Link to the live webcast of ProLifeCon. Here is the live-blog of ProLifeCon 2012:
8:30am And we’re off. Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, has just taken the podium. Perkins says a note of welcome and note that something like 50 million abortions have happened in the last four decades. He goes on to say that the pro-life movement has made gains and stands at a very important point in history in the battle for the sanctity of life.
8:37am Jill Stanek is introduced as the emcee of #ProLifeCon; her blog is described as the “epicenter” of the pro-life blogging community.
8:40am Michael Clancy, the photographer who took the “Hand of Hope” photo, is speaking about the politicization of the picture. He is reiterating that the photo was authentic.
8:45am Clancy initially missed the moment when the baby’s hand reached out and lamented that reality; a nurse nearby said that babies reach out from the womb all the time. Incredible–do you hear that in the media?
8:53am FRC is showing a video of Samuel Armas, the little boy from the “Hand of Hope” photo, who says to the camera that he believes that is supposed to tell people that “abortion is wrong.” Read the story of the photo here.
9:06am Gerald Nadal, a pro-life blogger and a Catholic microbiologist, is now speaking at ProLifeCon on the eugenics movement. The medical community is dominated by an “aggressive eugenics,” according to Nadal.
9:11am Nadal: doctors are now telling women that they need to abort. Doctor at a medical school: “You tell that woman, if she has that baby, her life is over.” Legislatures must write measures that respect autonomy and a woman’s right to choose. If abortion is the law of the land, there is no choice.
9:19am Ryan Bomberger is now speaking. From his bio: “His biological mother was raped yet courageously chose to continue the pregnancy, giving him Life.” Bomberger is a creative professional who created the “Too Many Aborted” campaign. He was adopted into a very large family.
9:32am Bomberger: when we create and design for purposes of promoting life, it should be transformational and excellent. He’s shown a number of his videos at the conference, and I have to say that they are very nicely done. “We are designed to create, and we have to create a way out for millions of people.”
9:37am Lila Grace Rose of the Live Action Network is now speaking. A recent UCLA grad, Rose has attracted national attention through her efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. She has stirred up a great deal of controversy by work like this and especially through sting video like this.
9:48am Rose says that Planned Parenthood is sitting on “a billion dollars” of funding. That’s a stunning amount of money, to state the obvious.
10:07am Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) on American ideals: “Abortion is not an American value.” America is promoting the culture of death through NGOs, international branches of Planned Parenthood, and more. Africa is a target of this effort, with Kenya at the top of this list. Kenya now has “abortion for health” written into its constitution through the work of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others.
10:10am Smith: “Obama is an enemy of life!”
10:20am Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) is a new Tea Party congresswoman. She is introduced as a “new pro-life heroine.” She says that “over 60% of the American people don’t want their tax dollars to go toward abortion, according to a CNN poll. That’s what she is working toward.
10:24am Hartzler notes that she is a part of the largest incoming group of pro-life congressmen and women. Knowledge, she says, changes hearts and minds. When the American people have the facts, they make the right decisions. She notes that she was in the sixth grade when Roe v. Wade was handed down and then details the journey she took toward a pro-life position.
10:27am Hartzler suggests that there will be roughly 34 abortions during her speech alone, most of the aborted children less than three months old and able to feel the pain of an abortion. Planned Parenthood, Hartzler says, doesn’t “deserve a dime of our money.” They don’t care about women. In 2010, abortion procedures amounted to 91% of their work.
10:40am Collin Raye, spokesman for Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, is a country-music singer who has sold over 8 million albums and has been nominated five times as Male Vocalist of the Year in country-music circles. He notes that though the mainstream media often ignores the pro-life cause, blogs and social media are giving it a powerful voice. He also points out how many “kids” are energized by the pro-life cause and are in DC for various events.
10:45am Raye says that partial-birth abortion is not “just a procedure,” but is “medieval and barbaric.” There is video out there on the web of the performance of abortions (I’m not linking to it on purpose), and it is perhaps the worst thing imaginable. I don’t know that I’ve ever been as shaken. It’s not an uncommon occurrence, though, but an everyday reality.
10:51am Just saw this post about “Yalies for life.” As a graduate of a liberal New England college, I can say that it takes serious courage to stand up for the pro-life cause while a member of such a school. Bravo, Yalies.
10:55am Kristan Hawkins, Executive Director of Students for Life of America, is now up. Under her leadership, Students for Life has tripled the amount of groups on college campuses. This is one of the choicer fruits of the pro-life surge in recent years, I must say. If Roe v. Wade is ever to be overturned, it will be the next generation that does it.
10:59am Hawkins: “Good morning. The pro-life movement is winning!”
11:03am Hawkins: “Never before has the youth generation been so pro-life…unlike past generations, this one is starting out pro-life.” Why? “Because we have images. We now know what the pre-born baby looks like. Those images are broadcasted in tv shows, commercials, and movies. These images need to be our tool.”
11:04am Hawkins: “Hosting images on our blogs and websites is the greatest work we can do.”
11:12am Jeanne Monahan, Director of the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council,quotes the stat that there are over 2000 crisis-pregnancy centers. She suggests going to this site, A Passion to Serve, to get comprehensive data on the “amazing impact” centers are making.
11:19am Karen Snuffer, Executive Director of CareNet Pregnancy Resource Centers in Manassas, Woodbridge, and Warrenton, Virginia, is speaking about how important it is that men be educated on the realities of abortion. Through a Bible study, she got involved with centers and eventually assumed her current position. Despite the good work her centers do, “we receive no government funding,” an incredible fact.
11:25am Tom McClusky, Senior Vice President of FRC Action, is up to close the ProLifeCon. He has showed a video that demonstrates that the pro-life cause is being galvanized across the country. Go here to read more, and he urged folks to sign up for this website.
11:28am Just got an email about a new pro-life movie coming out in October 2012, October Baby, distributed by the same folks who have done Courageous and Fireproof. Check that out–hope it can make a major splash in the culture. 10% of profits will go to crisis-pregnancy centers and other members of the culture of life. The trailer looks powerful.
And with that, the conference is concluded. I’m thankful to have known about this event and to have been able to pass on word to folks, and kudos to Tony Perkins, Jill Stanek, Chris Marlink, and many others who made it happen.
One can only hope and pray that the cause of life is championed with ever-increasing power in coming days. It was remarkable how many different voices made up the conference. As evangelical Christians, until Christ the warrior-king returns to destroy sin and Satan, we work in his name to advance the reign of his righteous kingdom, a reign that brings life where death dominates.