Pro-Life Is an Action, Not Just an Attitude

Alan's monthly letter for May 2009

Dear Friend,

Every day, Americans are killing their children and we’re not doing enough to stop it. Although approximately 200 million Americans are Christian and most of those Christians are pro-life, we’re not having an impact that’s proportionate to our numbers. The problem is many Christians are pro-life in attitude, but not in action. They oppose women aborting their unborn children, but they do nothing to stop the killing.

My suspicion is that most Christians would act if they saw that abortion kills children. If 3,000 elementary students were taken out of class every day, dragged to the edge of the playground, and shot through the head, most Christians (indeed, even non-Christians) would become enraged and demand justice. Abortion is just as morally reprehensible. However, it’s done out of sight and, ironically, with the consent of the child’s mother and a physician.

Because abortion is hidden from our eyes, it fails to evoke the anger and action worthy of the crime. But the fact that we can’t see the killing doesn’t abdicate our responsibility to protect defenseless human beings.

Perhaps one reason for the church’s apathy in this area is its own failure. Christians are killing their own children through abortion. Forty-three percent of women who have abortions claim to be Protestant and 27% claim to be Catholic. It’s difficult to speak out against injustice when one is involved in the crime or complicit in the act.

I understand what it’s like to be just attitudinally pro-life – I was once that way. It was only after I read Precious Unborn Human Persons by Greg Koukl and saw pictures and videos of abortion that I began to take action. I decided to financially support pro-life groups and individuals and learned what I could to change minds on abortion.

Thankfully, you’re doing the same today. You are taking action. Your prayer and support for my work with Stand to Reason changes minds on abortion, trains Christians to defend the unborn and, most importantly, saves lives. If the Church followed your example, legalized abortion would soon end because Americans would recognize the horror of abortion and demand that the killing end.

Your faithful support has enabled me to take another step. Instead of just training Christians in pro-life persuasion, I’m testing their skills too. Once their basic training is complete, I take them to the field to practice real-world, hands-on activities that change minds on abortion.

Oregon Right to Life recently invited me to do this very thing. After training 27 students in Salem, I took them to downtown Portland and had them walk up to pedestrians and start conversations about abortion. For two hours Oregonians were discussing abortion – conversations that normally wouldn’t take place. The result? The students rarely faced a challenge they weren’t able to handle, were excited to practice their skills, and went back home as very different people. They’re no longer merely pro-life in attitude, but also equipped to take action. They’re writing blogs, starting campus groups, and changing the minds of people in their spheres of influence.

That’s the power in your commitment to the pro-life aspect of my work. It’s leveraged. It’s not just that you enable me to go out and speak on abortion (as I did recently when I debated an entire USC argumentation and advocacy class on abortion), but my training of other pro-life advocates multiplies your effort. Your prayer and financial support has far-reaching effects in our culture. And though you may never meet them, countless people can thank you for your commitment to save their lives from the grim reality of abortion.

With much appreciation,

Alan Shlemon

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Alan Shlemon