A facility that promotes or performs abortions is the LAST place at which we should have to take a stand to fight abortion.  We should be doing such a good job at educating our youth and the public about life that there would be no need for anyone to even consider having an abortion.  Sadly, this is not the case.   In the past, Right to Life of Northeast Ohio had been the Akron area coordinator for 40 Days for Life campaigns.  While this important twice a year event brings great exposure to the abortion industry, we know this is not enough and that we need to do more.  Putting greater emphasis on witnessing all year makes a lot more sense, and our "Adopt A Day" program will do that. 

     We've contacted churches, schools, groups and individuals to encourage them to adopt time slots to stand witness outside of all abortion facilities and Planned Parenthood so that there will be someone standing for life almost every day year round.  We're asking groups to adopt a regular time period maybe once a month, every other month, every quarter, or whatever they can do to help save lives.  In turn, group members can then choose an hour or more during the group time slot to just stand quietly and pray, hold peaceful signs, or offer printed literature and/or counseling.  Right to Life of Northeast Ohio can provide training sessions for groups either at their location or at our office.  This whole effort at adopting time slots will complement our existing Clouds of Witnesses program where individuals sign up for time slots on a regular basis.

     A visible presence as witnesses sends a powerful message to the community about the tragic reality of abortion.  Having churches and groups work side-by-side in this mission brings us together as the body of Christ in helping to change hearts and minds to recognize the sanctity of life.

     If your church or group would like to adopt a day or more to help stand witness against abortion, click on the documents listed below to help you get started:

Letter to Church Pastor

Church/Group Registration Form

Group Sign Up Sheets

Individual Reminder Form

Vigil Guidelines/Location Directions

Bulletin/Pulpit Announcement

"Sign Up Here" sign


Know Your Rights as a Sidewalk Witness/Counselor

Many pro-lifers are unaware of precisely what their rights are to sidewalk counsel outside abortion facilities. Here we answer some of the most common questions about those rights:

 1. Is sidewalk counseling a constitutional right? YES. The First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution protects the "freedom of speech." The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that peaceful communication—such as spoken words, display of signs and leafleting—are all protected forms of free speech, especially in public places like sidewalks and parks.

2. What if somebody tells me to "shut up" or to go away? The right to free speech in public places does not depend upon the consent of the listeners. The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that speech cannot be censored simply because the speaker's message irritates or offends a listener. In fact, the Supreme court has even mentioned the phrase, "Abortion is Murder," as an example of free speech. (Note: We don't recommend using that phrase as you approach an abortion-bound woman. It is intended to illustrate the extent of our rights.)

3. Does the FACE bill outlaw sidewalk counseling? No. The 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act does not prohibit sidewalk counseling. FACE makes it a federal offense when someone "by force or threat of force or by physical obstruction, intentionally injures, intimidates or interferes with" any person because that person is "obtaining or providing reproductive health services." FACE specifically exempts "any expressive conduct (including peaceful picketing or other peaceful demonstration protected by the First Amendment." A sidewalk counselor who uses neither force, nor threats of force, nor physical obstruction, does not violate FACE.

4. Is it "mean" to witness outside an abortion clinic? This question was asked of David Bereit, the director of 40 Days For Life by a person who felt that by witnessing outside a clinic, a woman that has already made up her mind and may be in despair will become hurt even worse by seeing those standing witness. His answer:

"Our intent ..... is to bring the truth, love, forgiveness and hope of Christ to the abortion clinic…which is so full of despair, anger and deceit. We do this because we have FAITH that when we stand there, as Christians, that the Holy Spirit is REALLY present in that place, and we TRUST HIM to do HIS work on the hearts of the women going in to the clinic, and on the hearts of the family members who are with them, and on the hearts of the passersby. So our intention is not to cause pain to these poor women, our intention is to help them and hope that through our physical witness the Holy Spirit will bring good from evil…even when they go ahead with the abortion. Sometimes one has to hurt before the healing can start..... If we think our presence there won’t do any good, then we really don’t believe that God is at work through us…and if that is the case, then it IS mean. So, I invite everyone who has FAITH to come and participate in the vigil! This is only for the faith-filled Christian!"

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