This month marks my 42nd year of pro-life activism. I’d like to tell you it began when I was a year old, but that would be lying. I was in high school and did a persuasive speech on abortion.
This morning I received a Facebook message from a dear friend from the past, who in the early ’80s was known to most every pro-life advocate in the nation.
She asked a question that is on the minds of many pro-life Americans today.
She hit the pro-life scene with hair dyed in vibrant colors, was a member of a rock band and wore feathers in her hair. She was clearly not the typical grassroots pro-lifer.
Nancyjo Mann was the first woman to widely go public about her late-term abortion, sharing her remorse and horrific experience. The abortionist not only killed her baby, but butchered her body so badly she was never able to get pregnant again. Further, his ineptness created lifelong physical and emotional complications she deals with to this day.
Upon his first introduction to this colorful young woman, my former colleague, Dr. Jack Willke, saw the tremendous value Nancyjo and others like her would bring to the movement. Her flamboyant exterior actually enhanced her dramatic and moving message.
Through Facebook, Nancyjo asked my candid opinion regarding the effectiveness of the modern-day pro-life movement. She was concerned that we haven’t progressed. We still face many of the same issues we did back during her peak of involvement. Churches are still reluctant to take a stand on the most compelling civil rights issue of our day, not to mention the profound spiritual implications of ministering to women and men in crisis and those struggling as Nancyjo did after the abortion.
At times is seems that only a cattle prod would provide adequate motivation for Congress to liberate America’s preborn children. Judges continue to usurp the right to life of nearly 60-million children and ignore the desperate need for legislative safeguards that protect the physical and emotional needs of women who have abortions.
Nancyjo, I understand your concern, but have an altogether different viewpoint of the movement. I’m more optimistic than I’ve ever been, and the late, great Dr. and Mrs. Willke shared my enthusiasm before their deaths.
In addition to the imagery of abortion’s victims, long-used by pro-lifers, ultrasound and vivid pictures of prenatal life have flung open the window to the womb for all to peer in. This undeniable evidence has turned many hearts and minds away from so-called choice to support LIFE.
The pro-life movement has become very media-savvy. We’re more sophisticated than the days of the Willke slide set, brochures and Handbook on Abortion. Social media is fertile ground for creative pro-life videos and still visuals. Over the last few decades, pro-life websites have sprung up like dandelions in spring, offering educational information, motivation and direction to equip others to be ambassadors for the babies. Life Issues Institute’s website has over 5,000 pages of pro-life educational information from cloning to euthanasia.
Our half-hour weekly TV program, Facing Life Head-On ran for eight seasons and was the recipient of three Regional Emmy© Awards – the first time pro-life programming has been recognized on such a prestigious level. Nancyjo Mann was a guest in one episode. Our daily radio commentary, Life Issues, is heard on close to 1,200 outlets with a weekly listening audience of over four-million — actual listeners, not potential audience.
The viral videos revealing the sale of aborted baby body parts and other undercover investigations of Planned Parenthood have been instrumental in eroding their brand. A few short years ago the idea of taking away their tax funding was a pipe dream, but now it’s a realistic possibility.
Women’s resource clinics and centers offer state-of-the-art medical services and information that empower them to say yes to life, even under the most difficult circumstances.
Never before have individual states elected more pro-life candidates and passed more life-saving legislation, which has left the other side reeling in disarray.
And then there’s America’s pro-life youth…
The contribution of talent and enthusiasm of our nation’s young people cannot be overstated. They have brought with them a boldness and professionalism that has been welcomed with open arms.
At 18, I was thankful for the Willke materials, but would have given my right arm for the technical resources and camaraderie enjoyed by today’s young pro-lifers. And they’re putting it to good use.
All of this and more causes me to truly believe that abortion is living on borrowed time, and instinctively, pro-abortion activists realize the same. But we won’t cross the finish line unless we work together, arm-in-arm to protect the most defenseless and vulnerable among us. And right now we’re experiencing the most promising time that I’ve seen in decades.
What are you doing today to help protect life? Your choices are almost endless.
Here is the episode of Facing Life Head On that featured Nancyjo’s story.