As leaders in the pro-life movement gather this week for the March for Life in Washington, D.C., and throughout the country, much of the discussion will revolve around how to continue the momentum of the policies enacted by the administration of Donald Trump during the very pro-abortion administration of newly inaugurated Joe Biden.
It may be challenging, but there’s plenty of room for hope.
In an interview with The Daily Citizen, Benjamin Watson and Chelsey Youman from the Human Coalition shared about the continued urgency of the pro-life fight.
“Right now, I think this is a really important time, with a newly inaugurated president, to look at the Biden administration and just how aggressively pro-abortion they are,” Youman explained. “Not just pro-choice. The Democrat policy platform and the policies he set out are to do things like repeal the Mexico City policy and allow for funding of international abortions. Repealing the Hyde Amendment, which would essentially have your taxpayer dollars going to pay for a woman’s abortion.”
Biden just rescinded this policy today, now allowing taxpayer dollars to fund abortions internationally.
“There’s no end to the funding that they’re trying to pour into Planned Parenthood that includes mandated insurance coverage of abortion, Obamacare coverage of abortion. As far as wide as they can get it,” Youman said.
“During this time, I want to say there’s a really aggressive agenda on the other side to continue taking lives and to make abortion more widespread. And when you take that million women a year who have abortions, to increase that is devastating to think about,” Youman said. “So, I really want to spend the next few weeks getting as much attention as we can on what the new administration will be doing and encourage people to educate themselves, write to their elected officials and let them know we stand against these policies as a people. We are people who protect the vulnerable among us and protect the innocent children among us.”
To really put on a strong front against these policies and the likely growth of Planned Parenthood, pro-life leaders and organizations need to come together.
“There can be some sort of tribalism, there can be some sort of rivalry and those sorts of things when it comes to different aspects of the pro-life movement,” Watson said. “When it comes to protecting life, it’s important to understand that we are seeking many of the same things, how can we work together as a pro-life movement in different areas of the country and different backgrounds. Especially when you talk about ethnicity. There is a divide when it comes to organizations working together across ethnic backgrounds. When it comes to this issue, how do we connect and broaden the umbrella of who is happy and willing and confident in saying, ‘I’m a pro-life organization let’s band together.’”
Though the focus on legislation for the pro-life movement is understandable, there must also be a desire to reach the hearts of women and men across the country on the issue of abortion.
Watson explained, “Culture has changed. One of them that Chelsey has mentioned, one of the very important ones, is legislation, is laws. Laws are very, very important because laws help to dictate society. They establish new norms, and although those norms may be unpopular at certain times, thinking of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, you can think of other legislation that was unpopular over time. Those laws start to form how society starts to think.”
Roe v. Wade is no exception.
“The other side of it, is the human heart,” Watson said. “How does a society deal with the issues of the heart—in that way how do you change society? So, you have those two sides. I think that it’s imperative when it comes to this issue, you prick the hearts of people to see the value of life. You show them examples of adoptions. You show them the science behind what we know about what happens in the womb. You show them ways that they can get involved practically and then you count on them to do so. You do that in a variety of different ways. It’s important that, again going to our churches, going to individuals, going to our neighborhoods, that we walk out the things that we say.”
Youman, who is active both with Human Coalition’s policy side and her own church ministry, shares some helpful ideas about how pro-life Americans can get involved, especially within the church.
“I think that we all look around, and for most Christians it’s a no-brainer. We know that God created each person in his own image with a purpose and a plan. He counts the hair on our heads and formed us in the womb. We hold a biblical reason to be pro-life but how does that translate into our community,” Youman said.
“It’s engaging with mothers within and outside the church and saying, ‘Hey, does someone need childcare? Does someone need a mother’s night out? Does somebody need groceries this month?’ You can do that by looking around the pews next to you at your church and saying, to your pastor, do we have anything serving single moms and women who are pregnant right now? If you don’t, then they don’t have a culture that is pro-life at the church.”
Youman explained, “It starts at the church because one in four women in the pews at the church have had an abortion or will have an abortion. This isn’t something that’s external to the church, it’s internal. It’s very much internal to the church. And I think that pastors are afraid to speak out on this or are afraid to touch this issue knowing that it’s part of so many women’s stories and their own family stories.”
Some of Youman’s other suggestions includes volunteering to launch a church ministry for single mothers or volunteer to hold baby showers for vulnerable mothers. Passionate pro-life supporters can also get engaged in local legislation efforts to protect preborn babies.
“There are a lot of ways to get involved. There’s no end to the need that’s out there, and those are just a few ideas off the top of my head. But yes, it does require action,” Youman said.
Watson learned more about the urgency of the pro-life cause while filming and producing his documentary, “Divided Hearts of America.”
“The urgency at the state level, that’s something I didn’t know. Throughout the film, there was really a journey of discovery about how abortion has impacted this country, how it impacts individuals. The history of how we got to where we are, when we talk about different pieces of legislation that have passed over the last several years and decades,” Watson said.
“So, for me, this really enriched my understanding of this movement, also it definitely solidified and deepened my resolve to continue to fight for life. In hearing from those people and talking to people who have survived abortions. These moving stories about what happened to them and how beautiful they are right now—it really deepened my resolve that this is an issue worth fighting for.”
Those interested in hearing more from Benjamin Watson, his wife Kirsten and other pro-life leaders can tune into the March for Life Friday, January 29 at 12:00 p.m. EST.
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