Live Action news correspondent Christina Bennett recently sat down with Live Action’s founder and president, Lila Rose, to talk about Bennett’s journey into the pro-life movement.
During their candid conversation, Bennett shared how she was nearly aborted and discussed the pivotal role religion has played in her life. The two also discussed strategies for one of the more difficult aspects of sharing the pro-life message — changing hearts and minds in a manner that is winsome, not condemning.
Saved from abortion
Bennett began by noting that the pro-life issue was something she never really considered until she went to college.
“I never heard abortion talked about at home. Honestly, I never heard abortion talked about at church, either,” she remarked. “It wasn’t on my radar at all.”
However, when she was in college, all that changed, as she learned that her mother had almost aborted her — a fact her mother didn’t want to disclose. Bennett’s mother eventually revealed that she had been under pressure and coercion both from Christina’s father and a church mentor who had promised to shut her out of the church if she didn’t go through with the procedure.
So she drove by herself to Mt. Sinai Hospital to get this abortion. And thankfully, even when human beings reject us, God does not. And so even though she was turned away by this mentor, the Lord was still fighting for her heart and fighting for my life, and fighting for her life as well, because He cared so much about her.
And so, He sent this janitor to her in the hospital… She said that she was in the hallway, she saw this janitor, who lifted up her eyes, my mom lifted up her chin, and my mom said that her eyes were like pools of water. And she said to her, ‘Do you want to have this baby?’ And my mom said yes, even though she had already paid for the abortion…
And the janitor said, ‘God is going to give you strength.’ And my mom believed her.
After deciding that she didn’t want the abortion, Bennett’s mother told the abortionist that she had changed her mind and walked out of the appointment, despite the fact that he was yelling at her to stay. Bennett’s mother believes that the janitor was an angel in disguise, and the encounter was nothing short of divine intervention.
A life influenced by faith
Bennett said that religion plays a major role in her life and her pro-life activism, noting that she first asked Jesus Christ to come into her heart when she was 12 years old. However, it wasn’t until college that she became serious about her faith. That faith deepened when she learned of her near-abortion.
“So much of what I do comes from that place of knowing that God wanted me, and God loves me,” she said. “God’s love sustains me, and has my whole life.”
As she felt the role God’s hand played in turning her mother away from the abortion facility that day, she also began to realize that God was calling her to something bigger. “I wanted you, Christina, but how do you think I feel about the others?” she believed she heard Him say.
“God, you want them to live as well? Ok, then it’s my divine responsibility to do something about that,” she recalled thinking.
Entry into the pro-life movement
Bennett credits her foray into the pro-life movement to Pastor Lou Engle, who invited her to tell her abortion story with TheCall, a gathering of hundreds of thousands of people. While she didn’t end up speaking at the event, she was deeply moved by the experience of being there.
Later, Engle invited people to meet in Washington, D.C., to attend an event praying for President George W. Bush. At that time, Engle told her to go back home and “do something.” In response, she returned home to Connecticut and started a pro-life group called Stand for Truth. The group’s mission was to pray outside abortion facilities and speak in churches. Bennett said it was her first real experience in the pro-life movement — and she hasn’t looked back.
A winsome approach to sharing the truth
Bennett and Rose spent much of their conversation speaking about one of the biggest challenges of the pro-life movement today — how to win people over with the truth, without turning them away. As Rose stressed, the idea is to be winsome — to make a strong case for the truth but do it in such a way that you aren’t condemning people.
Bennett acknowledged that it can be difficult in today’s society to stand for what we believe in. But she feels that it is even more dangerous to stand by and say nothing.
“Silence when it comes to the things that really matter can destroy our souls because we end up becoming cowards,” she said.
She also admitted that even though she is a pro-life speaker, she also is afraid at times to speak out about certain issues. She notes that she often prays through these fears and seeks to ensure she’s approaching a volatile situation with clarity.
“Nothing will come from me being silent unless God is calling me to be silent for a particular reason, but in speaking the truth in love, hopefully, I can win people over,” she explained, later saying, “One of my goals is that people can think to themselves if they walk away from me, ‘You know what, I disagree with Christina, I strongly disagree, but she treated me with love.’”
She also stressed how important it is to listen to what the other side is saying.
“You have to understand people in order to reach them. And so that’s why it’s very important to me to listen to people on every side,” she explained. “When you spend more time listening and learning to love, it frees up your heart.”
The post-Roe abortion fight
As they wrapped up their conversation, Rose and Bennett took a look at what’s ahead for the pro-life fight — namely, fighting more on a local level.
“In states like ours [California and Connecticut], we have to really be engaged on a local level,” Bennett explained. “We have to be working with the local pregnancy centers, supporting them, working with 40 days for life, working with the churches, engaging people politically… We want to encourage people to join us.”
Again, it circled back to the idea of being more winsome with those that we’re engaging with.
“You work from that place wherever you can find common ground… and then you build from there and try and find a relationship,” Bennett said. “Listen with love and let that lead you into a greater relationship.”
Did you know that as little as $10 a month is enough to reach more than 3,000 people with the truth about abortion that no one else is telling them? Click here to start saving lives 365 days a year.