How to Organize a Prayer Vigil at an Abortion Clinic

Organize a vigil at an abortion clinic to be a witness for life. Because of your presence, lives will be saved and the children who die at the clinic that day will not die alone and unloved. You are there to love them in their last moments on earth.

1. Choose a Clinic, Date, and Time. Search online at sites like to find a clinic in your area. You may want to drive by the clinic to familiarize yourself with the layout of the area and plan where people will be able to stand for your vigil. For example, some clinics are gated in a way that will prevent you from standing close. Other clinics are so close to the road that it is difficult to stand and not block the door. Find out when your clinic performs abortions and plan your vigil to be during that time. You may need to call the clinic directly for that information. Pick a date or schedule this as a regular weekly or monthly activity.

2. Announce the vigil to your group at meetings, through your email list, and your Facebook group. Get in touch with other groups on campus such as religious or political groups that may be interested in joining you. Spread the word to local churches and pro-life organizations. Also notify the police that you plan to be there (it’s best that they hear from you before the clinic calls them). Arrange a carpool from your school to the clinic. Keep a list of people who plan to attend and call to remind them the day before.

3. Know the laws that protect or limit your right to gather at the clinic for a vigil. For example, you may be required to remain a certain distance away from the clinic or from the women entering the clinic. Go to the precinct police station and meet with the Community Affairs office to find out what the local laws are regarding your vigil. Bring copies of these laws with you just in case the clinic calls the police. If the police do come, be respectful and do what they ask you to do.

4. Gather materials for your vigil. SFLA has ecumenical prayer books available for download. Prayer books are important because they help focus attention and limit side conversations. Creating a display with pictures of both living and aborted babies, called a “Life Display” may effectively change the minds of some women entering the clinic. (Reference our Life Display guide.) Bring a small ladder and use bungee cords to secure the posters. You can buy posters at Signs offering pregnancy aid and information about local Crisis Pregnancy Centers may also be useful.

5. Be a witness for life at the clinic. You and the others are gathered in silent recognition of the lives lost there. Your peaceful presence at the clinic shows your unconditional love for both mother and child. Some women going to the clinic may change their minds simply because of your presence. Children will die at the clinic, but because of you they will not die alone, anonymous and forgotten. You are there to love them in their last moments on earth, to hold them in your hearts and to recognize that their lives matter.

Sample Documents

© Students for Life of America 2007