Even The New York Times sees it. The publication ran an article in the Jan. 4, 2014 edition (“Access to Abortion Falling as States Pass Restrictions”) that could suggest the pro-life movement is making progress toward its ultimate goal of the abolition of human abortion.
The publication, known for its socially liberal leanings, bemoaned “a three-year surge in anti-abortion measures in more than half the states” (including Oklahoma). This news comes the same month we will observe the 30th annual Sanctity of Human Life Sunday (Jan. 19) and the 41st anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade ruling (Jan. 22).
Since the year President Ronald Reagan first designated Sanctity of Life Sunday and today, the pro-life movement has succeeded in so many ways, as the recent closings of many abortion clinics attest.
It is not all good news, of course. Tragically, millions of boys and girls since that time have been aborted, and pharmacists are coming up with new ways every year to make chemical abortions more affordable, anonymous and accessible.
Moreover, while we celebrate the reduction in abortion doctors, we see that more doctors are choosing to make abortion just one more part of their medical practice. In spite of these tremendous challenges, the pro-life movement, led by Christians, will continue apace. We believe that we will be victorious ultimately because we stand on the side of God’s truth, which says that all people are made in His image and have worth. A few keys to even more successes in the future would include these:
/// Lead by love
Throughout the years of life movement, there have been a small number of fanatics who have resorted to violence and unjust actions in the name of life. Much of the pro-life movement has been unfairly tarnished by those actions, as members of the media gave overexposure to these actions. While true Christians would never resort to violence, we must go one better and let love drive all we do.
Rather than merely raising our voices trying to argue a neighbor into our camp, we can raise support for churches and organizations making a real difference in the lives of the unborn and abortion-vulnerable men and women. Love also calls us to protect the dignity of life at every stage, not only the pre-born one, and it should propel us to prayer and other actions to come to the aid of the elderly, the infirmed and the outcast. “If we have not love,” to borrow a phrase from Paul, then our movement is a hollow (1 Cor. 13).
/// Pass the torch
In addition to changes in the law, the important goal of changed minds and hearts appears to be happening. Poll after poll shows, for example, that millennials, while they are more socially liberal on other issues like homosexuality, are largely pro-life. As one commentator said, “This new generation cannot understand why abortion is legal and ‘gay marriage’ is not.”
While we cringe at the latter half of that statement, we rejoice in the first. Longtime supporters of life can harness this, looking for ways to involve young adults in productive avenues within the movement, such as volunteering together at pregnancy resource centers or bringing them to the Rose Day Pro-Life Rally on Feb. 5 (visit www.bgco.org/roseday for details).
/// Never give up
In November of 1942, after a key battle in World War II, Winston Churchill—that same man who famously said “Never give up.”—gave a speech in which he said, “Now, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning to the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
While the pro-life movement appears to be at the end of its beginning, there are many more miles to go in the road ahead. We therefore must pray that God would give us the resolve, the courage and the gracious love and compassion we will need to persevere until the day that all life in this country is protected and viewed as sacred.
God help us…