Miscellaneous Stories from the New England Christian Action Council: 1983-1991 [2]

John C. Rankin

These many years later, I am reviewing my files from full-time pro-life ministry, 1983-1991, when my office for the New England Christian Action Council (NECAC) was in Rockport, then Gloucester, then Boston, Massachusetts. I served as founder and executive director of what was always a shoestring operation. Here are various stories and communications that are worth recording, if for no other reason than I learned from them.

[2] Post-Abortion Pathos at the Pharmacy

i have a beautifully typed letter from sometime in 1984, but without the writer’s name. Here are the first three paragraphs:

“A local pharmacist with a special sensitivity to the abortion issue shares the following insights, observed by him when called upon to dispense prescriptions to both post-abortion patients and infertile women. (His drugstore is located just down the street from a major woman’s hospital.)

“A woman who comes into the store immediately following an abortion his prescriptions to prevent infection and post-operative bleeding. The remorse, guilt and depression surrounding her is almost palpable. Always pale and usually disoriented, she comes alone or with a friend — and there is a peculiar and weak gait to her unsteady walk. There is very little communication with the pharmacist or clerk waiting on her or with others also waiting for prescriptions to be filled. It’s not uncommon for a child to come into the store with a mother, and if they are near the waiting woman, she almost always turns her head, averts her eyes or puts her face down.

“This pathetic, frightened woman is in sharp contrast to the exhuberant, joyful woman who comes into the drugstore with a prescription for a fertility drug. The actions she and her mate are directed towards producing life and they are determined to do and take everything possible to conceive and giver birth to a child. There is excited conversation with the pharmacists and clerks. An air of hope and expectancy pervades these visits. When a pregnancy is confirmed, the celebration is shared.”

What an eyeball profile — life humanizes all involved, and abortion dehumanizes all touched by it.


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Text of John Rankin’s address on the occasion of the 500th annive5rsary of the Reformation.