Post by Jeremiah Lorrig, Generation Joshua Deputy Director
Abortion has been on my mind for the last week.
On Friday, I joined leaders from pro-life organizations around the United States on stage at the March for Life. Standing on stage and looking out into the sea of people I was inspired.
But then this week, the state of New York joined a VERY small minority of communities that allow abortion that late. Although the United States already is just one of 7 countries worldwide that permit access to an elective abortion after 5 months of gestation, no state has laws that allow abortion as late as NY. Right now we as a nation are in company with China, Vietnam, and North Korea.
The fact that we in the United States are already so willing to discard the lives of these babies, no matter the stage of their development, is traumatic to my emotions. But the fact that it is getting worse in places like NY breaks my heart. To add insult to injury, many people (admittedly almost exclusively extremists on the far left) celebrated NY's move.
Now, is there hope? Yes. According to polling and research, the millennial generation is maturing into a powerful voting bloc, and as they do so, polling suggests that they are more pro-life than any other generation and strongly disagree with laws like the recent NY legislation. Millennials are also, in terms of raw numbers, a very large generation and shall be a true force to be reckoned with.
Dose of reality: Now, does the fact that Millennials are the most pro-life generation mean that they understand the science and moral ins-and-outs of the abortion issue? No. Sadly, while most Millennials have an icky feeling about abortion and want stricter laws in the United States, the research also shows that they tend to stop far short of total abolition of abortion. They still support abortion in "special cases" and that shows that they fail to see the science that supports that even very early on, the unborn baby is uniquely human and that each baby in the womb meets the basic scientific definitions of human life.
So, what do we do about it? I don't know about you, but I am devoted to the cause of saving as many unborn children as possible. So I've put a lot of thought into solutions for the problems we have today.
Here are some things that we can all do or be a part of that will, I believe make a difference.
1. Love. Love. Love. Love the unborn enough to stand up for them. Love the mothers who are facing the choice of abortion and speak love into them, because love is the only thing I know of that can conquer death. Love even those who have made the wrong choice--their life is invaluable as well--and they need to feel the value of their life.
2. Encourage adoption. If you know someone going through an adoption, come alongside of them. It is a beautiful thing. My sister's adoption was born out of my parents' pro-life convictions, and I'm so thankful that she is in my life. I also believe that we (each of us) can have a major part in making adoption a major part of the American Church's culture. We can talk about it more. We can be a part of making it more financially possible. We can even open our own homes to children without their biological parents' love. (I'm so thankful for all the foster and adoptive parents that I know. You all inspire me!)
3. Support local pro-life resource centers. These are typically very local, very connected to the needs of those in their community, and almost always need more volunteers. They also often need financial help to keep the doors open and buy advanced medical equipment like ultrasound machines so they can provide all their services for free. They can become a true alternative to Planned Parenthood and they often show the heart of the pro-life movement at it's most pure. (To find out more about these centers, check out Care Net. I know many of the people who work there, and they inspire me.)
4. Support pro-life candidates. I have made a commitment to never vote for someonewho is not pro-life. I am not saying that you are wrong if you do not make that commitment, but I'm giving it as an example because of how important it is. We need to talk with our elected officials about these issues. We need to vote with these issues in the forefront of our minds. We need to take this issue seriously at the ballot box because of how high the stakes are. I would also ask you to consider to donating money to pro-life candidates and organizations like Generation Joshua and the Susan B. Anthony List who educate candidates on the issues and help elect good ones.
5. Pray regularly for the unborn, for our nation, for ways that you can make a difference on this issue, and for those who are in the middle of it all. We need God's guidance. And I believe that we will not be able to speak the truest truth in unconditional love without his help. Pray also for mercy for our country.
6. Bring it up. One of the things that many of us (myself included) are afraid to talk about things that are connected to politics or other uncomfortable topics because they are unpleasant. But I believe it vitally important that we get over that. If we never talk about important things, important things will be forgotten. So find ways to talk about it. HOWEVER, this is not licence to be mean, rude, or nasty. How we talk about things matters. Truth and love are a matching pair. They do not work on their own. Love without truth encourages bad behavior, and truth without love bounces off.
These are 6 things that I believe can really make a difference. These things will savelives. I know, I know. These things are not easy: They might be uncomfortable, cost time, or cost money. But if I have learned anything in the last decade of working in the political world it is this: Nothing moves unless it is pushed. That means that something that is important like this will only happen with real investment by us. So push past the discomfort, budget some time, and give of your money. People talk about making a difference, this is how to do that.
I'm not saying any of this is easy. I am right there with you. I can think of a million excuses for the times I have not done these things, but I can also tell you that for every excuse I've used to not do these things, I also have a million little faces looking for help.
Every life matters. Your life matters. The abortion providers' life matters. The heroin addict's life matters. The unwanted baby's life matters.
So let us embrace the value of every life, and resolve to make a difference--because it matters.