The door to the abortion industry has been left unguarded. This door, draped with sterile surgical curtains, was blown wide open in mid-July. Light surged in, week after week, video after video, offering a disturbing glimpse into the brutality of abortion and the fetal organ trade.
People poured into the streets in response. With each video providing a new piece to the puzzle, local action grew to national reaction. Tens of thousands stood at #WomenBetrayed rallies and #ProtestPP events across America. At last count, almost 70,000 stood in front of 353 Planned Parenthoods as part of #ProtestPP. Never before in the history of the prolife movement have this many stood in unison. Never before have there been so many youth and participants from multiple cultural backgrounds. And never before have so many first-timers stepped up to join the fight.
Case in point: In St. Paul, Minnesota, more than 800 people stood up at the #WomenBetrayed rally on July 28th, and nearly 5,000 came out to #ProtestPP on August 22nd (shown above). It’s undeniable. Something big is stirring in the Twin Cities. But what? Why Minnesota? Why now?
It’s harvest time for the faithful
Righteous people have labored continuously, tirelessly, for decades here in Minnesota. Faithful people, like Brian Gibson, Executive Director of Pro-Life Action Ministries, have sewn and toiled through significant obstacles and not given up. “We are certainly seeing fruit in the number of people coming out,” says Gibson. “We’ve spent a very long time organizing, developing relationships with pastors and churches in many denominations, and forming partnerships with local and national prolife organizations. Everybody is jumping in now. New partnerships are forming. Everybody’s listening to the call and standing in unity.” And that unity stems from decades of faithful persistence. The seeds planted and nurtured over those years are maturing, and Minnesota is experiencing a season of harvest.
The spiritual energy flowing through the state has made this harvest even more plentiful. It’s difficult to find a national prolife figure who doesn’t have some connection to the leadership in the Twin Cities. Also, Gibson’s organization, and others like Human Life Alliance, Everlasting Light Ministries, Prolife Across America, and SpeakLife, Inc. are all headquartered here. Several national prolife leaders call Minnesota home, as does prominent theologian Dr. John Piper, who offered a stirring prayer during the #ProtestPP rally in St. Paul.
Other local Protestant leaders such as Rev. Brian Lother and Revs. Brian and Denise Walker have long-toiled in helping the church to its feet. But as leaders in MN and around the country celebrate this unique time in the movement’s history, we also know that harvest is only for a season.
We must mobilize
Yes, the door to the abortion industry was left unguarded, but only for a short time. There is a sense of urgency as we look through its frame. While more and more people will continue to awaken to the tragedy of abortion and the inhumanity shown in the videos, it will be absolutely imperative to develop a strong core of people that will push a renewed prolife movement forward. Too many times, the movement has relied on politicians to achieve justice. Too many times it has been placated by legislation that only masked as victory. The key to continuing this epic push forward is mobilization. Keith Tucci, founder and president of Heart for the Next Generation and apostolic team leader for the Network of Related Pastors, explains. “They have a brilliant strategy—Planned Parenthood equals women’s healthcare. It’s a strong false narrative, and we have to talk about it all the time. We have to hammer on it. We have to be out in the streets, on social media, and in our communities, completely discrediting it.” Our strategies must become bold and creative, “Like David Daleiden’s strategy,” notes Tucci. “These guys had a wild idea and just said, ‘Why shouldn’t we try it? What do we need to do to make it happen?’”
Daleiden gifted an unprecedented opportunity to the prolife movement that is serving as America’s wake-up call, but it’s also a call to rejuvenate the faithful and challenge them to innovate. Pro-Life Action Ministries is wasting no time stepping up to this task, launching their “See For Yourself” campaign this week. The organization sponsored a bright pink billboard with a very pointed message along a busy corridor of I-94.
A massive door hanger effort and additional billboards are planned. “What we’ve known for several years now, and what the videos have taught us,” notes Gibson, “is that we need strategies to bypass the mainstream media. We need to get the message directly to the people, to educate them about what’s going on.” But as Gibson and other leaders know, informed and motivated people need a place to come together.
We must create opportunities
As the national movement prepares for the upcoming 40 Days for Life campaigns across the country, local efforts must also keep people engaged and united. In Minnesota, prolifers are gearing up for a Firestorm Rally at the governor’s mansion on September 9th to demand an investigation of Planned Parenthood. Local churches are adopting days of prayer for 40 days for Life, September 23rd – November 1st, focused on the St. Paul Planned Parenthood. “Minnesota is developing a strong coalition of organizations and individual people. We’re helping to create the opportunities for them to stand,” adds Gibson. Keith Tucci agrees. “Successful organizations like Brian Gibson’s are the key. We’ve got to keep pressing in,” he urges. “We’ve got to be out there getting the truth to people who are on the fence. We’ve got to bust up the political safe zone.”
We must keep our focus
How long the door stays open remains to be seen. But the prolife movement has reawakened and is joining forces like never before. But we must not rely on strategies of the past. We must not put our faith in the world. The media will continue its purposeful silence, the politicians their fair-weather support. Knowing this, we must keep our focus on God, on His calling, and on His will only.
“It’s time,” declares Gibson passionately. “It’s time to be God’s firestorm!”
~ Sarah Quale, president of SpeakLife, Inc.
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