Why I am passionate about being pro-life

Published 7:30 am Sunday, January 22, 2023

Abortion has dominated news headlines since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022.

I have always believed that all life is precious, both born and preborn. My passion for being pro-life began almost 35 years ago when I read a book by Frank Peretti titled “Tilly.” His words challenged me to be a voice for the sanctity of human life. I realized it was not enough just to say I was pro-life, but what could I do? About this time, I met a petite, gentle grandmother whose passion for life fanned the flame in me.

I’m not sure when I first met Jean Baker, but she and I became traveling companions to area pro-life meetings. Since most of them were held in the evenings, I would go by her house and pick her up. She was always ready to participate, whether by gathering names on petitions or writing state legislators.

Then, a group of Christians from various denominations decided we should help the women making the choice between life and abortion. Jean remained active as Sav-A-Life was organized to offer free pregnancy tests and confidential, compassionate assistance to women, as well as maternity and baby clothes. Sav-A-Life’s Family Hope Center in Andalusia opened its doors on Mother’s Day 1992. This ministry now provides free ultrasounds and parenting classes.

Jean became one of the founding board members of Sav-A-Life and served as both a board member and volunteer as she was physically able. Among my memories of Miss Jean, as we lovingly called her, there is one that still speaks to me today. During one of our many conversations, she told me about her reaction to the news on January 22, 1973, the day the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion on demand.

Miss Jean recalled being shocked that something like this could happen in our country. For most of the day, she wept over the tragic decision that legalized abortion – resulting in loss of over 64 million preborn babies in America during the past 50 years. I am told she wept every anniversary of the ruling. I wish she had lived to see the day Roe v. Wade was overturned.

After reading “Tilly,” meeting Miss Jean, and learning the facts about abortion, I knew I must speak up for the preborn who couldn’t speak up for themselves. I learned that one in three pregnancies in the U.S. was ending in abortion; and more babies had been aborted than the combined total of all our country’s war dead from the Revolutionary War to the present.

I also learned that 19 days after conception our eyes begin developing and at 22 days the heart begins to beat. Most of all, I learned what God’s Word says about the sanctity of human life. We are “created in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27). Psalm 139:13 states, “For You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

Now helping with the caregiving of our aging mothers, I am seeing firsthand the importance of the sanctity of human life near the end life. This part of the pro-life cause is every bit as urgent. As of 2023, ten states permit assisted suicide, further evidence that we must speak up for life – from the womb to tomb.

— Jan White has compiled a collection of her columns in her book, “Everyday Faith for Daily Life.”