Stand for Life is a collective impact alliance that unites more than 100 organizations in order to combat abortion and make it unnecessary. The Stand for Life tour has been making its way around the United States, and on Thursday, Oct. 27, the group came to Samford University to share its beliefs and mission regarding abortion.
According to their website, standforlife.com, “Stand for Life strategically enhances the holistic pro-life movement by engaging, educating and equipping to build a culture that believes all humans are made in the image of God and should be treated with dignity and respect- such that abortion becomes unnecessary.”
Each speaker for the conference focused on different aspects of the pro-life movement. Herbie Newell began the conversation by discussing adoption and foster care. His message called Christians to care for the most vulnerable.
“To be pro-life, we have to care about what happens to life outside of the womb as much as we care about life happening inside the womb,” Newell said.
Newell reminded the audience that believers were once spiritually fatherless. Each Christian was adopted into the kingdom of God. The pro-life movement is also called to care for vulnerable children after birth.
Jessica Russo, a member of a group called Embrace Grace, was the second speaker of the night. Embrace Grace was created to encourage and assist single pregnant mothers, but it has evolved into teaching single mothers or fathers about parenting after their child is born. Russo began working with Embrace Grace because of her own struggles. She was single and pregnant in her early life, and she didn’t know where to turn.
“Because of fear and shame, I chose abortion. I didn’t choose abortion because I wanted to; it didn’t feel like a choice to me. It felt like something I had to do so that I wouldn’t destroy everything else,” Russo said. “But God doesn’t ask us to be perfect. He just wants to love us.”
Now, Russo is working to empower women who are in a similar position. She wants single mothers to understand their worth and value in the eyes of God. Russo encouraged the audience to realize that we never truly know what someone has been through. Loving someone can change the path of their lives.
The keynote speaker for the Stand for Life conference was Trip Lee, a rapper, author and preacher. He wanted the audience to understand the significance of being made in the image of God.
“We learn a lot about who we are by where we came from,” Lee said. “You were made by God, so if anybody has the final say about who we are and what we were actually made to do, it would be God Himself.”
Lee went on to explain the value we have as beings created by God. Every person has worth and dignity, and the way we treat other people shows how we view God. Lee said that every wrong we do against another person is done because we do not truly believe that we are made in God’s image.
Lee said, “Are we going to choose to acknowledge the image of God in an unborn person? If God is who He says He is, and He really made us in His image, that’s not a choice we have to make. Are we willing to fight for the image of God, the dignity and worth of everybody everywhere?”