Trump’s Congressional Address and the Power of Story

By Jay Hobbs

Editor’s note. The following is excerpted from a post that appeared at Pregnancy Help News. Mr. Hobbs is discussing the power of individual stories and individual lives.

President Donald Trump [Jim Lo Scalzo / AFP / Getty]

President Donald Trump
[Jim Lo Scalzo / AFP / Getty]

What we do know is that, by focusing on his special guests, President Trump converted “issues” into real people. And he did it by harnessing the furious, irrefutable power of story.

One person’s story has the power to set into context an entire movement, an entire issue, an entire culture.

As we champion the value of every single human life, we need to remember there’s no tool more powerful than a story.

Every day, we see new examples of politicians and public figures making bizarre statements in defense of abortion. Just last week in Utah of all places, the Democratic House Majority Leader, Brian King of Salt Lake City, lambasted fellow legislators for using the word “babies” in reference to abortion.

The Salt Lake Tribune wrapped up its coverage of a bill mandating that abortion businesses make women aware of the RU-486 reversal process—which has saved over 200 babies to date—with the following quote from King:

What we are talking about are zygotes and fetuses and embryos. …. When I hear an individual refer to an unborn child as a baby, I know immediately they are not to be taken seriously.

You get that? King wants you to know that if you call—in his words—“an unborn child” a baby, he’s going to dismiss you right out of hand. Like you’re a court jester.

How do we counter insanity like this?

Let’s do it through the power of a story.

Becky Buell is a young mother of two in Northern California. When she was 17, she was pregnant for the first time, and though the father of her child initially stepped up and married her, the marriage wouldn’t last. Things were falling apart in that marriage when Becky found out she was pregnant a second time.

This time, she went to an abortion clinic, where she was given the first of two doses in the RU-486 regimen, also known as the abortion pill or a medication abortion. At first, the abortion clinic wouldn’t let her see her baby—ahem, “unborn child”—on the ultrasound screen.

Becky regretted her choice the moment she took the pill. She was actually still in the parking lot of a Sacramento Planned Parenthood when Becky found She ended up calling the number for the organization—a network of physicians trained to administer a medication that can halt the abortion—and within hours, was at a doctor’s office to begin the treatment.

Today, Becky is burgeoning leader in the pro-life movement. But far more than that, she’s a successful single mother of two. That call to saved her son’s life. His name is Zechariah—a biblical name translated, “The Lord has remembered” [].

It will be easy to dismiss Becky as an anomaly, or as a subset of a larger issue, or as just one more statistic. But the fact is, Becky is not a statistic, she’s a person. And so is her baby boy, Zechariah.

Just as President Trump did in his speech before congress Tuesday night, we need to train the attention of our communities, supporters, and especially those who disparage our life-saving work on the real women and real families who are rescued from abortion every single day.

Are we telling stories like Becky’s in a winsome, inspiring, unifying way?