We Must Not Give Up the Fight for Life

It’s easy to be discouraged over the fight against abortion in America. Since our nation made it legal on January 22, 1973, some fifty million Americans have died on the altar of sexual liberation.

That’s a horrific number–and after a decade of a declining abortion rate, the most recent statistics show that the trend is ticking up. We are cruelly killing, in the name of choice, 1.2 million of the most vulnerable among us.

Many of you–like our family–have prayed, participated in marches for life, or gotten involved in crisis counseling and adoption ministries. Yet, after almost forty years, we have very little to show for it. I feel like those who fought against the evil of slavery for many decades, and didn’t see a change.

But then something happened in the 1860s, and the slaves were set free.

In 2011, is there hope on the horizon for ending the abortion holocaust?

When I was in our nation’s capital a week ago, I met with some leaders that are on the forefront of the abortion fight. One of them participated in 24/7 prayer near the Supreme Court for months leading up to the 2008 election. They, like me, were believing that a John McCain election could possibly tip the balance of our highest court in the direction of reversing Roe. vs. Wade.

They were agonizingly disappointed when Barack Obama was elected president. He brought into office the most blatantly pro-abortion Administration that the United States has ever seen.

The prayer warriors were dejected.

Had God not heard their prayers?

It’s easy for all of us to be dejected–especially if you live on the Left Coast (west coast). California is the number one abortion-friendly state in the nation and Washington is number two. Oregon clocks in at number six and Hawaii is number four. It’s very sobering to look at the chart of where states rank in their support of abortion. I encourage you to open this page, find your state, and use it in your prayers. On the chart, “A” is bad (pro-abortion) and “F” is good (pro-life).

But on to the good news.

Then a year went by and an interesting poll came out. At the end of 2009, the national consensus on abortion had changed seven percentage points–across all demographic lines. For the first time in history, more than fifty percent of Americans believed that abortion was morally wrong.

Their prayers had not been in vain. They hadn’t influenced the election, but God had used them to change the hearts of millions of Americans.

My pro-life friends now tell me that victory in the abortion holocaust could be on the horizon. More people are praying than ever before. The tide has changed on the issue. Most Americans now see that we must go back to a culture of life in this nation.

That’s why I marched in Olympia, Washington this morning in our state’s pro-life event. There were nearly 10,000 people. It’s also why hundreds of thousands will march this week in Washington, D.C. as well–as I did with my family back in the 1980s. Just like the anti-slavery movements of the 19th century, we must have the determination and faith to never quit fighting for truth and the unborn.

I don’t know if it will take another Civil War to get this issue right (as it did slavery), but if it does, it will be worth it. On the other hand, because American opinions are changing, it might only take one more election and then one more appointment of a Supreme Court justice.

That’s how close we are to victory.

My dedicated friends believe that by 2013, that victory could be achieved.

We must not give up the fight for life.

This year a new book on the evil of abortion called Unplanned will hit the book shelves of America. It’s written by former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson and explains her conversion from pro-choice activist to pro-life advocate as she watched an abortion being performed live on an ultrasound.

Here’s the chilling scene in the book that changed Abby’s life. It’s one of the most powerful statements for life that I have ever read: 

“At first, the baby didn’t seem aware of the cannula (the suction tube that will eventually rip the bay to pieces). It gently probed the baby’s side, and for a quick second I felt relief. Of course, I thought. The fetus doesn’t feel pain. I had reassured countless women of this as I’d been taught by Planned Parenthood. The fetal tissue feels nothing as it is removed. Get a grip, Abby. This is a simple, quick medical procedure. My head was working hard to control my responses, but I couldn’t shake an inner disquiet that was quickly mounting to horror as I watched the screen.” 

“The next movement was the sudden jerk of a tiny foot as the baby started kicking, as if it were trying to move away from the probing invader. As the cannula pressed its side, the baby began struggling to turn and twist away. It seemed clear to me that it could feel the cannula, and it did not like what it was feeling. And then the doctor’s voice broke through, startling me.”

“’Beam me up, Scotty,’ he said lightheartedly to the nurse. He was telling her to turn on the suction — in an abortion the suction isn’t turned on until the doctor feels he has the cannula in exactly the right place.” 

“I had a sudden urge to yell, “Stop!” To shake the woman and say, ‘Look at what is happening to your baby! Wake up! Hurry! Stop them!'” 

“But even as I thought those words, I looked at my own hand holding the probe. I was one of “them” performing this act. My eyes shot back to the screen again. The cannula was already being rotated by the doctor, and now I could see the tiny body violently twisting with it. For the briefest moment the baby looked as if it were being wrung like a dishcloth, twirled and squeezed. And then it crumpled and began disappearing into the cannula before my eyes. The last thing I saw was the tiny, perfectly formed backbone sucked into the tube, and then it was gone. And the uterus was empty. Totally empty.”

One book reviewer made these observations about the liiterary power of Unplanned:

“If you are able, I encourage you to read the whole thing. I have to confess to you that I almost was not. The horror that Johnson describes is almost unfathomable, accentuated by the cruelty and insensitivity of the conscienceless monsters cracking jokes as they watched the death of a tiny human unfold live before them.”  

“Perversely, the most shocking aspect of this particular story is its mundanity. It occurs every single day in the United States, over three thousand times a day, and has for almost four decades. The only thing that sets this particular abortion apart is that a person possessed of a conscience and some measure of writing skill happened to be present and witness it on ultrasound. Every day, including today, probably several dozen times during the course of the time it takes you to read this article, this horror is repeated in America and no one is present who cares to chronicle it in a book about the way it changed their life. Tens of millions of times since 1973 this has occurred in this country under the color and protection of law.” 

“The only way to ensure justice in a society is for the law to recognize that all humans are humans, and therefore entitled to equal protection under the law. Whenever the law takes the position that certain humans (be it slaves or those physically located within a womb) are not in fact humans at all, it is certain that moral outrages will follow, and that other moral outrages will be perpetrated to protect the unjust status quo, and that sooner or later, the conscience of America, however long dormant, will collide with those moral outrages.”

“It is at these times we remember why it is that we participate in this fight even though it wears on us from day to day; why it is that we continue to watch news shows that infuriate us, donate money to candidates that would otherwise be put towards our own retirements, and take time away from our families to pound the pavements, man the phone banks, and get out the word. This is why we ”fight,” if it is still permissible to use such terms to describe battles fought with the ballot box. And it is also why we reject the empty calls for “truce” and silence from those who have hardened their heart to the ugliness, for we know that there can be no truce with unrepentant evil – there can only be victory or defeat.  And for the sake of the country we love, we refuse to accept defeat.”

To these words of courage and outrage, I heartily say AMEN.

Please pray that Abby Johnson’s Unplanned will convince more Americans to alter their view on abortion. Pray that mothers and fathers who killed their own children will become broken and repentant; Pray that the churches of America will not become complacent or silent about the number one moral issue of the 20th and 21st centuries.

I believe that victory is at hand in the abortion battle.

We must not give up the fight for life.