By Olivia Gans Turner, president, Virginia Society for Human Life [VSHL], and co-founder of Women Exploited by Abortion.
On the cusp of major elections in Virginia and a referendum in Ohio, it’s important to look closely at the tactics employed by pro-abortion forces to frighten and intimidate the voting public. Weeks of vicious and manipulative ads from pro-abortion candidates in Virginia and abortion promoters backing the Ohio referendum have triggered anxiety. Tomorrow we shall see if the tricks employed by these abortion backers will work.
There is no doubt that decades of legalized abortion have created generations of women, girls, men, and families who have participated in abortions. Abortion advocates keenly understand this. They also understand how well these individuals drank the Kool-Aid sold by the pro-abortionists.
Millions and millions of dollars were spent in Virginia to drum home the completely untrue messages that pro-life people will criminalize women who get abortions or will callously prevent pregnant women from getting life-saving medical care.
Their main goal–keeping the truth from the public and the voters at large– has nothing to do with women’s health care and only serves to protect their deadly businesses.
Why do so many seem to believe these lies? The answer can be found in the fact that virtually every family has been touched by someone’s abortion experience: a daughter that had one at college, a sister that has been told she needs one to save her life, a cousin who was afraid to lose her job, a friend who works in a hospital that does abortions or was forced to do them in nursing or medical school, a brother who got a girlfriend pregnant.
The stories are all around us. Coming to believe that abortion is a “necessary evil” affects how they hear the messages they’ve been bombarded with for months.
Moreover, these lies and deceptions works with too many because it has become easy—even fashionable—for many to believe that pro-life people hate women. Just read 95% of the media coverage and pro-lifers are invariably the villains.
The truth is we do not wish to punish these women. While not condoning we do understand the reasons they can be led to think abortion is their best option when facing a complex or unexpected pregnancy.
But we believe there is a better answer to a crisis pregnancy that taking the baby’s life. We know about the nationwide network of pregnancy care programs established by pro-life people. We know about the post-abortion support and healing opportunities offered by churches, independent counselors, and other women, like me, who have come through abortions themselves.
We work closely with committed doctors who reject elective abortion as an essential part of women’s “health care.” They recognize that good medicine is not about killing. Pro-lifers do all that they can to respond with the truth—that abortion takes a child’s life and often maims his or her mother.
So what do we about the hard fact that pro-abortion forces have multi-millions to spend promoting their agenda? We count on grassroots word-of-mouth to challenge the deceptions.
Many of us take as the guiding principle to “Pray as though everything depended on God; act as though everything depended on you.”
The basic message of the pro-life movement is to always, always bring the baby into clear focus. Remind the public that every abortion stops the beating heart of a pre-born baby who may be old enough to feel pain, and who is a unique and irreplaceable individual who deserves legal protection.
We must always remind the public that in every abortion a baby dies. Virginia Governor Glen Youngkin is advocating for a bill that prevents abortion after 15 weeks when the unborn baby can feel pain. It’s a sensible law. Similar laws have saved lives in 18 other states pre-Dobbs.
It is shocking, but not surprising, that pro-abortion legislators have blocked its passage repeatedly in Virginia.
Pro-lifers must do more to continue to bring the helpless, unique, and beautiful babies back into every conversation, advertisement, and election effort. The mothers grieve because their babies have died cruelly. Going forward we must find the best way to communicate that to them and those who love them.
Pro-lifers are the voices of compassion in our deeply wounded society. We have a big job to do, what ever happens tomorrow.