By Megan K. Mertz
According to Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee and an LCMS Lutheran, the number of abortions taking place in the United States each year has fallen by more than half a million since 1990. During the same period, she notes, the teen birth rate declined by 44 percent and teen abortions by 66 percent.
“That in itself is very encouraging,” Tobias said. “Women in this country are choosing life for their children.”
Tobias, who is a member Immanuel Lutheran Church in Albuquerque, N.M., addressed a group of concerned LCMS members during a May 22 webinar on life issues. The webinar — titled “Are You Ready to Give a Defense?” — is the third in the series for “Free to Be Faithful,” the Synod’s education-and-awareness campaign to “protect American citizens’ freedom of religion, to maintain the rights afforded in the Constitution for future generations and to respond to increasing intrusions by the government in the realm of the church.” Learn more at lcms.org/freetobefaithful.
During the webinar, Tobias presented an overview of the current state of life issues in the U.S., noting pieces of legislation that have been introduced at the state and federal levels. She also discussed the pro-life efforts taking place around the country — from California, to Kansas, to West Virginia.
“Pro-abortion advocates like to say that pro-lifers are waging a war on women because we don’t want them to have the right to kill their unborn child. But if you look at it, it really is the war on women coming from the other side,” Tobias said.
“They don’t want women to have informed consent. They don’t think women should be given information about abortion alternatives or the risks to abortion. … They don’t want women to get the information that might make them change their mind.”
Tobias noted that 14 women have died in the U.S. during so-called “webcam abortions,” where an abortionist in another city prescribes abortion-inducing pills to a woman during an online video chat.
“That is not pro-woman,” she commented. “This is a money-making business for them.”
When asked by a member of the audience about ways to motivate LCMS members to action, Tobias urged congregations to collect diapers and other baby items for their local pregnancy resource center to raise awareness. She also encouraged pastors to promote life in their own congregations and asked members to support those efforts.
“Our young people, our teens, our youth groups need to hear from the pulpit that abortion is wrong,” she said, adding that young people also need support to make right decisions when faced with difficult circumstances.
But Tobias also mentioned that every person sins, and abortion is just one sin of many. Women who have had an abortion “need to be able to understand the forgiveness that is available through Jesus Christ, and they are not going to hear that message if they think that we are judging them. We need to give them our support.”
When asked whether she believes the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion will ever be legally overturned in the United States, Tobias said yes, although that doesn’t mean the battle will be over.
“Pro-lifers are not going to give up,” she said, noting that they have been fighting for more than 41 years.
“Roe v. Wade wouldn’t have to be overturned in order for the state to pass truly effective legislation that would stop abortions.”
The webinar is archived for viewing here.
Megan K. Mertz is a staff writer with LCMS Communications.
Posted May 30, 2014