My Dad Showed Me What It Means to Be Pro-Life
By Micaiah Bilger, Education Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
As Father’s Day approaches, I’ve been thinking a lot about how my dad (and mom, too!) helped to influence my work here at the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.
My dad just retired after 30-plus years as a pastor. Abortion wasn’t a frequent topic in his sermons, but he did speak courageously on the topic several times. More often, he preached pro-life through his actions: adopting my youngest sister when he was in his 50s, supporting local pregnancy centers, helping families with food, rent or heating bills, counseling couples, taking our church to the March for Life. And especially when it came to children, both his own and others, he went out of his way to make sure they felt welcome and valued.
When I was in elementary school, I remember my dad preached a sermon about abortion. I don’t remember the sermon, but I do remember what happened afterward. It was the first time I saw someone yell at my dad. A group of women had gathered around him after the service, and the atmosphere was tense. I watched one woman point her finger and yell at him for saying that abortion kills a baby, for “shaming” women.
But then I heard another woman’s voice cry out. She had tears on her face, but she was determined. She looked straight at the yelling woman and said that she had had an abortion — and because of my father’s sermon, she now knew the truth. She now could accept that her abortion was wrong; and though she was hurting, she could find healing. She let her defenses down and shared her painful past. She defended my father and thanked him in front of the others.
I don’t remember much else from that day, but that brave, hurting woman’s voice still echoes in my head. My dad spoke the truth in love and compassion, and that made all the difference to that hurting woman.
It left a lasting impact on me, too. My dad taught me to not be afraid to speak the truth, and to do it in a loving way. He showed me the reality that even when we fight for what’s right, there will always be people fighting against us – but we need to do it anyway. Because it’s through fighting for what is right that we can truly love others.
So, this Father’s Day, I just wanted to take a moment to thank my dad for showing me what it means to be pro-life, for doing what was right even when it was tough, and, most of all, for teaching me how to love others.
Thank you, Dad!
Editor’s note. This appeared at paprolife.us and is reprinted with permission.