What Would Wilberforce Do?

Show the Facts of Abortion

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Sometimes we ask, “What would Jesus do?” On abortion, let’s try asking, “What would Wilberforce do?” BreakPoint is next.

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Eric Metaxas

Friends, it’s time to take stock. It’s been forty-one years since abortion on demand became the law of the land. We’ve watched in horror as the lives of fifty-five million human beings have been snuffed out.

We’ve seen countless girls and women tricked or pressured into allowing their own babies to die in the antiseptic—and sometimes not so antiseptic—confines of death chambers known as abortion “clinics.” Our once great nation has become, to use the words of Pope Francis, a “throwaway culture,” in which we discard the unborn.

Many of us are trying to fight the good fight, of course. My dear wife runs a crisis pregnancy center here in New York, working with other valiant people to bring hope and healing to mothers and their babies. Others work in legislatures or the courts to put limits to this industry of death. Others pray, or picket, or give money to help women or to pay for ultrasounds. There are a thousand ways to stand up for human dignity and the sanctity of human life. Thank God for each one!

But as much as we’ve done, it hasn’t been enough.

daily_commentary_01_20_14So what else can we do to move toward a better, more humane and just future? Well, I suggest we begin by looking to the past.

As you probably know by now, my hero, William Wilberforce, faced similar if not worse circumstances. The whole culture of his day was broken. Of course, the slave trade was the worst of it. So what did Wilberforce do? This may surprise you—it did me—but, despite all the darkness, he started by assuming the best of his fellow citizens.

Wilberforce felt that if he could only get the facts out to the British people about the slave trade, they would understand that it was an abomination. He knew that most of them simply didn’t know what was really going on. It happened far from their eyes.

The British ships traveled to West Africa and took their cargoes of slaves to the West Indies, where the sugar plantations were. The British people had no idea what happened on those ships nor in the plantations. So Wilberforce showed them.

He used posters and plaques. He got Josiah Wedgewood, the famous potter, to design a plaque of a slave in chains that said “Am I Not a Man and a Brother?” He appealed to people’s sense of decency, justice, and fairness. It took a long time, but Wilberforce, with God’s help, transformed his society, one mind at a time.

So let’s assume that many people—not all—when civilly confronted with the truth of abortion will change their minds, at least in some measure. So we need to tell them, for example, that the U.S. and Canada stand with only China and North Korea as having the most liberal abortion policies in the world. We’ve got to tell them that pro-lifers have been fighting to restrict abortions to twenty weeks in Texas and Arizona while all over Europe abortions are restricted to twelve weeks—the standard in civilized Western nations.

Newsletter_Gen_180x180_BWe also need to tell them how so many women who abort walk around with a terrible wound of loss and regret, unable to even talk about it for years because politically correct propaganda labels it “empowering.”

We need to tell our neighbors that while we hear so much about “choice,” women actually often have no choice. They would love the choice of being able to keep their baby, but they feel trapped, pressured or often bullied by “boyfriends” or even family members.

John Stonestreet and I will have more to say about all this in the coming days. But we can start by taking a page from the Wilberforce playbook and get these and other facts about the abortion culture to our fellow citizens just as he did with the horrid, entrenched institution of slavery. Let us do it civilly, albeit passionately—and see what God might do.

Further Reading and Information

BP-Takeaction_012014What Would Wilberforce Do? : Show the Facts of Abortion - Next Steps

As Eric suggested, it's time to take stock. Click on the fact sheet link below to get the real facts about abortion as well as information about organizations that deal with this specific issue. Share what you've learned with those in your circles of influence.

And to see the clear comparison Eric mentioned between Wilberforce's actions to stop the slave trade and the pro-life movement's efforts to end abortion, check out the movie about Wilberforce's life, "Amazing Grace." We've got it for you in our online bookstore.


How Abortion Hurts Women (and Men) fact sheet

Amazing Grace, DVD


Your comment reminds me of a conversation I had with an associate who is gung-ho pro-abortion, years ago. I basically said that late-term abortions cause great pain, and he replied that there is no pain caused because there is no person there to feel it. I think you can expect a similar response if you use the word torture.
Wilberforce took over 20 years using every possible option to eliminate slavery in England.
He succeeded by taking away the use of the crowns vessels to transport slaves. He exposed the inhumane and horrific use of the ships.

Abortion clinics are the very same as the British ships. The inhumane and horrific use of Federal funds maintains these vessel/ clinics.

The key word that liberals hate is "torture." The criticism of the military over water boarding is a perfect example of the hypocritical attitude. Babies that are dismembered or have their skulls imploded undergo exceutuating pain. Even the heart of a fetus can be stimulated at 16 days.

Wilberforce's would use the word "torture," as his driving force to eliminate the slavery of abortion!

Thank you for all that you do!
Yours in Christ,
Sunny Jim
Pro-Abortion Bullying
Excellent article, Eric. Publising it on MLK Day is very appropriate timing. Dr. Alveda King, MLK’s niece, is carrying on the family tradition in speaking out against our nation’s wholesale abortion. In an article entitled The Pro-Abortion Weapon Of Choice (http://ebenezerposts.com/2013/08/29/the-pro-abortion-weapon-of-choice/), I point out that their primary tactic is bullying. You’re right, that responding in kind is not the best course for those of us who are pro-life.
100% yes! But are we willing?
Absolutely – exposing the horror and reality of abortion will bring change to those with a conscience, but when abortion is cloaked as “rights” and preferences, the slaughter of the innocent goes on. One example is the Center for BioEthical Reform which has been taking images of abortion out into society - from signs on university campuses to engage in debate to even trucks on freeways to aerial banners. But the church in general is not so convinced. As we saw at Biola in the last year with the use of CBR’s graphic images, Christians are themselves confused. Last week I asked a current Biola student about it, but his response showed he didn’t get the point that there are girls in despair dealing with crisis pregnancies even at Christian colleges, even at Biola. Eric’s commentary is 100% right, but we as believers have to be willing to go against our culture, to allow the shocking, graphic images to be used, to use them ourselves, and thus to appeal to the conscience of America. Like Wilberforce with slavery, like TV cameras showing the abuse of civil-rights demonstrators, the truth will overcome if we will tell the truth. Will you?
A good thing to look at.
Ray Comfort did a video that you can see on line, or get a DVD to show on your TV. It is called "180" It shows him talking to people about abortion and he compares it to the NAZI killing of jewish people. By just asking a few simple questions and getting people to think you see a lot of people change their minds about abortion. It also has a good presentation of the Gospel too. It is very interesting to watch and show your freinds.