Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Post-Election Road to Pro-Life Victory

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.


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 and fiscal responsibility. 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).


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.


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.


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.

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