The Post-Election Road to Pro-Life Victory

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The recent election is a significant setback for the legislative efforts of the pro-life movement. We have the most pro-abortion president ever, one of the most pro-abortion Congresses ever, and a defeat for several ballot initiatives that would have protected life. But the pro-life movement is not conquered.

The pro-life movement is still strong, and we need to focus on continuing to lay the groundwork for the ultimate triumph of life. We fight this war on four fronts primarily: Political, cultural, personal, and spiritual. I believe the path forward in each area is clear.

Political

The loss of power by the Republican party is a rejection of a party that failed to carry through on its promises of smaller government, fiscal responsibility, and saving the lives of babies from abortion. It is also the rejection of a party that happened to control the presidency during an economic downturn. It is not a rejection of conservatism or the pro-life agenda. Abortion was simply not a major issue in this election, compared to the economy and world turmoil. So those involved in a political party need to push it to embrace and promote a pro-life agenda.

That agenda at the state level needs to include both incrementalism and aiming for our ultimate goal. We need to fire a barrage of regulations and limitations at the abortion industry. We also need to work for a Personhood Amendment in every state where it is remotely possible. If you favor the incremental approach, fine, but be supportive of the efforts of the purists. And if you favor an all-or-nothing approach, that's fine, but don't sabotage the incrementalists.

The "pro-life purists" who opposed the South Dakota abortion ban this year because it had an exception for rape and incest have blood on their hands. May they repent of this evil. What would you think of a lifeguard who refused to save nine drowning men because he couldn't save all ten?

At the federal level, we need to mount a vigorous defense. Even strongly pro-abortion congressmen want to get re-elected. We must inundate Congress with our voices of opposition to pro-abortion legislation, such as the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA).

Cultural

The successful education campaign about partial-birth abortion and the resulting ban which was upheld by the US Supreme Court may have saved relatively few lives, but that effort showed Americans that abortion can be horribly cruel and ghastly. The vast majority of Americans oppose it because of that campaign. Now we have to show the country that other types of abortion are also cruel and ghastly, until we build a consensus that all abortion must be stopped.

Winning the hearts and minds of the country is not just about the horrors of abortion. It is also about the beauty of God's gift of life. Personally, I think showing ads of a 14-week ultrasound with a clearly visible skeleton, arms and legs waving, and obvious heartbeat, would do much more than showing the gruesome results of abortion. That's the approach that Let Her Live takes with our pro-life billboards in the immediate vicinity of abortion clinics.

We cannot achieve lasting victory in the political arena without building the cultural support for it.

Personal

The crisis pregnancy centers that help pregnant girls and women in difficult situations save thousands of babies every year. They deserve our full support in both money and time as volunteers. If you are in the medical profession and can help a crisis pregnancy center move to the medical model, where it can offer ultrasounds under the authority of a medical doctor and qualified nurses, please do so. So many women become attached to their babies when they see it on ultrasound.

We will never achieve cultural support for life without continuing to offer loving care to women in need.

Spiritual

If we want power, we must have prayer. God's people must humble themselves before him and seek his face. I'm talking about brokenness over our sin and over our callous disregard for our fellowman. There is no room for harboring pet sins. God must have total rule in our lives.

We can be as active as we want, but we will never defeat the forces of evil in our own strength. Until the hand of God moves, we will gain as much ground as if we are running on a treadmill. I think that's how some people feel about the pro-life movement. I'm not talking about spending ten minutes in prayer every day and spending one or two sentences asking God to save babies and end abortion. We must earnestly plead with God to see His will accomplished in the fulfillment of His Word.

The 40 Days for Life campaign is doing good, but we must not pray during those 40 days only. We need to make it a habit of our lives to seek the face of God. For many, picking one day every week to fast and spend extra time in prayer would be in order.

Achieving Victory

I've addressed the fronts of this war from the top down, but victory comes from the bottom up. Spiritual renewal leads to touching the lives of individuals with the love of Christ, which leads to a culture that grows to respect life and eventually demands laws that reflect their values. Whatever front you are fighting on, do not give up. And make sure that you do not neglect the spiritual arena, for it is the key to victory on every front.

--
Wesley Wilson is the President of Let Her Live, a nonprofit dedicated to saving babies by showing the beauty and value of life to women considering abortion. Please learn more about the Let Her Live pro-life billboard campaign. Donations are tax deductible.

Note: Originally posted at the Let Her Live blog.

6 Comments

Pro life needs to continue in their quest to save the lives of the unborn.

We cannot keep these children from being born! No one has that right.

Good comments about incrementalism and purism. I am
reading Henry Mayer's book (All on Fire) about abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. The abolitionists had the same struggles within the movement between incrementalists and purists. It gives me hope for the pro-life movement; I recommend the book (not a quick read; 600 pages)but a great social history of America which you have most likely never heard anywhere else.

Interesting thoughts and I like the idea of the picture of the living child vs. the gore.
Few problems though:
This administration didn't just happen to be here in an economic downturn--they caused it. Been in there 8 years this time and deregulation by them plus a couple wars, one costing 10 billion a month, plus tax breaks for the rich, outsourcing jobs, tax breaks to companies that do it, 70% of companies paying no tax...etc. etc. etc.
You missed one way: education. You get pregnant with sex, one man, one woman. Don't show that living fetus just to women, but to all men...no immaculate conception going on here you know.
We need better education about contraception and abstinence so abortion doesn't become the birth contol of choice. With at least half of abortions being for those under 25, and over 80% for the unmarried, we must educate in why, how to use, when to use, and where to get birth control.
You can pray to any god you want or to none at all. If you believe a child once started shouldn't go down the drain, you have to wake up to the why and how and educate. It isn't Congress you need to access, but the schoolboard. Not the President, but your and your neighbors' and friends' kids. Boys need to know there aren't any wild oats, they can all grow, so don't sow.
You need to access the courts to ensure men are paying child support so women can keep and raise their kids.
Abortion won't stop if illegal, but will go back to the kitchen table, alley, and under the radar doctors. But you can inform people, but in the end is really is their choice and I support that.

Irony, parodox, hypocracy, schizophrenia or just a plain diabolical nature? Almost all of the animal rights advocates(of which I am one) are pro-abortion. This country is a vast insane asylum. J.R.Stallworth

JOHN: Just how do you know "all the animal righs activists"? That seems a little far fetched.

I don't think too many people are pro-abortion, so I assume an untruth there. Many people are pro-choice, thinking they need to mind their own business when it comes to the pressures on some 16 year old they've neve met.

Yeh, the world is a crazy place, but you can leave any time you want...free choice there too.

Slogans, buzz-words & jingles are one essential component of a successful marketing plan. Another is images. (This is primarily a comment about the very sanguine, graphic abortion images.) I observed that the San Francisco breast-cancer victim group that photographically superimposed young models' heads on their own mastectomy-ravaged torsos, were primarily acting out of a mindless motive of anger, at whom or what they knew not. I took a very bloody image, a pair of tiny, 10-week-old arms, tiny, well-formed fingers placed on an FDR dime, and took an opposite approach: I cropped out the bloody part, just allowing viewers to note the developmental facts, that this is not a blob of tissue. I mounted it on my car, a bumper sticker with the motto "By the time you're deciding what to do ... (10 weeks)". I've been honored that it's been stolen off my car, twice - once right when my blind wife was sitting in the car! It's only confirming what people already know, but it's the gradual, visceral sinking in of the obvious fact, that I hope may stop someone from making a big mistake. I can't judge the motives or the effectiveness of those who use the very bloody images. But if they're doing so out of personal anger, they ought to purge themselves and re-think what they're doing.




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