This week marks 25 years that Chattanooga, Tennessee, has been abortion free. Abortion clinics closed, six area hospitals stopped doing abortions and Planned Parenthood left town.
How did this happen? Joining Jim to present the history behind all this was Charlie Wysong. Charlie is the president of American Rights Coalition, a non-profit organization which helps women who are having physical and emotional problems after abortion with medical, legal and emotional help.
Charlie originally moved to Chattanooga to run a manufacturing plant. One day he inquired about a local building he could see out the back door of the plant. It was a one-story, red brick building that he was told was the abortion clinic.
As he drove past that building one morning, he knew God had brought him to Chattanooga to close that clinic and that’s what he began to do. He would go there to talk women out of having an abortion and before long, that became his full-time job.
In addition to this clinic, there was one attached to the county hospital. Charlie met with the board and they said they didn’t want to talk about it. Charlie told them that this was a community and this is a county hospital so he wanted a day set to discuss this subject. Eventually he put together petitions stating that people would not use this hospital for elective surgeries as long as it continues to do abortions. Over 4,000 signatures were sent in, people called the board of directors, while others wrote letters. 2 weeks after Charlie met with them, the board met in secret session and voted to stop abortions.
Charlie eventually moved from a defensive to an offensive approach in the abortion battle. One day while praying, he asked God how to end abortion in America. God gave him the idea of finding women at abortion clinics that have been injured and have them sue the abortion clinics for malpractice. After all, abortion may be legal but malpractice is not. The effort began with a small 2 foot by 3 foot sign placed across from the clinic. It simply said, ‘Problems after abortion? Medical, legal, emotional help.’ The sign also had a local phone number (Charlie’s home number) on the bottom.
As Charlie began to get calls, he took a businessman by there one day. This man said that this message had to get out to a larger audience. A dinner for about 50 men was planned and enough money was raised to put up 15 billboards in Chattanooga.
Charlie presents more, but his testimony shows how one person can make a huge difference. Perhaps his story will inspire you to do big things for God when you review this edition of Crosstalk.