Abortion advocates often attempt to damage and disparage the pro-life movement by making false claims and allegations. A misleading article for The Guardian went as far as to attack pro-lifers for being “radicalized,” but the overall pro-life community is not what pro-abortion groups claim it to be. It is largely made up of compassionate people who are devoted to saving both women and babies from the violence of abortion.
The pro-life movement’s mission to end abortion is being accomplished peacefully. The organization 40 Days for Life is a prime example of this. The group holds prayer vigils outside abortion facilities in nearly 1,000 cities, and has helped to save more than 19,000 babies from abortion simply by being prayerfully and peacefully present for their mothers. That’s 19,000 abortions prevented that would have translated to millions of dollars for the abortion industry. This is why pro-abortion organizations are so eager to take down the pro-life movement.
Writing for The Guardian, Jessica Glenza quoted Anu Kumar of Ipas, an international organization whose mission is to expand access to abortion. Kumar claimed that the pro-life movement has always been violent, and is now more violent than ever. Yet her words must be carefully scrutinized, because Kumar stands to financially gain from expanding abortion access — and the pro-life movement stands in the way of that.
“In the 90s we saw groups like Operation Rescue and Operation Save America, and they were quite violent,” said Kumar, mischaracterizing the pro-life movement of 30 years ago. “This recent uptick is really an even more radicalized version of what we saw back then, and in some ways it’s not your mother’s anti-choice groups.”
While there have been extremely rare cases in which so-called pro-lifers have acted in a violent manner, such as in the 2009 murder of late-term abortionist George Tiller, the majority of the pro-life movement over the last four decades has been and continues to be peaceful. Pro-lifers do not support violence, which is why the movement stands against abortion and the horrific violence that it entails. So what alleged violence is Kumar referring to?
According to the Feminist Majority Foundation, this so-called violence includes criminal acts that cannot be verifiably linked to the pro-life movement, such as break-ins, robberies, and vandalism. The group also claimed that 87% of abortion businesses “report experiencing some type of anti-abortion activity,” with 62% of abortionists “experiencing activity at least once a week.” However, that “activity” is not defined as being violent.
This activity is likely the standard, peaceful sidewalk counseling that occurs daily in the United States. Sidewalk counselors pray outside abortion businesses and inform women of the free resources available to them. Women are often unaware of those resources, and the abortion industry is unwilling to enlighten them. On the contrary, countless women have gratefully credited sidewalk counselors with saving their babies’ lives.
“I was lost, I didn’t know what to do with the pregnancy,” Isabel told Be Here for Me, explaining she went to an abortion facility where a pro-life counselor was present outside. “She asked me why I was there and I told her everything. She was like, ‘If there is any way I could get support for you, would that put you in a position where you felt you did not have to terminate the pregnancy’ and I said ‘Yes, if I am able to get the support, I do want to keep this baby’. So I was assured.” The pro-life counselor found Isabel a safe place to live, providing her with the confidence to choose life for her baby as she wanted.
In reality, violence from pro-abortion individuals has been rising in recent years. Sidewalk counselors have been punched, kicked, pushed, threatened, spit at, and been threatened with firearms. Some have been injured so badly they required hospitalization, and one, James Pouillon, was shot and killed by a man who said he was offended by the pro-life material James was holding. Recently, pro-lifers in New York had to contend with disruptions from diaper-wearing pro-abortion protestors who wrapped themselves and each other in tape as they attempted to distract a peaceful pro-life prayer vigil.
Support for post-abortive women, not jail time
Glenza wrote that “pro-gun anti-abortion theocratic militant groups who seek to prosecute women who have abortions under murder statues have gained increasing legislative influence in the US.” Like many abortion advocates, she claimed pro-lifers want women to be punished for having abortions. While there is a segment of the pro-life community that supports this, this belief is not at the core of the pro-life movement.
There isn’t a single pro-life law in the United States that penalizes a woman who undergoes an illegal abortion, and any law created with the inclusion of punishments for post-abortive women has failed to pass. Rather, the pro-life movement welcomes post-abortive men and women who regret their abortions. Some have even become leaders within the pro-life community.
Many women who have had abortions were victims of the deception of the abortion industry. They were sold the lie that they weren’t old enough, educated enough, rich enough, or stable enough to give birth to a child. The pro-life movement understands that women are often coerced into abortions against their will by their parents, their boyfriends, their doctors, and their abusers. One study revealed that 64% of women undergoing abortions were coerced in some way, while a separate study of women who sought post-abortive care found that nearly 74% of women felt pressure to undergo abortions.
While abortion advocates insist that women can’t have a baby while earning a degree or starting their career, countless women consistently prove that this is a lie. The pro-life movement wants to help women avoid abortion but is also dedicated to helping women heal from abortions through programs such as Rachel’s Vineyard and She Found His Grace Ministry.
Not your mother’s pro-life movement
The pro-life movement has come a long way since the 1970s, as has science. Kumar’s claim that today’s pro-life movement is not “your mother’s anti-choice movement” is accurate, but her reasoning isn’t. She stated, “The reason they’re different, and it’s important, is they are not interested in incremental change. They’re not interested in using regulations. They’re not even that interested in Roe.”
She goes on to claim, “What they’re militant about is defying the courts, defying the constitution and defying the rule of law,” she said. “And they use scripture to justify their violence. Yes they are definitely anti-abortion, they are misogynist, they are anti-immigrant as well. But fundamentally they are about democracy – they are anti-democratic zealots, this is not just about abortion at all.”
This is wholly dishonest. Challenging Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that legalized abortion, is a main focus of current pro-life legislation. The case regarding Mississippi’s law that restricts abortion to the first 15 weeks of pregnancy will be heard by the Supreme Court this fall, and could change abortion laws in the United States.
While Kumar is right that the end goal of the pro-life movement is not to restrict abortion to the first trimester, but to end abortion completely, the movement recognizes that this is unlikely to happen overnight. The pro-life movement is working not just on the legal front but on the educational front as well, changing individual minds and hearts are changed on the matter of abortion. As the humanity of the preborn child and the violence of abortion are exposed through science, victim testimony, and former abortionist testimony, more individuals will recognize the need to protect the rights of every human being — even those still in the earliest stages of development.
It is abortion advocates who oppose restrictions of any kind on abortion. The goal of the abortion industry is abortion on-demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy.
Kumar’s claims that pro-lifers are misogynistic can be proven wrong by a simple look inside the abortion industry and pro-abortion mindset, which says that women are incapable of being mothers for a variety of reasons. The pro-life movement, however, supports women and their children — yes, including immigrant women and children.
Pro-lifers believe every human being is valuable, has dignity, and deserves respect — regardless of their age, race, income, religion, sex, or nationality. But because preborn human beings are the only group of humans in the United States directly targeted for death based on discriminatory beliefs, ending abortion is the pro-life movement’s main focus.
Today’s pro-life movement stands on the shoulders of giants who came before us, leading the way in speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves. Today’s pro-life movement has more scientific advancements than ever to support it, along with testimonies from post-abortive women who refuse to stay silent, and testimonies from former abortionists and abortion workers who are exposing the industry’s secrets. The dawn of the internet has allowed the images of preborn children and the violence of abortion to spread throughout the world, educating on the truth of abortion, and helping women to choose life. The pro-life movement is not doing violence; it is exposing the violence exacted against human beings every day — peacefully.
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