I spend a great deal of time discussing the narrative of our day; a narrative that is destructive to the pro-life movement. It is this narrative that has brought us to where we are today in our society. A society, mind you, that participates in about 3000 abortions every single day. This is offensive, but it is true and legal.
This is why we, pro-lifers, have an uphill battle ahead of us. We can argue and debate until we are blue in the face, but the pro-choice advocate can always look at us and simply say, “Abortion is legal.” This breaks my heart, but this is the world we live in.
How do we change the narrative? How do we charge uphill and capture the hearts and minds of people?
Let me start by providing another narrative for us to digest and pitch to the populous. This is a narrative of love, service, care, and women’s health. Pro-choice advocates would label this extreme language, I know, but it is language that will change the world we live in. Notice I listed women’s health as part of our pitch. Why would I do that?
I offer this because pro-choice advocates have stolen this phrase. Women’s health for them is a code word for “abortion.” They wrap their views in a not-so-pretty package with a large “women’s health” bow on it.
When we spend time attacking the “abortion on demand” lobby, they claim we are attacking women’s health. When we seek to offer up legislation to restrict abortion they claim we are attacking women’s health. When we attempt to engage in the debate and have thought-provoking discussions on life, they claim we are seeking to take away a woman’s right to healthcare.
They are consistent in their attack on our pro-life stance, and, frankly, they have found success in doing this. We have been labeled extreme, women haters, backwoods, foolish, ignorant, and right-wing for our stances. I don’t believe any of these labels are true, but many of them have stuck and tarnished those that stand for life.
Although it is true we have been losing the narrative, I am hopeful for what the future holds. I believe we have a message that will resonate with a large number of people. This is why I suggested the above line of thinking of love, service, care, and women’s health.
Pro-life for quite some time, for many people, never moved them to engage in the broader discussion.
Sure, they may put a sticker on the bumper of their car, purchase a certain license plate, or even vote for pro-life candidates. Let’s be clear…these are good things that many should do, but these alone will never change the broader narrative. These are part of the correction needed to see life celebrated, but we must never stop there.
We, instead, must let our pro-life convictions lead us and motivate us to DO more. Why has the pro-choice lobby been so successful in their work?
The decision in 1973 to legalize abortion certainly spearheaded this success, but this alone does not deserve the credit. They have found success because they have spoken out. They have engaged and gotten involved at a political level, a cultural level, and a neighbor level. Nothing and no one is off limits for them. They do not whisper their sentiments. So why do we?
We have a message that is worthy of sharing with this country. We have a message based in love and devotion to those in need. We have a message that doesn’t prey on the vulnerable, but instead serves the vulnerable.
We have over 2500 pro-life clinics across this country seeking to stand in the gap for the broken and hurting. These clinics, mostly, are funded by individuals, churches, and businesses. Many of these clinics are like HOPE and offer pregnancy tests, ultrasound imaging, STD testing and treatment, parenting education, material assistance, and mentoring. I must note that most of these clinics also offer every service at absolutely NO COST to the patient. What a novel idea. A healthcare model with little to no burden for the taxpayer.
At HOPE alone we average over $555,000 worth of services every year; services that we are happy to pay for. Why? Because we care deeply for the men and women in this community in need of assistance.
We don’t concern ourselves with their financial background, insurance status, or ability to pay. We simply love them, serve them, and care for them.
This must be our new narrative if we ever hope to climb the very tall hill that is the pro-choice lobby. We must simply go to work. We must stand with pro-life clinics across this country with our prayers, donations, and our time. We must seek to see more clinics opened. I realize that ultimately Roe v. Wade still stands, but the heart and minds of the American people will go a long way in seeing that ruling fall.
We can be labeled a number of terrible things, but if we are actually getting our hands dirty and standing in the gap for the most vulnerable, both born and unborn among us, we will see the tide begin to shift. We have been quiet for far too long. We need to lend our voice, our wallets, and our time to this movement if we ever wish to see this culture of death transition to a culture of life.
I refuse to sit by while vulnerable men and women are preyed upon in this country. There is something better for them and their babies. There are people that love them and will meet them right where they are. They are not just a number or a line-item in a budget. They have value, dignity, and are worthy of our love. This is the messaging we have for them. This is the narrative that should be celebrated around this globe.
There are millions of people that wish to see these men, women, and their babies loved. It is time for those millions to come out of the shadows and allow their actions to match their words. We would welcome you to join us at HOPE, but if not HOPE, please stand with a pro-life clinic near you and boldly proclaim that life matters!
About the guest blogger: Andrew Wood serves as the Executive Director of Hope Resource Center, a pro-life reproductive health clinic in Knoxville, TN. HOPE opened its doors in 1997 seeking to stand for life as they served the most vulnerable in the Knoxville area. HOPE has been blessed to serve over 20,000 patients during that time.