Pro-life: Fractured, Political or United in Purpose

Pro-life: Fractured, Political or United in Purpose

Too often the pro-life movement is reduced to politics when in fact it is much more.

A Wall Street Journal article (read) states that the pro-life movement is fracturing.  It is fracturing, according to them, because state law initiatives diverge from national legal strategies that seek incremental gains.  These incrementalists warn that over-the-top or wobbly state initiatives risk being rejected at the Supreme Court, setting back the pro-life movement decades. 

At the very least the article is myopically putting the whole of pro-life movement into a legal category.  At any rate, there are no fractures because “pro-life” has always been a diverse movement.  The pro-life movement is much more than some opaque legal struggle. 

There are No Fractures

The pro-life movement is a natural reaction to defend innocent human life that motivates millions of people to organize and act.  The pure, noble nature of the pro-life movement springs from each individual who supports and labors for it.  Every state in the U.S. had to fight their fight.  Every town had to fund their pregnancy center.  One agency or national organization located near Washington D.C. does not make it representative of the whole. 

The point is the pro-life movement has many moving parts (not “fractured”). It has been that way from the beginning.  Disagreement about two opposing legal strategies is only a healthy outcome.  No need to fret.  In fact, most pro-lifers would agree that the only true fear we have is not doing enough today to save more lives and failing to end the threat to innocent human life. 

Lazy or convenient summaries of what the movement is tend to be self-serving.  We must reject false narratives of who we are.  The pro-life movement is not a rigid structure with a few lead agencies and organizations that easily fractures with the failure of one strategy.  

Reducing Pro-life to Politics is a Mistake

The pro-life movement is much more than a legal or political strategy.  The movement pre-dates Roe v. Wade and will endure past it.  This struggle for life began locally, it rose up from all denominations, all political stripes, men and women, black and white etc.  It is the single largest civil rights and religious movement in history.  It is political. It is religious. It is educational. It is activism. It is moral. It is scientific. It is philosophical as well as practical.  It is measurable.  

If the pro-life movement was just a synchronized legal approach, there would be a playbook to illustrate such genius.  Since there is none, relying on a homerun political and legal strategy has more risk than some may be willing to admit…  When was the last time Republicans failed to take meaningful action when in power?  Easy.  Just recently!  Second, notice how Justice Roberts is now the newly-found-weakest-link in this foolproof incremental strategy.  Will he or won’t he vote to overturn? Or will he simply vote to “protect the integrity of the institution”?   

Attempting to reduce our battles to one legal strategy in the hands of a few is short-sighted.  It forces us to wait for the live or die, once-in-a-lifetime, TV-hyped, Twitter-twisted, super dramatic mega-decisions that determine our fate. 

Messaging is important.  The message urging individual action is more appropriate than one asking you to wait for others to do the work.  We must avoid outsourcing our personal duty to the gears of government and politics.  Just as a law educates the masses, so too does pretending that smart lawyers can fix an existential threat to our nation… It numbs initiative and stunts the growth of a movement.  Talk about leaving the pro-life movement hamstrung for another generation! 

United in Purpose

Our fail-safe is to use all the strategies we can muster and all hands-on deck.  This is what makes the pro-life movement strong and cohesive and gives it the power to repair culture.  Increasing numbers of walks for life with growing attendance, a youthful following, growing awareness that pro-life is pro-science, opening horizons for direct service ministries via technology and digital marketing and the outright banning of pro-lifers by leftist platforms on the internet etc., are all very good signs we are on the right track.

Reducing the pro-life movement to anything else than what it is will render it moribund.  If we dismiss that there is a Creator of all life, we strengthen the opposition’s hand by allowing a natural definition and relative description of human life.  A bare-knuckle brawl in the courts and media based on life as a commodity or choice favors the untethered left.  A cultural dialogue based on truth, engagement and charity favors the pro-life movement.

Upon starting Options United, I decided to use “united” in the organization’s name for a variety of reasons.  However, the most basic reason, is because we believe that all people were created equally. We come from one Creator, one common source.  Despite our apparent differences, we are fundamentally united. This connection drives all of us, beyond the concepts of ideologies, philosophies and strategies to protect the most vulnerable.  We are united in purpose and are not fractured.

The Spiritual Battle of Abortion

Have you ever noticed how angry pro-choicers get when faced with pro-life people, arguments, or legislation?

Have you been offended by their erratic actions and wild accusations?

Have you ever considered that you’re actually in the midst of a spiritual battle?

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV

One of the most senseless acts of evil I can think of is the murder of innocent unborn babies. It is a terrifying day in our society when the “popular culture” celebrates this grave decision and politicians advocate for partial-birth abortion and infanticide. All in the name of “empowering women.”

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”
1 Corinthians 13:6 NIV

Sometimes it feels so lonely to look around and see people celebrating death. Celebrating the ending of an innocent human life. Celebrating a decision that will likely haunt mothers in the coming days, months, or even decades after their abortions. But take heart – you are not in the minority.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
1 Peter 5:8-9 NIV

When you are faced with someone screaming in your face, spitting on you, and throwing punches just for offering prayer, truth, and help, remember who you are really battling – dark forces vying for the hearts, minds, lives, and souls of humans.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
John 10:10 NIV

Please do not be discouraged by the violent passions of the loudest voices in the pro-choice movement. That is what Satan and his army hope you’ll do. Continue in the good work that you are doing and rely on God in it all. He will protect and prepare you to do His work.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 NIV

“But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.”
2 Thessalonians 3:3 NIV

Personally, I’m convinced that deep in the hearts of pro-choice people, they know they’re wrong. The louder they shout, the less they can hear their own consciences. In fact, many of the most aggressively outspoken proponents of abortion have made the tragic mistake of aborting their own child(ren). To accept the truth of abortion would be to accept that they are guilty of soliciting a hit man against their own innocent child. I urge you to keep this in mind – these people are not at war with you, but their own conscience.

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Romans 12:21 NIV

Do not let the brazen actions of others lead you to violent words, thoughts, or actions. Speak to these people in love, tenderness, and grace. Remember, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:32 NIV). We have all done wrong in one way or another. We have all transgressed more times than we can count. We have all rejected and disappointed God. “…there is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10 NIV). You may have even been in their shoes once upon a time. Regardless, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10 NIV).

Remember that strong and vicious evil forces are fighting for influence over us all. Those in crisis, blinded by overwhelming emotions, seemingly insurmountable circumstances, and negative influences of loved ones make these women particularly vulnerable to abortion. We know that mistake will likely follow them forever.

But you have heavenly hosts and Jesus Himself dedicated to defending truth, love, and righteousness. Call upon Christ for help. He is the only One who can take on this spiritual battle. It’s beyond your control. All you can do is be a reflection of God’s love and grace, offering yourself as a tool for His mercy, truth, and compassion.

I leave you with these verses of encouragement.

“’No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,’ declares the Lord.”
Isaiah 54:17 NIV

“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31 NIV

“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15:57 NIV

Today, I cried.

Today was a day like any other. I logged on for my shift. I took the incoming calls. I completed my tasks. But today wasn’t like the other days because today I cried.

Working at Options United, you hear it all:
Requests for birth control, the morning after pill, and STD testing/treatment
Expectant mothers looking for parenting services and resources
People in emergency situations
Reluctant women forced into abortion by their family members or the baby’s father
Post-abortive men and women seeking healing and forgiveness
Mothers who are adamant about abortion or feel abortion is their only option

That and so much more. I’ve heard it all.

At Options United, we particularly follow up with the clients seeking abortion. We check in to see how they’re doing, if they visited the clinic or center we referred them to, and inquire about whether or not they decided to keep their baby. Eventually, you can grow kind of callous.

This one chose to keep.
This one had an abortion.
This one chose to keep.
This one had an abortion.

On and on, the same thing practically every shift. You’re just doing your job. It can get monotonous. It can seem normal.

But today felt different. Today I called and texted many of the clients who had previously called for an abortion. In my inbox I found myself looking at two very different clients.

Below, I had Jacqueline, a woman who tearfully called us looking for an abortion at 20 weeks gestation. Through her call with one of our responders, Jacqueline realized she already loved her baby and, despite her circumstances, didn’t want to abort. Over time, we had checked in with Jacqueline and even interviewed her about her experience. Today, I was following up with her because her due date had passed and I wanted to share the videos we had created out of her interview. Jacqueline texted me photos of her beautiful baby Michael, now 2 weeks old and very healthy. She loved the videos we created and said, “I’m crying! Because of you guys, I have him in my arms!”

Above that, I had a minor who went through with her abortion only two weeks after her high school graduation. Her mother took her to the clinic. The father of the baby was supportive of her decision. She chose a surgical abortion so she could be put under anesthesia and not feel a thing. She had a follow-up appointment with Planned Parenthood and they confirmed the procedure was “successful.”

Successful.

The procedure to rip her baby from her body was successful.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve heard this many times before and I’m glad she’s not at risk for a septic abortion. But there was something about seeing a joyous save and a contented loss side by side that broke me down. The weight of a life lost and a life altered forever.

I grieve for the baby, but most of all, I grieve for this young woman who knows not what she does. I offered her post-abortive counseling, but she didn’t take me up on it. Not yet, at least.

My thoughts wander to all of the men and women who have called me over the last year and a half, sobbing over the loss of their child, whether the abortion was one day ago or 20 years ago.

I think of the people in my life who have never gotten over their abortion no matter how much time has passed.

I think of the video I just saw of a woman who admitted she had 5 abortions and now finds herself childless at 44 years old even though she loves children. She now realizes her mistake. She feels deceived by the abortion industry. And she says her mother wishes her a Happy Mother’s Day in honor of her children.

This poor, naive young girl I just spoke to thinks her abortion appointment went well. She thinks the procedure was a success. But statistics show that in time she will find that the only success was in Planned Parenthood’s deceit and manipulation, successfully lining their own pockets with the blood of her child. At her expense.

Her body is healing, but her heart, soul, and mind will forever be scarred. It may not be today, it may not be in a year, but one day, that young girl will likely be looking for peace and forgiveness. And if that happens, if she finds herself feeling depressed, broken, or ashamed, I hope she will reach out again for the healing she needs.

So as the phone rings once more, I’ll say a quick prayer for strength, wipe away my tears, and cheerily greet my next client. It’s all I can do.