By Melissa Ohden
Truth. Legislation. Love. When I’m asked about the most important tools that we can utilize in the pro-life movement, these make up what I see as the three-legged stool.
Each leg, on its own, serves an important purpose. But they also work in a complementary way to strengthen and support each another, thereby furthering the fight for life.
As pro-lifers, we are armed with truth, and it’s that truth that drives our labors on behalf of unborn children and their mothers. From understanding scientifically that life begins from the moment of conception, to knowing fetal development, to understanding fetal pain, here is truth that is open to any mind not already closed tight.
Certainly, the truth is also on our side in other ways that can’t be seen in a lab or under a microscope. The testimonies of post-abortive men and women, abortion survivors, surviving siblings, and former abortion clinic workers tell the truth that abortion has devastating consequences that ripple across the generations.
Legislatively, one need only look at the daily news feed from National Right to Life Today to see that every day we take strides forward day in the fight for life. Regarding the reality of fetal pain, even the New York Times [!] recently took grudging notice of Mary Spalding Balch and the legislative efforts that she has so effectively helped to shape as National Right to Life Director of State Legislation. (The truth that the unborn child can experience pain by the 20th week is, of course, based on science, that first leg of the three-legged stool again).
Truth and legislation, as we see, are essential and complementary tools in the pro-life movement.
What about love?
To me, love is the most important leg of the three-legged stool. We could not speak the truth if we didn’t love the preborn, their mothers and fathers, their entire families. We would not be nearly as motivated to make our culture a nobler one if we didn’t genuinely care about those around us, especially those we have never met. Without love, our message would be lacking in compassion, empathy, and understanding.
My challenge to each pro-lifer is the same one I make to myself: to consider how I have helped to further strengthen each leg of the three legged stool of truth, legislation, and love.
We may not all be gifted to write legislation, but we can certainly contact legislators. We can share information with others about various bills thereby also supporting the second leg of the stool, truth.
We can provide others with scientifically-based information so that they understand the marvels of fetal development. You and I can help dispel the ugly myths that surround abortion and “unwanted children” (which is how I started my day today as I went through my emails).
The simplest, yet seemingly sometimes the hardest thing that we can do, is love. But speaking in love to someone who disagrees with us on the issue of abortion makes it possible to share the truth with them. Showing love to a girl or woman who is so distraught she contemplating abortion may save her and her baby. Giving love to someone who is post-abortive helps her understand there IS forgiveness.
While we may not be able to do something that relates to each leg of the three-legged stool of truth, legislation and love each day, we can most certainly do something that might seem insignificant.
I truly hope that you take advantage of your day because every effort on behalf of the little ones and their mothers–no matter how small–echoes with eternal significance.