For the past three years, Eliana Smith has stood on the sidewalk outside of one of Charlotte, North Carolina’s busiest abortion facilities to offer women better alternatives than abortion.
Smith can relate to the women walking inside. Almost 10 years ago, she walked into an abortion facility, too. However, she had a last-minute change of heart and decided to keep her unborn son.
Since then, Smith has been helping other women through the pro-life group Cities 4 Life. She sidewalk counsels and offers education and support to women and their families.
On Saturday, she did not have to stand alone on the sidewalk. More than 1,000 pro-lifers joined her for a huge pro-life prayer rally organized by Love Life Charlotte and Cities 4 Life, Charlotte Stories reports. The Christian ministry Love Life Charlotte is dedicated to uniting churches in the city to offer support to moms and babies, and Cities 4 Life offers women life-affirming resources.
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Pro-life advocate David Benham, one of the founders of Cities 4 Life, urged the pro-life crowd to reach out to abortion-minded women with compassion and support.
“It’s one thing to be against abortion, but it’s another thing to bring life, to actually bring choices to these mothers that feel they have no other choice,” Benham said.
Benham said the pro-life groups and churches are working to provide financial assistance, housing, medical care, clothing, diapers and adoption and parenting information for moms and babies in North Carolina. They hope these resources will provide hope for expecting moms and encourage them to choose life for their babies. The organizers said they hope the outreach will end abortions in the city someday.
People from more than 40 churches participated in the prayer rally on Saturday, according to the report. The crowd peacefully marched around one of the city’s busiest abortion facilities and prayed for families considering abortion. The local report described it as “one of the biggest prayer walks in Charlotte’s history.”
Smith said she has never regretted walking out of the abortion facility. Today, her son Christian is 9 years old.
“He is the greatest blessing,” Smith told Charlotte Stories. “He turned my life around. I like to tell him all the time he saved my life … I was going down a path of destruction, and because of him God just turned it all around, and I wanted to be a great mom for him.”