[In late 1983, I founded the New England Christian Action Council (NECAC) when I lived outside Boston, completing my M.Div. at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. The motto of the NECAC was “biblically committed to protecting the unborn” and my initial newsletters were entitled “Contrabortion,” written for grass-roots pro-life Christians. I started my engagement with the subject in a reactive posture, that is, defining and critiquing it. But being committed to the biblical foundations in Genesis 1-3, I grew consistently more proactive across the years. So here are the original unvarnished articles, as my thinking was at the time.]

Contrabortion, Vol. 6, No. 6, September, 1989

Preterm Now Closes Two Hours Early Each Week

John C. Rankin

We are now sponsoring our [Sacred Assemblies for the Unborn] every week in front of Preterm, New England’s largest abortuary. We are there every Saturday, from 7:00 a.m. to Noon. It is located at 1842 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA.

Largely as a result of our activity (giving due credit to those faithful picketers who were there before we arrived, and on those weeks we weren’t there), Preterm has lost so much Saturday business that they are now closing two hours earlier every Saturday — at 10:00 a.m. Thus, it is important for us to be there especially between 7:00-10:00 a.m.

The large banners, YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CHOOSE LIFE, along with our yellow signs with compelling questions, have sparked so much dialogue with the opposition. Because of our fastidious adherence to the biblical ethics of choice as reflected through the First Amendment, our opposition has been virtually silenced in ability to criticize us on that count. We have noted various women turning away from abortion appointments, as our banners, signs and peaceful presence have great influence. And among the pro-abortion demonstrators, we have spoken with multiple dozens, broken false stereotypes, and seen many hearts and minds open to the Gospel and pro-life arguments. The leadership of Boston NOW [National Organization for Women] has repeatedly conspired to keep their people from talking with us, but still we have communicated with a majority of them. NOW is especially fearful of informed choice, of critical thinking.

Whenever we get them to stop chanting, and start thinking, we win. And their chantings have been reduced 99% since we first started there. Besides deterring women from getting abortion then and there, imagine how many other lives are being and will be saved as we influence abortion advocates toward a sanctity of human life ethic.

[Here are two] quotables:

  1. One abortion activist to another: “These people are … dangerous and insidious … They are trying to go for our minds.”
  2. On abortion leader [a man] to another [a woman]: “You are not allowed to talk to them if you are wearing a peacekeeper armband” (note: “peacekeeper” armbands, purple and worn on the left arm, designate their “marshals” or “facilitators”). The woman then took off her armband after protesting the policy, and continued her conversation with me. I then said to the man, “Oh, you mean that dialogue is not a part of peacekeeping?” Stone silence on his part, and avoidance of eye contact. But he listened intently to you dialogue nonetheless.