Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What is Central Texas Coalition for Life?
A: We are a grassroots, community-based organization that draws attention to the injustice of abortion through prayer and fasting, community outreach & education, and peaceful prayer vigils on the public right-of-ways in front of abortion facilities in Austin. We network with numerous pregnancy centers, healthcare clinics and other resources to help women and their families find real, life-affirming alternatives to abortion.
Q: Who participates?
A: Hundreds of people from many political and faith backgrounds from all over Central Texas.
Q: How does the Coalition for Life network with other organizations?
A: We make it a point to keep in contact with pregnancy centers, maternity homes, legislative groups etc. to build relationships via social media, email, phone, and personal contact. We do our best to stay up to date on what services are offered for women and families in the community and what their rights are. *If you know of other life-affirming resources available that are not listed in our Resource Directory (PregnancyCentralTexas.com) please contact us. We also offer trainings specifically for pregnancy center counselors.
Debi, Lori, and Lore, directors of local Pregnancy centers
Q: What is Sidewalk Counseling?
A: Sidewalk Counseling is reaching out to people at the abortion facilities to educate them on their options and life-affirming healthcare alternatives. We also reach out to the abortion workers to assure them that they don’t have to work in an abortion facility and that there’s a ministry to help them leave. We provide Sidewalk Counselor trainings in other cities across the country upon request. See our Sidewalk Counselor page and our Trainings Abroad page for more details.
Q: What is 40 Days for Life?
A: 40 Days for Life is an international 40-day prayer campaign that occurs twice a year, once in the spring during lent, and once in the fall. Visit our History page to learn more info.
Q: Where do I pray?
A: We pray on the public right-of-way in front of any of the abortion facilities in Austin. Visit our Vigil Parking and Public Right-of-way page for details.
Q: Do I have to talk to the women going into the abortion facility?
A: No. Only trained Sidewalk Counselors should approach women entering the abortion facilities. Sidewalk Counselors are trained to have a better understanding of the emotional and economical needs of these women and have the latest information about fetal development, the effects of abortion, and the community resources. If you feel God calling you to become a Sidewalk Counselor, go to our Sidewalk Counselor page for more information and to sign up for an upcoming training.
Q: Will I be on the sidewalk by myself?
A: Not if you don’t want to be. If you sign up online you can see how many people are already signed up for a particular hour. If you want to make sure you are not by yourself, sign up for an hour that has at least one other person. Also, invite a friend to pray with you! This is great way to participate and help spread the word. Visit our sign-up page, or email Martin@CentralTexasCoalition.com for more info and to sign up.
Q: How often will I be out on the sidewalk standing and praying?
A: We are asking prayer volunteers to commit to one hour per week for as often as you can.
You can also sign up for more than one day per week or more than one hour per day. Some people pray for two hours at a time per week and some pray at the same hour every day. If this is your first time, sign up for one hour per week and see how it goes. Visit our sign-up page, or email Martin@CentralTexasCoalition.com for more info and to sign up.
Q: What do I do if someone asks me a question or confronts me?
A: Confrontation is rare, but if you are concerned, sign up when others will be there. Take your charged cell phone with you and save Central Texas Coalition for Life’s phone number in it (512-296-2071). You can always attend a Sidewalk Counselor Training to prepare yourself if this ever does happen.
Q: I want to do this, but what if I’m scared?
A: If you sense God tugging at you to stand up for life, answer His call. “Perfect love drives out fear.” 1 John 4:18. He will not allow anything to happen to you that he won’t give you the grace to handle. Most people experience spiritual growth by participating. Try it and see what happens.
Q: Do we hold graphic signs?
A: No. The Coalition for Life believes that graphic signs are necessary in general for our society to see the reality of abortion. However, when we are standing in front of an abortion facility intervening in a life or death situation, graphic signs are guaranteed to DETER women from talking to us rather than changing their minds. If during a conversation with a woman a Sidewalk Counselor has the opportunity to share about the abortion procedures, then that Sidewalk Counselor will do so.
Q: Can I bring my own sign?
A: Professionally made signs are available through the Coalition for Life for volunteers to hold. We prefer you not bring home-made signs because they are difficult for passersby to read. Please contact us if you plan to order your own professional sign so that we can approve the text content. Keep in mind that this is a prayer vigil, not a protest, so we do not need a large amount of signs. The signs are focused primarily on the women seeking services, so that they know they can talk to us and receive help.
Q: How can I become more involved?
A: After praying on the sidewalk, many prayer volunteers feel called to reach out to the women going to the abortion facilities. Sidewalk Counselor trainings are held throughout the year. Being a Sidewalk Counselor may be the most rewarding thing you do in your life. It is a way to truly love your neighbor by bringing the truth to women who are scared and/or deceived.
There are also opportunities to help with office administrative tasks, as well as volunteer internships. Contact us today for more info.
Q: Can I bring my family, friends, and children with me to pray?
A: Yes. The more people praying on the sidewalk the greater the light we can shine into the darkness. The presence of children is especially powerful and effective. If you do bring children to the vigil, be sure to keep an eye on them for their safety. If they are unable to stay near you, it would be best to arrange childcare.
Q: Can a Coalition for Life leadership member come to my church and conduct a training?
A: Yes. We are more than happy to visit a church in the central Texas area to give a Sidewalk Counselor training or other pro-life/apologetics type training. You will need to ensure plenty of time (3 weeks or more) to advertise the training and get enough interest, give a deadline a week before for people to register, and provide essentials (pens, refreshments etc). Contact us for more details.
Q: Can a Coalition for Life leadership member come speak at our pro-life event?
A: Yes. We are more than happy to give talks to any group such as a men’s event, women’s event, youth event, or general event in the central Texas area. You will need to ensure plenty of time (3 weeks or more) to advertise the event and get enough interest. Contact us for more details.