While America suffers over 1.2 million abortions per year, the debate about how to end abortion rages on.
And the endless debate can be deadly.
There are some who affirm life who believe that overturning Roe v. Wade is the only viable way to stop abortion. While that goal has a lot of merit, achieving it is highly unlikely. On the whole, the federal government has been aligned with abortion interests for decades. When we place our trust in politicians or judges, we will most likely be disappointed.
Also, laws follow culture, not the other way around. Roe became law because large segments of our society were comfortable making abortion legal. Roe will not be overturned until our culture finds abortion unthinkable and distasteful.
If our time and attention are solely focused on the legislative and judicial battles, we miss the best opportunity to stop abortion in our country — reaching out to families facing unplanned pregnancies in our own communities. If we fail to do so, we lose millions of opportunities to rescue babies and families from abortion right now, right in our own towns.
In other words while we opine on the fallacies of the government and courts from our armchairs, our 20-something next-door neighbor aborts her child.
If we are serious about stopping abortion, we must be serious about engaging people. I believe the abortion industry is based on a series of lies. Lies are debunked with truth. Lies are mitigated with compassion and wise counsel.
What are some of these lies?
- Abortion empowers women
- Abortion does less emotional harm than pregnancy
- Life in the womb is less valuable than life outside
- So-called reproductive rights are foundational and essential to our society
While it is essential to refute these lies through culture-changing media, it is also essential to be a light of truth in the individual lives of those contemplating abortion. It is not enough to attend rallies and marches. It is not enough to send letters to our elected officials. We, as a life-affirming community, must be willing to love, care for, and support those families facing unplanned pregnancies. We must earn the right to speak into their lives.
But we can’t just speak to them. We must also be willing and able to offer the tangible and practical support that many of these families require. If they ask us to go one mile with them, we should go with them two. We must not only share the truth about life, we must provide practical help, assistance, and sacrificial love to them.
If we consider ourselves pro-life, it is not enough to say so. It is not enough to opine from the armchair.
If we consider ourselves pro-life, we must intentionally and tangibly engage our families, our friends, and our neighbors in meaningful dialogue about abortion. We must deflate the lies with truth. We must, with compassion and gentleness, come alongside those facing an unplanned pregnancy.
Should we support government and judicial efforts to end abortion legally? Of course. Should we support incremental gains at the state level? Absolutely.
However, we must discontinue relying on others in government or the courts to do our work for us. We stop abortions by loving and caring for those around us who feel they have no real options but to abort. We can and will stop abortion in our communities, one baby, one family at a time.
Brian Fisher is president and co-founder of Online for Life, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit outreach that uses new and emerging strategies to save the lives of innocent, unborn babies and families from abortion, by coming alongside women and families in crisis and providing the option to connect them with local, life-affirming organizations where they receive compassion, grace, and comprehensive information.