In the early days of the pro-life movement, activists used confrontational, sometimes angry, often judgmental, and a seemingly uncaring approach that focused on the baby’s right to life.
I’m not at all judging the early pioneers of the pro-life movement because the climate of the 70s and 80s was much different than it is now. They were fighting hard against the injustice of abortion, and they were making it clear that abortion was murder in disguise. That was the need of their day. They spoke up for the rights of millions of unborn babies who could not speak up for themselves.
Today, the movement focuses on the mother as well.
The new pro-life movement is characterized by a gracious, caring, loving, grace-filled, and relational approach that focuses on serving the abortion-vulnerable mother.
One of the problems with a loud picketing approach in our day is that it doesn’t work. It doesn’t save women or children. If we want to save lives, we have to start by loving and serving women who feel like they have no other option but to choose abortion.
That’s the idea behind our name Save the Storks. A stork is more symbolic of the mother than the baby, so our name really means Save the Mothers. Like many new pro-lifers, Save the Storks believes the mother and the baby are a package deal.
We want to save both.
Jesus was once asked by a Jewish teacher what the greatest commandment was. This was Jesus’ response: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” -Matthew 22:37-39.
So let me ask you: What does love look like when applied to a woman who’s considering an abortion? Is it to stand on a sidewalk and scream slogans at her as she walks into an abortion clinic?
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. If anyone…sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and truth” -1 John 3:16-18.
Love is defined by our actions, not by our words. And if we follow Jesus’ example, it’s defined by sacrificial and selfless actions.
I believe the new pro-life movement is what you get when pro-life meets pro-love. It’s filled with people who are sacrificially and selflessly supporting pregnant mothers who have no one else encouraging and supporting them to choose life.
At the center of this movement are thousands of pregnancy centers (PRCs) around the nation—and their committed volunteers. PRCs provide a safe and supportive environment for women who are in unplanned pregnancies.
They provide a place for women to talk. A place for them to be listened to. A place for them to learn how to be mothers (and how to keep their families together). A place for them to get medical support for themselves and their babies. A place for them to get baby clothes, diapers, and other material support. A place for them to know God’s love, forgiveness, restoration, and hope.
A place where people will help them at their point of need—and empower them to make life-affirming choices for their children.
New pro-lifers recognize that it’s hard enough for women to carry their babies full-term in the best of circumstances. (Can I get a witness from any mothers!?) It’s daunting for them to think about choosing life for their babies when the circumstances surrounding their pregnancy are painful and difficult. An empathetic, caring, and serving approach is what a woman in a desperate situation needs.
I want to be part of a movement where life and love are two sides of the same coin. Fortunately, that’s the new pro-life movement.