In seven years of ministry at abortion facilities in Nashville, Tennessee, Scott Hord has experienced more than his share of violent people. And with the news Monday of the leaked draft of the Supreme Court's majority opinion on Roe v. Wade, the violence he's seen will likely intensify.
Seven years ago, when Hord laid down his right to be angry and bitter, he asked God to give him something. God told him, "Engage abortion." That wasn't the answer Pastor Hord wanted, but he decided to obey.
"The thought of engaging it scared me to death," says Hord.
He looked up "abortion" on Google Maps and found two abortion facilities in Nashville. He didn't know what he was going to do when he showed up, but he was determined to "speak love and truth in humility and just see if something good comes from it."
On the first day, a young lady named Tina responded to his message of love and truth. Hord took her somewhere else to get an ultrasound. After the ultrasound, he asked her, "What are you going to do?" She said, "I'm going to keep it. Thank you."
"And I was like, 'Wow,'" says Hord. "I'm like, 'OK. I can do this. I can do this without shaming people or pounding people with my words.'"
For Hord, one rescued baby turned into five. Now he's at 388 babies rescued. And he doesn't just rescue babies; he helps mothers. His message to each woman is consistently "I care about you. I want to help you. We will walk with you."
And he does. His organization, Operation Saving Life, buys food, clothes, cars, and even pays rent to help each woman get back on her feet.
Hord says when the women he helps see a man encouraging them to choose life and genuinely walking alongside them, it chisels away at some of the preconceptions in their minds about men.
Many of the women Hord offers to help are escorted to "abortion mills" by male family members, boyfriends or husbands pressuring them to kill the baby. Because of that, Hord has been verbally threatened, spit on and had guns pulled on him seven times.
Although much of the violence has been threatened by the women's significant others, it has not been limited to those men. He says that he might hold the honor of Most Flipped-Off Pastor in America. "We are always facing opposition," says Hord. "There are people that want to drive by and shout or throw things at us, from slushies to full drinks of soda. ... I've been hit with apples and bananas and all kinds of stuff. ... We had somebody last week and three weeks ago that tried to run over us."
When Hord found out about the leaked Supreme Court document, he had two thoughts. Thought 1: It's good that "it's going back to the states" because it's easier to win at the state level. Thought 2: He knows the ruling will create more national division, and it will amplify the level of violence directed at him and others like him in other cities.
"The intensity of the anger is going to really ramp up," he says. "The pro-choice side is using words like 'sacred.' That tells me that what's coming down the pike is extremely intense."
He continues, "There's going to be a battle ensuing that could possibly get physical based off the hatred that the pro-choice side has for those who value life. And so being in this battle on the street, I know that since the decision ... I have to be very aware when I go to the street."
Hord acknowledges that he's experienced violence in Nashville, but he says that it's nothing compared to what happens in Charlotte, Seattle or California. He says that his counterparts in those regions are regularly confronted and intimidated by thugs and by members of Antifa.
If the final decision of the Supreme Court is indeed to overturn Roe v. Wade, Hord says he believes Tennessee will outlaw abortion in all of its forms. He also says that 22 other states will probably do the same. After it's ended in Tennessee, he says that his work will move to a blue state.
"I think what they will do then is try really hard to protect the killing of innocent children," says Hord. "And also, they'll prosecute those like me that come in their state to stand against it. And so, the lines are going to be drawn really hard."
While he's concerned about the future and for the safety of himself and his friends who do what he does in other cities, Hord believes that this is a great time for the church to be the church and for Christians to be Christians. "The church that is prepared will flourish in this time," says Hord.
Rob Vischer is a freelance writer for Charisma Media from Nashville, Tennessee.
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