Pro-life supporters were left dismayed and disappointed with last Tuesday night’s election results in Ohio after the ballot measure Issue 1 passed by a wide margin.
Elections have consequences. And the result of Tuesday’s election in Ohio will be tragic and evil.
The measure legalizes abortion up until birth, ends commonsense laws protecting women’s health during the abortion process, and removes parental notification requirements for minors seeking to obtain abortions. It will also likely permit minors to access transgender medical interventions without their parents’ knowledge or consent.
Those facts become all the more stark when you see pictures of Issue 1 supporters who cheered, applauded, and cried joyfully as they watched the election results come in. They were applauding unlimited, unrestricted, unregulated abortion on demand. Images like that should shock the conscience.
Pro-life supporters are not dismayed just because we lost. We’re saddened because of what that result will mean – the loss of 30,000 preborn babies in Ohio year after year.
Now, Ohio doesn’t stand alone as a loss for pro-life supporters trying to protect life at the ballot box. Since Roe v. Wade was overturned on June 24, 2022, pro-life supporters have lost seven of seven ballot measures on abortion – in blue, purple and red states alike.
One January 2022 poll found that 71% of Americans favor substantial restrictions on abortion access. Only 17% believe abortion should be available during all nine months of a woman’s pregnancy and another 12% say it should be available only during the first six months of pregnancy.
A 2020 Gallup poll found nearly an equal split among those who consider themselves “pro-life” vs. “pro-choice,” 46%-48% respectively.
But since Roe’s reversal, what we’ve found in state after state is that – when Americans actually vote on the issue – they’re not nearly as “pro-life” as they claim to be.
Americans may tell a pollster that they support life. But when the rubber meets the road, Americans won’t go to the polls to take away their own “rights.”
To be sure, there are other factors involved in Issue 1’s success. Radical anti-life organizations drastically outspent pro-life organizations in Ohio – by nearly $12 million. Abortion activists used this disparity to lie about Issue 1 and deceive Ohio voters.
But it’s difficult to see how any spending disparity could account for a 14-point loss.
Pro-life supporters must face the music, even if that music is far darker than we’d like to imagine.
So where does the pro-life movement go from here?
First, when it comes to advocating for life in the womb, let’s be crystal clear: we will never surrender.
No matter how long it takes. No matter how much money must be invested. No matter how much work must be done, we will fight for life.
Some fights are worth having no matter what – even if the outlook is grim and defeat is all but assured. The fight for life is a struggle worth having – no matter the cost.
If the world, if American voters, reject us, we must do what’s right. The lives of innocent preborn babies are at stake.
Second, we in the pro-life movement must accept our role as modern day prophets.
In the Old Testament, God repeatedly appointed prophets, like Hosea and Amos, to deliver His message to His people. The prophets called the Israelites to repent of their sin, turn away from evil and return to God.
Their message nearly always fell on deaf ears, and they were rejected and despised as a result.
To proclaim the gospel of life, we too must be willing to be rejected and despised. We must become modern day prophets.
In Luke 4:24, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown.”
As Ohio’s election result shows, pro-life supporters are not welcome in our own land. We should make peace with that fact, and persevere, nonetheless.
Jesus also taught in John 15:18, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.”
Pro-life supporters should take this verse to heart because our cause is righteous and just.
In 1955, the late William F. Buckley founded National Review with an opening article explaining the publication’s purpose: “It stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.”
In the face of our culture of death and the taking of millions of innocent preborn lives, like the prophets of Old, pro-life supporters stand athwart history, yelling “Stop.”
If you are experiencing an unexpected pregnancy and want to learn more about your options, visit My Choice Network.
Focus on the Family has been working to turn the cultural tide and save mothers and babies from abortion for years. Since beginning the Option Ultrasound Program in 2004, Focus has helped save nearly half a million lives.
Our goal is to save one million babies by 2025. Just $60 will save a life through Option Ultrasound. Will you partner with us to save a life from abortion here?
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