PERSPECTIVE: Safe in Oklahoma
In 1985, God spoke to me in a very clear and strong way regarding the issue of abortion. Polla and I had just adopted our second child, and the abortion battle in America was heating up. While I had been troubled by abortion, that is when it became personal. Realizing that Polla and I would be childless if the biological mothers of our two children had bought the Planned Parenthood line that they were carrying nothing more than pregnancy tissue, I could no longer remain silent.
Coming alongside the few activist pro-lifers in our state, I became a spokesperson for the voiceless unborn children of Oklahoma. The first few years were lonely, but it wasn’t long until we discovered a silent majority was ready to speak up. United and energized, we started Crisis Pregnancy Centers in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. We held rallies on the steps of the state Capitol. Though small at first, CBS national news reported attendance of more than 20,000 at the last rally.
This week, a large contingency of pro-life advocates were at the state Capitol for Rose Day. Several years before Baptists got involved, two sweet Catholic ladies started Rose Day. They challenged people to come to the state Capitol and give roses to legislators and executive leaders. These roses represent life. At the 25th anniversary, one of the ladies shared with the Rose Day crowd that the idea finally took off when the Baptists decided to join them. She was right. The crowds at the state Capitol swelled as Baptists, Catholics and pro-life advocates from across Oklahoma joined in making a yearly, powerful demonstration of the value of life.
Legislative changes came slowly. One powerful senator, who chaired the committee through which all pro-life legislation had to pass, declared to me that he would never allow a piece of pro-life legislation through his committee. He kept his promise. But due to term limits, he was forced to leave office, and the legislature began to turn more conservative and pro-life on both sides of the aisle.
Fast forward to 2011. Americans United for Life just released its ranking of states regarding pro-life legal protection for mothers and unborn children. Oklahoma ranked second behind Louisiana as one of the most pro-life states in America. Unborn children are safer in Oklahoma than anywhere in America save Louisiana. Amazing! Remarkable!
Credit goes to the handful of unnamed faithful who stood on the steps of the state Capitol to speak out for the unborn on those cold Jan. 22 anniversaries of the Roe vs. Wade decision by the Supreme Court. Those few would later be joined by thousands on Rose Days. The individuals who gave and worked to make Crisis Pregnancy Centers happen should not be forgotten. Legislative leaders such as Sen. Glen Coffee and Sen. Todd Lamb—along with many others from both parties in the House and Senate, who moved the legislation through—should be remembered for their life-saving efforts. They did so by overriding the former governor’s vetoes again and again.
Make no mistake, these human instruments were guided, sustained and inspired by the truth of Scripture and the Holy Spirit of God. Our victories are God given. The Creator loves the unborn. They are precious in His sight. They are not a blob of tissue, but the precious handiwork of the Almighty, shaped and formed in their mother’s womb.
Our state song says, “You’re doing fine, Oklahoma, O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A, Oklahoma!” I could not agree more. Congratulations, Oklahoma. The unborn are safer here than anywhere else. Praise the Lord!
Anthony L. Jordan is executive director-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.