Our board president Melody Durrett delivered the following message at the virtual Oregon March for Life on January 25.
Today, I’d love to talk about optimism and uniting together in the pro-life movement. Last year and this year continue to shake up our culture and our world. As we now face a federal administration that is hostile to the protection of unborn human life, and as we have already begun to see pro-life policies repealed and pro-choice policies instituted at the federal level, the message of hope and unity among the pro-life movement is more important than ever. It is time for us pro-lifers to band together and continue spreading the truth about abortion, undermining the lies the pro-choice movement tells, and spreading the hope that choosing life offers.
In the pandemic, there has become this idea of having a “group” or “bubble” of people that you meet in person with, rather than staying in personal contact with a large group of people. The funny thing is that being willing to engage those in our closest bubble has always been key to changing hearts, minds, and our culture about abortion. It can be easy to become jaded about the realities of abortion is in our state and across the nation. Oregon remains the only state with no legislative restrictions on abortion. In Oregon, abortion is legal up until the moment of birth.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” If we look at other social justice movements, such as the civil rights movement for equality for African-Americans, we see that progress is not linear, but instead is sometimes two steps forward, one step back. The important thing is that we continue to be optimistic and stay focused on achieving equality for unborn humans.
I want to encourage us all that science and facts are on the side of the pro-life movement. Medical textbooks teach that the moment a new and separate human life begins is the moment of conception. Modern ultrasounds now clearly show, with precise detail, the development of a human life, and embryology reveals how many developmental milestones an unborn baby reaches by just six weeks, when the unborn human’s heart starts to beat. It is so important that all who agree with equal rights for unborn humans work together to change our state’s culture to be one that supports life. The facts are on our side and the truth always wins in the end.
It’s not just the science of when a human becomes a human that is central to our message—it is the hope we offer to our culture by empowering women to choose life. Our culture tells us that becoming pregnant unexpectedly is one of the worst things that can happen to a young woman. Our culture will tell that pregnant woman that her dreams of the kind of life she wants, the education she hopes to pursue, the career she wants to have, are pitted against the life of her unborn child. This is the damaging message the pro-choice movement offers to women.
In stark contrast, the pro-life movement tells that woman she is strong, that her dreams are achievable without abortion, and that she has options that don’t involve a psychologically-scarring, life-taking abortion. The pro-life movement empowers women with resources and support.
We advocate the value and equality of all humans, regardless of their differences in development or dependence. This is a message that I believe so many across our state can agree with. People with very different religious convictions, cultural backgrounds, life circumstances, and political views agree that unborn humans should have equal rights to born humans. The diversity of the pro-life movement is our strength and we should work together with all pro-life people to change the politics, policies, and culture in our state.
We have to stay focused on the goal of creating a culture of life in Oregon so strong that abortion is unthinkable and irrelevant. We must continue spreading the truth about abortion and offering hope to those in need. It has been so impressive that Oregon Right to Life’s donors have continued to give strongly to this cause throughout the pandemic. It shows that this issue is so near and dear to our hearts. We must continue to engage people in our bubble on the issue of abortion, and to compassionately share why this issue continues to motivate us to change our culture.
If you are on our email list, then you may be aware of a huge victory of the pro-life movement, which is that Lovejoy Surgicenter, a large abortion center in Portland, which performed late-term abortions, has closed its doors, after almost 50 years in business. Regardless that another clinic may take its place, it is a victory that no more innocent lives will be taken there. A strong 40 Days for Life presence and other sidewalk counselors have been outside its doors for years, peacefully praying and offering hope to those there.
Let’s each look to the example of those faithful pro-life people who consistently stood outside Lovejoy Surgicenter until its doors closed and each continue working to create a culture of life in Oregon. I am so honored to serve in this movement alongside all of you! Thank you for all that you do for life!
Thank you Melody and Lois and all the board for your hard work and dedication. Melody, you are so articulate and a huge asset to this work. Lois, your experience and dedication are unmatched in the effort. I hope you will consider what I write with a receiving spirit.
Babies aren’t the only thing that are aborted and discarded like trash in our society. Fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, marriages, grown children, families, friends and worst of all, our heavenly Father are aborted for the same reason as the killing of the unborn. In relationships, the damage and pain lasts longer and grows exponentially, but the end result is the same. Death. Separation is the essence of death and dying. When we die our bodies are separated from our souls and spirits in finality, with no hope of return. When a marriage is aborted the family is separated. When a family dies the members are separated.
It takes no further argument to show we exist in a culture of death, not life. This is a natural progression when we live with pride and arrogance. The death culture is so deep-rooted that we who are called by His name don’t even see it sometimes, or ignore our own dying and focus rather on something we perceive as greater death or worse sin to distract us from our own, or worse, make us feel better about it or that it’s really not THAT bad. It is very sad to see people who proclaim life, love, acceptance and forgiveness are some of the worst offenders.
The *only* way to create a culture of life is to look at ourselves before we preach to others, or, let’s say “protest”. Preach. Protest. It is one and the same. Start with yourself. Look at the death in your own life and relationships FIRST. Reflect. Repair. Then the change will happen because you are part of it from the heart, the grass roots, and not merely the pulpit. It is simple. Stop the dying and you will stop the death. Healing is possible before absolute death. The death of Israel happened when the people were carried away to Babylon and separated from their land. But up to some point before that it could have been healed. God gave them the recipe:
2 Chronicles 7:14. If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
I hope you will memorize this because it is the key to fixing everything. Think of the same verse in this context.
If you humble yourself you will want to pray. When you pray you will want to understand His character When you understand His character you will want to repent. When you repent you will THEN be given instructions and forgiven. When you follow His instructions you will have victory. Healing is victory.
It sounds easy. It is easy. But the monster of pride stands in the way.
I am asking you, the president, board of directors, executive director and all those in between to fast from protesting and seek HIS face and fix the dying and death in your own lives. Repair it. Forgive. Repent. Then you will see the movement and healing that He promised. He knows who you are better than you do. He is a good father who loves and cares for you. Believe HIS word and not that of the world. Believe His word and not that of His enemies. Your enemy. Believe His word and not that of the woman. In Genesis, the woman was deceived who believed the lie and gave in to death by essentially divorcing her Father. That was the first abortion, if you will. She repeated the lie. The lie was about His character, your father. Aborting Him, His authority and His promise went beyond character defamation in that it was the first abortion, and the resulting separation from the father was death. The root of the sin was pride, as it is with all sin. Lying, murder, thieving, and all else can be traced to pride.
Joshua fought the battle of Jericho and that could be seen as a protest as they marched around the city but it was done with explicit instructions, clear consciences and humility. They had trumpets for weapons. In our fight however, I believe sin is the lie in believing the value of protesting and the pride to think that what you do is more effective than His word. His promise. His instruction. His authority.
There is nothing wrong with protesting, but that’s not His promise. Discarding His word today is abortion just as it was in the beginning, that we can do it on our own and we can be as good or better is pride. To think that way is effectively aborting His word and authority.
Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up. That’s the promise. The sooner you repent the sooner God can work through you and fulfill His promise and establish His kingdom. Which makes it not of your power but His! There is no life without a relationship with the Father and the absence of relationship is death. Sin. Abortion.
Seek His face! Repair your relationship with Him first. Get to know who He is. Really know. Reject the lie. Accept His love and His promises because of who He is to you. Reject the lies and focus on His word and not the word of the world. According to His word, He cannot or will not heal your land until YOUR sins are forgiven. It is clearly cause and effect.
As clearly as sin is death, it can also be said that dying (sin) cannot be stopped and healing your land happen without forgiveness. You cannot be forgiven until you repent. You cannot repent until you humble yourself, pray, and seek His face. Without repentance you will not have the essential instructions in the quest for victory. It is sad to see how some people think asking for forgiveness is forgiveness. It is not. Forgiveness only comes with humility. Sorrow. If you do not have it, ask for it. I know from experience it will take time but it will come.
It will be progress when you as an organization and individuals recognize that death in all its forms is sin worthy of the same level of opposition as you employ for the practice of murdering babies: When you realize the pain of divorce, abandonment and alienation. Again, separation is death. When you realize that babies won’t be the last step in this progression nor are they the first. Next will be the elderly, sick and the unwanted. Christians. Males. Yes, males.
Our society has already become so feminized that all males are seen as the offender in all situations. The result of the lust of powerful men and women should be studied. It is not only political power that is sought in their plots but selfish gratifications. If you look through history you will see this progression repeated. Abortion takes many forms.
Pride is abortion- is sin- is death- is separation. When we humble ourselves we can stop the abortion in our own relationships. We then get the instructions from His mighty word to stand in opposition to the rest. It starts and stops with you. Not the law. It will be a great step forward when everyone recognizes this.
In summary, all sin relates to relationships. Stealing, killing, coveting, lying, pride to name a few.
So if I could take some liberty with 2 Chronicles 7:14, I would state it this way. Get rid of your pride and arrogance and get on your knees and ask Me for instructions instead of trying to do it yourself, do what I tell you to do and repair your personal relationships. After that I will give you instructions and forgive you and the healing will happen.
Condensed even further, we could say we should repair our relationship with God first (pray, seek His face) and with others second. This is why we say it is not a religion, it is a relationship. I hope with this you can more easily see how fixing your relationships is the same as healing your land. After all, an aborted baby is a terminated relationship.
We cannot expect to change something big until we can change something little. Little is you. Little is me. That’s the humility we must have according to 2 Chronicles. Recognize how little you really are and fix you and your personal abortions first. When you’ve mastered that you will have the tools and experience to do much bigger things, but don’t forget His instructions. He promised.
I hope you will all weigh this with prayer and I wish you well in your work. You are all greatly appreciated. I will pray for you.