Friday, January 26, 2018

A movement for everyone, for everyone

The message of the prolife movement is extremely simple: every human life has inherent value, and thus an inalienable right to life. It's because of this simple belief that the prolife movement is committed to fighting the injustices of abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia.

It's a belief so simple every person of good will ought to be able to get behind it. It's the foundational creed of our nation, as declared by our Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
The prolife movement is thus a movement for everyone, for everyone. We all should support respect for our right to life, because it's the one thing we all share in common: our humanity.

One poignant moment at the March for Life really highlighted this fact.

Every year the Family Research Council hosts ProLifeCon, an online streamed convention for prolife people across the digital fruited plains. Every year ProLifeCon features several prolife government officials, speakers, and leaders. This year Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood abortion facility director and leader of the organization And Then There Were None.

Abby's mission is to convince every employee at an abortion facility to leave, from the clinic escort outside who often intimidates prolife sidewalk counselors, right up to the abortionist performing an abortion. It's tough work, it has to be often heart-breaking work, but it has born fruit.

At the 2018 ProLifeCon, just before the March for Life began, Abby gave a message aimed at members of the prolife movement. She told them workers in the abortion industry do listen to them. What sort of messages should the prolife movement want them to hear? Which words drive them deeper into their abortion work, and which words help them to realize the gross injustice they are engaged in and leave it forever?

Abby highlighted her message using one person: Adrienne Moton. Adrienne was one of Kermit Gosnell's employees. She had helped Gosnell as he cut the necks of born-alive babies. Her mug shot had appeared in the Philadelphia papers, and later the national media.

It was Adrienne's conscience that helped authorities end Gosnell's clinic. She had taken the photo of one of the babies killed after birth by Gosnell. Only known to the world as "Baby Boy A," this child's photo and Adrienne's testimony helped convict Gosnell.

Adrienne helped the prosecutors, but still was convicted of third-degree murder herself. She spent time in jail, though she had a light sentence for her help in the case. It was time to reflect on what she had done.

Abby Johnson said she was appalled at what some prolifers were saying during the Gosnell trial. So, Abby said she decided to send letters to all of the Gosnell clinic employees and pray for them, hoping to receive a response. She finally did, though only one: Adrienne Moton.

After talking about her efforts to reach Adrienne, Abby invited Adrienne up to the podium at ProLifeCon. It was a surprise to the several people attending the digital convention in person. This person who was a prominent figure in a nearly unbelievable grand jury report and trial was present in person. Several years ago, Adrienne was helping Kermit Gosnell to run his clinic from Hell. On January 19, 2018, she was a member of the prolife movement, adding her voice to the hundreds of thousands of prolifers gathering in our nation's capitol for the March for Life that day.

It's a movement for everyone, for everyone.

Adrienne's story is not dissimilar to many prolifers. Many people today leading the movement have themselves been uncaring for the rights of unborn children in the past, or had a very imperfect view of those rights. The only qualification for joining the movement is being committed today to the belief that every human life has value and that every society has a fundamental duty to protect our common inalienable right to life.

Adrienne's story really recalls that of Dr. Bernard Nathanson, however. Dr. Nathanson was an early architect of the abortion movement and did tens of thousands of abortions. He could not shake his understanding of fetal development and images and sonograms of babies in the womb, just like Adrienne could not delete her photo of Baby Boy A. Nathanson left his deathly trade forever. He devoted the rest of his life to protect those he had once preyed upon.

Dr. Nathanson's autobiography, "The Hand of God," recounts his story and his long trek to his eventual home in the prolife movement:
"The keenest of human tortures is to be judged without a law, and mine had been a lawless universe. Santayana once wrote that the only true dignity of man is his capacity to despise himself. I despised myself. Perhaps I had at least arrived at the beginning of the quest for human dignity."