Those who serve faithfully in the pro-life movement rarely get the opportunity to look up from day-to-day work and see the big picture.
For many, the March for Life every January is their one chance to rub shoulders with like-minded advocates. One other annual event stands out for its variety of high-caliber, pro-life leaders and interactive breakout sessions: the Values Voter Summit sponsored by Family Research Council Action.
Popularly referred to as #VVS14 — a top-trending Twitter topic nationally during the event — Values Voter Summit features conservative luminaries who garnered significant media attention in discussing America’s most pressing issues leading up to the mid-term elections: Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Bobby Jindal, talk show host Mark Levin, Gov. Sarah Palin, Sen. Rand Paul, Alan Robertson (of Duck Dynasty fame) and many others.
While most touched on life issues, five leaders elevated current contentions over abortion policy and the value of every life as a primary thrust of their remarks:
1. Star Parker: “Abortion May Be Legal Today, But It’s Not Lawful in God’s Eyes”
President of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE), Star Parker brought an impassioned plea for Congress to investigate abortion-center horrors like Kermit Gosnell‘s clinic — and enact penalties in the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act signed into law over a decade ago.
“We’ve been concerned for years about minority women that have been targeted by the abortion lobby,” Parker said. “While black women of childbearing age represent only 7% of the American population, they represent 35% of all abortions.” This important advocacy effort by the National Black Pro-Life Coalition is poised to make a great impact starting with the next Congress in January.
2. Young Mother Tells Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst: ”We Have Our Son Today Because of You”
As Lieutenant Governor of the Lone Star State alongside Governor Rick Perry, David Dewhurst played a significant role in ensuring the democratic process was not shut down in Texas by outside pro-abortion interests that attempted to end HB 2, the “pro-life law of the century” enacted last year by overwhelming majority vote.
“We had a group of people who took over the Senate chambers and kept our Senate from doing business,” Pastor Steve Riggle said in a new video premiered at Values Voter Summit. “We decided we would all show up so we could save some lives.” The video also features a young woman in red Life Tape, a strategy that originated with Bound4LIFE in 2004 and now widely adopted by pro-life groups.
3. Ryan Bomberger, African-American Pro-Life Leader: “For Exercising a Civil Right, I’m Being Sued by a Civil Rights Group”
“Any time anybody wants to silence you,” began Ryan Bomberger, chief creative officer of The Radiance Foundation. “You know they’re up to no good.” He proceeded to tell (to the degree he legally can) of how his 2013 op-ed on the NAACP, which engages in parody — a hallmark of American social commentary since Mark Twain and even before. Yet a pro-lifer’s parody was too much; the massive membership group sued him.
“The writers of the Constitution were considered extreme too,” he noted. “Silence is never an option.” After a Virginia judge placed a gag order on Bomberger and ordered him to “deliver up for destruction” any prior use of his NAACP parody, The Radiance Foundation recently appealed the case to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
It’s clear what drives Ryan Bomberger in his creative work, as he weeps over America’s “56 million lives obliterated in the name of ‘reproductive freedom.’” A leader in promoting adoption and foster care, he left attendees with a strong appeal: “Never be silenced.”
4. Brigitte Gabriel: “I Know My Freedom is Built Upon Your Shoulders and Your Sacrifice”
With the rise of the Islamic State internationally — and, tragically, even in America — many #VVS14 speakers addressed this emerging threat. None were more enlightening than Brigitte Gabriel, who comes at the issue of defeating terrorism from a unique perspective.
As Founder and President of Act for America, the nation’s largest grassroots organization devoted to national security, Gabriel knows the facts. And as an immigrant to America from Lebanon, which she fled due to Islam’s increasing influence, her words carry a true depth of life experience.
Addressing veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, Gabriel’s final remarks reveal surprising connections between the sacrifice of military families and standing up for the value of every life. “As an immigrant who came to this country, thank you for building a nation where I can come and be all that I can be,” she concluded. “You are my heroes.”
5. Rep. Marlin Stutzman: “Let This Generation Be the One to Stop Abortion in America”
A small-town Indiana farmer voted into office in 2010, Rep. Marlin Stutzman has proven to be one of the rarest of Congressmen: stating upfront his unequivocal support for defending life, even in an election year. One powerful story unearths the roots of his strongly pro-life perspective… and from the first line, you could hear a pin drop.
“There was a young lady, 17 years old, who all of a sudden found herself in an unexpected pregnancy,” Stutzman began. First told in the Washington Times, his account reveals how intensely personal the issue of life is — and how vital to discuss it in human terms.
As elections quickly approach, join us in lifting up our nation’s leaders. Pray for all Americans to vote with wisdom, demanding honesty and uprightness from those serving in public office.
LifeNews Note: Josh M. Shepherd has served in communications/marketing roles for the past 10 years at Focus on the Family and The Heritage Foundation. Reprinted with permission from Bound4LIFE.