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Perspective from a Former Pro-life Leader

Why Our Call For Total And Immediate Abolition Is Compulsory To Changing Public Opinion

For the record, I am an abolitionist. I am NOT pro-life. This might sound unnecessarily contentious. And I wish it was really because then there would be less trouble in the land. Some might even view the labels “pro-life” and “abolitionist” as synonymous. But they are not. I make this claim and distinction for an extremely important reason.

There is a statement I have heard for years in the pro-life movement and it goes like this, “We must change public opinion before we can change public policy.” Like a lot of ideas out there, there is some truth in this but there are some flaws in this statement and discernment is required.

The statement is usually made in the context of what is wise for us to demand for public policy now. In other words, the idea is that we should only ask for changes in public policy that we are likely to see become law now and are consistent with where public opinion resides at that time. Those things you can get now, you take now. And those you cannot, you wait, do things to change public opinion, and then take them. The idea is that we should seize on increments of regulation because that allows us to save some people now. But I believe this ignores other variables in the equation that must be considered.

I agree that an individual constituent, legislator, or judge will only behave in a way that is consistent with where their heart is on the issue. In other words, their external behavior is a manifestation of what they believe in their heart. However, there is another essential factor at play in the fight to criminalize the murder of the pre-born child.

Our demand for total abolition, public policy change, is a major part of the process to change public opinion. In other words, the relationship and effect between public policy and public opinion is a function that works in both directions.

One direction is that public opinion changes, the aggregate of individual hearts changing, and that drives different behavior that changes public policy. The operation of the function in this way is easy to see and understand.

The inverse of this function is however, is more easily missed or overlooked. The inverse direction is that public policy itself and changes to public policy, act as a moral guide to people as to what is right and wrong.  Even our demands and call for public policy change acts as a tutor to the culture of what is true and right law. Our demand for total abolition itself acts as a force in the equation to guide public opinion to what is just, true and righteous.

Don’t miss that last sentence. If our demands are unrighteous, we are guiding hearts in the wrong direction. We can make demands that lead in the wrong direction and that is exactly what a focus on regulation does.

For example, if our call is for regulation of abortion, then public opinion is steered in the direction that either abortion really isn’t murder because if it was why would we be asking to regulate it. Or, that the murder of some people is justifiable in some cases and should be regulated rather than abolished.

And make no mistake that our culture wants to believe that abortion is something less than murder. There is ignorance in the land regarding abortion for sure but there is a greater problem of denial and ideas that reinforce denial are devoured gladly.

The classic example is the pro-life movement’s focus on regulation that allows exceptions for abortion in cases of children conceived in rape or incest. This has only taught the culture that there are some difficult cases where abortion should be allowed. It has acted as a tutor for evil to dehumanize those conceived in rape or incest. This has lead people to believe that it is sometimes compassionate to tell mothers that the best course of action is to use violence against their own offspring. In the final analysis, exceptions only act as to agree with the pro-abortion movement’s ideas that we need abortion as a choice.

Therefore, a focus on regulating abortion will never result in abolishing abortion but rather it bolsters abortion. It is a deception of making progress when it is completely the opposite and only makes pro-abortion ideas further ingrained in the culture.

The proper call is for total, complete and immediate abolition. This has the effect of teaching the culture the truth and reality of abortion being an act of violence against a real human being who is every bit equal in her humanity to you and me. She is made in the image of God like you and me. And nobody has a right to murder her any more than they have a right to murder you and me.

The idea of criminalizing abortion seems extreme to many people in large part because the pro-life movement’s predominant focus has not been to abolish abortion but to regulate it. If your target is mediocrity, that is what you are going to hit or worse. The focus on regulation has only cultivated a mindset that abolition is extreme.

An entire book could be written on this subject, but I will share a short note here that the churches in America have played a major role in this mess as well by treating abortion as something far less than child sacrifice. There is virtually no real call from the churches to abolish abortion, no real opposition to the evil just down the street from their building, no regular teaching about repentance and forgiveness of the sin of abortion, and a lukewarm at best action from leadership in the churches to activate their fellowship to be a witness against the evil outside the walls of their building.

People are not as stupid as we might think. When they look at what we say and do about abortion, it does not equate to a real holocaust where more than 3,000 children per day are being tortured to death. The result of all of this has the effect to oppose abolition. This is one of the reasons we call on our churches to wake up and love their neighbor as themselves.
But my main point here is that regardless of what public opinion polls tell us, we must focus on immediate and total abolition.

One might say that public opinion is not ripe to propose such legislation or decrees. And this is often the excuse of pro-life leaders to oppose abolition bills. But when one says that the nation is “not ready” for the criminalization of abortion, we answer that this is even more reason to demand immediate and total abolition!

In Texas, a remnant of state legislators are making known and proposing a bill for total abolition of child killing in their state. There will be a fight about this for sure.  Sadly, many pro-life people will oppose this call. Many pro-abortion people will oppose this call.

It will seem extreme to many people. But we must remember that the culture is upside-down and we are to be a voice to set it right side up. We must remember that what is truly extreme is that parents are taking their children to places of death every day and we allow this. What is extreme is dismembering human beings and pitching them in the trash. What is extreme is a country that touts herself as the “land of the free and home of the brave” yet is protecting the “right” to oppress the most innocent and defenseless people among us. Calling to regulate abortion only acts as to make abolition seem more extreme. A call for total abolition (not regulation) will expose what is truly extreme.

Our demand for total abolition will be heard, and it will act to move the people in the direction that is just and right.

Our uncompromising position will communicate even to the most hard-hearted people that abortion is intolerable and unacceptable.

Our message speaks to the parents at their local killing center who are contemplating murdering their child. The resounding speech for total abolition is the only true speech that treats abortion rightly and will oppose all the ideas that made abortion a thinkable option to these parents.

Our push for total abolition reaches the young minds in our nation with the truth when up to this point they have been bombarded with lies and misinformation that are the fruit of a pro-life focus on regulating abortion that leads to treating abortion as healthcare– a view indistinguishable from the pro-abortion position.

Our plea for immediate abolition will tell all that we are serious and not playing at this because our real neighbors are really being killed.

Our call for total abolition will act to point people to what God thinks about child sacrifice and that we as abolitionists trust in Him as the one true God who makes all things possible.

I know this is a bit iconoclastic. I once embraced regulation while believing it would ultimately lead to abolition. But I was wrong. I was deceived. I had to repent. Thank God, He gives us the gift of repentance. Please consider this change. Please take your focus off regulation and move it to abolition.

Yes, public opinion must change on abortion. And yes, public policy must change on abortion. And that will only happen by God’s power as we demand total, uncompromising, and immediate abolition now!

-Don Cooper, Abolitionist
President – World Life
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