You know what’s ironic? America has become more pro-life than ever at the very moment that America’s abortion advocates have become more extreme and more aggressive than ever.
More than 80% of Americans disapprove of late-term abortion. Unlimited abortion and late-term abortion are growing increasingly unpopular among young adults, giving me tremendous hope that the right to life movement is not only alive and well, it’s expanding and gaining momentum.
In fact, this issue is no longer a partisan issue at all. Pro-Life Democrats make up a large swath of the electorate, and recent developments have led a number of them to speak up and warn of the consequences if their views are ignored.
The truth is that the vast majority of Americans have found legislation in New York that extends abortion into the third trimester with hardly any restrictions, and the failure of the Born Alive Infant Survivors Protection Act in the U.S. Senate, to be far out of touch with their point of view. Instead of “safe, legal and rare,” ending the life of the unborn has become too easy, too quick and all the way to the point of birth in the United States.
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Thankfully, a new generation of Americans is looking back on history and discovering the truth about the pain and suffering caused by abortion. We’ve learned that a baby in the womb feels pain as early as even 8 weeks after conception. We’ve learned that a child has a beating heart at just 6 weeks.
That’s why waves of state legislation and a number of “heartbeat bills” in Georgia, Ohio, Mississippi and several other states are emerging. It isn’t just because of the moral sensitivities of a narrow group of religious Americans; it’s because of basic science. It is reasonable and responsible to be pro-life.
At the nexus of legislation from New York to Georgia, we are finding ourselves in an existential moment for the abortion debate and the church needs to respond in unity.
And it isn’t about politics. It is a moral and human rights imperative that requires a moral response from our nation’s pastors and leaders whether or not they are engaged in partisan politics.
This is why I called a “family meeting” of Christian leaders to draw a line in the sand.
Today, April 13, at Free Chapel, I’m hosting this meeting for Christians nationwide to speak truth to power and unite around a crystal-clear message that we believe life is beautiful—every life, at every stage. We’ll also be activating a generation ready to move beyond a rally and a protest and help be a part of a solution.
This activation leans into a new direction in the movement to protect life. We as the church need to focus our efforts on being the best support network for women anywhere and everywhere in the nation. It’s not enough to simply advocate for unborn children. We have to acknowledge the fears and concerns of every mother. We have to recognize the complexity of this decision for many women and enter into their journey with a spirit of grace and service, not moral superiority absent of empathy.
We’re gathering Christians from across the country to find ways to be more supportive than we ever have been to women carrying the precious gift of life in the womb. And we’re doing this with Christians of diverse political persuasions and parties, pastors who refrain from partisan politics, women grieving from past abortions and concerned citizens alike, all of whom will gather to learn how they can make a difference on this crucially important issue at this consequential moment.
I want to be clear: Our meeting is about celebrating the life of both the mother and the child. Our hearts are filled with compassion for every mother who is carrying a child. We’re here to tell them they are not alone. If a child in the womb isn’t what they expected or planned, we need to tell them there’s hope and remind them of the truth that abortion isn’t the only option. We have to prove we’re serious about ensuring abortion alternatives are abundantly available in their communities.
People of faith must be unified and resilient on this issue. Now is the time.
Jentezen Franklin is the senior pastor of Free Chapel, a multicampus church. Each week. his television program, Kingdom Connection, is broadcast on major networks all over the world. A New York Times’ best-selling author, Jentezen has written nine books, including his most recent, Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt, the groundbreaking Fasting and Right People-Right Place-Right Plan.