I admire courage and especially the courage of pro-life sidewalk counselors. Case in point, most people would back away from anyone threatening them while they stood for preborn children outside an abortion clinic but not veteran pro-life counselor Michele Herzog.
In full disclosure, I know Michele very well. We both stood in the trenches together for years outside South Florida abortion clinics. She and I also had the unfortunate opportunity to attend the funeral of a woman who died from a legal abortion. The woman’s name was Carolina Gutierrez and I wrote about that experience to some degree here.
Michele has experienced abortion and therefore she has a lot of compassion for the women. But after becoming aware of the reality of what abortion does to the child, Michele also takes an unrelenting stand for the babies. Time after time I have watched Michele stand her ground in defense of little babies. She has been the recipient of all sorts of threats over her many years outside abortion facilities. But, Michele remained unyielding even when rocks were being thrown at her. She also stood up to an abortionist who had given her the most obscene gestures.
Michele represents a number of pro-life warriors who faithfully stand as the last defense to cry out for children about to be executed. Everyone is a hero and each should be commended. Often, they stand alone and a majority of what they receive is negative – yet they return day after day after day. I know this, because, although I know some personally I also follow many of these faithful activists on Facebook and I read the daily comments they post. Many share how often they are abused by the police, abortion clinic staff, passers-by, and patients.
It was such a post that prompted me to write this piece. It took place outside a Florida abortion clinic earlier this month. Michele and others were crying out for a baby whose mother had just driven into the Epoc abortion clinic. Michele wrote about what took place:
“This woman came with her abortion bound friend to the Epoc abortuary on Saturday and was as vile and wicked as they come. She laughed and encouraged her friend to go through with killing her baby and then left her there. Sandra and I wanted to make sure to plead with her one more time to do what she could to get her friend out and to save the innocent baby, so we waited at the corner.”
“When I first got there she told me she was going to kick my ___ if I didn’t move away. I had given the ministry phone to Sandra’s daughter so she could take pictures and video throughout the afternoon and in this video the woman in the car was ready to jump out after Sandra’s daughter.” That video can be viewed here.
In her usual calm way, Michele asked the woman if she was issuing a threat and reiterated her desire to see her friend’s baby saved from abortion. Michele then pointed out to the woman that the clinic’s owner has no license. James Pendergraft’s medical license has been suspended indefinitely by the state medical board and he was recently arrested in South Carolina for operating an illegal mobile abortion clinic there.
“We tell every abortion bound women and their companions of Pendergraft’s arrest and that they found with instruments with old blood and tissue on them. We tell them of the mobile abortion clinic he was running and the drugs found. Two couples left that day and chose life for their babies, but the rest of the women….none of that seemed to faze them,” she told Live Action News.
Instead of going back to the abortion clinic and warning her friend or simply driving away, the abortion supporter picked up a gallon jug of water she had in her car and hurled it at Michele.
These kind of incidents have become regular events for pro-life activists. Earlier this week, another pro-life group had their signs illegally removed by an abortion supporter during an awareness campaign in a public overpass.
The intolerance of advocates of “personal choice” is increasingly more vocal and at times vicious. It is another sign of the desperation that the abortion lobby feels as it looses ground in this war. Given the current environment, it is only a matter of time before another abortion advocate physically harms a pro-lifer.
But, Michele and many others who stand between the baby and death on a daily basis do not think about their own risk. For them, their one and only concern is to stop the killing of each baby that day. Perhaps water is not such a scary thing – but – the impressive thing I noted in Michele’s latest video was how unflinching she was knowing the woman was threatening her. The truth is, I would have flinched or ducked or maybe even backed down. But not Michele and that is why I admire her courage and it is why I admire the courage of so many pro-life activists across the country.