I love food and, therefore, Thanksgiving (hopefully you're the same.)
At my house—as in other parts of the South—we take the healthy meat of a turkey and baptize it in hot grease. Before you judge, you should know that fried turkey goes well with bourbon-glazed cranberries to make a Southern comfort food feast.
No matter what sits on your plate this Thursday, many people across America will give expected thanks to God for their family, friends and life.
This year, there is one movement in America that should be more thankful than any other. It is not taxpayers who got tax reform or investors who saw yet another record year in the market. The most thankful should be those who are working to see the end of abortion.
The pro-life movement, despite nearly 46 years of legalized abortion, has more momentum than ever before. By far. If we just go by the numbers alone, we see that two-thirds of all abortion facilities have closed since 1991. Additionally, pregnancy resource centers—which offer free medical alternatives to abortion-minded women—outnumber abortion providers 5 to 1.
My organization, 40 Days for Life, just wrapped our largest campaign of peaceful prayer vigils outside of abortion facilities ever, with 415 cities taking part not just in the United States but also around the world.
But, as our movement grows, so does the opposition.
This year, persecution against our participants was at an all-time high, with everyone from socialists to Satanists to anarchists coming out to call us bigots and other things (I'll spare you the details). You can see the persecution and the loving response of pro-life volunteers in this new video.
But the persecution and anger must be seen for what it is—a gift. It is an opportunity to witness the love, mercy and joy that has created the movement of hope that is the pro-life movement. Yelling, mocking and labeling has not deterred a crusade that has gotten stronger by the year. A movement that has endured bad weather, media bias and political letdowns has done what all great movements in America do—focused on hearts and minds.
Hearts and minds are changing. This is a movement that knows abortion all too well. It is a movement that features women who have had an abortion, men who have paid for or coerced a woman into an abortion, abortion workers who have sold abortions and doctors who have performed abortions.
Our movement is not one of distance and dogma, but one of experience and science. The pro-life movement is a movement of converts, and a movement of converts is a movement of hope. And for that, we have much to be thankful for as we gear up for 2019.
Additionally, something unexpected for which I am grateful for this year is the dramatic increase in the number of women who pulled up to a 40 Days for Life vigil and told us how they were going to get an abortion until they saw us outside the clinic and decided not to go through with it. They sometimes also bring the child that is alive today because of her decision.
These stories seemed to be happening daily during the 40 Days for Life campaign. One mother stopped seven years later and thanked a 90-year-old man for being out there when she went in for her abortion.
This is yet another sign of hope from a movement of converts. You need not worry about being called a bigot. In fact, that is another thing you should be thankful for. You should be thankful that while the noise of those who advocate for abortion is at an all-time high, so are the unexpected thank you's from women who came minutes from having an abortion but experienced a change of heart and mind.
Shawn Carney is the president/CEO of 40 Days for Life and the author of The Beginning of the End of Abortion: 40 Inspiring Stories of God Changing Hearts and Saving Lives.
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