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As I Was Saying is a forum for a variety of perspectives to foster faith-related conversations among our readers with the goal of mutual learning, even in disagreement. Apart from articles written by editorial staff, these perspectives do not necessarily reflect the views of The Banner.

I have been involved with life issues since my parents stuffed me into a dress shirt and tie, dragged me along to a stodgy banquet, and made sure I listened to the fundraising speaker at the pro-life banquet. I didn’t expect at that point that one day I would be working full-time in the pregnancy center movement, seeing lives saved and changed regularly. The past two years I have also had the opportunity to attend the March for Life, a rally and subsequent march from the Washington Monument to the steps of the Supreme Court that gathers hundreds of thousands of attendees from around the country. The March for Life has been occurring annually on or near the anniversary of The Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade in 1973 and is currently the largest pro-life rally in the world.

My Christian faith has everything to do with why I’m involved in the pro-life movement and why I chose to attend the March for Life in 2017. I believe that life is intrinsically valuable because we are created in the image of God. I believe that it is always wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being and that abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being. Therefore, abortion is wrong. I don’t say that to condemn anyone. I believe that our Savior, Christ Jesus, is ready to offer total forgiveness to anyone who asks and to welcome them with loving arms.

Ideas have consequences, whether good or ill. James 2:14 exhorts us, “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?” As a board member of my organization put it, “Many people say they are pro-life, but they need a way to do something about their belief.” The March for Life is a tangible way for individuals from a diverse set of backgrounds and belief systems to put action behind their words.

The 43rd Annual March for Life on January 27th was permeated by an air of hopefulness. There were several reasons for this, not the least of which was a speech given by Vice President Mike Pence, the highest-ranking government official to ever address a March for Life. The vice president voiced the emotions of many in the pro-life movement: “As it is written, ‘Let your gentleness be evident to all.’ And let this movement be known for its love, not anger. Let this movement be known for compassion, not confrontation.” As an individual who sees both the immediate and spiritual impact of a local pregnancy center in the lives of families around west Michigan, I have an immense amount of respect for our vice president as he verbalized Christian values in front of the watching eyes of the country.

A second reason I was encouraged at this event were the crowds of students from all around the country. With busses rolling in from a myriad of states and thousands of students holding signs with messages like “I am the Pro-Life Generation,” I couldn’t help but have my spirits lifted. The next generation, my generation, is aware of the importance of every life.

The week of the March for Life, I got an email from a coworker that said three different women, all considering abortion, came into Lakeshore Pregnancy Center that day for ultrasound appointments. One of them had an abortion appointment scheduled for the next day. Each of them left with an image of her child and a new way of thinking, and the next day appointment was canceled. I know the advocates at Lakeshore Pregnancy Center are ready to walk with these new mothers through pregnancy and the beginning years of their child’s life. They have made an individual decision for life, and regardless of their situations or beliefs, they have found a welcoming environment at a local pregnancy center.

It’s because of local impact like this that I believe in raising national awareness catalyzed by events like The March for Life. I encourage my Christian brothers and sisters to consider how their faith is played out in the sphere of action.

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