by Steven Ertelt
February 5, 2007
LifeNews.com Note: Steven Ertelt is the Editor and CEO of LifeNews.com.
There’s nothing like talking with members of your state legislature to see the current state of the abortion debate. After 34 years of fighting over abortion, one would expect abortion advocates to have come up with more sophisticated arguments to defend their position. Not so.
As the Editor and CEO of LifeNews.com, our news services examines abortion and other pro-life issues from a national and, frequently, an international perspective.
But the abortion debate still plays out in communities at coffee shops and local diners and at the dinner tables of families across the country.
Getting the local, grassroots perspective is always refreshing and is something akin to politicians leaving the Beltway mentality of Washington and realizing there is a real world outside the platitudes and policy wonks.
During the legislative session in Cheyenne, Wyoming, I was reminded just how stagnant the pro-abortion argument has become and how advanced the pro-life community is when it comes to new approaches to overturning the abortion apple-cart.
For 34 years much of the abortion debate has been a supposedly battle between women and children — as if those concerns were mutually exclusive. Yet, along the way, the pro-life community figured it out — we love them both.
There’s always been an undercurrent of concern about both mother and child within the pro-life movement, but that emphasis on caring for and promoting the interests of women at the same time we protect unborn children has taken hold over the last several years.
Pregnancy centers have been around since before Roe v. Wade, but they’ve experienced a coming of age in the last 5-10 years. Women have always grappled with finding hope and healing after an abortion but post-abortion programs and groups — especially those looking to change public opinion — have taken off recently.
And the general notion that the pro-life perspective best represents the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of women has been buttressed of late by exceptional research and data showing how abortion hurts women.
During a legislative hearing on a Right to Know bill in the Wyoming legislature, I again saw these trends firsthand.
The pro-abortion side fielded the same mantra is has since seven men decided to overturn the pro-life laws of more than 40 states — we trust women, we support women, the other side is anti-woman.
Instead of issuing the pro-baby response the pro-life movement has given for the longest time — something lawmakers already know — the pro-life side of the debate packed the hearing room with women. They consisted of people who have had abortions and have the firsthand experience of the problems that come afterwards.
The courageous women who testified spoke of being "treated like cattle" at the Planned Parenthood abortion center. They talked about the lack of choices and information and how staff at the abortion business "sold" the abortion to them.
They talked about spiritual and mental health issues they faced following their abortion, referred to the miscarriages and problems in subsequent pregnancies, spoke of the breast cancer they battled, and of the regret and guilt they personally faced.
The legislators and the abortion advocates had little response. How can you respond to someone’s personal story and the tragedy that’s happened to them?
It’s easy to bash the pro-life side when we don’t talk about the terrible effects of abortion on women, but when women who know firsthand how abortion hurt them share their side of the story — the forgotten part of the debate — it’s nearly impossible to refute.
I’ve said for many years that the pro-life side will win the argument and abortion will fall by the wayside like slavery has before when we finally are able to put a face on abortion and show the personal pain associated with abortion.
The babies abortion has destroyed can’t speak for themselves. Although we can speak for them, no one can do so with the same intensity and feeling as women who have had abortions and had found healing and forgiveness afterwards.
Post-abortive women have become the new face of the pro-life movement and I firmly believe they will help lead the pro-life community into the promised land — into the time where abortion’s days are truly numbered.
The comparison between abortion and war is overused. But it’s appropriate here:
In a battle, wounded troops are typically moved to the rear. They’re sent to base hospitals or sometimes flown to other nations to receive medical treatment at secure facilities outside of hostile zones.
Women wounded by abortion are sometimes pushed aside, and considered less than able to help because of their experiences. But it’s precisely those experiences and the authenticity of the pain they feel that ought to compel the pro-life movement to assist them in getting to the front lines.
When we let post-abortive women who have found genuine forgiveness and healing from their abortions lead the battle, we’ll win the abortion war.