Lynchburg Conference Offers Encouragement
Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), remembers praying outside an abortion clinic in Florida, specifically that God would help the women inside love their children and that they would walk out of the abortion clinic. She was arrested, and her case eventually made it to the Supreme Court. Although she lost before the law, her prayer would soon be answered.
A friend told Wendy the story of a pregnant woman she knew who had decided to have an abortion. The woman walked into the clinic and took her place on the table. The doctor had already used gas to ease the experience. As he began the procedure, she heard him say, “Nurse, stop the gas. She has to pay more money.”
The doctor realized that the woman was well into her second trimester, and abortion clinics typically charge more if a woman is past the first trimester. The woman remembered how the pro-life counselors had warned her on the way in that the abortionist was only interested in the money. Disgusted, she gathered her belongings and walked away from the clinic.
Wendy was later able to meet the woman and her new child.
This was just one of several stories that Wright shared at the “Now More than Ever” conference held at the Brookhill Wesleyan Church in Forest, Virginia. Chris Freund, vice president of policy and communications for The Family Foundation, and Virginia State Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37) joined Wendy to encourage the audience to return to its Biblical foundations and the Founders’ political traditions.
“The purpose of the event was to educate and to let the audience know the issues that were the most pressing and to give them hope,” commented Jan Robey, CWA of Virginia State Director. “We’re not in this alone. This conference helped let people know that they do have a voice.”
“Are we going to continue to accept things like taxpayer funded abortion and government controlled health care?” asked the Family Foundation’s Freund. “Are we going to accept the radicalization of our country, or are we going to send a message to Washington, D.C., that they’ve gone just too far?”
Freund emphasized three issues that “wake him up every morning” — human life, the right for parents to choose how their children will be schooled, and religious liberty.
“My wife and I didn’t know if we would ever be able to have children,” Freund said. “To hear that heartbeat for the first time, there’s nothing like it.”
Freund emphasized the importance of the upcoming local and gubernatorial elections, and he urged attendees to vote on Nov. 3.
This year the Family Foundation has reached out to over 4,000 churches across Virginia, distributing over 100,000 Family Foundation general assembly report cards, according to Freund.
“If we can elect solidly pro-family leaders then we will see a difference in the future,” Freund told the packed church.
State Senator Ken Cuccinelli reminded listeners that “you don’t have to be a person of faith to be pro-life,” adding that legislators have attempted to pass bills redefining when pregnancy begins. “There is evidence of when life begins; it’s a matter of denial or acceptance.”
This spring Cuccinelli fought to pass a bill allowing Virginia drivers to purchase pro-life license plates. The bill barely passed on a 20-19 vote. Cuccinelli said that there are 25,000 abortions a year in the state of Virginia, and “that’s a tragedy, but so is one [abortion].”
Cuccinelli and Freund pointed out that, in addition to fighting abortion, it’s important for individuals to protect the Virginia Marriage Amendment.
Denae Brack, a Liberty University communications graduate student and CWA member, related her earliest memories of the pro-life movement, which occurred on a CWA trip to Washington, D.C.
“I saw the Supreme Court, and that’s when my mom said ‘that’s where judges decided that women could kill their own children,’” Brack said. “That moment changed me and helped me form my core beliefs.”
Women need to stand up for their beliefs, Brack said, and CWA is a key vehicle in helping them to speak out.
“We already have a voice, but we need a way to use it. CWA is standing up for so many important causes,” Brack said. “Women can’t afford to be quiet anymore. We need to stand up and take action.”
“Many people, Christians especially, don’t realize how much government and public policy affects us,” Wendy told the crowd. “It poses grave threats to our religious freedom, threats to the sanctity of life, threats to marriage, and threats to the safety and security of our country, but many people are not quite aware of that yet.”
Wendy said the women’s rights movement has given a unique opportunity for conservative women to speak out, because the other side of the debate is rarely heard. But she said both men and women are affected by issues such as abortion.
Cuccinelli urged listeners to protect the first principles that established America’s foundation. He encouraged everyone to use their wisdom to spread first principles across their communities, state, and nation.
“It’s up to those of us in this generation to preserve that principled foundation and to return to it,” Cuccinelli said. “People get wiser with age. Nations do not.”
“The wisdom in the founding period doesn’t stay with us and grow,” Cuccinelli said. “It is there for us to take and nourish and pass on, but if we don’t, freedom is never more than one generation from extinction.”
To order a DVD of the “Now More Than Ever” conference, click here.
Melinda Zosh serves as vice president of government affairs with the Liberty University Student Government Association.
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