By Peyton Majors
Christian Action League
November 10, 2023
Pro-life leaders are encouraging the pro-life community not to give up in light of a bad series of results nationwide on Election Night, saying the moral and political fight to protect the unborn is similar to the battle to ban slavery and could take decades or more.
Ohio voters on election night approved a constitutional amendment known as Issue 1 that places language in the Ohio Constitution declaring that every individual has the “right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions, including” abortion. It passed, 57-43 percent.
“The State shall not, directly or indirectly, burden, penalize, prohibit, interfere with, or discriminate against” individuals undergoing an abortion, the amendment says.
Although the amendment allows abortion to be “prohibited after fetal viability,” it also says such a ban must protect the “patient’s life or health” — language that has been historically interpreted by courts to allow abortions for any reason.
In Kentucky, a pro-choice Democratic governor easily defeated a pro-life Republican candidate, and in Virginia, pro-choice candidates won across the ballot, allowing Democrats to maintain control of the state Senate and take control of the state House.
Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, said the “effort to abolish abortion is much like the struggle to end slavery was around the world.”
“The time it took to end it generally spanned several decades to centuries of activism and social change,” Creech said. “There were many defeats and setbacks along that long arduous road to freedom. But people like William Wilberforce, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Frederick Douglass would not give up and they continued to urge other abolitionists to never give up the fight, but to stay the course. Slavery was so deeply entrenched around the globe and in North America, no doubt, it must have seemed the evil of slavery would never end.”
Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, labeled the night “a nearly unmitigated disaster,” noting that Mississippi’s pro-life governor was re-elected.
“It tells us that our challenge is even bigger than we knew it to be,” Mohler said. “We need preachers preaching truth from the pulpit. We need parents teaching truth to their children. We need American citizens in all 50 states bearing witness to the sanctity of human life and to the horror of abortion and making it count neighbor by neighbor, as well as vote by vote. We’ve got a lot of work to do. We knew that already. Now we just know it in a whole new and sobering way. In this sense, faithfulness is if nothing else, staying in the fight.”
Lila Rose, founder and president of the pro-life organization Live Action, said “the truth always trumps temporary political victories.”
“The pro-life movement must adapt to win,” Rose said. “We have to throw out the old playbook and dive headfirst into a strategy that can win the hearts and minds of the American people and translate into electoral victory. That strategy starts with fully embracing and educating on the truth. Human life is valuable and must be legally protected. Human life begins at fertilization. Abortion is a murderous act of violence. Embracing the truth with courage is the first step towards the next political victory.”
Creech quoted Alexis de Tocqueville as saying, “History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies.” History can be a guide for the pro-life community, Creech said.
“Those persistent abolitionists would not surrender ground. Stowe, who wrote the book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which vividly depicted the horrors of slavery, said, ‘When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you until it seems that you cannot hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time when the tide will turn.’ Frederick Douglass was a former enslaved African American who became a prominent abolitionist and orator in the United States. He faced opposition and violence his entire life fighting for the end of slavery. Douglass urged others to persevere, saying, ‘If there is no struggle. There is no progress.’”
Election Night, Creech said, was a reminder that “there is a tremendous amount of work and sacrifice still to be done to save the unborn,” despite the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
“Slavery was abolished in France in 1794 during the French Revolution, but it was reinstated by Napoleon in 1802,” he said. “Slavery was finally abolished for good in the French colonies in 1848. Defeats and setbacks, yes, we can expect them. Nevertheless, one day abortion will finally end. ‘Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season, we shall reap if we faint not’ (Galatians 6:9).”