Hopes, challenges ahead are voiced by speakers at Sanctity of Human Life Rally
With anticipation high for an imminent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that could overturn the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, speakers at the Sanctity of Human Life Rally in Peoria on May 24 expressed high hopes but emphasized much pro-life work will remain no matter the outcome.
“We can almost taste it,” said Monica Cline, keynote speaker, of a possible reversal of the 1973 ruling — a day that has been prayed for and worked for by those in the pro-life community for nearly five decades.
“But regardless, we have a lot more work to do, because there is a lot more that we’re being challenged with,” said Cline, a former Title X (family planning) training manager for Planned Parenthood who now warns of the dangers of the comprehensive sex education she once taught to children.
Ken Goins, president of Central Illinois Right to Life — which sponsors the annual rally that calls to mind the now more than 60 million unborn children killed through legal abortion in the U.S. — had the same message for the nearly 100 who gathered at Redeemer Presbyterian Church.
“We are at a very important time,” said Goins in welcoming remarks. “At any day, our Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade, which was wrongly decided. But it only returns (the matter) back to the states. And of course, you know how our state goes,” he added.
In 2019, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the state’s “Reproductive Health Act” that makes abortion a fundamental right in Illinois no matter what happens on the federal level.
Both Cline and Goins pointed to the work being done by local pregnancy resource outreaches such as the Women’s Care Center, the Empower Life Center, and the newly opened Gianna Women’s Clinic (formerly known as Destiny for Women). They challenged those who believe in the sanctity of human life to deeper involvement.
“What is God prompting you to do?” asked Cline.
“There is much work to do, and we can only accomplish it with the grace of our loving Lord,” said Goins. “Let me ask you, what’s your calling?”
LINKS SEX EDUCATION, ABORTION
In her talk, Cline explored the link between comprehensive sex education and abortion. The type of education promoted by Planned Parenthood as well as some government and school entities doesn’t teach youth not to have sex, she said, but rather “how to do it safer.”
“It begins to change their attitudes and beliefs and behaviors away from what you have taught them, if you have taught them anything,” said Cline, who during her 10 years with Planned Parenthood eventually became the training manager for both her native Texas and New Mexico.
“This form of education teaches children how to objectify themselves, how to dehumanize one another, and then it becomes the natural next step to dehumanize the pre-born child through abortion because it becomes a cycle,” she said.
Cline explained how her attitude began to change after her own unplanned pregnancy. As she scheduled an abortion, a friend celebrated her pregnancy and led her to question the decision.
“The minute I recognized the humanity of my child, everything changed,” said Cline, including a recognition and acceptance of God’s love for her and her child.
She would soon leave Planned Parenthood and now warns that comprehensive sex education “sexualizes our children, teaches them that marriage is not sacred, sexual intimacy is not sacred, and that everything is relative.”
“It’s no wonder that our children are going through so much depression and suicide today,” said Cline. “They have lost their identities.”
STRONGER FAMILIES, GREATER CHURCH OUTREACH
Among the solutions Cline proposed are stronger families and greater outreach and welcome from Christian churches.
“It takes a family, and it takes the family of God together,” she said.
“Our kids are waiting for us to lead. Our kids crave the truth,” said Cline. “The culture tells them different.”
Specifically, she encouraged parents to “get the phone away from children” as much as possible because of the dangers lurking in the online world; become familiar with the National Sex Education Standards and work so they are not adopted locally; and make sure that before talking to their children about sex that they understand the meaning of marriage and their identity as children of God. Should their children fail in this area, parents should be prepared to “offer forgiveness, boundaries, and mercy.”
And churches, she said, need to be in the community as much as Planned Parenthood. “You need to embrace the messy girl or messy man,” she said. “See those people with God’s eyes, minister to them, and disciple them.”