Pro-lifers raise funds for ultrasound machines

WASHINGTON (BP) -- Ultrasound machines are saving babies from abortion as women who see their babies for the first time decide to give birth to them, said Kelly Rosati during the Evangelicals for Life dinner Jan. 21.

"These are real stories, real people, real lives," Rosati, vice president of community outreach for Focus on the Family, said as guests saw videos showing mothers who decided to continue their pregnancies. "What an incredible honor it is to speak up for these little ones."

Rosati served as master of ceremonies for the dinner at the Hyatt Regency Washington, Capitol Hill. On the evening before the 43rd annual March for Life, more than 100 pro-life advocates attended the event, held in conjunction with the inaugural Evangelicals for Life conference, sponsored by the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and Focus on the Family. David Platt, International Mission Board president, gave the keynote address.

By the end of the evening, denomination leaders, senators, lay-leaders, influential pro-life leaders, pastors and other supporters raised enough funds to purchase one or more ultrasound machines to be used by crisis pregnancy centers. It's a collaborative effort of the ERLC's Psalm 139 Project and Focus on the Family's Option Ultrasound Program.

Northeast Houston Baptist Church pastor Nathan Lino, led in prayer. Lino, in a BP interview earlier in the day, shared how his church prayed for an opportunity to minister to women in crisis pregnancy situations. With a Planned Parenthood facility near the church, Lino said, the church was gifted a facility. And within a short time, they were contacted by a Christian holistic reproductive health center looking for a location. It's a development Lino and his congregation describe as a miracle.

During the dinner, ERLC President Russell Moore, along with Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, presented awards to three pro-life leaders: IMB's Platt, President and CEO of Americans United for Life Charmaine Yoest, and pro-life Sen. James Lankford, (R-Okla.). Moore and Daly thanked the recipients for their tireless advocacy for the dignity of life.

Platt told the audience that the issue of abortion is a biblical issue, a God issue, and a Gospel issue. Platt shared remorse that, for so much time, he was "shamefully silent and appallingly passive" on the subject of abortion.

"I viewed abortion as a political issue," he said. "I failed to realize it's a biblical issue." In fact, it's a crisis, he added.

"I look at the faces of my four kids when I put them to bed at night, and it's hard to imagine 115,000 babies introduced to the world that day with a pill or a tool aimed at their destruction," Platt noted. "And for so long I could miss the irrefutable reality."

Platt noted, it's more than an issue about children and moms -- "it's a God issue." He read from Psalm 139, "... My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body...."

"Psalm 139 gives us a glimpse of what God sees in the womb," he said. "It's an intimate connection God has with the child."

Platt said God is the judge of the sins of mothers who abort their babies, and of the doctors, leaders -- including pastors who counseled women to have abortions -- and legislators who made abortion possible.

Not legislating morality is a "sham argument," Platt said. "People can't choose to steal. We take away people's rights to choose evil. It's cultural suicide to say everyone can choose to do what he wants to do."

It's right to wisely, graciously, firmly, boldly, compassionately oppose abortion, he said. "No one is pro-choice rape, burglary and kidnapping...," he said.

"Political or moral neutrality isn't an option," he said. "Christians who have done nothing about abortion stand under the judgment of God. And I have been the chief of sinners."

But there is grace and forgiveness. Anyone who has had an abortion, or has supported an abortion, or who has done nothing to prevent abortions can receive God's forgiveness. "May this lodge deeply in your heart and soul. God forgives entirely. In Christ, you are not guilty anymore," he said.

In closing, ERLC's Moore, referring to the March for Life the following day (Jan. 22), said, "We will be joining together with many of our Roman Catholic allies and friends who have been leading in this movement in so many ways for so many years."

Yet for years, Moore said, evangelicals and Catholics have been together in abortion clinics around the country. Not just those praying outside of clinics or volunteering, but rather seated the waiting rooms.

"Most people assume clients are people who are pro-choice," Moore said, but that's not true. Moore said many Roman Catholic girls say they know it's wrong, but God will forgive them through confession. Evangelical girls will say they know it's wrong, but they're trusting the "once saved, always saved" philosophy.

"Brothers and sisters, this is a matter of Gospel fidelity," Moore noted. "We have people in our churches that arrive at a point of crisis and they're not coming to leadership, they're seeking someone else who will probably find a way to 'fix it.'"

"One of my greatest hopes to come out of this gathering is that we will have a united Gospel witness of God's view of women and children in crisis and our churches can be places of redemption...," he said.

Sharon Mager is communications specialist at the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network in Columbia, Md.
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