Randy Alcorn’s book, Why Pro-Life?, is available for free online. From the publisher:
Abortion is a hot topic, ranking number one among issues people feel strongly about. Abortion is America’s most frequently performed surgery on women, with approximately 1.37 million reported abortions in the U.S. each year. Everyone is affected by abortion, including Christians. (Those calling themselves Protestant or Catholic account for two-thirds of U.S. abortions; those calling themselves “born again” account for 18%.)
Finally, a book has been written that presents the facts about abortion with grace and compassion, helping readers to root their beliefs in reality, not bumper-sticker slogans. Why Pro-Life? by Randy Alcorn is written mainly for fence-straddlers and professing pro-lifers, but also with pro-choicers in mind. Why Pro-Life? addresses the questions central to the abortion debate in a concise, straightforward, and non-abrasive manner.
Although many people will bring to the book their assumptions and impressions about abortion, they will not be grounded in science and logic. Many are “pro-life” because their religious leaders say they should be; many are “pro-choice” because it is the position that saturates popular media, and it sounds so positive and tolerant. In Why Pro-Life?, Randy Alcorn encourages all readers to reevaluate their positions and base their beliefs on factual evidence.
You can download it here.
When talking to people about abortion there are two topics that usually come up: rape and disabled babies. With his amazing foresight, God has allowed me life experience with both of these issues. If you have not already, I would challenge you to read my post: Rape, Abortion, and Adoption. But as for now I would like to discuss the topic of Abortion and Down Syndrome.
I found the following quote in an article on medicalnewstoday.com:
Although no national data are available, the abortion rate of fetuses with the condition [of Down Syndrome] was found to be 59% in one California study and 92% in an English study.
The truth is, babies that are determined to have Down Syndrome are often aborted here in the US and abroad. Why? Through my conversations with people and just being around Pro-Choice thinking, I am told that it is because of quality of life that one would have to endure if brought into the world with Downs. It is said that those with Downs (or really any other disability) have a lower quality of life and therefore they would be better off if they were never born. What a tragic reality! And a reality that is not based on truth! I hope in this article to confront the practice of aborting babies with DS through two means.
First, meet Heather. Heather is my sister and was born in 1978 with Down Syndrome. If you are not aware, DS is a chromosomal condition that often results in mental retardation and usually impairment in physical growth as well. Heather has both and just recently has had her fourth open-heart surgery to try to repair damage that has resulted from this condition.
What I want you to realize is that Heather is a person. And not just a person, she is a lovely human being, one of my favorites actually. She has a remarkably sweet disposition and I would challenge anyone in the world to try to not like her! Heather is a woman full of joy! She is a woman who loves life and loves others and is a blessing! When I found out in college that she was going to need her third open-heart surgery I wept for days. Why? Because I love her, because I cannot imagine my life without her, because she is one of the sweetest and most precious people I know. Heather lives a life filled with joy and it is so contagious.
So, the first way that I want to confront the practice of killing children with DS is to say: do not assume that they will have a lower quality of life than you. Allow Heather to be an example. With all of the anxiety, anger, and bitterness that has come and gone in my heart through the years, I can actually guarantee you that Heather has a much higher quality of life than I do. She has smiled more, laughed more, and missed out on much of the sorrow of life. And she is not an exception. I have found that most men and women with DS find more joy in life than most other people walking the earth.
However, the second way I want to confront this practice is to say: It does not matter. Someone having a lower quality of life does not give us the right to kill them. This is an accepted truth when people are outside of the womb. We would not vote for a government program to kill off all people with disabilities. No one would say that what Hitler did was right. And yet, we live in a world where 59-92% of all children with DS are killed before they even have a chance to breathe. Friends, this is wrong. And these poor helpless babies cannot defend themselves.
The reality of the matter is that we are not killing babies with DS for their own sake, but for ours. I will not deny that raising a child with DS is more difficult. Whereas with most children you need to invest 18 years in raising, Heather still lives at home. She has required special diets, special exercises, and numerous visits to doctors, surgeons, and hospitals. And when she was born my family was so poor. However, we are called by Christ to deny ourselves and even lose our lives!
Luke 9:23-25 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?
When we call women to sacrifice to bear a child with DS we are not calling them to something different than what is expected of all of us. Christ said that we must deny ourselves and take up our cross daily! And the gain, Christ! Being a brother and not a dad, I was able to be a part of most of the joys of raising Heather and few of the sacrifices. But I spoke to my mom yesterday and she said that abortion was never an option for her. They rejoice to have chosen life for Heather. But the gain in being obedient to God is not just the joy of Heather, it is the joy of Christ. Living for ourselves may gain us this whole world, but we will eventually lose everything! Lose everything for Christ’s sake and you will GAIN EVERYTHING!
So, this is my call to America to repent. James 4:2 tells us, “You desire and do not have, so you murder.” America, we have desired ease and when there is something or someone that stands in the way we have killed. DS babies are just one example of this, but they are a very clear example. Let today be the day that we stop killing children so that we can live an easy life. Let us instead consider these children as more important than ourselves. Let them live! And do it for joy! Do it for the joy of obedience. There is nothing in this world like that joy!
And I want to end this article with a Thank You to my parents for not killing my sister. Heather’s middle name is Joy and that is the perfect name for her. Heather is one of the greatest joys in my life and I cannot imagine having never known her.
Just a quick fyi to anyone interested… There have been some great conversations on this blog in the last few weeks and I encourage you all to go back and peruse some of the passionate discussions in the comments sections. And we welcome your contributions to these talks as well! Honestly, I think I’ve spent more time writing responses on this blog than I have on blogposts, so I just hate the idea of them getting buried in the comments and never shared.
Unfortunately, my responses are a little too longwinded to actually re-post, but here are some links to the articles that generated the more animated talks:
http://speakfortheunborn.com/?p=339 – “What Sidewalk Counselors Do”
http://speakfortheunborn.com/?p=381 – “Rape, Abortion and Adoption”
http://speakfortheunborn.com/?p=408 – “What a 2-inch Baby Looks Like”
Let us know what you think!
Today I read my new favorite post on the Pro-Life movement. This is a must-read for anyone interested or invested in the abortion debate. If you are pro-life, read this article and be reminded that we stand for a beautiful, God-honoring truth; and if you are pro-choice, read this blog post and understand to a fuller extent why Christians are so adamant about defending life and defeating abortion.
The article is short and sweet, so I’ll just repost its content here:
LIFE International understands that the horror of abortion is a global tragedy. Their mission is to multiply life-giving ministries wherever abortion is provided around the world. To see a little more of the heart that drives their mission, Kurt Dillinger responds to a few questions I recently asked him.
What biblical truth is the primary foundation for your ministry’s approach to the global mission field created by abortion?
Jesus says in John 10:10 that “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Our enemy is attacking God by destroying his image-bearers, the pre-born, along with the potential they have to be worshipers of him.
The hope for a woman and man facing an unplanned pregnancy is to know the Life-giver and to make wise, life-giving choices for their child. God’s plan for mother, father, and child is that they would have life to the full! Our response to this must be to follow our Savior in his mission: offering the hope of the gospel to a world in desperate need of his abundant life.
How does following Jesus and receiving his forgiveness direct the vision and activity of LIFE International?
The greatest and most profound pro-life initiative ever to take place in the history of mankind was when God sent his Son to die on the cross for our sins (John 3:16-17). That is the pro-life movement we’ve joined and the one we’ve invited others to join with us. At the cross we see that people are of inestimable value and worth to God. His message of unconditional love and forgiveness is what the world needs to hear.
How is the sanctity of human life viewed in the majority world?
Cultural attitudes and worldviews that devalue human life have infected the global culture in general and the Christian culture as well. For example, in places around the world, we have seen married pastors carry on with multiple mistresses. Church leaders send their wives and daughters to have abortions. Some Christian husbands even abuse their wives to enforce submission. Christian women may have dozens of abortions during their childbearing years. Each of these examples demonstrates how every nation has a flawed theology of life.
Kurt Dillinger is the founder and president of LIFE International. Kurt and his wife, Gail, have been married for 32 years, and have three children, Abby, Maggi, and Calvin.
And here is the original link if you’d like more information or similar articles: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/the-cross-the-greatest-pro-life-initiative-ever-taken?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DGBlog+%28DG+Blog%29&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher
The pro-life movement almost always feels like an uphill battle. While both sides of the debate normally regard themselves as the underdog, it is far easier for our end to get discouraged when we see the hundreds of women come in every week for new abortions. Every life saved is a miracle and a reason for tremendous joy, but every life lost weighs on us with an unspeakable burden. Will it ever end?…
Well, if you’re like me and you feel this way about our evangelical pro-life efforts, it’s time to refocus for a bit. First, I recommend you read and meditate on Bible passages about trusting the Lord through overwhelming trials, such as 2 Chronicles 20, the whole book of Job, or Psalm 73. Then you should read an incredibly encouraging new blog post from Trevin Wax. He has a great article on his blog today entitled, “Top 10 Reasons I am Optimistically Pro-Life.” In short, here are his reasons:
10. Recent Polls
9. Abortion’s Treatment on Television and in Movies
8. The Revulsion to Sex-Selection Abortion
7. The Exposing of Planned Parenthood’s Corruption
6. Planned Parenthood’s Recent Talking Points
5. Abortion as a “Tragic Choice”
4. Young People
3. Ultrasound Techonolgy and Pregnancy Support Centers
2. The Third Wave
1. God Hears
Definitely read the article to get more details and links to additional info. And be encouraged friends, this could be the tipping point in our culture we’ve been praying for!
Today the pro-life community mourns the passing of Dr. Benard Nathanson as he lost his battle with cancer. Dr. Nathanson was a former abortionist who became pro-life through the technology of the ultrasound. He fought boldly for the protection of the unborn and is probably most widely known for his film The Silent Scream. Before his conversion, however, he was a founding member of NARAL. Jill Stanek writes today:
As one of the founding members of NARAL, Dr. Nathanson later described the lies he and his fellow abortion proponents devised to push the legalization of abortion. These included fabricating polls saying Americans supported abortion as well as illegal abortion statistics. “The actual figure [of illegal abortions] was approaching 100,000, but the figure we gave to the media repeatedly was 1,000,000,” Nathanson later said.
Perhaps Dr. Nathanson’s greatest contribution to the pro-life movement was his production of the documentary, The Silent Scream. This remarkably powerful film showed a baby gaping his or her mouth in a silent scream of agony while being aborted.
You can read the rest of her post here.
Steven Ertelt at LifeNews.com has also written about Nathanson today.
Nathanson wasn’t always pro-life and he started out as an abortion practitioner based in New York City who presided over more than 75,000 abortions.
But the doctor hoped he saved many more lives than that after witnessing an ultrasound and becoming pro-life. He then dedicated his life to ending abortions and his video, the Silent Scream, is considered a classic because it was the first to use the technology of ultrasound to make the unambiguous case that unborn children are human beings who deserve legal protection starting at their earliest days.
Quoting Nathanson himself, he continues:
“Once we had ultrasound in place, we could study the fetus and see it was a member of our community. If you don’t do that, you’re just a creature of political ideology. In 1970, there were approximately 1,100 articles on the functioning of the fetus. By 1990, there were 22,000. The data piled up swiftly and opened a window into the womb,” Nathanson continued.
Please read the rest of his article here.
Dr. Nathanson wrote about his journey from pro-abortion to pro-life in his autobiography called The Hand of God: A Journey from Death to Life by the Abortion Doctor Who Changed His Mind.
The pro-life community is grateful to this doctor who admitted he was wrong and fought for the rest of his life to save the smallest members of our community who are fully persons, and fully persons from conception.
4 Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:4-5)
A few weeks ago there was a very moving guest post by a woman over at the True Woman blog. She is a woman who had been scarred by abortion by her own testimony. Her story is all too familiar to families struggling with unplanned pregnancies across the country. She begins by writing about growing up in a home that held up “good morals and good values,” yet:
Abortion was wrong in my parents’ eyes, until it became their daughter that was pregnant. The reputation of our family and the dreams of my parents were shattered. I was going to be connected to a guy that they knew had no value for me. We sat and discussed the pros and cons of abortion (none of which I could list today because of the relationship I have with God, the giver of life and not the giver of death). Although they did not actually force me get an abortion, I knew that this is what they wanted.
She remembers her feelings of isolation and sadness at the abortion clinic and then her futile attempts at trying to mask the pain with anything including drugs and relationships. She continues:
As I lived life my way and made my own decisions, I found many consequences that would play themselves out for years. You see, if I had not had the first abortion, I would never have had the next four. Abortion became birth control to me. My heart became harder and harder, and the silent cry that was once there faded into a faint thought. Because of the hardness of my heart, I eventually believed that abortion was right.
But there is good news…
Then one day I met the Lord Jesus Christ. He drew me to Himself, and I began to see my sin as He sees it. I repented as a sinner and realized that I only did what I did because that is what I was…. a sinner, a murderer, an enemy to God. At that moment in my life I saw that I needed a Savior from my sin that could give me His righteousness in place of my sinfulness. God shone His glorious light in my heart and I trusted Him as my Savior. “For He [God] hath made Him [Christ] to be sin for us, that knew no sin: that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21).”
…I am looking forward to the day I enter into the presence of God in heaven and get to meet those five children that I did not love or value. It is through the forgiveness of God and His healing power of the soul that I am able to be grateful and joyful for that day to come.
Please read the article in its entirety here.
As a sidewalk counselor, yes I am there out in front of the abortion clinic to try and save a child from the death that awaits her. But more importantly I’m out there to point others to Christ because he is the only one who can save them and give them hope in all circumstances. The testimony above is a reminder that it is Christ, and Christ alone, who redeems.
One of our sidewalk counselors is pregnant and recently shared this amazing ultrasound of her unborn baby with us. Call it what you will, but this “fetus” is sucking its thumb! The counselor told us that they watched her baby on the 4-D ultrasound for 5 minutes or so and kept seeing the little baby reach up to suck its thumb, and then it’d fidget around for a minute but always come back to this serene position.
The amazing thing to me is that this child is only 12 weeks old and only 2-inches long! It is at this stage, between 8 and 13 weeks, that a quarter of all abortions happen to babies. How can this be?
As a side note, this is the exact type of ultrasound that we offer to families outside the Louisville abortion clinic. We want people to see and cherish their unborn babies as much as we rejoice in our own. No matter what the circumstances are that bring people to the point of abortion, this is what’s at stake.
- Dr. Russell Moore points us to an article in WORLD Magazine concerning the recent news of a baby abandoned and left to die in a toilet.
- Jenny Clark reminds us to take action to defund Planned Parenthood by using to this link on the Susan B. Anthony List website. You may also find another helpful link to contact your representative here. Please call or email today!
- Dr. Denny Burk writes about our inconsistency concerning abortion and fetal surgery.
- And finally, Jill Stanek confirms that Lila Rose will appear on Fox News today at 5:00 p.m.(EST). Glenn Beck is dedicating the entire hour to Live Action & Planned Parenthood. (In case you’ve missed it, Live Action has released several videos since last week exposing Planned Parenthood. You may find more information on this latest project here.)
UPDATE: Due to breaking developments in the Middle East, Lila’s appearance on Glenn Beck will now be on Monday’s show (via @LilaGraceRose)