Pat Lohman’s most powerful weapon in her long war on abortion has been deception.
It’s a tactic she has embraced for nearly three decades to disrupt one of Northern Virginia’s few abortion clinics. Lohman operates her Manassas crisis pregnancy center right next door.
Same brick building, same sign, same generic office decor. The abortion clinic, Amethyst Health Center for Women, was on the right. The pregnancy center, AAA Women for Choice, is on the left.
Confused women seeking abortions would wind up in Lohman’s place, where she threw all she had at them — pamphlets, pleas, prayers, promises of help, used baby gear, bloody imagery, God — to change their minds.
“Deceptive? People say we’re deceptive? Okay,” Lohman told me. “But what the other guys are doing? That’s deceptive, too. Those girls have no idea what abortion really is. When I hear ‘pro-choice,’ that is a deception. And this country has forgotten about God.”
Here’s the part that’s really astonishing. Several months ago, the abortion provider retired and the Amethyst Health Center closed. That’s when Lohman, 69, and her supporters swooped in, orchestrating their grandest deception yet.
Nothing indicates that the abortion clinic is closed except a locked door. The clinic’s Google ads still pop up, and the phone number still works. When women dial the closed abortion clinic, the call is forwarded straight to the pregnancy center. Everything remains in place to lure women to the clinic and hope they try the door, figure they made a mistake, then go right next door to the carefully named AAA Women for Choice.
I’m most interested in seeing how self-described Christians react to this sort of story. Is one’s Christian Identity that of a warrior, fighting against evil, using every tactic at one’s disposal to overcome the evil one? Or is one’s Christian Identity that of the noble loser, content to cede the enemy's every advance out of fear of getting dirty in the war against evil? Is Christianity the mantle of conquerors? Or is it the mantle of cowards?