What Not To Do When Attempting To Advance the Pro-Life Cause

Those on either side of the abortion debate are fueled by an intense passion for what they believe is right. Of course, those of us eager to protect and defend the unborn stand on the side of life. That is the winning side, no matter what critics, marches, or politicians say.


With a Republican president and Congress in our pocket, it may be tempting to bulldoze our way through to victory. Many, myself included, look forward to having Planned Parenthood defunded, among other things. Perhaps, we might even see Roe v. Wade overturned. Perhaps.

What we can’t do is lose focus and let anger, shock, and revenge replace the foundation that’s already been laid. Here are some things not to do.

Don’t Make Yourself Mockable

Recently, a pro-life lawmaker in Oklahoma presented a bill which on the surface may have seemed like a great idea. A further look reveals some major flaws, and his discussion of the bill has made everything worse.

Representative Justin Humphrey introduced HB 1441 earlier this month. The bill “prohibits the performance of an abortion without the written informed consent of the father. The pregnant woman seeking an abortion will be required to provide in writing the identity of the father to her physician.” (This would only apply to pregnancies that aren’t cases of rape or incest.) Informing the father who has just as much right to the child as the mother? Excellent. However, it bring about many questions. Written consent would be simple to reproduce or manipulate. How would anyone be able to keep this “proof” from being tampered with or artificially manufactured?

But most frustrating was Humphrey’s description of pregnant women in a recent interview.

“I understand that they feel like that is their body,” he said of women. “I feel like it is a separate — what I call them is, is you’re a ‘host.’ And you know when you enter into a relationship you’re going to be that host and so, you know, if you pre-know that then take all precautions and don’t get pregnant,” he explained. “So that’s where I’m at. I’m like, hey, your body is your body and be responsible with it. But after you’re irresponsible then don’t claim, well, I can just go and do this with another body, when you’re the host and you invited that in.”

Calling pregnant women “hosts” distances them from the pregnancy and vocally reduces responsibility. He should just stop now.

Don’t Try to Shock With Pictures of Aborted Babies 

Yes, I’m well aware of what abortion entails. In fact, those who are pro-abort are well aware of what it entails, too. They either don’t care in general or choose to withhold the humanity that is already present in unborn lives. Blasting pro-aborts with pictures of aborted babies and their mutilated remains does far more to harden their heart toward becoming pro-life than help it.

It’s similar to sharing pictures of beheading victims. You and I don’t need to see the aftermath to know that what led up to it was morally reprehensible in the first place. We have a moral compass that says the slaughter is wrong. With the abortion issue, shocking the audience with the ending isn’t as important as reinforcing the truth of the beginning.

Don’t Refuse to Forgive

Abortion is horrific. Like other sins, it is also forgivable. This should not be so shocking. Too often, though, the mantra from pro-lifers (of which I am included) is an unwillingness to forgive those who have committed such an offense. It is unthinkable to us that someone would be willing to take an unborn life. However, those who have either paid someone to savagely empty out their womb or have committed the act themselves are not ultimately lost forever.

Most importantly, people who have staunchly lived as pro-aborts can and do become some of the strongest allies in the fight for the unborn. One example is Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director who is now a pro-life speaker. Her perspective is priceless, and can reach where others can’t.

It’s easy when one is consumed with passion for a cause to leave behind some snippets of common sense and jump into the fray. We have numerous pro-life possibilities before us during this Trump administration. It’s tempting to forget that we need to cut out some excess. Sometimes we believe the harsher our message is the more successful it will be. Many times, the opposite is true.

Shifting culture to be predominantly pro-life will always be a trickle-up campaign. It starts with a better message.


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