Profile: Judy Batson
Judy Batson December 2010
My involvement with the pro-life movement began innocently enough. I was invited to an annual fund raising banquet for Pro-Life Mississippi by friends from my church. I found the people who attended to be serious Christians, who were really concerned about the plight of unborn babies and the desperate and troubled mothers who often turned to abortion in their distress. I wanted to become involved in some way, too.
I decided to sponsor a table at the next banquet and invite other people to come and to learn. With my friends Harriet and Bill Ashley, I began helping to man Pro-Life Mississippi's booth at the State Fair each year and attending the Candlelight Vigil at the State Capitol. I felt involved and comfortable.
But about three years ago I was asked to participate in Mississippi's first 40 Days for Life event. This would involve actually going to the abortion clinic and praying. I never envisioned myself as one of those “sidewalk counselors”, bravely approaching abortion-bound women in front of the doors of Mississippi's last abortion mill, offering literature and love, but often experiencing rebuffs, rejection, or scorn. However, I knew I could come and pray, and I did. There, I met many of the “regular” sidewalk counselors. They sensed my discomfort and said, “Just have a presence here. You don't have to talk to the girls if you don't feel led.” So, I would just show up at the clinic when I was not working and had the time to stop by.
After 40 Days for Life ended, I felt a real pull to keep coming to the clinic to pray. One day I said to one of the sidewalk counselors, “I am not sure what to say to these women.” He said, “Anything you say will be alright.” That is so true! I would always pray to God for the right words to say, and He never failed me.
Today, I am a “regular” sidewalk counselor. I find that God has enlarged my heart for abortion-bound mothers and their babies. I try to reach the mothers by telling them that abortion hurts them both physically and emotionally. Often these mothers have been deceived into believing that abortion is the best option for her and her child. As I pray and counsel, I have watched God save some of these mothers and babies from the tragedy of abortion. He does literally turn them away from the clinic. I now have my own wonderful stories of how God works in the lives of these troubled women, and I am truly grateful for this door of ministry opened for me.
I like this quote by Terry Gensemer, National Director, Charismatic Episcopal Church for Life, as he reflects on Luke 4:18: “Who is more oppressed than those unborn children whose oppression has been legitimized by their government, their church and even their family and loved ones?” How tragic!
As a relatively new member of the board of Pro-Life Mississippi, I would encourage each of you to pray for God to show you what He wants YOU to do for Life. If you listen and obey, He will show you, as He has shown me, the fruits of your obedience.
God took me out of my comfort zone and compelled me to come to the sidewalk. We need so many people that feel led by the Lord to be on the sidewalk witnessing to the young women. You will only be led if you pray. So pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Pray to discern if YOU are that laborer. If you are so moved, please call Tammy at the office, or come by the abortion clinic whenever you can. Your presence is needed!
Judy Batson, Board Member Pro-Life Mississippi