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 Sidewalk Advocates for Life

(LifeSiteNews) — An international sidewalk counseling ministry has saved more than 20,000 babies from abortion since its founding less than a decade ago.

Sidewalk Advocates for Life is a pro-life organization whose “goal is to train, equip, and support teams of Sidewalk Advocates all across the nation — and beyond — to provide peaceful, prayerful, loving, and law-abiding sidewalk outreach outside every abortion and abortion-referral facility.”

“Sidewalk Advocates provide life-affirming resources to clients entering these facilities, thereby eliminating demand and, ultimately, ending abortion,” Lauren Muzyka, founder, president and CEO of the organization, told LifeSiteNews via email.

During the nine years since the group’s founding, Sidewalk Advocates for Life has saved 20,105 babies from abortion. According to the organization’s website, the witness of the advocates has also inspired 86 employees within the abortion industry to leave and 32 killing centers to close.

Mothers and babies have been spared from the tragedy of abortion through the efforts of “more than 230 teams all across the country (including Alaska and Hawaii), as well as in Mexico City, Puerto Rico, and the nation of Colombia.”

“The way we reached this miraculous milestone is through God’s grace,” Muzyka continued. “But in addition to that, I credit our Sidewalk Advocates who have given their YES to this great mission and availed themselves of our comprehensive training, tools, and support program.”

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The pro-lifers involved in this ministry come from a wide variety of religious and cultural backgrounds but are brought together with “the burning desire to serve as the hands and feet of Christ, and an unshakeable commitment to protecting the dignity of the individual and the right to life.”

“It’s not complicated,” Muzyka explained when asked about how her organization goes about saving babies. “A Sidewalk Advocate is trained to ask a simple question: ‘What brings you here today?’ And that same Sidewalk Advocate has a toolbox full of responses to draw from, depending on the client’s response.”

Such tools include “a wave and a warm smile, a gift bag with literature on life-affirming resources, and the straightforward mission to guide others to pregnancy help organizations in their community.”

“Our training provides a framework that helps Sidewalk Advocates start a conversation and plant seeds for choosing life — and those seeds have borne fruit more than 20,000 times that we know of.”

Muzyka also shared that while the mission hasn’t changed since the historic Dobbs decision, the organization’s approach to that mission has “evolved.” She mentioned an increased focus on “growing our teams” of Sidewalk Advocates in states where abortion remains legal, especially those where killing the unborn is permitted until the point of birth. As outlined in a recently released documentary by the organization, states like New Mexico are particularly challenging due to the radical abortion laws and the push to bring in women from other states to kill their babies.

In states where abortion has been significantly limited or totally banned thanks to pro-life legislation, Muzyka stressed the importance of “continu[ing] our outreach to pregnant moms” because Roe’s reversal “doesn’t mean women have stopped considering abortion as an option.”

Additionally, abortion giants like Planned Parenthood have shifted their advocacy to become abortion-referral locations when they are not legally permitted to murder the unborn in a given state. Instead, their goal is to get women to a state and facility where they can legally obtain an abortion. Sidewalk Advocates for Life are also present outside these referral centers, where the pro-lifers have been able to bring women seeking a referral to an ultrasound bus or pregnancy resource center instead, enabling them to choose life.

Muzyka told LifeSiteNews that she was “so inspired by the transformative power of prayer and peaceful outreach on the sidewalk” after joining the “very first” 40 Days for Life campaign and working within that organization as a campaign strategist that she “began to wonder what would happen if people on the sidewalk were more formally trained to reach out to the clients entering abortion facilities with their words.”

In April 2014, after “developing such a training program [and] conferring with pro-life experts,” the “first officially trained Sidewalk Advocates went out to serve on the sidewalk outside their local abortion facilities.” The organization began with 22 locations, a number that has “grown by more than 10 times in the intervening nine years.”

“Our goal is to cover all 777 abortion and abortion-referral facilities in the United States,” Muzyka said. “Our ultimate goal is to end abortion in our country, and in our world.”

She noted an increase in “persecution” against the pro-life movement, which ranges from the mainstream media and pro-abortion label of Sidewalk Advocates as “protesters” to “escorts [outside abortion centers] grabbing gift bags out of Sidewalk Advocates’ hands and tossing them away, calling them horrific names, even spitting in their faces.”

Despite the growing tension among abortion supporters and pro-lifers, Muzyka is “proud” that volunteers in her organization “have been outstanding in maintaining their peaceful, prayerful, law-abiding demeanor.” She also pointed out that the group will “turn to our friends at the Thomas More Society for legal support when necessary.”


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