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Silently Saving Lives
by James Robison

02/22/2007  

Education and compassion lead to fewer abortions.

While the eyes of the nation have been on the war on terror, great gains have been made in another domestic battle: abortion. The pro-life movement has employed powerful “weapons” in this struggle to save the lives of millions of unborn babies. How have we done it? What are we doing that has been so effective? The answer is simple: education and compassion.

TIME Magazine ran a hit piece on this topic on the cover of its February 15 issue titled, “The Grassroots Abortion War.” In it, the writer laments over the tactics and results of pregnancy resource centers that have popped up across the country over the last decade. Clearly, the abortion industry is worried.

The new caretakers of pregnant women are “kind, calm [and] nonjudgmental,” according to the article. Instead of picketing outside of Planned Parenthood and other abortion-affiliated centers, pro-lifers have been helping women work through their pregnancies, giving out free pregnancy tests, providing aid with social services like Medicaid, introducing them to prenatal care, locating housing for those facing displacement, and offering free ultrasounds.

According to Deborah Wood, CEO of a pregnancy support service in North Carolina, women are able to see with their own eyes what is going on inside the womb, which often leads to bonding between mother and child. “One girl got off the [ultrasound] table and said, ‘That’s my baby.’” Wood noted, “Another got up and said, ‘This changes everything.’”

Science and technology are not on the side of abortionists. TIME cites a study that shows that almost half of American women will face an unplanned pregnancy in their lifetime, with a third of them opting to abort the baby. With a US population of 144 million women (Census Bureau’s March 2002 Current Population Survey), that translates into 48 million abortions, more than 15,000 times the number of soldiers killed in Iraq to date. But when women actually see their child in the womb, especially the detailed images that modern ultrasounds offer, and they understand that the swelling in their bellies is not just a mass of tissue, but an actual human life, many women change their minds about the morality of “choice.”

When pro-life caretakers tend to the basic needs of pregnant women, many of them lose their sense of hopelessness and despair, finding the strength to complete their pregnancy and allow the child to live. This level of compassion is far more effective than any protest or threat. And it’s much more in line with the kind of love that Scripture extols.

While it is a good thing for politicians to support pro-life initiatives, as President Bush has done throughout his two terms, it is far better for individual women to understand the truth of the matter, to educate themselves about the process of pregnancy, and to make an informed decision to choose life. The climate in Washington DC may have changed in the last election, but the climate in cities across the country can continue to move in a more knowledgeable and compassionate direction. Stricter laws may stymie the kind of guerilla marketing that abortionists have employed, but that won’t prevent women from finding a way to terminate a developing child. Nor will traumatized women respond to angry shouts or self-righteous condemnation from Christians. They will, however, respond to someone who shows them genuine love and concern. And when that love and concern meets her basic needs during a time of overwhelming stress, the results are undeniable.

“We want someone in there who’s going in there with a heart and compassion who’ll talk reasonably and present the options,” Wood said about her caretakers. Her mission is to prevent a frightened pregnant woman from choosing a rash decision that she may regret later. “All decisions have consequences,” she points out.

The consequence of this compassionate, Christ-like effort on the part of hundreds of pregnancy care centers nationwide has been fewer abortions, better care for women, and an overall shift in attitudes about abortion. Certainly we should stand up for principle and proclaim what is right in light of our faith, but faith without works is dead. Love in action will make a real difference in the lives of mothers and babies alike. This approach wins the hearts and minds of the people who make the choice between abortion or life. In the end, education and compassion are the only strategies that will truly work.

 

Publishing Information

Author: James Robison

Word Count: 730

About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, a Christian media ministry and mission relief organization. He and his wife, Betty, host of the television program Life Today; He has authored numerous books, including The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope and True Prosperity.

Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at jamesrobison.net