From Prochoice to Prolife by Hearing the Truth About Abortion

Note from Randy Alcorn: Years ago I was given an amazing opportunity to address three thousand people, most of them high school students, for fifty minutes on the subject of abortion. This happened in a model political convention at Portland's Memorial Coliseum. Though it was called a Republican Convention, the students were from a cross-section of homes and communities throughout Oregon, which is known for being a liberal state. Most of these students, all of whom had to be top students academically to be sent to this convention as delegates, have been repeatedly bombarded with the prochoice rhetoric for years. But in the course of this presentation, God answered prayer in dramatic ways. (See my note at the end.)
 

The question I've been asked to address, and the question which you will be deciding today, is whether the Republican Party platform should contain a commitment to the right to life of unborn children.

Now, to many people this is a political question, with considerations of expediency and pragmatism and popularity. But at its heart it is a moral question, with sweeping implications that go far beyond this coliseum and far beyond this convention.

I'll tell you right up front that I'm going to take an unpopular position. But I ask you to realize that sometimes unpopular positions are right and popular positions are wrong. I'll leave you to decide for yourselves, but I ask you to listen today with an open mind.

The question today goes beyond the Republican platform—it reaches to whether or not you will uphold a central tenet of the Declaration of Independence.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident." There are certain truths so basic, so foundational that we must hold to them if the social fabric of this country is to endure. What are those truths?

First, "That all men are created equal." Flowing out of that it says, "That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Note the order: the cornerstone is that all are created equal, then that there are certain rights given by God that you and I are not free to ignore. Then, that the first and most basic inalienable right is the right to Life. The exercise of our right to liberty and our right to the pursuit of happiness are secondary to respecting the right to life. Our pursuit of happiness must not compromise any other person's right to live. So, the right to life is not some modern anti-abortion slogan. It is the most fundamental assertion of the document upon which this nation was founded.

The three most significant moral issues in American history have each hinged on an understanding of what it means that "all men are created equal."

The first question: Does "all men" mean only the white race or does it include blacks? The second question: Does "all men" mean males, or does it mean all mankind, male and female? Laws were changed as our nation came to a correct answer to these questions.

The question before us today is a third one, with as much moral significance as the first two. Does "all men" include not only the bigger and older, but also the smaller and younger? Does it include our preborn children?

I teach a college ethics course. We give attention to this issue, and when we do, we have to cut through the rhetoric, cut through the bumper sticker slogans and remind ourselves what we are really talking about:

***[Show pictures of preborn]. This is who we are talking about. You can see these pictures in Life Magazine or Discover or American Baby (*hold up). You can see them on Nova, on PBS. These are not religious periodicals, not right to life programs.

This is a child at 7-8 weeks, the earliest age at which abortions take place. What is this? Eye. Ear. Mouth. Nose. You can identify human body parts for one obvious reason—this is a human being.

Fact: At 21 days after conception there is a measurable heartbeat. Fact: At 40 days after conception, before the earliest abortions, there are measurable brain waves.

What do we call it when someone no longer has a heartbeat and brain waves? We call it death. What should we call it when there is a heartbeat and there are brain waves? Life! Human life.

Fact: Every abortion in America—every single one—stops a beating heart and terminates measurable brain waves. You must decide today whether you will extend your protection to this child with the beating heart.

The Republican party began with one central moral issue—the rights of an oppressed people group, the black slaves. Yes, there were other issues, but none was as important as that one.

Now, I've gone back and read the arguments of the slave holders. They said, "If you have moral objections to slavery, fine. Don't have slaves. But don't try to impose your morality on us. If we want to have slaves that's up to us. Keep your nose out of our business—it's our right to choose."

Does that sound familiar? It should. It is echoed precisely by the prochoice rhetoric that permeates our society. It sounds good—it sounds noble and inspiring, but when you look at the facts you see something else.

In the last century the slaveowners argued that the slaves were theirs and they had the right to do with them as they wished. They claimed their personal rights and freedom of choice were at stake. They said the slaves were not really persons in the full sense. They pointed out that they would experience economic hardship if they were not allowed to have slaves. They developed political slogans to gain sympathy for their cause. They maintained that others could choose not to have slaves, but had no right to impose their anti-slavery morality on them. And above all, they argued, slavery was perfectly legal, so no one had the right to oppose it.

Well, despite slavery's legality, Abraham Lincoln and the former slave Frederick Douglas—who became a close friend of Lincoln's—were among those who challenged its morality. Lincoln said, "If slavery is not wrong, then nothing is wrong." That position was very controversial, very unpopular, very politically incorrect. But they decided they could not compromise—they had to break from the political parties of their day. That was the beginning of the Republican party.

In 1857, in the Dred Scot case, the Supreme Court determined in a 7-2 decision that slaves were not legal persons and were therefore not protected under the Constitution. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court said, "A black man has no right which the white man is bound to respect."

In 1973, one hundred and sixteen years later, the US Supreme Court, by another 7-2 decision, this one called Roe v. Wade, decided that unborn children also were no longer legal persons and therefore not protected under the Constitution. The Supreme Court was wrong in 1857 and it was wrong again in 1973. Even the Roe in Roe v. Wade, Norma Jane McCorvey has just within this last year changed her mind, concluding that abortion is in fact the killing of innocent children.

At this convention tomorrow night the only African American Republican presidential candidate, Alan Keyes, will speak. He is also the most articulate and morally grounded of all candidates in either party. Dr. Keyes has said, "It is no more possible to put aside the issue of abortion in this century than it was to put aside the issue of slavery in the last century."

If the Republican Party is to remain the party of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, it must make a solid commitment to the rights of every person, including our smallest children. If America is to survive, I believe it must do the same.

Newsweek recently devoted a cover story to the issue of shame. They asked, what has happened to our sense of right and wrong? What has happened to our respect for human life? Why has child abuse risen so dramatically since the early 1970's? Look at the gang problem, children killing children. Look at Susan Smith drowning her two sons. Everywhere you see the cheapening of human life. Newspaper editorials cry out for answers. What's happened in the last few decades? Why don't we respect the sanctity of human life any more?

I believe one of the key answers to this question lies in our rejection of a belief in a Creator who grants people inalienable rights, among them the right to life. We have been misled by the abortion rhetoric. I want to take a closer look at some of the popular arguments for abortion.

***"We don't know when human life begins."

In my book ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments I cite dozens of scientists and physicians, medical text books that say exactly the opposite—we know exactly when human life begins.

Dr. Alfred M. Bongiovanni, professor of pediatrics and obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania, states:

I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception . . . I submit that human life is present throughout this entire sequence from conception to adulthood and that any interruption at any point throughout this time constitutes a termination of human life.

Dr. Bongiovanni also affirms "I am no more prepared to say that these early stages [of development in the womb] represent an incomplete human being than I would be to say that the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty . . . is not a human being. This is human life at every stage . . ."

Professor Jerome LeJeune, professor of genetics at the University of Descartes in Paris, discoverer of the chromosome pattern of Down's Syndrome: "after fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being." He states "this is no longer a matter of taste or opinion, it is not a metaphysical contention, it is plain experimental evidence. Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception."

Professor Hymie Gordon, Mayo Clinic: "By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception."

Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth, Harvard University Medical School: "It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive. . . . It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception."

Dr. Watson A. Bowes, University of Colorado Medical School: "The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter—the beginning is conception."

Dr. Landrum Shettles was for twenty-seven years attending obstetrician-gynecologist at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. Shettles was a pioneer in sperm biology, fertility and sterility. He is famous for being the discoverer of male- and female-producing sperm. His intrauterine photographs appear in over fifty medical textbooks. In his book, The Scientific Evidence of Life Before Birth, Dr. Shettles states,

"I oppose abortion. I do so, first, because I accept what is biologically manifest—that human life commences at the time of conception—and, second, because I believe it is wrong to take innocent human life under any circumstances. My position is scientific, pragmatic, and humanitarian."

The fact is that the genetic information stored in the new individual at conception is the equivalent of fifty times the amount of information contained in the Encyclopedia Britannica. Everything from your height to your eye color to your hair color was determined at the point of conception.

A thirty year old is not more human than a teenager, a teenager is not more human than a toddler, a toddler is not more human than an infant, an infant is not more human than a preborn. Each person's life is a continuum that goes from conception to death.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson, internationally known obstetrician and gynecologist, was a co-founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). He owned and operated in New York what was at the time the largest abortion clinic in the western hemisphere.

But his knowledge of developments in the science of fetology, and his use of ultrasound to actually observe the unborn child in the womb, led Nathanson to change his mind on abortion. He came to the conclusion that he had made a horrible mistake in presiding over 50,000 abortions. He stated to the public, "Modern technologies have convinced us that beyond question the unborn child is simply another human being, another member of the human community, indistinguishable in every [significant] way from any of us."

At the time Dr. Nathanson was an atheist-his conclusions were not religious, but squarely based on the biological facts. I have personally talked with four abortionists who are now prolife because of what they saw performing abortions.

In his documentary, "The Silent Scream," Dr. Nathanson shows the taped ultrasound images of an actual abortion. These images show a human child. This child is at first serene and tranquil, then suddenly alarmed when the abortion device intrudes into the womb. He moves as far away as he can, pressing against the far side of the uterus, trying desperately to save his life. Just before his body is torn to pieces and sucked out in the vacuum, while he is writhing, his tiny mouth clearly opens in what appears an expression of terror. Hence the name of the film—The Silent Scream.

In his sequel to this film, "The Eclipse of Reason," Nathanson uses more modern technology to show, in full color, a baby being killed by an abortion. The film shows the clearly human body parts of the child being removed one at a time by the abortionist.

The truth is, human life clearly begins at the beginning, and the beginning is conception. Now go back to the Declaration of Independence. What does it say? Not that all men are born equal, but that all men are created equal. Science and medicine and religion all tell us the same thing-each person is created at the time of conception.

*** "The fetus is just a part of the mother's body."

Scientifically, a body part is defined by the common genetic code it shares with the rest of its body.

Every cell of the mother's tonsils, appendix, heart and lungs shares the same specific genetic code. The unborn child also has a genetic code, but it is distinctly different from his mother's. Every cell of his body is uniquely his own, each different than every cell of his mother's body. Often his blood-type is different than his mother's. Half the time even his gender is different, because he's a boy not a girl.

It is a scientific fact that there are two distinct bodies, not one, involved in every pregnancy.

Now think about it. If you believe the fetus is a part of his mother's body then you have to believe that every pregnant woman has two hearts, two brains, two different genetic codes, two sets of fingers with different fingerprints, two heads, two noses, four eyes, two blood types, two circulatory systems, and two skeletal systems. And half the time she also has testicles and a penis. (Because the baby is a boy.)

A child with Chinese parents conceived in a petri dish and implanted in the uterus of a Swedish woman will be Chinese, not Swedish. Obviously, she is not part of her Swedish mother's body, even though she's located there. Once someone is conceived, location is irrelevant. A person is a person even if that person is located within the body of another person.

Being inside something is not the same as being part of something.

If a child is part of his mother's body, then children conceived by artificial insemination in a petri dish must be part of the petri dish. A car is not part of a garage simply because it is parked there. A child is not part of the body in which he is carried. He is dependent on his mother's body, yes, but in no sense is he simply a part of it. He has his own body, own gender, own DNA, own brain, own heart, own body parts.

In California, a child was born several months after her mother was declared "brain dead." Obviously they were two distinct individuals prior to the child's birth. We know that.

Recently a man killed a pregnant woman and was charged with a double homicide. Why? Because he took not one human life but two. He killed the woman and he killed her baby. Two distinct persons, resulting in two distinct murder charges. The irony is, it would have been perfectly legal for a doctor to kill that same baby by abortion. Do you see the schizophrenia?

Do you believe a twenty week premature baby lying in a hospital incubator deserves to live? Then why would the exact same baby deserve to live any less simply because he was still in his mother?

Human beings should not be discriminated against because of their place of residence. A person is a person whether he lives in a mansion or an apartment or on the street. He is a person whether he's trapped in a cave, lying dependently in a care center, or residing within his mother.

I have a friend who's a nurse. She was proabortion, she even recommended her friend get an abortion and she did. But in the hospital, day after day this nurse saw premature children being frantically saved by a medical team in one room, while down the hall children of the same age and development they were being aborted. She realized the only difference between the children was that some were wanted by adults and some weren't. As a result, she changed her position and became prolife.

**** "We must choose between the rights of women and the rights of unborn children."

Early feminists were prolife, not prochoice. Susan B. Anthony was a radical feminist in her day. She referred to abortion as "child murder" and said it was a man's means of exploiting both women and children. She said, "I deplore the horrible crime of child murder . . . No matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed . . . but oh! thrice guilty is the man who drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime."

Anthony's newspaper, The Revolution, made this claim: "When a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is a sign that, by education or circumstances, she has been greatly wronged."

Another leading feminist, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, commented on abortion this way: "When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we wish."

These women were later followed by a new breed of feminists, like Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, who advocated abortion as a means of sexual freedom, birth control and eugenics.

There are feminists today who still uphold the prolife position. Feminists for Life of America was started in the early 1970's. Alice Paul drafted the original version of the Equal Rights Amendment. She called abortion "the ultimate exploitation of women."

Much of what is being said in this debate is degrading to women. The Supreme Court ruled against the legality of states requiring accurate medical information to be given to a woman considering an abortion. Why? Because, the Court argued, such information "may serve only to confuse her and heighten her anxiety."

Do you hear the message? "Being told the facts will only confuse and upset women. Don't tell the poor dears the whole truth—they just can't handle it." So, abortion clinics are free to tell them whatever they want in order to sell abortions. Feminists for Life points out, "This attitude is patronizing to women's decision-making abilities, and essentially establishes for women a constitutional 'right' to ignorance."

Studies show that more women than men oppose abortion. One survey by the University of Cincinnati showed that 59% of women opposed abortion, while 46% of men did. Nearly 90% of prolife volunteers are women. The group that most favors abortion is young single males. Now why do you suppose that is? I challenge the young men here to stand up for women, to protect their honor and to take responsibility for a child you have fathered—I know, it's an old fashioned idea, but it's also right.

One of the great ironies of those who think abortion is pro-woman is that abortion has become the single greatest tool to rob women of their most basic right—the right to live. Abortion has become the primary means of systematically eliminating unwanted females across the globe.

Newsweek reported that in six clinics in Bombay, of 8,000 amniocentesis tests indicating the babies were female, 7,999 were killed by abortion. Only one girl was permitted to live.

Medical World News reported a study in which, by means of amniocentesis, ninety-nine American mothers were informed of the sex of their children. Fifty-three of these preborns were boys, and forty-six girls. Of this number, only one mother elected to kill her unborn boy, while twenty-nine of the 46 carrying females elected to kill their unborn girls.

As the husband of a wonderful woman and the father of two precious daughters, I cannot understand this. But because of some irrational bias against women, females are being targeted for extinction by abortion. It's ironic that abortion can be considered "pro-woman."

The truth is, there can be no equal rights for all women until there are equal rights for unborn women.

*** "It's offensive to show these terrible pictures of abortions."

Think about it. What is it that makes a picture beautiful or hideous? Not the picture itself, but what is in the picture. The pictures don't kill babies. They simply document the fact that babies are being killed. Pro-abortionists are against the pictures of killed babies. Prolifers are against the killing of the babies in the pictures.

The question we should ask is not "Why are these people showing these pictures?" but "Why would anyone defend the legitimacy of what is shown in these pictures?" When a prochoice person looks at the pictures and says, "This is sick, it's horrible," the prolifer responds, "Exactly; that's why we are opposed to doing such a horribly sick thing to a baby."

If something is too horrible to look at, doesn't it make sense that it is too horrible to defend? Pictures challenge our denial of the horrors of abortion—if something is too horrible to look at, perhaps it is too horrible to condone.

The solution to the holocaust was not to ban the disgusting pictures of brutalized Jews in the death camps. The solution was to end the killing itself.

Similarly, the solution to our current situation is not getting rid of the pictures of the dead babies. The solution is getting rid of what is making the babies dead—abortion.

Sometimes when I'm asked to debate this issue I'm told "here's the rules, you can't show any pictures." How can we disqualify from a debate that which the debate is all about? If the fetus is simply what one side in the debate says it is, a mere lump of tissue, then fine. Let the public see the pictures of the mere lump of tissue. Let them look at the pictures and decide whether this is just tissue or a baby. If it's not a dead baby, what could be the harm in looking at the pictures? If it really is a dead baby, shouldn't people know the truth?

*** "Every person has the right to choose."

Sometimes when asked to speak on this subject I go to a college campus where they've heard all the proabortion slogans. So I start by saying:

"There's been some mistake. I'm really prochoice. I believe every person has the right to do whatever he or she wants with her own body. It's none of our business what choice she makes, and we have no right to impose our morals on others. Whether I personally like someone's choices or not is irrelevant. She should have the freedom to make her own choices."

I'm normally greeted by surprised looks and audible affirmation, including smiles, nods and even applause. Why? Because I have used the sacred buzzwords of the prochoice movement—"rights," "freedom" and "choice." I have sounded tolerant, open-minded, fair and politically correct. Then I go right on to say this:

"Yes, I'm prochoice. That's why I believe every man has the right to rape a woman if that is his choice. After all, it's his body, and neither you nor I have the right to tell him what to do with it. He's free to choose, and it's none of our business what choice he makes. We have no right to impose our morals on him. Whether I personally like the choice or not is irrelevant. He should have the freedom to make his own choices."

After I let the shock settle in a bit I explain that of course I am not really prochoice when it comes to rape. I abhor rape. Then I ask them to point out the fallacy of the logic in being prochoice about rape. Someone says "There's two bodies involved. What the man is doing with his body is hurting an innocent person."

Okay. Then if we can show there are two bodies involved in an abortion and that abortion destroys one of those bodies, then we shouldn't be prochoice about abortion either. Right?

If I ask if you're prochoice, you shouldn't say yes or no. You should ask a question—prochoice about what? What choice are we talking about? Where we live or what we wear or what kind of car we drive or whether we eat Mexican or Chinese food? Of course. Prochoice about whether I can rip off your stereo or steal your car or rape your sister or kill a baby? Of course not!

Every law is anti-choice. We tell people we reject their choice to steal, kidnap, trespass, hijack a plane. Any civilized society recognizes that my rights end when my behavior infringes on the rights of another human being. Society must restrict the individual's freedom of choice. Is an innocent person being damaged by a woman's choice to have an abortion? If not, no problem. If so, it's a major problem.

Think back with me—the great moral reforms of this society have always put limits on the freedom to choose. The civil rights movement opposed the exercise of free choice that the South defended. It was solidly anti-choice when it came to racial discrimination. Whites had a free choice to own slaves, and later to have segregated lunch counters and segregated housing. After all, America was a free country and everybody has a right to choose. But the civil rights movement fought to take away that free choice from them. Likewise, the women's movement fought to take away an employer's free choice to discriminate against women. Aren't you glad the civil rights movement and the women's rights movements opposed people's right to choose in those cases? I am. Because not all choices are equal and not all choices are right. Some of them infringe on the rights of others and it's entirely appropriate to have laws against those choices.

Don't fall for the rhetoric. Consider the very terminology of "the right to choose." The ability to choose is one thing, the right to choose is another. A man has the ability to choose rape, but he does not have the right to choose rape. There is no such thing as a right to do wrong. We have an ability to choose take the lives of innocent preborn children. But that doesn't mean we have the right to choose to do so. There is no right to do wrong.

Nearly every movement of oppression and exploitation-from slavery to abortion—has labeled itself "prochoice." Likewise, opposing movements offering compassion and intervention have been labeled "anti-choice."

In reality, the prochoice position always emphasizes one person's right to choose instead of the other's. But what about the victim's right to choose? After all, the women don't choose rape. The blacks didn't choose slavery. The Jews didn't choose the ovens. And the babies don't choose abortion.

*** Here's something President Clinton and lots of people say: "Abortion is a difficult choice. I'm not pro-abortion, I'm just prochoice about abortion."

My question is why aren't you pro-abortion? Why don't you feel good about abortion? What's wrong with abortion?

"Well, it's a difficult decision." But why? I don't get it. What's so difficult about it? If it's just a blob of flesh, an unviable tissue mass, no different than having your tonsils out. What's so difficult about that?

A few years ago there was an editorial in the Oregonian that compared abortion to having a root canal or an appendectomy. If that's true, then why is it this hard soul-searching choice? I pressed the point once with a prochoice person. She said:

"Well, you know, it can't be easy for a woman to make this choice about her own baby . . . ."

There it is—it slipped out. the B word. It's a baby. Beneath all the rhetoric, we all know the truth if we let ourselves face it. It's a baby. Beneath all the pro-slavery rhetoric people knew. Black people were human beings.

The only reason to feel bad about abortion I can think of is that it kills an innocent child. And if it does that we should oppose it not only for ourselves, but for others, because there's an innocent victim.

Did you see the recent article in Oregonian about Japanese women grieving about abortions? In America, there are at least eight national organizations with support groups helping women work through post abortion trauma. One of these is WEBA, Women Exploited by Abortion. Have you ever heard a support group for post root canal trauma? Post tonsillectomy syndrome? Why? I think you know the answer. Because there's a big difference between losing your tonsils and losing your baby.

*** "Every child a wanted child."

This is the slogan of Planned Parenthood.

One human being's value doesn't depend on whether someone else wants her. A woman's perceived value once depended on whether or not her husband wanted her. We've gone beyond that—aren't you glad? A child's worth doesn't depend on whether someone wants her. "Unwanted" doesn't describe the child, it describes an attitude of adults.

The irony is there are one and a half million Americans waiting to adopt. They wait on lists for several years to adopt. Not enough babies available. One woman came to me in tears saying she would give anything to have and love and raise one of those babies being killed by abortion. That's why I support the Crisis Pregnancy Centers who are helping women to see there's a far better choice than abortion. Carrying a child to term and giving him up for adoption to a family that wants him or raising the child yourself, there are people to help you through it. We opened our home to a teenage girl in that situation. She's one of our closest friends. You should hear her talk about how she feels about the child she gave up for adoption as opposed to the two she aborted.

But how do I respond when someone says to me "Every child a wanted child." I don't disagree with that. I agree. Then I say, how do you finish the sentence? Let me finish the sentence from my point of view:

Every child a wanted child, so let's place children for adoption in homes where they are wanted, and let's learn to want children more.

"Now how do you finish the sentence?" They don't know. I finish it for them:

"Every child a wanted child, so let's identify unwanted children before they're born and kill them by abortion."

See, we recognize the same problem: unwanted children. The prolife position seeks to eliminate the unwanted in unwanted children. The proabortion position seems to eliminate the "children" in "unwanted children."

We can cure cancer that way. Bring me every person with cancer. I'll line them up and shoot them. I will have eliminated the problem of cancer. But we reject that because we realize that every solution which requires the killing of people is not the right solution.

Let's be honest. The proabortion position tries to eliminate problems by eliminating people. The rhetoric says every child a wanted child, and that sounds great. But what it boils down to is really this: "Every unwanted child a dead child." Doesn't sound quite as nice, does it?

*** "Abortion is legal. You can't fault someone for doing what's legal."

Our country's history is full of examples of legal things that were not right. Perhaps the most notable example is slavery.

In the 1940's a German doctor could kill Jews legally, while in America he would be prosecuted for murder. In the 1970's an American doctor could kill unborn babies legally, while in Germany he would be prosecuted for murder. Laws change. Truth and justice don't.

We all know this is really a baby. Ever see those T-shirts that pregnant women wear? Big arrow pointing down-"Baby." Any one ever see one that says "Unviable tissue mass?" "Product of Conception?" They don't even say "Fetus." They say "Baby."

When a woman is carrying a child she says "my baby kicked me." She doesn't say "That blob of tissue kicked me."

I've counseled with women who have miscarriages. They know they've lost a baby. Dodge advertisement in Time magazine. Pregnant woman in an accident. "One Dodge air bag, two lives saved."

I read a story about children who found a dumpster full of aborted fetuses from an abortion clinic. They ran and told their mothers they'd found "dead babies." The kids knew what they saw.

Read the stories in magazines about prenatal surgeries, where the preborn baby is the patient and given anesthetic. Why? To dull the pain of surgery. Yet it is completely legal to cut that same baby to pieces in an abortion. Something is terribly wrong.

Public service advertisements that women should not smoke, drink alcohol or take drugs while pregnant. Why? So they won't harm their preborn babies.

The state of Illinois forbids pregnant women from taking drugs because of the effect on their preborn babies. Women can actually be prosecuted for "delivering a controlled substance to a minor." Who's the minor? The preborn child.

Judges from Washington, DC to Portland, Oregon have put women in jail to keep them from taking harmful drugs because of the adverse effect on their preborn child. The bottom line is this: In America it is illegal to harm your preborn child, but it is perfectly legal to kill the same child. Schizophrenia.

This is the "slippery slope" of disregard for human life-once you get on the slope, there's no getting off till you hit bottom. When did rampant child abuse begin in America? Everyone traces it back to the early 70's. What happened then? Abortion was legalized. If you teach parents they have the right to kill a child before he's born why should you be surprised when they figure what's so bad about slapping around the same child now?

Susan Smith killed her two sons. Amidst all the shock and dismay expressed in the media, I thought about many people in this country would have defended her right to kill the same two children if she'd just done it a few years earlier. Their only stipulation was that Susan Smith kill them when they were younger and smaller. Susan Smith exercised her freedom of choice. From a prochoice point of view she was only guilty of bad timing.

Conclusion:

Now, I'm going to conclude, but before I do, we have some great literature available for you. *Show booklets. I'm also donating my book ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments, a copy for everyone who wants one. I take the 39 basic prochoice arguments broken down into 6 basic categories and address them logically and concisely with full documentation. Over 80,000 copies, in its eleventh printing. If you want a copy I invite you to take it. I only ask that you promise to read it.

Some members of the New Jersey delegation will be here to pass it out, and information left will be on tables.

** (Hold up picture of unborn.) Let's end where we began.

I've had people say to me, "But the preborn baby is so little, it's so small, it's not viable, it's dependent, it's helpless." The fact that she's young and small and helpless is the best argument I can think of for defending her. The book of Proverbs tells us to "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselvesdefend the rights of the poor and needy." That applies to many in our society, but there's no one it applies to more than preborn children.

Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass said, "if slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong." If they were here today they would stand up on this platform and say "if the killing of preborn children is not wrong, nothing is wrong." There is right and wrong. There are moral absolutes. There is truth. There is justice. And only because of all this, there is hope.

Let's affirm that most basic tenet that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, the first and most fundamental of which is the right to life. Every freedom we have, every virtue we cherish begins with the right to life. Arguably, our only chance of restoring to this society the sense that human life is sacred is to return to a commitment to protecting the lives of our smallest children.

I implore the Republican party, I implore you as student delegates to this convention, to dare to take an unpopular position, a politically incorrect position simply because it is the right position.

The question before you is whether or not you will affirm for all children that most fundamental human right—the right to life. I think if you search your hearts you'll know what the right answer is.

Note from Randy Alcorn:There was significant opposition when I began speaking. Some students marched in organized protest and others stood, turned their backs to the platform and put their fingers in their ears. But as I spoke I could sense God moving and the tide turning. I'd been given an hour to speak, and after I spoke for 45 minutes I was surrounded by high schoolers with sincere questions. They took all 225 copies of my ProLife Answers book, so we put out a signup sheet and 170 more students wrote down their addresses requesting the book.

An hour later they took a vote on the prolife issue in their state caucuses. To everyone's surprisegiven the liberal beliefs of most of the studentsthe vote was two to one in favor of a strong prolife platform as opposed to a "prochoice" position. I praise God for his graciousness in affecting the minds and hearts of these students.

Cover letter sent to the 170 students who signed up for ProLife Answers

Randy Alcorn, founder of EPM

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over fifty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries

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