” the parking lot with pro-life materials. 

The NAF report also goes into detail on the murders, attempted murders, arsons, bombings and biological agents used against abortionists. All these numbers are low, with biological agents having seen a severe decline in the last 20 years—however, the eight-year time span between 2010-2018, there were still 3 murders, 14 arsons, 4 attempted bombings, 41 incidents of vandalism and 108 assaults.

It’s entirely possible that many of these incidents are not all that threatening in reality. The vast majority of those responsible for these incidents are miniscule group of radical and fringe pro-life individuals (some of whom have been diagnosed clinically insane) more interested in repaying violence with violence than attempting a dialogue and relationship. Unfortunately, this tiny group of extremists are more likely to make the news.

In addition to acts of physical violence, the NAF reports that there were 406,733 incidents of hate mail/harassing calls, hate email/internet harassment, hoax devices/suspicious packages, bomb threats, picketing and obstruction. This is unfortunate, and not conducive to the pro-life cause. While there is nothing wrong with picketing and obstruction could simply be a pro-life supporter talking a woman out of an abortion, there should be no place in the pro-life movement for hate against abortion clinic workers. These women and men are broken individuals, many of whom resort to abusing substances in order to continue their macabre work.

Dr. Anthony Levatino, a former abortionist turned pro-life activist who is featured in an upcoming Focus on the Family broadcast, spoke about the differences between the “crazies” he saw every day outside his clinic and one patient’s quiet evangelism. This patient, after an examination, simply told Dr. Levatino that Jesus loves him and that being an abortionist is not what He intended and to please stop. She continued as his patient, saying the same thing year after year and even gave him a card and a plate of brownies. Her steadfast dedication to reaching out to Dr. Levatino through such a simple, kind gesture as a regular patient made her one of the first people that he contacted after he and his wife became Christians.

In this social media and electronic age, it has become convenient to post messages that would be unsavory in any other light. So today, as abortionists advocate for death, commit to praying for abortion providers and clinic workers in your local community. Though many in the pro-life movement already do this, learn the clinic workers’ names, their families, their struggles and ask to pray for them. 

The abortion industry is a dark place, spiritually, emotionally and mentally, so commit to praying that God would lift these workers out of darkness and into His light.