Wednesday, August 19, 2015

a simple hashtag can actually aid in bringing an end to abortion

 photo 20150819_155702_zpsq2evril8.jpg

By now you should know what is going on with Planned Parenthood and the scandal they have found themselves in. Today, a seventh undercover video was released by the Center for Medical Progress and the videos are just more damning with each release. If you haven't watched the new video, or any of them, please take the time to watch. This issue is far too important to brush off as just another partisan attack. We are talking about real people who are really being killed and their body parts really being sold for profit. 

And we need to keep in mind that whenever abortion is in the national news (even just a little), whenever we are having a public discussion on the topic, it's good for the pro-life cause. There is always a segment of the population that is determining their opinion and stance on a myriad of issues, abortion being a major one. That segment is the younger generation: the jr. high and high school kids, the college students and some young adults.

True, some of them may have already decided where they stand and true, there are some grown adults who will be affected by this conversation and change their mind from pro-choice to pro-life, but for the most part we should keep in mind that there are young men and women trying to decide today where they stand on the issue of life and abortion. 

Maybe a college freshman has decided she's personally pro-life but she wouldn't dare tell someone else what to do. The discussion about Planned Parenthood, the brutality of abortion that is on display in these undercover videos, it has the potential to change her mind. 

The high school boy who always kept his mouth shut about abortion because everyone told him that "it's a woman's issue, you have no say" may be persuaded to speak up about the unborn as a result of this discussion. 

The young lady who has abortion in her past and has held tight to the "my body, my choice" mantra in an effort to justify her decision may finally have the courage to admit she regrets her abortion and wants to help other moms make a better choice. 

And then there's your average student who doesn't know a whole lot about abortion, but now is forced to look at it, contemplate it and decide. I was that student in the early 2000's, during the partial-birth abortion debate. Abortion was a national topic and many of us were, for the first time, forced to decide where we stood on the issue. It was that discussion, in which the brutality and reality of abortion was in the open for all to see, that caused so many of my generation to choose the side of life

And I believe that this current discussion, the one we're being forced to have once again about the brutality of abortion and the treatment of human beings much smaller and far helpless than we, is going to shape the opinions and beliefs of the generation behind us. And they are going to side with life.

There is no question in my mind.

And here's why I say all of this. Here's why it is a good thing when abortion is a national discussion: because truth is on the side of life. When the truth about abortion is revealed, you can't deny that it's heinous and brutal and horrible and tragic. When the truth about life in the womb is revealed, you can't deny that a human being, a new person, a tiny baby, is forming and that baby deserves respect and dignity and protection.

So when we consider who will be most affected by this discussion we have to understand some things about this young generation. First, as Joe Carter has discussed already, they have grown up with the technology of the window into the womb. These young people are very aware of what a developing baby in the womb looks like because ultrasound pictures are continuously posted on Facebook and Instagram. Chances are many of them have seen one of their own brother or sister.

And that brings me to my second point. Where do they spend their time? How will we most effectively reach them? The answer to that should be obvious: social media.

I sometimes catch myself thinking, "is a hashtag really going to make a difference in the effort to save babies' lives?" The answer surprisingly is, it actually can. And here's why. This young generation, they live on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter (and others I'm sure I'm leaving out because I'm too old to understand what is hip). But the point is, they are witnessing this discussion online. They are having this discussion online. Their opinions are being formed online.

So we need to be online.

We have a great opportunity to shape the discussion around abortion right now using hashtags and photos, tweets and blog posts, statuses and comments. We have the chance to change minds and help others form their opinions. 

This chance only comes around once in a while. It happened with the partial-birth abortion legislation. It happened in 2013 during the Gosnell trial and the legislative session in Texas. And it's happening again with the release of these undercover videos. 

Many have done an excellent job of seeing the opportunity and running with it. I want this post to serve as encouragement to keep going. To not sit down and to not shut up. Let's keep the discussion in the spotlight, but especially on social media because that is where the fluid and forming opinions about abortion can be reached and affected and changed for the cause of life.

Because that decision to side with life, it could be the young girl who didn't want to tell someone else what to do, but found out her friend was pregnant and encouraged her to carry and place for adoption. That decision could be the young high school boy who decided it was important to speak out after all and ended up founding a pro-life organization that reaches out to hurting moms considering abortion. That decision could be the post-abortive mother who decided it was worth it speak up for life and started ministering to other women who are hurting from a past decision to abort. And that decision could be your average kid, who decided that life is precious and valuable and is sure to vote with that always in the forefront of his mind during every election now that he's an adult.

The individual people we reach, the single decisions each person makes on this issue, they matter. That's how we end abortion in this country: one heart at a time. And we can reach them with a simple hashtag, a photo posted on IG or a status or video share on Facebook. I hope we are willing to do something so simple for the sake of this next generation and for the sake of these babies.

One final note: I don't think we can end abortion by just posting online. Action needs to be taken. And first and foremost we must be praying and pleading with the Lord for the slaughter to end. But once we say amen, we must stand up to do something. Have a conversation, call a representative, write a letter, volunteer at a Pregnancy Resource Center, counsel outside of an abortion clinic, organize a rally outside of a Planned Parenthood, run for elected office and work to bring pro-life legislation to the floor, start an organization that serves mothers considering abortion, adopt, share your story and the list is endless. But the point is do something. Social media should be a simple stepping stone, a place to begin the discussion and to get people motivated.