In preparation for National Inspirational Role Models Month, I thought up the names of numerous pro-life figures who have been influential in my learning and activism. As I thought of names like Abby Johnson, Dr. Anthony Levatino, and Norma McCorvey, my mind raced through the potential backlash we might face on social media.
Abby Johnson was the Director of Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas and had two abortions herself.
Dr. Anthony Levatino was an abortionist who ended the lives of over 1,200 babies in the womb.
Norma McCorvey was “Roe” in the infamous and devastating Roe v. Wade case in 1973.
But then it struck me. The key word. Was.
Abby Johnson is now an incredible pro-life activist. She left Planned Parenthood after performing an ultrasound to guide an abortionist during a vacuum aspiration abortion. She saw the baby fight the deadly instruments and something in her snapped. She realized the truth of abortion and it nearly destroyed her. Abby ultimately used her guilt and pain, combined with the knowledge of Planned Parenthood’s shady practices, to become a sidewalk counselor, write books (one of which is now a movie), (link) and start a non-profit organization dedicated to freeing abortion workers from the industry. She helps women choose life and former abortion workers find new life-affirming, women-supporting jobs they can be proud of.
Dr. Anthony Levatino is now a pro-life advocate, working as an OBGYN to help women, children, and families. He started his own private practice to encourage mothers to choose life. He explained the realities of abortion clinics and procedures, providing shocking insider information, as well as his personal testimony in heart-wrenching videos done through Live Action (link). Dr. Levatino has also testified before Congress to expose the true, grim nature of the abortion industry and life-ending procedures he previously took part in.
Before passing away in 2017, Norma McCorvey gave birth to the baby who led to her involvement in the Roe v. Wade case, as the entire process took three years. That baby was adopted by another family. Norma later regretted her involvement in making abortion legal, citing it as the biggest mistake of her life. She felt she had been used and manipulated by her young and ambitious “pro-choice” lawyers. Norma became a Catholic pro-life advocate and spent the rest of her life trying to undo her mistakes.
Although these people made tremendous, life-ending mistakes, I find them to be some of the most effective champions of the pro-life cause.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” -Romans 3:23 (NIV)
Without these brave souls, who courageously share their devastating mistakes with the world, we would have little understanding of the minds, hearts, and intentions of pro-choice people. We would lose the opportunity to learn how to best reach people who are lost with the grace, tenderness, and compassion they need – whether they work in the abortion industry or have had an abortion themselves.
To me, the pro-life movement is characterized by our love and mercy, as we exemplify Christ’s forgiveness and redemptive power.
The men and women who step up to share their regrets and mobilize alongside us should be met with open arms, prayers, and healing resources. These people are best equipped to reach those ensnared by the lies and manipulation of the abortion industry. We need only provide them the opportunity to thrive.