America has its fair share of conflict and strife. From the Internet to cable news, Americans are bombarded with caustic clashes between opposing ideologies, and the debate over abortion is no exception. For more than 40 years, pro-life and pro-abortion supporters have stood on opposite sides of the argument; and in some cases, this debate has become so acrimonious that some have thrown up their hands and abandoned the cause altogether.
As I travel across the country and speak to thousands of pro-life Americans, I’ve noticed a recurring theme: many pro-life individuals wonder if the fight for unborn life can be won. They wonder if standing up for the unborn does not help save unborn lives but merely results in fiery feuds, making the chasm between pro-life and pro-abortion supporters even wider.
Of course we can win the fight for unborn children and their families. In fact we must. Along the way, we must be open to innovation and a winsome approach. As advocates for the sacredness of life, it is incumbent upon us to learn the artful skill of persuading others to our side in a peaceful and compelling manner.
So what does it look like to peacefully voice your support for LIFE in a productive and effective way?
First, we must remember that when it comes to abortion, there is no “non-position.” I’ve met men and women who say they are “personally pro-life” but “don’t want to impose” their views on someone else. Perhaps you’ve heard similar arguments: “I’d never choose to get an abortion, but I’d also never tell a woman what to do with her body.” Many individuals believe that taking this position is being “pro-life” and adequate for advancing the pro-life movement. It is not – it is a passive, pro-abortion position.
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To have no public position on abortion is, in fact, to have a position. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the great theologian turned anti-Nazi activist said, “Silence in the face of evil is evil itself…not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Therefore, by remaining silent — whether it’s because you don’t want to offend anyone, or you just want to keep the peace — you’re not advancing the cause of LIFE. We must speak out for the unborn, but we must do it in a loving and compassionate way. Our ultimate goal is to persuade hearts and minds to acknowledge and support the fundamental right to LIFE inherent in us all, including the unborn, not merely win the argument.
Second, violence is never an option. Should we be passionate? Yes. Are we called to be assertive? Absolutely. But the moment we cross that line between passionate and violent, we’ve lost our way and engaged in the very actions we condemn, which won’t advance the cause of LIFE. Remember, being pro-life is not just speaking up for the protection of the unborn. It means valuing and protecting life at all stages — including the lives of those with whom we vehemently disagree. At Online for Life, we believe passing out brochures, holding signs, and marching in support of the unborn are all legitimate and necessary forms of peaceful protest that will help restore the culture of LIFE in America.
Finally, I exhort every pro-life individual to use his or her talents, resources, and time to advance the cause of LIFE. What might this look like for you? Perhaps you’re a retiree with a little extra time on your hands. A life-affirming pregnancy center would welcome your experience and wisdom in ministering to women facing unplanned pregnancies. Maybe you’re a millennial who’s standing at the precipice of your career. The pro-life movement needs you to represent your generation as a spokesperson for LIFE. Write a letter to your local paper, join Students for Life, and challenge your pro-abortion friends to think deeply about the social injustice of abortion.
If you’re a post-abortive man or woman, please know that your story has great value. Thousands are now walking the path you’ve walked and making a life-or-death decision regarding their unborn child. They need to hear from you. Your story — as painful as it may be to share — could help save a life. Consider visiting abortionmemorial.com and sharing your story so that it may help others.
Only you can decide how to get involved, but in order to make a difference, you must do something.
Let me conclude with this quote from Martin Luther King Jr.: “I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends.” As someone who has defined what a peaceful movement toward social change can look like, Dr. King’s exhortation is the clarion call for our generation on how to peacefully restore a culture of LIFE to America.
To find out more about how you can get involved in our mission to help rescue the unborn and their families from abortion, please visit www.onlineforlife.org.
LifeNews Note: Author, speaker, and business leader Brian Fisher is the President and Co-Founder of Online for Life, a transparent, metric-oriented, compassion-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to helping rescue babies and their families from abortion through technology and grace.