From: Jim Fritz
To: All Pro-Lifers
Subject: Gains in the Pro-Life Movement
It is sometimes discouraging being out on the sidewalks in front of the abortuary when we still see mothers (and fathers) dragging their children in to have abortions; a man pulling and pushing his girlfriend in to kill their child; people threatening us with violence, using profanity and even spitting upon us; and a general decline in civility all around us. This is in addition to the weather on the streets where it always seems hotter or colder than anyplace else.
But take heart, we are winning! The Weekly Standard (11/7/11) just published an article by Fred Barnes informing us of the many unheralded gains of the pro-life movement. He writes, “That the pro-life movement is bigger is a given. It’s also younger, increasingly entrepreneurial, more strategic in its thinking, better organized, tougher in dealing with allies and enemies alike, almost wildly ambitious, and more relentless than ever.”
One other factor has helped the pro-lifers: they have captured the high moral ground, chiefly thanks to advances in the quality of sonograms. Once fuzzy, sonograms now provide a high-resolution picture of the unborn child in the womb. Fetuses have become babies.
Barnes cites some statistics such as in 2011 alone, 24 states have enacted 32 new restrictions on abortion; the GOP, the nation’s leading pro-life party, is gaining ground rapidly; the under-30 crowd tends to see abortion as a human rights violation; thus their resistance to abortion is increasing. The March for Life crowd is growing younger; there has been an explosive growth in the number of pregnancy centers (there are now three times as many pregnancy centers as abortuaries). Students for Life headed by Kristen Hawkins, has branched out and expanded enormously. The organization, 40 Days for Life, started just a few years ago outside a single abortuary. There are now hundreds of these groups.
Barnes also takes note of some of the current heroes in the pro-life movement. One of these is Lila Rose. Rose became a pro-life activist at age 14, formed Live Actions, which produced hidden-camera videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s eagerness to offer abortions to underage girls while avoiding their obligations to report pregnancies resulting from statutory rape. Rose posed as a teenage prostitute at an abortuary in in New Jersey where the manager told her to lie about her age. Rose got it all on video. Cliff Sterns, a GOP Representative, launched a congressional probe into Planned Parenthood.
Some of the key organizations in the pro-life movement Barnes identified are the Susan B. Anthony List, which in 2010 helped unseat 15 of 20 pro-abort Democrats; National Right to Life (NRL), which is pushing for fetal pain laws to restrict abortion and Americans United for Life (AUL), seeking to overturn Roe v Wade.
We at the Hagerstown Abortuary are especially fortunate as we are close to the Baltimore and DC areas where Defend Life, operated by Jack Ames, promotes 15 Face the Truth demonstrations every year including one in Hagerstown. Ames also brings in inspiring pro-life speakers such as Lila Rose. We have the Hope Pregnancy Center next to the abortuary, founded and operated by Tina Malone who is always ready to motivate us with a smile, a high-five, or a hug.
We have been blessed to have Dick Retta, whose gifts have made him a true hero in the pro-life movement. He has taught almost all of us who do sidewalk counseling at Hagerstown the secrets of being a good counselor. Dick has saved over 1,300 babies from being aborted – by himself. He has enormous talent, dedication and tenacity.
In addition to Dick Retta, we have access to Missy Smith, founder of WAKEUP, and a number of other excellent sidewalk counselors in the Washington DC area. Missy helped develop some of our flyers and even obtained a photo of one of the abortionists by waiting in the parking lot behind the abortuary until he arrived.
Those of us who live in West Virginia are especially fortunate as we can participate in West Virginians for Life (WVFL), a chapter of NRL. WVFL is led by Dr. Wanda Franz. Franz was president of the NRL for many years. She recently ‘retired’ and being from West Virginia, brought her years of experience and connections to her new position. Kristen Hawkins, head of Students for Life, is also a native of West Virginia. We were able to have both of them as key speakers at separate Respect Life Dinners in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.
We are hoping to have two new chapter leaders for the NRL. Tina Malone, of the Hope Pregnancy Center, plans to take over the Washington County Chapter. Felicia Stevenson who founded a pregnancy center in Martinsburg is also planning to become a NRL chapter leader for Berkeley County, West Virginia.
We, the sidewalk counselors in Hagerstown, recently celebrated our five years of counseling as a group effort started by myself and Charlie Heise in October 2006. We have saved 240 babies we know of and possibly as many as 1,400 others who have been turned away by the presence of so many prayer warriors, counselors and pro-life signs in front of the abortuary (This is a statistical percentage at most abortuaries.) We are in front of the abortuary three days a week for up to six hours per day. There have been numerous conversions to our faith, too, as Angela Carroll, Gail Hoffman and others minister to those in need of Christ as they pass us on the sidewalks at the abortuary.
Also worth mentioning is the fact we have founded two Christian radio stations in the area. One is in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, and the other is in Hancock, Maryland. They transmit at 107.9 FM and 96.3 FM respectively. They broadcast at least a dozen pro-life messages a day, with some hour-long programming on the topic.
Many gains have been made in the pro-life movement in the past few years and it has not gone unnoticed that almost all of these gains have been made by women.
God Bless them!
You can read the article in the Weekly Standard by going to: