Are Pro-Life Regulators The Enemy? It Depends.
This may be one of the most important questions we have ever been asked, and it deserves a thoughtful answer. Jim’s entire email expressed well the same frustrations, questions, and internal conflicts that many of us experience. Perhaps by digesting his full communication and attempting to answer his concerns, we can bring some measure of peace and clarity to our entire audience. With his permission, here is Jim’s message (we have underlined key ideas and questions):
“I have, in the last few years, heard the arguments for abolition, as opposed to what you would call ‘regulation of abortion.’ I guess I am having trouble making up my mind about where I should stand on this issue.
“I see the logic of being concerned about legislation that attacks abortion in increments, because it does not chop off the head of the snake; it just inflicts little wounds here and there. But then I think about all the people that have supported these efforts for years. Are they considered the enemy because they only try to lessen the numbers of abortions instead of ending it altogether?
“Also, do you help the process by alienating people that would normally be your allies? On one hand, it looks like politicians are playing us for fools, acting like they are really for ending abortion, but when they get elected they do not really want to end it; they just want to do enough so that they can claim the title of ‘pro-life.’ On the other hand, you could say that it is like the question, How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
“I know that I sound like Rodney King: ‘Can’t we all just get along,’ but I just do not see that it helps to create enemies out of people that may actually be on your side. I kind of feel like I just want to stay in the middle where it is more comfortable, and I do not have to confront people’s aggression on one side or the other.
“My problem is knowing what we should do until society wakes up to the horror that is abortion and decides to end it. Do we stop all efforts to reduce the numbers and wait for the silver bullet that will kill it, or do we keep chipping away at the foundations of Roe v. Wade?”
“Inflict Little Wounds,” “One Bite at a Time,” and “Chipping Away.”
These phrases repeat a pro-life myth that does not reflect reality. The abortion industry is thriving. Brand new multimillion dollar facilities are going up all over the country. Even in Oklahoma, the number of deathcamps has doubled in recent years. Do-it-yourself abortions are on the rise and mostly uncounted. While it may be true that some pro-life regulations saved lives in years gone by, no one can prove that recent pro-life laws have saved lives. But we can easily point to all of the legal loopholes and court stays that prove most high-profile pro-life regulations since 2014 have NOT saved lives.
Are Pro-Life Regulators “The Enemy?”
It depends. The one hundred forty-nine legislators who make up the Legislature reflect our culture, and their personal beliefs are as varied as those of their constituents. Many different beliefs keep our officials from protecting the innocent.
Like the idol worshippers of old, a few radical legislators believe in the general benefits of child sacrifice. They advocate for keeping the practice legal and available.
Some who profess to be pro-life want to keep using dead babies as political footballs. They are glad to have abortion as a perpetual problem to help them get reelected. They are the ones “playing us for fools” and are certainly enemies. Some of these legislators have the influence to kill any bill they want and have wielded that power to kill equal protection for the preborn on multiple occasions.
Others know their duty before God, but they are too scared to do it, or they blindly follow poor leadership. They might mean well, but they are inadvertently part of the problem.
Still others know their duty, and they want to stop abortion, but they pursue strategies that have proven ineffective. Those who stubbornly cling to the old path may not be our personal enemies, but their policy proposals have set them up as the enemies of justice, of what is needed and necessary. Former state legislators and gubernatorial candidates Randy Brogdon and Dan Fisher are examples of men who were once pro-life regulators, but have since admitted the futility of their former strategies.
Within the Republican Party, closet pro-choicers, social justice warriors, pro-life regulators, and abolitionist ideologues are all in the mix. Without strong leadership, they are a herd of cats scattering in different directions, as evidenced by the recent flurry of contradictory “pro-life” activity in the legislature. They passed a proposal to ban certain abortions in one bill, but then excluded those abortions in another bill, while simultaneously passing yet another bill that said they would not criminalize any abortions without permission from the U.S. Supreme Court. All of which goes to show two things: 1) there is no unified direction or vision for what to do about murder by abortion among legislators and legislative leadership, and 2) legislators are clearly expecting every bill they pass to be stayed by a court, and without leadership they will servilely submit. They are simply throwing a bunch of pro-life-type stuff at the judicial wall in blind hope that something will stick.
“I Just Want to Stay in the Middle”
To stay in the middle is to protect the status quo. Not to push toward abolition is to allow legislators and executives to continue following the path of least resistance, taking the easy way out.
In the famous words of Neil Peart, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill. I will choose a path that’s clear.” Obeying godless judges comes from “phantom fears.” Compromising with murder by abortion for the sake of compassion and getting along is “kindness that can kill.”
We must make it harder for politicians to continue the status quo. As it did for the defenders of the Alamo, when Travis drew the line in the sand, or for the Israelites, when Joshua said, “Choose you this day whom you will serve,” the time has come to choose. Abolition is the path that is clear.
Are We “Alienating Allies” and “Creating Enemies?”
We are not engaged in personal attacks or name calling. Unfortunately, we live in an age where to disagree on a principle is often felt as a personal attack. Sometimes, to simply report the truth of what an abortion-related proposal would do and who authored it is perceived as a personal attack. Unfortunately, short of remaining silent, this seems unavoidable.
But we can take heart that those who earnestly seek the truth may still engage with the ideas and be open to change, even in an atmosphere that feels hostile. Doctor Blake Gideon, past President of Oklahoma Baptists, was formerly an opponent of abolishing murder by abortion through equal protection, and even helped Senate leadership to kill the proposal in 2019. Back then he communicated that he felt personally attacked. Even so, he has since nobly repented of his former position and is now an advocate for total abolition. Therefore, we hold that to be critical of certain “pro-life” proposals is not to alienate allies; but rather to hold up a mirror. Some pro-life compromisers do not like what they see.
What Should We “Do Until Society Wakes Up?”
“Society” is a collective term, so society cannot wake up. Only individuals have thoughts, choices, and actions, and no individual wakes up without a nudge or a noise from us fearlessly speaking the truth in church, to family, to friends, to associates, and especially to legislators and executives. Some will wake up.
What About the “Silver Bullet?”
Everyone is looking for a gadget or a gimmick – something no one else has thought of – a pro-life trick or legal loophole through which to save babies. But we cannot trick evil. There is no magic that will work without equal protection and the will to enforce equal protection by the chief executive.
Imagine an individual who is righteous, courageous, and wise, who knows we should abolish abortion, knows how it could be done, and would be willing to do it, but is not in authority. Now imagine an individual who has the moral and legal authority, duty, and power to abolish abortion – a governor – but questions whether abortion is even murder, and further, lacks the know-how and the courage to abolish it.
The Silver Bullet is formed when these two individuals become one person. Either the righteous, wise man gains the authority to abolish abortion, or the person who possesses the authority to abolish abortion becomes convinced that he can and should abolish it. Then, the leadership of the Silver Bullet will drive the issue to a resolution. For more specifics, see “A Plan for the Governor to Abolish Abortion” at OklahomansUnitedforLife.org/SilverBullet.
It is not rocket science; it does not take a legal scholar. It takes righteousness and courage from the top. There is no sneaking in the side door. Our governor will have to kick down the front door in an all-out assault. But we will not get a Silver Bullet unless we expect and demand one. We fan the flame of conviction. God pours melted hearts into molds of courage. We are the furnace that forges the Silver Bullet.
John Michener is the Director of Oklahomans United for Life (OUL). You can contact him at: