Uniting for Life
National Pro-Life Religious Council, Inc.,
109 2nd St. N.E.
Protecting the Unborn
by Sharing the Gospel
By Dennis Di Mauro, Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
I am becoming more and more convinced that in order to win
the minds of others on the abortion issue, we must share with
them the gospel of Jesus Christ. The reason I believe this,
is because I invariably find that people of faith seem to
most fully understand the value of every human being. Only
through a relationship with Jesus Christ, can one fully understand
His love for each and every one of us, including the tiniest
Have you ever met someone new at a pro-life event? Sure you
have! We all meet people who are committed to saving the unborn
at pro-life rallies, at the local Life Chain, or at the NRLC
And I bet I know one of the first questions you asked that
new friend. You probably asked, "What church do you attend?"
That is because when we meet a pro-lifer, we naturally assume
that he or she is religious. As pro-lifers, our faith has
everything to do with our beliefs about the sanctity of life.
And thank God for that!
So this begs the question of whether the average secular
American can ever really be consistently pro-life. It is possible,
if one examines all the facts, to come up with a rational
humanistic decision based solely on the scientific evidence,
and to decide after weighing all the facts that one should
hold to the preciousness of human life from the moment of
conception. That person might also choose to protect that
life in all instances that it might be threatened. But experience
has shown us that that almost never happens.
The average American is easy to convince when a face is placed
on the abortion question. This was shown during the partial-birth
abortion debate when a large majority of Americans cringed
at the idea of a little baby having its brains sucked out
in the third trimester. Only the most hard-hearted individual
had no sympathy for putting a defenseless child through such
But the stem cell debate has really shown a spotlight on
the views of John and Jane Q. Public. John and Jane don't
really understand what all the fuss is about. These embryos
are so small, they say, and after all, killing a few tiny
embryos could cure so many of the living from such terrible
and painful diseases. What's wrong in using these embryos
for such a noble purpose?
Why don't John and Jane Q. Public get it? Maybe it's because
no one has ever told John and Jane about Jesus, and about
how precious they are in God's eyes. Maybe no one them has
told them about how God loves them and knit them together
in their mother's womb (Psalm 139:13). And maybe no one has
told them that God has a specific plan for them, and a mission
for their lives (Jeremiah 1:5). And finally, maybe no one
has told them that that little embryo is a human being that
God has given the spark of life and through which he will
spread His kingdom of love.
But when we take it upon ourselves to reach out to our brothers
and sisters and share the real Jesus with them, the Jesus
of the Bible, we really get to the root of the matter and
provide them with some essential facts needed to understand
the sanctity of every human life. So I want to urge everyone
who wants to share the pro-life message to spend at least
as much time sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those that
don't know Him as well. These two messages really do go hand
in hand. In fact, the gospel really completes that intricate
painting of Life which to John and Jane Q. Public looks only
half completed. Once God shines His light, their eyes are
opened to the truth of his creation of a human being from
the moment of conception. Without Jesus, that tiny pre-born
baby is just one more helpless Who in Dr. Seuss's Horton
Hears a Who, screaming for his life without anyone able
to hear his voice.
NPRC Statement on Human Cloning
By Advanced Cell Technology
Washington, DC. November 26 - The National Pro-Life Religious
Council, representing constituent groups within Catholic,
Evangelical Protestant, old line Protestant and Orthodox churches,
denounces in the strongest possible terms the cloning and
destruction of human embryos recently announced by Advanced
Cell Technology of Worcester, Massachusetts. We unite our
voices, clergy and laity, to urge Dr. Michael West and his
company immediately to cease and desist their activities in
this regard. We also appeal to all similar companies and research
groups to suspend any human cloning activity .... With the
Church through the ages, we believe that God is the creator
of human beings, who are indeed created in God's image. Therefore,
no human agency is qualified to play God by manufacturing
human beings and/or by deciding who is of value and who is
not. In the mean time, we also ask that churches, religious
organizations and pro-life advocacy groups urge their constituents
to immediately contact their US Senators and US Representatives
to express support for the Weldon-Stupak bill (H. R. 2505)
that will ban human cloning and the destruction of human embryos.
It Must Be OK - It's Legal; But Will
God Forgive Me?
By Georgette Forney & Dana Henry
National Organization of Episcopalians for Life
How does a woman, a girl, make the decision to abort her
Georgette: As I drove down Interstate 96 on my way
to work in late September I remember thinking to myself,
It must be okay, after all it's legal, but why do I feel so
uneasy about this? I was 16 years old at the time and
I didn't know God, so I prayed to my grandfather who had died
six months earlier, "Please help me, I can't have this baby,
no one will want to marry me, I can't take care of it, everyone
will know I'm not a good girl. Please forgive me."
Dana: "I was a Christian, a volunteer youth leader,
and my father was Senior warden on the vestry at our evangelical,
pro-life, Episcopal Church. Good girls from our church did
not get drunk at college, have sex and get pregnant. I did
not have the courage to come home with the news of my pregnancy
and risk disappointing my family and my church. I was so ashamed
and disgusted with myself. I developed tunnel vision. I just
needed to solve my "problem", and abortion was my quick-fix
solution. The consequences of looking bad, of admitting to
my sin were too much to deal with -- it was so much easier
to just make it all go away. I told the father of my unborn
child that I had decided to have an abortion, and he agreed
to split the cost with me. I used my Christmas money. He never
tried to talk me out of the abortion, it was his child too.
What thought process does she go through to conclude that
having an abortion is the best solution to her problem; an
unwanted, unplanned pregnancy? If the girl is young, it is
especially difficult because she is used to thinking only
of short term future concerns, the role of motherhood seems
foreign and ill fitting. For some, the choice to abort isn't
really a choice but a way to deal with the threat of what
she'll lose if she has her baby. Parents threaten eviction,
boyfriends threaten to leave, both threaten withdrawal of
love, so she must choose between people she loves or a child
that she perceives threatens those relationships. If she is
older, a baby threatens her college plans, career opportunities
or financial security.
The decision to have an abortion focuses on the woman, but
the father of the baby can positively or negatively influence
the decision. Many women want the father of the baby to be
a knight in shining armor and save her (and the child) from
going to the clinic. But an attitude and unspoken message
of back off, this is my decision will short circuit
the dream. The cultural message men get says they can't tell
a woman what to do with her body; so they often remain silent.
The decision is made, now what?
Georgette: Going into the clinic that morning my heart
was numb. I refused to let myself think about what I was doing.
During the examination I was informed that I was further along
than I thought, and I had better do it today, before it was
too late. They offered me a pill to relax me, but said, if
I took it I couldn't change my mind. When my turn came to
go into the room I remember wanting to turn and run, but it
was too late. I had taken the medicine. I laid on the table
with my feet in the stir-ups and the doctor came in. I don't
remember him but I remember the loud sound of the machine.
It sounded like a big vacuum, which is what it is. When they
shut the machine off, the nurse walked by me holding a container,
I asked her if that was my baby? She said don't worry, relax
Tears streamed out of my eyes as I fell into a dreamy sleep.
I could hear noises in the room but I couldn't move. I laid
there along time, and it was dark when I came to, and they
told me to dress and go home. I left and went to my sister's
house for the weekend. I remember laying in bed that night
feeling lost, alone and empty.
Dana: The father of my baby drove me to the clinic.
He sat in the waiting room for 3 hours all alone. The people
at the clinic were very nice. I gave them all false information
about myself because I was terrified that they would somehow
tell my parents about this choice I was making. The counselor
at the clinic, sensing my shame and fear, said to me, "Are
you sure that you want to go through with this?" God had given
me a way out, but I didn't take it. I began to weep as the
doctor inserted the needle into my cervix, and the nurse next
to me held my hand. I sat up during the abortion and told
the doctor to stop I had changed my mind. He told me that
he was halfway through -- it was too late. I had killed my
baby. It was horrible and painful. As I left through the back
door of the clinic, they handed me packs of birth control
pills -- it was finished.
When the Supreme Court took pity on Jane Roe and said she
had a right to decide whether or not she wanted to be pregnant,
do you think any of them thought about the procedure to end
a pregnancy? This comment by Frederica Mathewes-Green captures
society's solution of abortion: We advise her, Go have
this operation and you'll fit right in. What a choice
we made for her. She climbs onto a clinic table and endures
a violation deeper than rape; the nurse's hand is wet with
her tears then is grateful to pay for it. Grateful to be adapted
to the social machine that rejected her when pregnant. And
the machine grinds on, rejecting her pregnant sisters.
But will God forgive me?
Georgette: When I woke up the next morning I decided
to pretend the day before hadn't happened; it was just a bad
dream and I refused to let myself think about what I had done.
I stayed that way for 19 years except when I became a Christian
6 years later, I asked God to forgive me for my sins. But
I knew in my heart I had committed the one sin that is unforgivable,
I killed my own child. So my relationship with God was limited
because I knew I was unforgivable. I continued living day
to day in denial except I would feel guilt when I heard the
word abortion and on Sanctity of Life Sunday.
Dana: After the abortion I went back to my dorm and
I was convinced that I was going to bleed to death. I deserved
it. Nobody, knew what was going on; I was all alone. I sat
in the stairwell of my dorm, just weeping and weeping - that
was the only time I grieved. After that, I pretended I was
fine while inside I carried my pain. No one knew my secret.
I was able to sit through Sanctity of Life Sunday at church
and agree that all women who had abortions were murderers
of the worst kind. I asked God to forgive me for my abortion
every day - I wasn't able to receive his forgiveness, I kept
waiting for him to punish me. I knew I would never be able
to forgive myself.
Women were made to nurture life. Once she is pregnant, she
is a mother whether she acknowledges it or not, and the decision
to end that life inside her will always (if she is honest
with herself) cause her to question the moral and spiritual
implications of her decision. The good news is that the answer
is yes, God does forgive! But, accepting that forgiveness
is the hard part. Only when women are encouraged to mourn
and grieve the loss of their child can we begin to accept
forgiveness and forgive ourselves. We had surgery, but we've
never begun the healing process until we finally let the truth
of our abortion set us free. Now, God has forgiven us! We
have mourned our children, we've named them, we have forgiven
ourselves and we have learned the power of grace and mercy.
Everyday Dana and I regret our decisions to abort Sarah and
Elizabeth, but we are grateful for the promise of seeing them
Dana and I decided to share our stories to put a face on
the reality of abortion. We want everyone to know that even
though abortion is legal, and God does forgive, it's not OK.
A book review by Fr. Frank Pavone
In her book to be released in 2002, my friend Dr. Theresa
"There is no social norm for dealing with an abortion.
There are no Hallmark cards for friends who have had an abortion,
declaring either sympathy or congratulations. We don't send
flowers. We don't have any ceremonies, either joyous or mournful.
We have no social customs or rules of etiquette governing
acknowledgment of an abortion. Instead, we all try to ignore
The book, "Forbidden Grief," with which Dr. David Reardon
also collaborated, demonstrates that grief after abortion
is neither expected nor permitted in our society. Drawing
from their vast experience of post-abortion counseling, the
authors illustrate some of the ways that this "disenfranchised
grief" eats away at the personality, and results in harmful
and bizarre behavior.
As a graduate student, Theresa Burke led a weekly support
group for women with eating disorders. The meeting exploded
out of control one night when, unexpectedly, the topic of
abortion arose. Six of the eight participants had had abortions.
This led Theresa to begin exploring the connections. One woman
explained, "I am never hungry when I binge…I eat because
I am full. Full of anger, hurt, sadness, and loneliness. I
throw up because that is the way I empty myself of those feelings."
Every thought and emotion we have is connected to other thoughts,
emotions, and memories. Connections to the negative memories
associated with abortion are often overlooked, even by professional
Forbidden Grief reveals many of the connections. For
example, those who undergo a trauma often re-enact that trauma,
in a subconscious effort to articulate, understand, and master
it. One client became obsessed with pregnancy after her abortion.
She explains, "I used to go to the maternity section in
department stores…I usually had a towel stuffed in my pantyhose
to make it look like I was pregnant…but as soon as I'd get
in my car I would cry my head off…I'd rip the towel out of
my belly to dry my tears. I'd tell myself, you're not pregnant…this
is just a stupid towel."
Another rode horseback regularly without padded pants, until
she bled profusely, hence re-enacting the abortion. One way
or another, we ritualize our grief.
We also sometimes try to trivialize it when we know it's
too much to bear. Dr. Burke describes a dorm party in which
the students, many post-abortive, played "Baby Soccer." The
broken heads of dolls were kicked around the room gleefully,
their eyes gouged out with darts, their cheeks burned with
Other post-abortive individuals increase their risk-taking
behavior, hoping they will get caught or hurt. After all,
they know they are guilty, and may seek an experience to confirm
When society trivializes abortion, people suffering from
it will, cry out by their actions, "I'm not OK! I'm
in tremendous pain! Can anyone help me?" We need to
tell them we know that pain, and that it makes sense to grieve.
Only then can healing begin.
Belonging to God
By Rev. James Lamb, Executive Director, National Lutherans
Pro-lifers rightly avoid using language that treat pre-born
children as if they are property or commodities. "Reproduction"
and "products of conception" make us think of factories and
assembly lines. People talk about who "owns" the embryos frozen
in fertility clinics as if discussing property rights. There
are "price lists" for the selling of fetal body "parts." Embryonic
stem cell research is sparking efforts to "produce" embryos
so their stem cells can be "harvested" and then "sold" for
research. All of these dehumanize the pre-born child and ignore
the fact that all life is a gift from God.
As Christian pro-lifers, however, there is a proper use of
such language. Pre-born children "belong" to God because they
are the "work" of His hands. Pre-born children belong to God
and are His "property" because He "purchased" them with a
"You are not your own; you were bought at a price."
(1 Corinthians 6:19- 20)
Not our Own: We are not are own. All of us belong
to God because we are the work of His hands. "Your hands made
me and formed me," says the Psalmist (Psalm 119:73). Job tells
us where God's workshop is when he declares that it was God
who "made me in the womb" (Job 31:15). Belonging to God as
the work of His hands is not something that happens after
we are born. We belong to Him from the moment of conception,
Therefore, it is not for lack of compassion for women in crisis
pregnancies that we oppose abortion. It is because life is
a gift and belongs to God from the moment of conception. That
is why in such difficult situations we do not choose to love
one or the other. We choose to love them both.
Bought with a Price: All of us belong to God because
we have been bought with a price. The word "bought" here is
the everyday word used in the market place. It implies ownership.
You buy it; it's yours. Now it may seem strange that God would
have to buy something that already belongs to Him. Sin is
the reason for that. Sin separates us from the one who made
us. But God still loved what He made and paid the penalty
for that sin. It cost Him dearly "not with gold or silver,
but with His holy precious blood and innocent suffering and
The purchase price included a purifying. This is implied
when Paul says, "Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit"
(1 Corinthians 6:19). When we believe in Jesus as our Savior
and confess our sins, we are pure enough for God Himself to
live in us! "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just
and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness"
(1 John 1:9).
Belonging to God is not just a message that moves us to love
the pre-born. Belonging to God also gives us a powerful message
of forgiveness and purity that those who have been crushed
by an abortion decision need to hear. Those who have made
this decision feel anything but pure. They may even feel they
have committed a sin that is too big to be forgiven. Nevertheless,
they too belong to God. He made them. He bought them with
a price. Confession of their sin will not only lead to forgiveness
but purity! The God who made them and purifies them lives
in them. His presence will strengthen them and support them
in the process of healing and hope.
There is certain language that dehumanizes people and treats
them as if they are but "products" or "commodities" to be
produced, bought, or sold. We should avoid such language.
We need not avoid the language of Scripture, however. There
we are told that all human life belongs to God because it
is the work of His hands. There we are told that all human
life has been bought with a price and forgiveness of sins
and purity has been purchased for all. Belonging to God is
definitely a pro-life message!