The Pro-Life Legacy of Francis Schaeffer

By Dave Andrusko

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann

For all the quadrennial talk that attempts to minimize the importance of the Iowa caucuses, Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status means the Hawkeye state will play a large role in determining which pro-life Republican faces pro-abortion President Barack Obama in 2012. Which is one reason the Des Moines Register, the state’s dominate paper, begins covering candidates in earnest 18 to 24 months before the actual elections.

I don’t read the Register every day, but a friend sent me a blog entry from yesterday written by Josh Hafner. Mr. Hafner began this way:

“In a small, unassuming church near Cedar Rapids, GOP [presidential] contender Michele Bachmann shared the faith testimony of her and husband Marcus Bachmann, noting the influence of evangelical theologian Francis Schaeffer on their views of science and abortion.”

There are a couple of reasons it’s useful to talk about Congresswoman Bachmann’s talk—her testimony. Like almost all the GOP candidates current running, and most of the few who may still jump in, she is staunchly pro-life.

Theologian Francis Schaeffer

According to Hafner, “Schaeffer also helped convince her that pro-life issue is of the utmost importance.”

Schaeffer is perhaps best known to pro-life veterans for co-authoring with Dr. C. Everett Koop (later Surgeon General) the hugely influential “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?” Both as a book and a video series, the impact of “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” cannot be exaggerated. It awakened and mobilized Evangelical Protestants as nothing before had ever done.

“Francis Schaeffer also said that life is the watershed issue of our time, and how we come down on how we view human life will impact all other issues,” Hafner quotes Congresswoman Bachmann as saying. “And so Marcus [her husband] and I decided we didn’t want to be pro-life only, just as speaking… We wanted to live a life of being about pro-life.”

The next three sentences say a lot about how many pro-lifers work out their convictions.

“Bachmann said that shortly after that realization, her and her husband began and praying with single mothers, even driving them to adoption centers as an alternative to abortion.

“’This is not to condemn any woman who here has ever had an abortion or participated in one,’ she said. “Because God is there also with grace and mercy in that situation, but to say that He is the life-giving only God who has answers in the midst of our trying times.’”

And it’s been my experience that often the answer that is given is expressed through the hands and feet of loving pro-lifers like the Bachmanns.

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